Self-Employed London Plumber Earns £210,000 A Year... In His Mid-30s

For many millennials, having a stable job which allows you to earn a mint and go on holidays abroad every year feels like nothing more than a pipe dream.

Well, one man is making his pipe dream a reality by earning more than the Prime Minister and owning a property in one of London's most exclusive boroughs - and all from working as a plumber.

Stephen Fry, 34, who works as a self-employed tradesman for London's largest independent plumbing company Pimlico Plumbers, earns £210,000 a year.

That's more than the Prime Minister's £149,440, and seven times the UK's average salary of £27,271. Fair play to him.

Pimlico plumber Stephen Fry with radio presenter James Whale. Credit: Pimlico TV Productions
Pimlico plumber Stephen Fry with radio presenter James Whale. Credit: Pimlico TV Productions

Stephen grew up on a council estate in Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, the son of a builder and a supermarket worker, and was struggling to find work after he finished high school.

He ended up falling into plumbing aged 17 after the local Jobcentre Plus suggested he start an apprenticeship in the trade.

"I just thought I'd give it a go," Stephen told The Mail on Sunday. "I'm glad I went to the Jobcentre that day."

After taking the apprenticeship for four years, earning a paltry £100 a week, Stephen quickly set up his own business. He started working for Pimlico Plumbers five years ago and now lives in a flat in Kensington with his wife Grace and son Oliver.


You can't accuse Stephen of not putting in the hours. He works 10 hours a day on weekdays and is also on call overnight on Monday and Tuesday, making himself available to fix taps and unblock loos for 58 consecutive hours. Apparently he usually makes do on a few hours' kip on the night shifts.

"It can drain you," he said, apparently not meaning the pun. "I am one of Pimlico's best paid plumbers, but also one of the most tired."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

According to Pimlico's founder Charlie Mullins, who also started out as an apprentice plumber, around 12 of Pimlico's 225 tradesmen earn at least £200,000 a year, while around half earn over £100,000 - almost four times the average plumber's pay.

Mullins describes Stephen as one of 'the best in the business' so it's no surprise that he's one of the top earners. Despite the brutal working hours, Stephen says he'll be plumbing as long as he can.

"Every day is fun. You can go to a place where some woman has water gushing through the ceilings and is crying, so it's a nice feeling when you stop the water and make her happy," Stephen said.

"I can't really see myself stopping any time soon, to be honest. I enjoy my work. I'm a worker. I'll be working till I drop, I think. On a Friday night, when people ask if I want to go for a beer, I am shattered. So it's straight home to the family."

So long as he has enough time to enjoy his wealth, Stephen sounds like a very lucky man. Almost makes you want to re-train.

Featured Image Credit: Pimlico Plumbers

Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing before completing his NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism. Chris has previously written for the independent culture magazine The Skinny, among other publications.

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