Many people have negative conceptions about plumbers and the plumbing business that are incorrect and misinformed. In this article, we will be covering the top five misconceptions the public can have about plumbing. These wrong assumptions may even be the reason some people are hesitant about starting a career in the plumbing industry. Hopefully, this list may shed some light on the stereotypes and myths surrounding the trade.
1. Plumbers are not paid well
Possibly the most prevalent myth is that plumbing is a low-paying, low-level career. For one, plumbers are already making well above the national average salary. According to U.S. News & World Report, plumbers made a median salary of $52,590 in 2017, with the top 25% of plumbing technicians making as high as $69,710. Even lesser-paid plumbers could see themselves making $39,470 per year. These figures are increasing every year as more and more plumbers retire with no one to fill their positions.
Another factor that is slated to drive up demand for plumbing technicians is the impending expiration of cast iron piping in residential plumbing systems. Pipes made of cast iron are set to be replaced after 50 years. In the next 5-10 years, this piping will be in a critical state, and there will be fewer plumbers than before to replace the cast iron piping. Some sources are even reporting that in the coming years, the salaries of certified plumbing technicians will be comparable to those of doctors.
2. Plumbing is a low-level job
Movies, TV, and other media have typically portrayed plumbers unattractively. The stereotypical plumber arrives at a client’s home in a stained, sweaty undershirt and dirty blue jeans. They perform simple, menial labor and make a large mess in the home. This example could not be further from the truth in most situations. Most plumbers wear uniforms that are kept clean. They are highly trained professionals who should be adept at working with clients. Running water is a staple of civilization, which makes plumbing such a crucial profession and skill.
3. Little education is needed to become a plumber
Along with being a low-level job, plumbing is seen as a job for those with little education or training. This belief is completely untrue as well. First of all, plumbers should have a high school diploma or equivalent. The training required to become a plumber is extensive and can often take many years of trade school, along with countless hours performing jobs in the field. Plumbing training covers a wide range of subjects, such as underground piping, wiring electric fixtures, excavation, and more. Plumbers also need to continually pursue further training so that they can keep up with the latest in techniques, codes, and equipment.
Plumbers typically need a diverse skill set as well. They must become an investigator when diagnosing issues in the plumbing system. Some situations call for technicians to use engineering skills in the field, such as when excavating for drainage. They also help train clients and other technicians on the ins and outs of every job. Many plumbers also utilize electrical and heating and air skills in the field when working, especially as plumbing technology advances. In short, the plumbing profession demands highly skilled tradespeople.
4. Plumbers are only needed in emergency situations
This common misconception about plumbers comes from primarily clients. Few people often consider the plumbing systems in their homes and places of business until something goes wrong, like a toilet will not properly flush, or a faucet will not supply hot water. Most are not aware of the importance of maintaining the water systems in order to keep them functioning, as well as keeping their homes and businesses safe. Plumbing technicians can be called to perform a wide array of preventative maintenance on plumbing systems. These tasks include, but are not limited to: testing water quality, replacing outdated equipment, conducting safety inspections, and more.
Plumbing safety inspections often show clients the unseen dangers in their homes. There can be issues that untrained people simply cannot detect until they become an outright issue. The inspections and preventive maintenance spare clients from losing money and being inconvenienced by a wide range of plumbing issues. Properly done plumbing work is crucial for the overall safety and function of the public.
5. Plumbers primarily work plunging toilets
Yet another misconception brought about by movies and television stereotypes is the close association of plumbers with plunging toilets. Yes, plumbers are often called to repair toilets and clean toilet lines. However, plungers are rarely used by professional plumbers since they can cause damage to wax rings. In our lessons, Alpha Tradesmen Academy discourages its students from using plungers and liquid drain cleaners on toilets in the field. Toilets are merely one small sliver of the vast range of areas in which plumbers work. As previously mentioned, plumbing training covers many diverse topics, including aspects of electrical, gas, septic, and HVAC training. Technicians in the field perform jobs anywhere water piping is needed, which is in virtually any residence or commercial establishment.
While some may use plumbing as a go-to example of a low-level career for those with few skills, the reality is quite different. Plumbing is a complex trade, and there is a high demand for trained plumbing technicians that is only increasing as the years pass. Alpha Tradesmen Academy seeks to help meet this growing need for qualified plumbers by making professional training more easily available than ever. Our online lessons, exams, and other resources are easily accessible 24/7. Seasoned, professional plumbers lead the lessons and utilize their decades of experience in the trade. Our lessons are crafted for plumbers of all levels of experience, including absolute beginners. Now, anyone looking to enter the plumbing trade can find training that fits their schedule. Alpha Tradesmen Academy encourages any prospective plumbing student not to be deterred by negative stereotypes of plumbing service technicians. The trade of plumbing has a long, proud history as well as a promising future.