How Much Do Plumbers Charge?

Typical Range:

$177 - $483

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 85,831 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated June 7, 2022

Reviewed by Jeff Botelho, Licensed Journeyman Plumber.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

A plumber’s rates range from $45 to $200 per hour. However, your actual price will depend largely on the job, timing, and location. According to project data from HomeAdvisor members, the cost of hiring a plumber ranges between $177 and $483, with an average cost of $330.

The price you pay will vary with the type of service you need. For example, unclogging a drain may start at $100, while installing a shower can go as high as $9,800 or more. Your plumber’s experience level will also impact the price, and most charge extra for emergency visits.

Below, we’ll discuss all of the cost factors that go into hiring a plumber and some of the services you may need as a homeowner, including drain cleaning, faucet replacement or installation, and toilet repair.

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National Average $330
Typical Range $177 - $483
Low End - High End $96 - $900

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 85,831 HomeAdvisor members.

Plumber Hourly Rates by Level of Expertise

Average cost to hire a plumber is $45 to $200 per hour

Most plumbers charge an average of $70 to $120 per hour before trip fees and materials. Rates can range as high as $200 or as low as $45. A plumber’s hourly rate covers their wages, insurance premiums, union dues, overhead, equipment, vehicle maintenance, and tools. Here are their hourly rates based on experience.

Plumber’s Level of Expertise Average Hourly Rate
Apprentice $45 – $90 per hour
Journeyman $70 – $120 per hour
Master $90 – $200 per hour

Apprentice

The typical price for an apprentice plumber is between $45 and $90 per hour with an average of $70 per hour. Apprentices work for four to five years under a master plumber before taking the test to become a journeyman. During this time, they work on a wide variety of projects to gain experience. 

Journeyman

The average price for a journeyman is between $70 and $120 per hour, with an average cost of $90 per hour. Your bill reflects those wages plus overhead, insurance, tools, equipment, vehicle expenses, and advertising.

Master

Expect to pay a master plumber $90 to $200 per hour, with an average cost of $120 per hour. They survey the plumbing work completed by apprentices and journeymen. Some states don't require or endorse certification levels. You can speak with your local construction and planning office for details on the requirements in your state or city. 

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Additional Plumbing Service Costs

The cost for plumbing services can vary greatly depending on additional factors that affect the final price, like emergency work, flat-rate pricing, and call-out fees.

Plumber Flat-Rate Prices

Flat rates run from $100 to $400 for most simple service calls, such as unclogging a drain or fixing a faucet or toilet. More complex jobs requiring more time often incur further labor charges. 

Emergency, Weekend, Holiday, or After-Hours Charges

Most plumbers are called out for emergency situations. Off-hour repairs are more expensive than making an appointment during regular business hours. Weekend, holiday, and after-hours work come at a higher hourly rate or flat-rate pricing, or a combination of the two.

  • Flat Rate or Trip Fee: $100–$350 (or more in extreme cases). Ask your contractor if this is in addition to an hourly rate.

  • Hourly Rate: $70–$400

The cost of an emergency plumber depends on the individual contractor’s policies. Most charge time-and-a-half to triple their hourly rate depending on when the call comes in. Some may charge time-and-a-half for evening work, double-time for weekends, and triple-time for holidays. 

Service Call Costs

Service call fees range from $100 to $350 and usually include the first hour of work. Service calls cover a wide range of common services, including clogged drains, leaking pipes, and fixture repair.

Trip or Call-Out Fees

Trip fees range anywhere from $50 to $300, depending on your location and the distance your plumber needs to travel. Unlike a service call, this fee is in addition to labor charges.

Minimum fees and trip charges help offset the cost of traveling to and from job sites. Plumbers spend much of their time traveling to a job site and supply house to pick up materials for your project.

  • Most plumbers offer a flat fee within a certain radius of their shop with additional mileage pricing past that.

  • Alternately, some skip the trip charge and simply charge a one- or two-hour minimum. So, if they spend only 15 minutes working, you'll pay the minimum amount of time.

Plumbing Labor Services Price List

The best way to determine your project budget is to get at least three quotes from local plumbers. Knowing what others paid for the same work helps you make an informed decision after the bids come in.

We've collected thousands of HomeAdvisor members' reported data to provide comparisons for the most common issues. Below is a list of the most common plumbing projects and their price ranges. Each list item links to a detailed guide on pricing information and considerations for each project.

Commercial vs. Residential Plumbing Rates

Commercial plumbers average $100 per hour, while residential plumbers average $80 per hour. Commercial contractors rarely do residential work and vice versa. The building codes and equipment they deal with and the skillsets they develop vary between the two types.

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Choosing a Plumber

Some other considerations to keep in mind when choosing a plumber include state licensure, insurance, and knowledge. 

  • All states issue licenses, and the licensing board can confirm their legitimacy. However, not every state requires journeymen to have certification. Most states provide a number you can call to verify that a plumber’s license is current and there are no active complaints against it.

  • Any pro you consider should also hold a current workers' compensation policy and a minimum of $500,000 liability insurance.

  • Plumbing isn't necessarily difficult, but it requires a lot of specialized training. Code requirements are just one consideration; you also need to understand piping parts and have experience with the materials. For instance, knowing how hard you can crank on PVC before it cracks takes time to master. Not having a feel for this can turn a $10 repair into a flood.

Before hiring a pro, have a list of questions to ask potential plumbers ready. Get several quotes unless you’re in a hurry and have water gushing from the ceiling. Most plumbers will provide you with a free quote, and some may even come out to your home for a free consultation if you’re a first-time customer. 

General Plumber vs. Plumbing Contractor

You may be surprised to learn that different plumbers handle specific types of plumbing jobs. The main areas of focus and duties break out into two categories: general plumbers—also known as family plumbers—who take care of general repairs and some emergency situations and plumbing contractors who specialize in new construction and remodeling. 

For a family or general plumber, be prepared for a more urgent situation by establishing a relationship with a pro before you need them. If possible, hire a plumber for non-urgent repairs or to install fixtures during regular business hours. Sometimes it can be easier to get a plumber to make time for an immediate visit if you’re a regular customer. 

Unlike a family plumber, when you hire a plumbing contractor, they tend to work strictly on new construction, major renovations, or additions. Some shops do small, residential, emergency, and new construction projects.

FAQs

Why are plumbers so expensive?

Plumbers are expensive because their trade is highly specialized and requires thousands of hours to master. 

Additionally, they make house calls, so they invest in vehicles, tools, equipment, and gas to bring their services to you. They also carry insurance and have other overhead expenses. Meanwhile, labor shortages in the field also contribute to premium pricing. 

How do I find inexpensive plumbers?

Finding inexpensive plumbers is often a mistake. If you have a cousin or friend in the trade, they may work at a lower rate for you. However, plumbers have a highly specialized skillset developed over years of training and experience; their fees reflect their skill, overhead, and demand. 

How do I pay a plumber?

You can pay most plumbers with a check or credit card at the time of service, or they’ll send you an invoice. The choice is usually up to you. Ask how they bill when you get a quote. 

What is a plumber's hourly wage?

A plumber’s hourly rate ranges anywhere from $70 to $120 per hour for a journeyman. Apprentices charge about half that, and master plumbers can charge far more if they own a shop or supervise others.

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