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From 2015 to today the way students and their parents approach college decisions has not changed. High school curriculum downplays vocational options and counselors steer more students to 4-year degrees. Leaving high school grads to make career choices based on out-of-date perceptions, or biases.  

People, we have a labor shortage. To date more than 1.4 million jobs in the skilled trades of HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical service remain unfilled. These are high paying, lifelong career-making positions. Let’s take a look at plumbing jobs.

Plumbers are among the most sought after tradespeople on the planet.

Clean water and sanitation are essential to public health. Preserving clean water by fixing a leak, safely disposing of wastewater or by unclogging a kitchen sink — are essential tasks. 

An Increasing Demand

There is a tremendous gap between the number of plumbers now working in the trade and the number needed in the very near future. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 49,800 job openings for plumbers each year. That is expected to continue for at least the next 10 years. 

The Road to Becoming a Plumber

A high school diploma is all that’s needed to start working as a plumbing apprentice. Earn and learn starts right sway. Apprentices often take  one or two nights per week to learn while logging 40 to 45 hours on the job. Some contractors offer half day learning/half day helper programs. Just think, no student loan debt!

After apprenticeship training, apprentices can sit for the journeyman’s exam. Becoming a journeyman or JP allows plumbers to take on more responsibilities and to work alone without supervision. Each state has its own exam version. Most include both written and practical elements, such as drawing piping diagrams, soldering copper tubing and fitting together pipe assemblies within very strict tolerances to pass the test.

Average Salary: $55,000 per year

Essential Job Security: Plumbing jobs will always be essential. Not shipped overseas or replaced by automation. 

Getting Started in the Plumbing Trade

Job Requirements: Yes, the work is physical but it also requires a sharp mind. You cannot be afraid of power tools, climbing ladders, fire or loud noises. You will get dirty.

Getting started in the plumbing trade can be as easy as responding to a job posting, or asking a friend who works in the trades who they might want to work for. Many employers are willing to hire someone with the right attitude and the dedication to study online. 

Find out what’s possible in your area, ask The Blue Collar Recruiter for help!

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