Female Plumbers – History, Benefits, & Challenges.

Blog, Construction, Plumbing

People who install, repair, and maintain piping, fittings, and other features involved in the distribution and use of water in a building are called plumbers. A plumber could be a male or a female. Sadly, many people believe that plumbing is an all-male profession, but this is not true. According to research by Zippia, 5.3% of plumbers in the United States are female. 

While there are only a few female plumbers, they are still increasing by the day. Women are discovering daily that plumbing is a secure job that pays well. It’s not too late to start; there is no limit. Here are some facts about female plumbers, their history, challenges, benefits, and how to become one.

A brief history of female plumbers

The word plumber is derived from the Latin word “plumbum”, which means lead or lead pipe. From there, the word plumber gradually became understood to install or repair pipes.

Although plumbing dates back a while, it was not until 1951 that the first female plumber was licensed. Lillian Baumbach, known by her fans as the “pretty plumber of Virginia,” became the first female plumber at age 21.

After getting her Master Plumber’s license, she garnered attention worldwide. She made it known all around the globe that plumbers don’t necessarily have to be men but can also feature women.

What do female plumbers bring to the table?

Did you know that the Center For Creative Leadership has a study on women in the workplace? This study shows that with a woman in a workplace, you will generally have;

  • More work satisfaction
  • Better organization
  • Less burnout
  • More meaningful work or result

That said, it is easy to see that women can bring more to the workforce, regardless of the field.

What are the benefits of being a female plumber?

There are many benefits a woman can derive from plumbing, which also applies to male plumbers. Some of the benefits are;

1. You make a good living

Plumbers earn quite a lot. According to the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, plumbers earn $59,880 annually and $28.79 per hour. Union plumbers will also enjoy more benefits as well.

2. The educational requirements are inexpensive

You can train as a plumber at a vocational school or community college. It is affordable, and you do not have to worry about student loans or debt. Additionally, there are numerous apprenticeship programs available for students. This allows you to work and earn while you are learning the trade.

3. Advancement

As a plumber, you can work your way up the chain from being a master plumber to a foreman, superintendent, estimator, project manager, etc. 

4. You have different opportunities

As a plumber, you work individually or under a company. Although most companies will require you to have proper licensing to be able to work in a professional setting.

5. You’ll be helping people

People call plumbers when they need help. In fact, to some people, plumbers are like heroes. Do your job well, and definitely, you will be given the appreciation you are due.

What are the challenges female plumbers face in the industry?

Even though this profession is beneficial, women will likely face some challenges. They include;

1. Limited opportunities

One of the major challenges women may face in this field is limited opportunities. A lot of individuals in this particular occupation happen to be men, but it’s not because women lack the necessary qualifications.

Most employers in companies will likely want to employ a man over a woman. Unfortunately, it’s not due to a lack of skills. Most people think that plumbing is a man’s job, which may limit female plumbers’ opportunities.

2. Lack of mentorship and networking opportunities

Connection or networking can help lead to professional development in almost any field. But since this field is mainly men-dominated, it isolates women plumbers, even if it’s unintentional.

Should you become a female plumber?

Plumbing is a profession that never gets boring. No two days are ever the same. You learn daily while on the job, putting your brain and physical abilities into play. If you admire this profession, you should become one.

To become one, you will need at least a high school diploma. Most people attend vocational-technical schools to learn a series of courses related to this field. Most states will also require you to have a license for you to be able to operate.


Why are there only a few female plumbers?

It is often perceived as a physically demanding job that is exclusively for men.

Who was the first female plumber?

The first female plumber was Lillian Ann Baumbach.


There are thousands of plumbers in the United States today. Though a majority of them are male, there are still female plumbers who are doing well in this profession.

Ever since Lillian Baumbach paved the way to show that women can be plumbers, too, it has been made known worldwide. Yes, you will encounter a few challenges as a woman in this profession. But in due time, you will realize that this field pays off.

Thanks for reading this article. Visit Samkinsconstruction today for more interesting articles.

Leave a Comment

About Samkins

Samkins Construction Inc specializes in custom home building, general contracting, design-build, architectural design, construction management, and real estate services.


Sign up to receive the latest news and updates from our company.

More questions? Get in touch