Electrician vs. Plumber: Which Career is Right for You?

Finding Your Ideal Career: Electrician or Plumber

Choosing a career is a big decision, and it can be challenging to know where to start. When it comes to skilled trades, becoming an electrician or a plumber are both excellent options. To help you navigate the electrician vs plumber dilemma, this article will compare the two careers, delving into their similarities, differences, and long-term prospects.

electrician vs plumber

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to make a career change, it’s important to understand the responsibilities, education requirements, job outlook, and earning potential of each profession. With the right information, you can make an informed decision and find the career that’s right for you.

In the following sections, we’ll explore the electrician and plumber careers in detail, compare the two, and provide you with the information you need to make a decision. So, whether you’re leaning towards becoming an electrician or a plumber, read on to discover which career is the right fit for you.

Electrician vs Plumber: Similarities of the Careers

To begin, let’s explore the similarities between the two trades, as there is a significant amount of overlap. This is one of the reasons why making a decision between the two can be challenging; both careers have similar working conditions, salary, training requirements, and job growth prospects.

Electrician vs Plumber: Working Conditions


As a construction trade professional, both electricians and plumbers have the opportunity to work in a wide range of environments. From residential to commercial, and industrial settings, there is a vast array of work opportunities available.

For electricians, this could mean installing, repairing, and maintaining electrical systems in homes, schools, or office buildings. They may also work on large-scale projects such as military bases, sport stadiums, or transportation hubs. The variety of work environments means that electricians have the opportunity to take on new challenges and learn new skills regularly.

Plumbers have a similarly diverse range of work opportunities. They may work on small residential projects, such as fixing a leaky faucet, or large commercial projects, such as installing and maintaining the plumbing systems in a hotel or office building. They may also work on industrial projects, such as installing and maintaining large-scale plumbing systems in factories or power plants.

The diverse work settings of both electricians and plumbers make for a challenging and rewarding career. Having the chance to work in various settings allows both these construction trade professionals to continuously improve their skills and knowledge, maintaining their engagement and enthusiasm in their careers.

Electrician vs plumber: Salary

Electricians and plumbers earn similar wages, with an average annual income of $60,000 for electricians and $59,000 for plumbers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, this may not provide a complete picture, as the data may include the wages of both apprentices and licensed professionals (journeymen).

The Union Pay Scale Project, a crowd-sourced resource for wage and benefit information, reports that unionized journeyman electricians earn an average of $78,000 a year, or $39 per hour. On the other hand, unionized journeyman plumbers earn an average of $87,000 a year, or $43.67 per hour.

It is worth noting that the wages and benefits in both trades can vary greatly depending on your location. Therefore, we recommend consulting the Union Pay Scale Project and checking out their wages by city charts for a more accurate estimate. 

Electrician vs Plumber: Training Requirements

Becoming a licensed plumber or electrician requires a significant investment of time and effort. Navigating the electrician vs plumber decision, both trades typically require completion of a four-year apprenticeship program that combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction.

During their apprenticeships, aspiring plumbers and electricians learn the fundamentals of their respective trades, including safety procedures, technical skills, and the theory behind their work. On-the-job training allows apprentices to gain hands-on experience, while classroom instruction helps them to understand the concepts they will encounter in the field.

After completing their apprenticeships, plumbers and electricians may be required to pass a licensing exam to become fully certified professionals. This exam tests their knowledge and skills, ensuring that they are equipped to provide safe, reliable, and effective services to their customers.

In conclusion, both plumbing and electrical careers require a substantial investment of time and effort in order to become licensed professionals. However, this investment pays off in the form of a rewarding and well-compensated career in the construction trades.

Electrician vs Plumber: Job Growth

When considering electrician vs plumber career paths, it’s important to note that both professions can expect job growth in the coming years. However, electricians seem to have a more promising outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of electricians is projected to grow 8% from 2019 to 2029, while employment of plumbers is projected to grow 5% over the same period.

The increased demand for electricians is driven by several factors, including the growing demand for electrical systems and the rise of green energy production. As the world continues to move towards renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, the need for electricians to install and maintain these systems will only increase. Additionally, the increasing popularity of electric cars is also driving demand for electricians, as charging stations and other electrical infrastructure must be installed and maintained.

While plumbers can also expect to see job growth in the coming years, driven by population growth and the need to upgrade and maintain existing infrastructure, electricians appear to have a more secure and promising outlook. The BLS projects employment of electricians to grow at a faster pace than plumbers, making it a more attractive career choice for those looking for stability and job security.

Electrician vs Plumber: Choosing The Career For You

When it comes down to making a choice between a career as an electrician or a plumber, it really comes down to your personal interests and passions. Both trades offer similar working conditions, competitive pay, training requirements, and promising job growth prospects. 

If you find the idea of troubleshooting electrical circuits, installing renewable energy systems, and working with lighting fixtures and outlets to be more appealing, then a career as an electrician may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you are interested in fixing and installing plumbing systems, such as toilets, faucets, and pipes, then becoming a plumber may be a better fit.

Ultimately, the decision between these two trades will come down to what you find most enjoyable and fulfilling. Both electricians and plumbers play crucial roles in maintaining and improving our built environment, so whichever path you choose, you will be making a positive impact and contributing to society.

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