Indoor plumbing created a new market for services that previous generations did not need. Since the introduction of indoor plumbing, we have looked for people to install our toilets, unblock our pipes, and figure out why the washer keeps flooding the house. It is due to this demand that plumbers came to be. It is undeniable that plumbers bring a lot of sanity into every household. However, just as is the case with other professions, plumbing, too, has its ups and downs.
The following are some of the pros and cons of becoming a plumber:
• Pro: No formal training is needed to practice plumbing
“No formal training needed” should however not be confused with “no training needed.” Not anyone who plans to enter into plumbing needs any tertiary qualifications. However, you will need some basic training to know what the job generally requires.
You can spend a few years working as an apprentice under someone who’s already qualified and experienced in plumbing. This way you will get to learn the ropes while you earn a living. A number of vocational schools offer plumbing courses for people planning to establish themselves in the industry. Some of these institutions also offer apprenticeship periods to make it easy for their students to transition from the classroom and into the field.
• Con: You’ll need to pass a written test
All states have laws that regulate the licensing of plumbing professionals. In order to become a certified plumber, you will need to sit for a written test. This can be tricky if you are not fond of class work. Also depending on your previous work experience, the state you reside in, among other requirements, you may end up spending as many as five years under an apprenticeship.
• Pro: You’ll get to enjoy a lot of freedom
Plumbing comes with a certain level of freedom. If you do well in the industry, you could start your own business. This means that you will be in charge of setting your salary and your working hours. This will also offer you a lot of room for growth and success.
The projected growth rate for this industry is currently at around 21% over the next ten years. This is higher than in most sectors. The current pay in plumbing is decent too; the average plumber earns about $50,000 every year.
• Con: You will need to work long or extra hours
Whether or not you own your own business, the working hours in plumbing are long. You may frequently need to work late into the night and even over the weekends. This is because a number of service calls to plumbing companies are usually emergencies.
It may also be worse if you work in a 24-hour service company. Plumbing may also not be the profession for you if you are claustrophobic. In plumbing, most of your time will be spent working in small or confined spaces. Here, the rate of illness and work-related injury is also quite high.
In general, plumbing is a very demanding profession. However, if you are the type who can handle such conditions, then you can definitely have a very stable and highly paying career as a plumber.