Working as a Plumber in West Virginia

Plumbers are responsible for designing, installing, maintaining and repairing all types of piping systems. With plumbing existing in nearly all structures, plumbers should be able to find a job in almost any industry in either the public or private sector. The career is also a strong choice for anyone interested in small business ownership.

Plumbers will need to have a variety of skills, including extensive knowledge of building materials, local building codes, and plumbing codes. Physical stamina will be necessary for those in the career, as the work can be very strenuous. Plumbers will often need to work in crawlspaces or behind walls to find and repair problems using the tools of the trade. Although this career comes with its challenges, the rewards include job security and financial stability.

Those interested in the plumbing profession can expect to learn about topics such as:

  • Pipe fittings
  • Fuel gas systems
  • Installing water heaters
  • Plumbing drawings
  • Water distribution systems
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Plumbing safety
  • Plumbing tools
  • Repair plumbing fixtures
  • Mending burst pipes
  • Repairing pipes
  • Drainage systems
  • Vent systems
  • Testing water supply piping
  • Installing and repairing pipes used in a gas piping system
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West Virginia Plumbing License Requirement

Licensing is a requirement for West Virginia Plumbers and is overseen by the West Virginia Division of Labor. Licenses in the state fall into three categories: Plumber in Training, Journeyman Plumber and Master Plumber.

  • Plumber in Training: This license is available to anyone who has fewer than 8,000 hours working in the trade and is currently learning.
  • Journeyman Plumber: This license can be applied for once you have completed 8,000 hours of work in the field. Journeyman Plumbers can supervise and inspect the work of a Plumber in Training.
  • Master Plumber: A Master Plumber must have completed 12,000 hours in the field. Master plumbers can design plumbing systems and supervise Journeyman Plumbers and Plumbers in Training.

Training as a Plumber in West Virginia

Those who wish to train as a plumber will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent as a prerequisite. Once met, prospective plumbers generally choose from one of two paths for training: a training program at a technical school or university or an apprenticeship. If you would like to pursue training through an apprenticeship, this website is a helpful resource for finding one. For training programs in West Virginia, consider one of the following:

  • Putnam Career and Technical Center in Eleanor offers a Plumbing program. Students will learn how to diagnose and repair plumbing problems, read blueprints and assemble various pipes and fittings. The program includes 1m080 hours of instruction, which can be completed over one or two years depending on enrollment status.
  • Carver Career and Technical Education Center in Charleston offers a course in Plumbing. Students will complete 1,080 hours of plumbing instruction, preparing them for work in the field. During the program, students will be eligible to work as plumbers’ helpers.

Wages and Job Growth Expectations in West Virginia

The webpage provides detailed wage data for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters in West Virginia compared to national averages. In West Virginia, the average annual salary for these occupations is $49,730, with the lowest 10% earning $32,760 and the highest 10% earning $82,460. This contrasts with the national average salary of $60,090, where the lowest 10% earn $37,250 and the highest 10% earn $101,190. Additionally, the data includes detailed wage percentiles for various regions within West Virginia, demonstrating local economic variations.

National vs. West Virginia Salary Comparison

Location Average Salary Lowest 10% Salary Highest 10% Salary
United States $60,090 $37,250 $101,190
West Virginia $49,730 $32,760 $82,460

Salaries by Regions in West Virginia

Region Annual Low (10%) Annual Q1 (25%) Annual Median (50%) Annual Q3 (75%) Annual High (90%)
Charleston, WV $34,730 $39,650 $49,630 $65,500 $78,820
Morgantown, WV $36,820 $40,410 $50,310 $64,570 $83,370

Plumbing Trends in West Virginia

The webpage provides an overview of employment trends for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters in West Virginia. In 2020, the state employed approximately 1,210 workers in these professions. By 2030, employment is projected to slightly increase to 1,260, representing a growth rate of 4%. Annually, the state is expected to have about 130 job openings in this sector due to growth and replacements over the decade from 2020 to 2030. Compared to the national growth rate of 2% from 2022 to 2032, West Virginia’s growth rate is moderately higher.


Location Employment (2020) Projected Employment (2030) Projected Growth Projected Annual Job Openings (2020-2030)
West Virginia 1,210 1,260 4% 130
United States 482,700 493,600 2% 42,600

Sources of data:

  1. State Data: The projections for this State from 2020 to 2030 are provided by Projections Central, which offers long-term projections for occupational employment.
  2. United States Data: The nationwide employment projections from 2022 to 2032 are sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which regularly publishes detailed employment projections for a wide range of occupations across the United States.

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