Plumbing Market

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Plumbing Market

Key Takeaways

  • States with the highest number of Plumbers are California (43,540 Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters), Texas (39,810 Plumbers), New York (26,310 Plumbers), Florida (25,610), and Illinois (16,520).
  • The top trends in the market include an increase in demand, the rise of intelligent plumbing devices and fixtures, an increase in the number of competitors in the space, and the importance of greywater education.
  • Even during the pandemic, while several other businesses were completely shut down, several plumbing businesses continued operations under the CDC guidelines. The pandemic showed that the plumbing industry is essential.
  • Americans are becoming more aware of greywater. People can reduce their water consumption by 20% after replacing conventional fixtures and appliances with water-efficient alternatives.
  • The plumbing industry accounts for 127,343 businesses and 490,200 jobs and 20,900 people from the industry changed professions in the last recorded census.

Introduction

This research contains an overview of top trends in the US Plumbing Market confirmed by various sources. The industry is also outlined in the research, focusing on the demand of plumbers by state, the number of workers entering and leaving the industry, and other metrics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, a comprehensive list of the number of Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters is available in this spreadsheet. Highlights from this list, including the states with the lowest and highest number of Plumbers, have also been compiled.

TRENDS

Increase in Demand Dependent on Related Markets

  • The key driver of this trend is the resurrection of commercial operations after the economic downtime caused by the covid pandemic.
  • The demand for services of the plumbing market such as installation of pipe-fitting services and plumbing appliances is heavily dependent on stability and value of the private nonresidential and residential construction, private expenditure on home improvements, and other similar construction activities in the country.
  • It has been discovered that this construction market is linked to the nation's economic health.
  • However, the market size of the plumbing industry, although dependent on the construction sector, has increased faster than that of the construction sector.
  • The COVID-19 situation posed a threat to the normal economic conditions in the nation, causing a decline in construction. The commercial sector suffered fluctuating and stagnated operations and even establishment closures. Nevertheless, declines witnessed due to the covid restrictions were countered by significant growth in residential construction.
  • Even during the pandemic, while several other businesses were completely shut down, several plumbing businesses continued operations under the CDC guidelines. The pandemic showed that the plumbing industry is essential.
  • The economy is witnessing a resurgence in commercial operations due to a complete reopening of activities after the pandemic scare.
  • The plumbing industry is thereby considered to have become increasingly profitable during the year and expected to remain so in the nearest future.

Embracing Smart Technology

  • Smart technology is gaining popularity like the smartphone. This increase in the penetration of smart technology into various industries is driving this trend.
  • In 2019, the intelligent toilet market was worth $3 billion. Just one year later, it became $4.93 billion. Massive leaps recorded by the smart plumbing market are estimated to continue multiplying.
  • Currently, homebuyers in the US ("many of whom grew up with smartphones") are tech-savvy, environmentally conscious, and want their activities to communicate the same.
  • Homebuyers opt for tech solutions to plumbing problems such as leak detection, water damage, and everyday domestic activities.
  • Already established businesses in the plumbing industry are advised to identify with the smart movement and adapt to secure more revenue streams.

Increase in Plumber Competition

  • One of the key drivers of this trend is the increasing interest in smart homes.
  • As smart technology gains more ground, the expertise required to maintain and repair smart plumbing equipment is bound to rise.
  • Consumers, both commercial and private, are predicted to find it harder to fiddle with smart plumbing devices, unlike their regular counterparts. Thus, consumers will rely more on experts to fix their plumbing problems as more than 61 percent of Americans are reported to "value time more than money."
  • Already, the smart space is known to be ever-increasing with new startups and more competition as more companies what to remain relevant.
  • Quantitative data for 2020 shows how current top competitors in the plumbing space are faring:

Greywater Knowledge

  • The primary driver of this trend is the environmentally conscious nature of more consumers today.
  • More consumers today are environmentally conscious. Many are concerned about reducing water consumption, saving money, and reducing utility bills.
  • A study by the US Geological Survey showed that the average American uses an average of 82 gallons of water every day. Showers and toilets account for a significant amount of this water consumption.
  • Research shows that Americans can reduce their water consumption by 20% when replacing conventional fixtures and appliances with water-efficient alternatives.
  • WaterSense marks products that are 20% more water-efficient and still "perform as well as or better than standard models."
  • The average American family can save 13,000 gallons of water (up to $130) per year using WaterSense labeled toilets.
  • Also, WaterSense labeled faucets and aerators can save the average family "$250 in water and electricity costs over the faucets' lifetime."
  • The government has already begun educating residents on the importance of greywater systems.
  • Plumbing experts are trained to educate consumers on greywater systems and how they help reduce waste, bills and benefit the environment.


