Why does it rock to be a plumber? Plumbing repairs continue to become more complex and costly in both residential and commercial settings. Whether it’s a large master bathroom suite or a basement waterproofing system, many homeowners opt for the expertise of an experienced plumber to solver their problems. This is good news for potential plumbers out there. There are several options available for the future plumber and even more reasons to join this exciting field.
Plumbing has become a complex job that requires in-depth knowledge of new technologies. For example, the conversion of basements into finished spaces over the years require mastery in plumbing knowledge. Plumbers typically follow an apprenticeship program for certification through a community college. This makes it one of the most hands-on oriented jobs out there and lays the groundwork for the many awesome reasons to become a plumber.
1. Continuous Learning
Plumbers are always learning. It’s a trade field with constant change due to the way water and waste are used in terms of efficiency. Everything from how water purification systems are used to more complex waste and septic systems will require ongoing and exciting learning. The plumbing field is also an excellent way to learn with your hands immediately and apply that learning on a day-to-day basis. Professional organizations provide conferences and networking opportunities to learn about the latest trends before it reaches the public.
2. Fast Job Entry
Plumbers can skip the costs associated with a four-year degree and jump right into working on the job. Apprenticeship programs provide practical experience immediately with feedback to become more knowledgeable in plumbing skills. Some basic level plumbing courses can take as little as a month to complete. Individuals that work with a handyman in trade before gaining certification can learn what works for clients and scope the job field early.
3. Lower Plumbing Costs
Imagine having no labor costs associated with plumbing in your home. The plumbing knowledge gained in courses such as pipe fitting and general construction skills can be a valuable asset to save time and money. The average rate for a plumber can be up to $100 per hour in some cities. This equates to some major savings over time as well as a practical way to keep skills honed and sharp. For example, the cost to install a new bathtub fixture such as a shower can cost over $4,000 in many cases. Imagine having the expertise to remodel a bathroom suite at the fraction of the cost if the labor were hired out.
4. Independent Work
Plumbers are not restricted to their work. Many plumbers find work in either a union or as an independent contractor. Plumbers go go into business for themselves without the restrictions of a boss and moderate start-up costs for residential services. The benefits of independent work are the ability to set your own schedule and gain a list of clients that can provide more financial security over the years. Independent work also gives you the opportunity to learn your own unique way of skill use. Every trade will have their own slant to a work-space and plumbing provides the most freedom and flexibility to do that.
Many people view one of their greatest concerns to be job security. While no job is 100% secure, plumbers are afforded one of the highest rates of security. Repairs will need to be made on that broken toilet or leaking basement regardless of the state of the economy. Commercial clients continue to grow and require more complex projects. The recent trend towards efficiency has prompted many homes and businesses to retire old plumbing systems in exchange for highly efficient manifold systems. New plumbers will gain new apprenticeship skills in this new technology and become more valuable to the workplace in the end.
6. Affordable Training
The biggest expense of employment is quickly becoming the cost of training. For many people this is at least four years of undergraduate education. Plumbing certification is a very affordable option that requires no more than an associate’s degree. The average cost for an associate’s degree in plumbing is approximately $5,000 compared to at least $20,000 for a four-year degree. State licensing fees are reasonable and cost between $50-75 every two years. An apprenticeship is an in-depth level of training with the costs associated with an inexpensive associate’s degree. Joining organizations such as the United Association of Journeymen and local unions can provide addition training opportunities at a very low cost in addition to certification to hone skills. Many of these costs for other fields that require a four-year degree can cost thousands more.
7. Room For Advancement
A career in plumbing can be one of the most diverse career opportunities available. The American Society of Plumbing Engineers is one of the most prestigious groups that bring plumbers and engineers under one body. They are continuously coming up with new opportunities for training and differentiation in the field. Experience plumbers can quickly become supervisors and contractors to work on large jobs that require good project management skills. Imagine overseeing the development of a small suburban housing community or a commercial high-rise building with complex waste and plumbing systems. There are several other organizations such as the American Supply Association and United Association that offer unique professional advancement opportunities.
8. Never A Dull Day
The average day of a plumber can be summed up in one word: variety. A job repair at one site can be wildly different from the next. Individuals tired of boring day jobs may find plumbing to be exciting and an escape from the ordinary. Skills are also in constant use and require thinking of new and creative ways to solve complex plumbing tasks such as refitting old pipes or dealing with complex drainage issues. Plumbers will also need to be aware of local plumbing codes which can translate into some interesting notes on the history of plumbing in older homes with grandfathered code. You will also learn about new and upcoming parts, particularly in commercial buildings with complex systems.
9. High Pay Opportunity
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average mean annual wage of a plumber is $53,820. Plumbers in large cities or with additional supervisory experience can earn substantially more. Plumbing is quickly becoming one of the most in-demand skills to have. Individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit can raise rates based on strong skills. Trade skills in high demand often demand higher pay and plumbers fall in this category easily. The best high pay opportunities come from those who use a combination of apprenticeship skills and certification in a recognized plumbing association such as the American Society of Plumbing Engineers. Employers will take note of the additional expertise gained from minor expert certifications in specific plumbing tasks.
10. Social Interaction
There is a social aspect of plumbing, despite the images of quietly working behind a fixture in a solitary environment. The great quality about the social aspect of plumbing is that there is a wide network of professionals to consult with and learn new skills. You are also an in-demand skill that is appreciated by consumers wanting to fix their home or business. As a result, communication is consistent and a great way to get to know others and the ideas that they want in their home. Some projects require even more communication with contractors and laborers to ensure a project is going as planned. This is a great opportunity to appreciate the talents of all skilled trades.