It’s final year of high school and you still haven’t decided what you want to do when you finish school. Do you travel for a year while you think about it? Or maybe pick a university course and see what happens? What about doing an apprenticeship in a trade?

All seem like good options but in only one will you be getting paid immediately, being a tradesman. And what better trade to get into than the one paying the most in Australia. At an average of $78.40 dollars an hour, being a plumber is one of the best paid professions in the country. Although not the most glamourous job, dealing with leaking sewage, creatures in pipes and late-night emergency calls to fix leaking pipes, it could all be worth it.

Across all industries the average tradesman earns $60 an hour, so although training to be a plumber can be more complex than others, you can be handsomely rewarded. In Australia, WA still has high demand for tradesman relative to the supply and where the most money can be earned.

But if you feel that you want to leave Australia, the US also pays plumbers well above the national salary average. Plumbers can earn up to USD$90,000 a year, while the average sits somewhere around USD$50,000, well above the national median income of USD$35,000.

In the American market, Chicago and New York are the cities to be in to earn the big bucks, the average earnings there sitting at USD$70,000. While compared to countries in Asia and Europe, plumbers earn comfortably more in both Australia and the US. In Japan, the average salary for a plumber sits at USD$38,000 while in Germany plumbers earn USD$45,000.

There is no sign of a slow-down in the market either. Demand for plumbers is high and, in the US, the number employed is expected to grow by 21 percent by the year 2022. Although training can be difficult it won’t set you back as much as a university education and you can earn as you learn.

So, while you may not have thought about plumbing while sitting through English or History lessons, doing an apprenticeship and gaining a licence in the trade can be a lucrative career. Whether that happens to be in Australia or America, the one guarantee is that while fixing broken pipes or dealing with dirty sewage you will be able to earn a healthy living from it.