MARKET OVERVIEW

Wages and Number of Workers

  • The industry accounts for 127,343 businesses and 490,200 jobs.
  • A total of 20,900 people left the industry and changed professions in the last recorded census.
  • The sector employs 565,537 people in the United States.
  • In 2020 the median pay was $56,330 per year and $27.08 per hour.
  • Metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters are:
    • New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA employing 25,650 Plumbers
    • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA employing 14,320
    • Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI employing 12,560
    • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX using 11,400
    • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX employing 9,540
    • Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH employing 8,490
    • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV employing 7,850
    • Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ employing 7,360
    • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI employing 6,880
    • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD employing 6,710

Education and Qualifications

  • Entry-level positions in the industry require a minimum of a High school diploma or equivalent qualification. Also, there is no work experience requirement for several positions.
  • However, workers with knowledge of Building Information Modeling (BIM) software have the best opportunities.
  • Workers are given on-the-job apprenticeship training.
  • Changes in qualifications required for plumbing are state-specific.
  • However, an extensive comparison of labor statistics handbooks (or data) from previous years and plumbing license requirement publications from industry websites and databases showed very little information to suggest a change in the qualifications required for plumbing jobs and licenses except that more workers will soon be required to have substantial knowledge of the Building Information Modeling (BIM) software.
  • Compared to previous years, more states and localities are requiring plumbers to be licensed and acquire "master plumber status to obtain a plumbing contractor's license."
  • A special license is required to work on gas lines, and plumbers may acquire more certification to broaden their earning field.
  • States like Michigan are investing immensely in training skilled trade workers. With an investment of close to $15 million in 2018, it is no surprise that the qualifications required in the state will be higher than in others.
  • Other states that require more qualifications for plumbers are Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, and Maine, all requiring a master state license for plumbers in the state.
  • Lesser qualifications are required in Florida, Ohio, Wyoming, and Virginia.
  • Plumbers generally do not require a state license to work in Wyoming and Ohio. A minimum of 240 hours of relevant training is required to work in the plumbing industry in Virginia. Certified plumbers in Florida require a license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and proof of 4 years of experience or equivalent combination of experience and training, among a few other requirements.

Demand

  • As witnessed during the pandemic, maintenance and repair of plumbing and pipe systems continue even during the economic crisis. Therefore, Plumbers and Fitters working outside the construction industry "often have more stable employment."
  • Demand for the workers is generally expected to grow as there will be an increase in construction activities. In like manner, employment is expected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029.
  • States with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients (demand) in Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters are:
  • States with the lowest concentration of jobs and location quotients (demand) in Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters are:
  • Also, the recent winter storm caused havoc to several plumbing fittings in Texas.
  • Combined with the reported shortage of plumbers in the area, the storm recovery has made the demand for plumbers in Texas rise as the state has started permitting out-of-state plumbers to work even with expired licenses.


NUMBER OF PLUMBERS PER STATE

  • The top 18 states with the highest number of Plumbers is shown in the figure below
  • The 15 states with the lowest number of Plumbers is shown in the figure below
  • This spreadsheet contains a comprehensive compilation of the number of Plumbers by state.


Research Strategy

For this research on the US Plumbing Market, the research team leveraged the most reputable sources of information available in the public domain, including the government census databases, research databases, and industry platforms such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Statista, and Ibis World. An extensive comparison of labor statistics handbooks from previous years and plumbing license requirement publications from industry websites and databases revealed very little information regarding any change in the qualifications required for plumbing jobs and licenses. Careful analysis of government census and surveys, market research databases, and top trade workers' education platforms (or schools) provided insufficient information to ascertain the number of people entering the space. For this, the research team unsuccessfully tried to ascertain the number of applicants for plumbing-related jobs, the number of school leavers from plumbing-related studies, or the number of applicants enrolling for plumbing-related diplomas, certifications, and degrees. This data is not largely available in the public space. Data was meticulously drawn from several publications, press releases, and relevant articles. In like manner, the trends compiled were consistent across several reputed trends and market analysis reports. We included all relevant statistics, graphical, and quantitative data where available.

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