Choosing the career that is best for you can be difficult, especially with so many options to choose from. The main things you are probably concerned about are pay, stability, and security, all of which can be hard to find if you don’t know where to look. Fortunately, a career in plumbing may be the answer to your search. Now, you might be asking yourself, ‘Why do I want to be a plumber? What can it offer me?’. Well, plumbing careers can offer many benefits that most people don’t know about. Thankfully, we have broken down all you need to know about this rewarding career path.
The Benefits of a Career in Plumbing
To answer your question of ‘Why do I want to be a plumber’, we have laid out some of the greatest benefits that this career option can offer. From exceptional pay to exciting work, here are some advantages that you should know about.
Professional plumbers do jobs that most other people cannot, and because of this, they are paid well for their services. In fact, when compared to other trade jobs, plumbing experts routinely make more — between $40,000 and $60,000 — per year. In some areas, plumbers can expect to make even more, and those specialized in particular areas are often paid higher as well. We’ll talk more about these specializations later; however, this rate of pay is something you should seriously consider.
Get Paid While Training
There are many industries that feature unpaid internships or lower-paid training wages; however, plumbing isn’t like this. Because of the way that plumbing apprenticeships work, you can expect to be paid fairly even while you’re training. This makes the field particularly appealing to those who want to start out making a livable wage without worrying about how they will support themselves and their families during training. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another industry that offers paid training quite like this.
It’s a Job That Keeps You Moving
Unlike stagnant office jobs that cause you to be stationary most of the day, a plumbing career keeps you moving. Even working for a local plumbing company will ensure that you’re always moving to different buildings in your area regularly. This can help stave away monotony and keep you interested and engaged with your work. Some places, like emergency plumbing services, may even allow you to travel to other areas to work on emergency projects that require immediate attention. If you specialize in a specific field this can likewise broaden the range of your work.
Room to Grow
Plumbing careers also feature plenty of room to grow within the industry. While you might start out working for a drain cleaning company in a few years you could be starting your own business. This isn’t a dead-end job with hard limits, the possibilities are almost endless with what you can do. Similarly, because technology is always advancing the possibilities continue to increase through continued education and new specializations.
Stability and Security
Job security is something that everyone looking for a career is interested in finding. When asking yourself, ‘Why do I want to be a plumber?’, consider how stability can benefit you. People are always going to need plumbers, so you will never have to worry about being without a job. No matter how far technology advances, there is no risk of robotic replacing people in this sector. Additionally, most homeowners and businesses who need plumbers don’t want to risk DIYing their plumbing issues, and those that do, usually end up calling a professional after making the issue worse. No matter what, there are always going to be jobs for you.
These are a few of the most tangible benefits that becoming a plumbing expert can afford you. The largest draws are by far the quality pay and the job security. These are two things that can be difficult to find in other fields. In retail, strides are being made towards automation, and even the auto industry has seen major job cuts due to robotics and technology. Office work can even be outsourced nowadays, and livable wages can be hard to find across the board. However, because plumbing is such an important and needed service, one that technology can only benefit and not replace, you’ll never have to worry about losing out. Similarly, no matter where you go you are sure to find employment. Even moving across the country won’t prevent you from acquiring work with a new local company in your new area. Because of benefits like this, plumbing can make for a rewarding and successful career choice for anyone willing to get their hands dirty and tackle the jobs that most other people simply can’t.
What Do You Want to Specialize In?
We touched on specializations earlier and now it’s time to learn about the different areas you can consider. Specializing in a particular field, or a few different areas can make you more desirable to local plumbing companies and can garner you greater wages. Because of this, it’s important to consider these routes when pursuing plumbing as your chosen career.
Currently the United States is facing a shortage of construction workers and similarly, there is a shortage of plumbers who can work on construction jobs. This is due to a few different reasons including the increase in new buildings being built in recent years, and the growing demand for updated plumbing installations in currently standing buildings. There just aren’t enough skilled plumbers to go around. By specializing in construction-related plumbing you can help gain a foothold in this specialization and increase the amount of work and job security you have.
Another specialization is pipelaying. This job requires the digging and leveling of trenches in order to lay new pipes or replace old or broken support plumbing systems. This underground piping can be used to connect buildings to water supplies, stormwater systems, septic pumping, or sewers. In some instances, this may even include gas lines. On average this specialization can make upwards of $46,600 per year with some pipelayers making as much as $67,000. This is a much-needed specialization and is something to seriously consider when asking yourself, ‘Why do I want to be a plumber?’.
