Should You Be an Electrician or a Plumber?


Choosing a profession is a matter of personal choice. This choice can be based on several factors. For some people, this can be linked to monetary satisfaction, for others, it can be about job satisfaction and work-life balance, while others yet may strive to strike a balance between many indexes.

Electricians and plumbers are both in-demand professionals because of the nature of the work they do. Each house, no matter how well it is maintained, is bound to face some problems over time that would need the services of these professionals.

So, should y0u be an electrician or a plumber? What is the nature of each of these jobs and are there any pros and cons that must be taken into account while making the career decision. Let us find out!

Choosing to Be a Plumber: All You Need to Know

A plumber’s day-to-day tasks involve installing water heaters in homes, fixing pipes and other plumbing fixtures such as faucets, showers and toilet seats.

They are also responsible for installing heat pumps and centralized heating or air-conditioning. They are also trained to inspect and repair drain pipes and sewage tanks.

Contrary to popular opinion, not all plumbers unclog drains and toilets. Plumbing is a wide field and, as such, practitioners are free to choose their specialization should they wish to. They can also be generalists. In a way, this is similar to any other trade, if you truly think of it.

As a plumber, you can choose to stick to installing water heaters or installing gas pipes in hospitals, etc. It is a matter of personal choice and the scope for specialization is endless.


The training for becoming a plumber may take around five years that also involves apprenticeships that give you money and the first taste of the trade.

Earning Potential

The average salary of a plumber is around $30 per hour and it increases based on years in the trade, deftness of work and the skill sets.

Skill Set Required

If you are training to be a plumber, you would need to have several skill sets, such as having a knowledge of fluid dynamics, vetting, gravity, kinetic energy and more. You would also need to know how to calculate water pressure. You would need to be knowledgeable about a lot of mathematical calculations, theoretical concepts and also be good at memorization.

Soft Skills

Since plumbing is an industry that requires regular interaction with several clients, plumbers need to have several soft skills. These include interpersonal skills, communications skills, teamwork, good customer service, reliability, punctuality, politeness, attention to detail and the ability to work tight deadlines under pressure.

Work Environment

A plumber works in homes, offices, hospitals, schools. In essence, all buildings will require plumbing work to be done.

Choosing to Be an Electrician: All You Need to Know

The day-to-day tasks of an electrician involve fixing lightings, maintaining and repairing electrical wiring and installing electrical equipment. Electricians are also required in instances of a short circuit, fuse, or when something goes amiss with any electrical appliance. It is a pretty diverse job and entails a number of tasks that one may do on a daily basis.


The training period is the same as that of a plumber and one can get the required skills in five years. This also involves undertaking some paid internships to get real-life experience before embarking on a professional journey.

Earning Potential

The starting point for an electrician is the same as that of a plumber and they can expect to make $30/hour initially. This, of course, increases exponentially as one becomes more experienced in the trade and develops contacts and a network.

Skill Set Required

While training for an electrician, one needs to pick up a knack for undertaking routine measurements, calculating angles and voltage and current. This is a mathematics-heavy career choice and electricians generally need to be good with arithmetic, algebra and geometry.

A proclivity towards mathematics is bound to keep you ahead of the curve if you are planning on becoming an electrician.

Soft Skills

An electrician needs to possess a number of soft skills considering they are bound to interact with people on a daily basis for their work.

Good communications skills are a must. At the same time, electricians need to be good in people skills so that they can explain difficult concepts to people easily, they need to be comfortable working under pressure, reliability, punctuality attention to detail and a commitment to customer service.

Work Environment

An electrician will work in commercial and residential buildings mostly. They also work in construction sites, boats and the likes.

Plumber vs Electrician: The Final Verdict

Both plumbers and electricians have a lot of similarities in terms of the money they can make and the years of training required. They are also customer-facing industries that warrant a lot of customer interaction. Mathematical and theoretical concepts and ease with numbers are bound to be useful to both electricians and plumbers.

So, it actually comes down to personal preference and choice. You should choose a career that sustains your interest in the long run. It should be fulfilling not just in terms of the money that it brings home but also the value it adds to life at large.

Both the career options are fairly stable and will be in demand given the nature of the industry. So, there are actually many similarities between these trades. There is no dearth of opportunities in both. There is a lot of potential to grow and learn in both career options. Hence, the choice should be made based on what you really want to do in life.

The Final Word

Choosing a career can be daunting given the pressures we are subjected to on a daily basis. If you have to choose between becoming a plumber and electrician, you will have to do some soul searching and ask yourself what you really want given the similarities between both professions.

Leave a Comment