Are you considering becoming a plumber? It’s definitely a viable career choice, but it has several advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before you decide to pursue this line of work. This article will outline the pros and cons of becoming a plumber to help you make an informed decision about whether or not this job is right for you.
Positive things about being a plumber
Being self-employed offers lots of freedom, and it isn’t uncommon for plumbers to become millionaires. Also, as an independent business owner, you have complete control over your schedule — you don’t have to ask someone else if you can leave work early or on time.
The stability that comes with being self-employed is another perk. Although hiring employees is costly (and not always feasible), most plumbers never go out of business because people will always need their pipes fixed. And lastly, when you own your own company, no one can fire you which means job security!
Negative things about being a plumber
If you’re looking for a stable income, being a plumber may not be right for you. Income often fluctuates seasonally and can be quite low during slow periods.
To make money, you’ll have to increase your customer base by getting referrals from other plumbers or networking with clients. But if you enjoy fixing things for people, working in plumbing might be ideal for you.
You could try starting your own business. But remember that the path to becoming a master plumber usually takes years of on-the-job training; you need to work as an apprentice until you are deemed proficient enough in several areas before earning plumbing certification.
There are also many plumbing areas that require specific licensure prior to starting work.
And last but not least: if you become a self-employed plumber, further down the lane you might find yourself struggling to differentiate between work and home life, which can lead to you working 24/7 all year long without any time to take holidays.
To plumb… or not to plumb?
Working as a plumber is challenging, physically demanding, and often dangerous. To save yourself from injury or worse, you’ll need to take extra precautions before getting started on your career. In addition to proper protective gear like gloves, sturdy shoes, goggles and face masks that guard against exposure to harmful chemicals—you should also consider getting training in first aid skills (including CPR) and knowledge of safety protocols are obligatory before even considering taking up such work.
How much do plumbers make?
The UK plumbers earn on average £18.13 per hour, according to British recruitment agencies. Annual income was calculated at roughly £40k per year, but it depends vastly on the plumber’s experience and, of course, on the number of hours worked throughout the year. Jobs for plumbers are expected to grow by 10 percent from 2012 to 2022 — much faster than average in any other industry, due to high turnover within the occupation and its high proportion of self-employed workers.
Plumbers who live in areas with higher population densities have, of course, access to greater demand for their services and therefore higher yearly turnover.
Readjusting your mindset after becoming a certified professional
It’s easy to get discouraged after graduating from school since you have no idea what to expect in your field. Many people make a huge leap from studying as an undergraduate to becoming a professional. Adjusting your mindset so that you can be successful in that role may take some time. While much of adjusting will come with on-the-job training, here are some questions to ask yourself that might help in making decision on whether to go into plumbing or not:
What is important about this job?
What does success look like to you?
How will you benefit if I do it well?
Are you prepared to face the stress related to this job?
What can you offer to your customers?
What will you learn at work each day?
Five tips from experienced plumbers who have been there
- If you’re set on going into plumbing for yourself, talk to a licensed plumber or a friend with experience who can tell you what it’s really like. You can learn from their mistakes instead of having to learn everything on your own—and who knows? Maybe that plumber has an opening for an assistant.
- Find out about your potential employer by searching online, talking to colleagues, checking reviews or even talking with the boss directly if possible.
- Just because someone is wearing a plumbing uniform doesn’t mean they know what they are doing; don’t just assume that someone in full garb is automatically qualified to do whatever needs to be done.
- Get insured as soon as possible after becoming licensed so you will be covered in case something goes wrong (or in case you make a mistake).
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The more educated you are, whether through working under an experienced plumber or reading up on things online, the better off you will be. Unfortunately, in more specialised plumbing areas, such as gas safety, for example, there really isn’t much room for making mistakes.