Gas Service Technician
A plumber that specializes as a gas technician is responsible for installing a system that delivers gas to a location. These technicians can install, repair, and replace equipment, as well as utilize specialty equipment to detect gas leaks. This makes them important for construction and in older buildings where gas pipes may be old and wearing down. Being able to detect leaks and replace them can help prevent a variety of dangerous situations that other specializations aren’t equipped to handle.
Pipefitters and Steamfitters
Pipefitting is another specialization and it is often used synonymously with steamfitting; however, there are some differences. Pipefitters help with a variety of skills including installation and safety. They can perform maintenance and pipe installation in many industrial settings as well. This can include monitoring power generation, heating, and cooling systems.
Steamfitters, on the other hand, specialize in high-pressure liquids or gas piping. Due to the nature of this specialization, it can often be a more dangerous career route; however, due to increases in safety in recent decades, it is safer than ever.
Sprinkler System Installation
Specilizing in sprinkler installation is another way to get a leg up in the field and ensure that you have an even more desirable resume. Because all commercial and industrial businesses require a fire suppression system, you’ll be in high demand when these businesses in your area. With the specialization, you can expect to fabricate, assemble, install, and maintain sprinkler systems throughout these large buildings. Additionally, not all fire suppression systems use water, so you can expect to work with systems that include foam, dry chemicals, or carbon dioxide. Due to the importance of these systems and the complexity that many exhibit, this specialization requires a high level of detail and precision. From being able to follow blueprints and assemble the system from scratch to maintaining and repairing it, you’ll need to be on top of your game at every job.
A a general plumber you’re not without a lot of work to do. Being a general plumber includes much more than simply servicing sinks and toilets. It can include water conditioning systems, water line maintenance, diagnostics and repair, and installation. General plumbers are also the ones who usually respond to emergency situations that can include busted pipes, broken water heaters, or backed-up drains. While this can mean that your working hours aren’t always nine to five, the security it offers is highly desirable.
Plumbers could also find work specializing in water treatment and working at a water treatment plant. If you’re working in a local company, specializing in water treatment can also allow you to be able to install water treatment equipment at business or residential locations. This career specialization can include learning about the advantages of solid chemical water treatment versus other options and explaining different treatment choices to clients. In many rural locations, and even in some cities, clean drinking water doesn’t simply flow from the tap. Because of this, water treatment can be needed to ensure the availability of clean drinking water. Plumbers with this specialization can help provide that.
Serving as a project manager can be a great way to grow your career as a plumber, although you may need to take a course in management to qualify in some places. However, this can be a great career choice for long-term stability. In most instances, project managers will supervise the day-to-day operations of a business and make sure that everyone is doing their jobs correctly. The pay for supervisors is also often higher than regular staff making it even more attractive.
While not necessarily a specialization, starting your own business can take a very specific set of skills that not everyone has. Many plumbers have an end goal of at one point starting their own businesses; however, you will need additional training to make sure you understand the different practices you’ll be offering. Being an owner is a huge responsibility and along with being knowledgeable about plumbing, you need to know how to manage, oversee, and run a business effectively. Hiring a quality staff will be key to this, and taking additional business management can also help ensure you as successful as possible.
How to Become a Plumber
Now that you’ve got a better idea of the benefits of becoming a plumber, as well as the specializations you can choose from, it’s time to look at how you can get started on this career path. First off you will need to have a high school diploma or GED. As a plumber, you will need a good foundation and understanding of math, science, and computers. If possible, you may also want to take a class in blueprint reading and drafting. However, this can also be included during your plumbing training. Once you have this, apply to a local trade school or accredited apprenticeship program. Here you will learn the fundamental basics of plumbing which will give you a solid base for beginning your career. Many states will then require you to get licensed, and while it varies, the average requirement is two to five years of experience and an exam of local codes and plumbing knowledge. Once you’ve passed this you can begin growing your career!
Plumbing is both a rewarding and singularly stable and secure career choice. If you’ve been asking yourself, ‘Why do I want to be a plumber?’, consider these above benefits and specializations and reach out to your local trade school to get started. This is one rewarding career choice that shouldn’t be overlooked.