What Do Plumbers Charge Per Hour in the USA? 2023 Guide

Do you want to fit a water system on your property? Replace the hot water heater? Unclog the drains? Fix or install a new dishwasher?

These all sound like jobs for a certified plumber. Plumbers’ days don’t go the same way, as some jobs can take a few hours while others can last for weeks. 

Let’s answer the question: How much is a plumber per hour?


Today, plumbers rely on different hi-tech gadgets to guarantee that the job is done the way it should, but before you hire one, you’re probably asking about the cost. So, what do plumbers charge per hour in the USA? Does the rate differ according to the region or job? Keep on reading to learn more. 

What Do Plumbers Cost Per Hour in the USA?

On average, the cost to hire a plumber is between $45 to $200 per hour. However, the overall cost of plumbing service can be anything between $96 and $900, depending on the nature of the job, the time it takes, and the materials used. Therefore, the average cost of a plumbing service costs $329. 

Most professional plumbers charge between $80 and $130, while less experienced handymen are closer to the lower end of $45. A professional plumber will provide different services that range in complexity, like repairing or installing a water heater, installing a sump pump, fixing a leaky fixture, or installing a new sink. 

Handymen are able to provide less complicated jobs like replacing the drain trap or unclogging a drain. However, in some communities and states, all plumbing work should be handled by a professional plumber. The handyman and the homeowner are prohibited from doing any plumbing repairs on their own. 

To hire a master plumber, you’ll probably pay an additional $25 to $75 per hour, but in most cases, they will oversee the work of an apprentice. The apprentice can charge between $16 and $34 with an average of $25 hourly rate. The bill you receive will also include other costs like insurance, tools, and transport. 

A journeyman plumber has more experience than an apprentice but isn’t a master plumber yet. These plumbers are able to handle more complex jobs like installing a tankless water heater or a new toilet. In most cases, you should pay between $45 and $90 per hour to hire a journeyman plumber. They might charge for materials as well.

If you need a plumber for an emergency job or for a job on the weekend, you should expect to pay about two or three times the average rate. When there’s an emergency on a weekday that requires the plumber to visit your house at night, you should expect about 150% of the regular fee. Dirty jobs can also cost more.

What Factors Affect the Cost of Plumbers?

Plumbers charge different rates per hour depending on various factors. Of course, the plumber’s experience is the first factor, as more experienced plumbers are going to charge higher, but at the same time, they’re likely to finish the job faster and with no issues. 

The nature of the job is another factor to consider. Some jobs are more complicated and involve more effort and time, and in this case, the plumber will charge higher. 

The timing also affects the charge. When there’s a shortage of plumbers because they’re all working on various projects, you should expect to pay more to hire a professional plumber. The last factor to consider is the location, as plumbers will charge higher in remote areas where there’s less access to professional plumbing services. In other states, plumbers usually charge less, and the rate will also differ within the same state. 

A dangerous job can also cost more. Some houses have small crawlspaces or old systems that make it harder to work.

How Do Plumbers Calculate the Cost of the Job?

When you hire a plumber, you’ll receive an estimate of the job’s cost based on the following factors. 

  • The plumber’s hourly rate
  • The number of hours estimated to complete the job
  • All the materials and tools needed
  • Replaced parts that need to be bought
  • The vehicle’s cost to transport all the supplies and tools
  • Union fees, which represent between 20% and 25% of the wages
  • The location of the job

However, some plumbers prefer to work differently. For example, they might charge a flat rate for the first hour and a lower rate for hours to follow. They might also have special predetermined prices for some of the repeated and simple jobs. 

Unclogging a drain or installing a fixture is usually offered at a flat rate that ranges between $100 and $400, but more complex jobs are harder to estimate because they involve labor charges. 

How Much Does a Plumber Cost Differ According to Location?

Plumbers’ cost differs according to the availability of professional plumbers in your location and the average cost of living. Here’s the hourly rate of plumbers in different states. 

  • Oregon $32.73
  • Kansas $19.64
  • Maryland $26.72
  • Alaska $32.07
  • Hawaii $22.45
  • Delaware $40.32
  • South Dakota $14.11

How Much Does a Plumber Cost According to Job Type?

Plumbers usually charge $50 to $100 for an inspection call. They also usually offer flat rates for less complicated jobs, and these rates don’t usually include any of the piping or appliances needed. 

  • Drain cleaning usually costs between $100 and $300
  • Appliance installation costs between $75 and $100 if the wiring and plumbing are done or between $200 and $600 if the wiring needs to be installed
  • Leaks start at the rate of $200 and can go up depending on the severity of the leak
  • Main water line installation usually costs around $2000
  • A piping installation in the bathroom costs between $3500 and $5000
  • A piping installation in the kitchen costs between $5000 and $6000
  • Water heater installation costs between $800 and $1300
  • Sump pump installation costs between $1000 and $3000

Wrap Up

Although some plumbing issues can seem simple, a single mistake can permanently affect the foundations of your house. Moreover, in some cases, homeowners aren’t allowed to fix their own plumbing to comply with the codes. 

The cost of hiring a plumber differs according to several factors, and more experienced plumbers naturally charge higher rates. However, hiring a master plumber with enough experience will be totally worth it if the job is too complicated. 

Tipping a plumber can also be a good idea in some situations.