Plumbers bask in post-COVID demand boom, pay tops $100K in some markets

Amid a widespread labor shortage that is straining the economy and driving up costs, plumbers appear to be in particularly high demand — with some states being more lucrative for the profession than others, new data shows.

According to a recent analysis by , Google searches for plumbers have skyrocketed to the highest level in 5 years, indicative of rising demand for service workers and skilled labor.

The data shows that the Midwest is a boon for plumbers, who tend to earn significantly more than those in more densely populated metropolitan areas like the mid-Atlantic and the Southwest.

Construction Coverage found that “While the national level data indicates a plumber is an above-average wage, state-level data shows a highly regional sector where plumbers in the Midwest earn far more than their counterparts in the Southwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic Ocean.”

quote , Construction Coverage found that the average U.S. plumber earns more than $56,000 a year, and the industry is expected to create nearly 21,000 new jobs over the next eight years.

However, in states such as Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska, the average annual wage for plumbers is well above average, the study finds. Plumbers in Prairie State topped the list with an adjusted salary of $95,544, followed by Alaska ($83,730) and Minnesota ($80,408).

By contrast, places like Florida ($43,119), New Mexico ($48,079) and North Carolina ($48,288) offer salaries that pay far less than what a Midwestern plumber could earn.

Depending on the region, plumbers can earn a pretty penny, and much more than the industry average.

Depending on the region, plumbers can earn a pretty penny, and much more than the industry average.

The booming plumbing market underlines how 2020 was a record year for home improvements, boosted primarily by COVID-19 lockdowns. In a separate study, found that Americans spent nearly $420 billion on their homes last year, largely on DIY projects.

While many professional remodeling projects came to a halt when the pandemic hit, the number of do-it-yourself renovations increased. The sudden flexibility of remote working also increased the demand for larger homes and yards in less densely populated parts of the country.

Together with the construction coverage data, this suggests homeowners are making up for lost time by hiring home-related contract workers at a breakneck pace.

But as in many other industries, there seems to be an insufficient number of qualified workers in the plumbing field. The National Home Builders Association found a staggering 55% shortage of plumbers available for work.

The lack of new entrants to meet job needs is driving labor costs, increasing delays and overworking existing talent. To meet this challenge, some business owners had to think creatively about how to attract qualified talent.

Dale Jackson, owner of Jackson Services Co., a Georgia plumbing and electrical company, told Yahoo! Recently funded that he started a company that would pay a referral bonus to entice more employees.

Still, the demand for skilled labor continues to outpace the labor supply. According to the American Chamber of Commerce , 75% of builders say they ask their contractors to do more work than usual to meet demand.

Dani Romero is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @daniromerotv

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