Skilled Plumbers Needed
When dealing with plumbing issues in the home, it’s important to hire a skilled plumbing professional rather than attempting to tackle the issue yourself with YouTube videos and phone calls to Dad. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a professional plumber due to the retirement of Baby Boomers and the perception problems the industry faces.
In an interview with Newsweek on the topic, Ed Schoen, owner of Prestige Heating Service Inc. in Long Island, has found it difficult to rebuild his business back to pre-superstorm Sandy operations, but would like to grow his company from his two trucks and employees. “I could expand more if there were more people interested in learning the trade,” said Schoen.
Schoen is not the only one finding it difficult to fill critical positions within his business, and plumbing is not alone, the entire skilled labor industry is having trouble filling jobs.
“There are simply not enough skilled workers available in the labor market,” said Troy W. Maschmeyer, Jr., president and CEO, Maschmeyer Concrete in Lake Park, Florida. “Demand is rising, but many older workers have retired or left the trades during the recession. This is a major challenge for contractors and their customers.”
The plumbing industry has long term stability to offer with the demand for skilled workers on the rise in an evolving job market. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that there were 425,000 jobs in plumbing and plumbing related fields in 2014 with an estimated increase of 49,100 jobs (12%) by 2024.
On The Plus Side: Robot Plumbers Are Far Away
According to A.I expert and author of Rise of the Robots, Martin Ford, driverless cars and trucks are just the beginning wave of automation that will threaten every industry across the board. Ford said that the jobs that will be the last to go are “the kind of job that requires lots of dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and flexibility. Think about skilled trade jobs like a plumber or electrician.”
This job security and the fact that the median annual wage is $95,010 make the plumbing industry a good option for those who might be looking for a new career.
On the national level, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC) and the PHCC Educational Foundation have sought to combat young adults’ perceptions of the plumbing profession through classroom programs, videos, and hands-on learning experiences.
Despite the challenges the plumbing industry is facing there are plenty of opportunities for it to expand. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in plumbing check out these resources.