Have you thought about the plumbing fixtures in your home? How were they installed? What would happen if all the fixtures failed to function? All it takes is a clogged sink or lack of running water for you to dial your plumber relentlessly. And until plumbing issues are sorted in your home, normalcy can be a thing of the past.
If you are considering pursuing a plumbing career, getting accurate plumbing career information is vital. You need to keep yourself informed on training, job opportunities, and the different plumbing career pathways that are available.
So, is plumbing a good career? Let’s explore.
If you have already identified that you want to pursue plumbing as a career, you need to determine how you can become one.
Becoming a successful plumber requires training and study. The most common and easiest way to start a plumbing career is via an apprenticeship program. Usually, this takes 4-5 years to receive technical education. Once plumbers complete the apprenticeship, they become journeymen.
Many businesses and unions mandate that apprentices receive a minimum amount of training, which differs in various locations. Apprentices learn applied physics, math, and even chemistry. And most importantly, they get practical plumbing training with an experienced plumber.
Plumbers can only work independently if they receive a plumbing license. Earning this mostly requires two-five years of practical experience. The plumbers are also required to pass a test on the technical know-how of the plumbing job.
What are the benefits of a plumbing career?
- You get to earn money as you advance your career
Not many careers offer this option. But with a plumbing career, starting your training as an apprentice ensures that you don’t spend thousands of dollars on college education. Attending a community college or vocational school is also an excellent plan for those who prefer to start with education. Once you graduate from an apprenticeship, you can work independently. And if you get a plumbing license, you can run your own plumbing company.
- The plumbing career offers excellent job security
At some point, every college student has worried about how long it will take to get a job once they graduate. This is not the case for plumbers. Every home, office, or facility must have plumbing fixtures that operate efficiently. And when these break down, a plumber must come in to fix the problem. Also, as more buildings are constructed, the demand for plumbers increases. According to the U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics, the plumbing career outlook is quite promising. The employment of plumbers is projected to increase further by 5% from 2020- 2030. This means that if you hold the right plumbing qualification, you get to enjoy a career with job security.
- It offers a variety of job choices
There is a common belief that all plumbers do is unclog pipes and fix toilets. However, the plumbing career is quite versatile. As a plumber, you can specialize as a pipelayer, pipefitter, commercial plumbing, industrial plumbing, residential plumbing, or even a plumbing sales specialist, among other positions. If you are worried about job monotony and getting burned out working on the same thing every day, the plumbing career prospects are different.
- There is potential for career advancement
As we mentioned, you can start your plumbing career as an apprentice and work your way to becoming a journeyman. You can even work your way to the master level and enjoy great remuneration, not to mention the opportunity to work on complex, large-scale, and innovative projects.
- There is an opportunity for entrepreneurship
Once you become a professional plumber, you can opt to go into business and start your plumbing company. Owning your business not only gives you the right avenue to grow even further into your career but also the independence that most employees yearn for.
- You can forget about plumbing bills
While this is the least of your concerns when starting your career, you will forget about plumbing bills once you become a qualified plumber. It may seem like a small issue, but plumbing bills can be high.
Plumbing career pathways are marred by so many myths. And these deter young persons from pursuing the career. Let’s demystify some myths about the plumbing career.
Myth 1: You will get bored of using the same plumbing technology since it does not evolve
Young people want to experience new technology and use it to improve lives. Plumbing technology has evolved in immeasurable ways. Nowadays, people want efficient systems, digital-controlled features, eco-friendly options, and even customized plumbing solutions.
There are a variety of interesting plumbing product innovations such as tankless water heaters, touchless fixtures, electric flood detectors, and even leak alerts. If you want a career that can challenge you technologically, why not dive into the plumbing career and partake in the innovations?
Myth 2: The demand for plumbers is declining globally
Even with technological innovations, plumbing fixtures can only be installed and maintained by qualified plumbers. And as we mentioned, there will be more job openings in the next few years, not to mention limitless plumbing career pathways. This does not mean that the career is not competitive. You still have to get the right qualifications and perform a stellar job on every project.
Myth 3: You do not need licensing to become a plumber
Carrying out plumbing duties without a license is an industry violation. You need to fulfill plumbing qualifications by passing a plumbing exam. However, starting the plumbing career with an apprenticeship is a clever way to earn as you get relevant and supervised training.
Myth 4: You only need plumbing skills to excel in the career
Just like any other career path, you need other skills to excel in your plumbing career. For instance, soft skills such as customer service and teamwork skills can catapult your career. In the plumbing field, you can find yourself working with HVAC technicians, carpenters, and even electricians, hence the need for teamwork. And since you may deal with clients in your career path, visiting their homes and offices, you need to have great communication skills.
Is plumbing a good career? Yes. The career offers interesting opportunities. While you must be fully trained to practice as an independent plumber, starting the career as an apprentice offers learning opportunities as you earn.