What do you enjoy most about your journeyman plumber career?

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What do you enjoy most about being a journeyman plumber? What do you dislike the most? Is it challenging? Are there many opportunities to learn and advance?

What keeps you at your job?

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Todd in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

74 months ago

Being a LICENCED service plumber of 11 years, i enjoy the freedom of offices, boss's etc. My location changes daily and sometimes hourly so its always changing.

What i hate... underpaid, no respect, bad plumbers making good plumbers look like thieves,home owners , lawyers, doctors, non-americans, architects, people whom have 3+ bathrooms that call you at 3 a.m. to auger their 1 toilet that doesnt work, crappy co-workers that call in all the time doubling your workload, and the fact that after 3 year in attemp to leave the field always hearing the same thing from potential employers " I couldnt pay you enough to match what you make as a plumber, cus those guys make GREAT money!". And last but not least cashiers at 7-11(and most) convience stores because they dont care if the soda fountain is broke, are rude, slow, want to talk to a potential girl/boyfriend when your in a hurry, and make more money than me on the hourly/benefit breakdown.

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cory in Kelowna, British Columbia

63 months ago

I don't know if it is different in the U.S., but here we ARE paid well. we are still at the top of the pay scale in trades(journeyman can make 55-150K a year). I have worked in all types of plumbing for over 20 years and each type has its good points and bad. Service work is good for variety and constant change but can be very irritating due to dealing with customers(can also be satisfying). Also the hours are almost always bad either you are working too much or not enough.
With housing you don't have to work with customers(+) but it can get very repetative. It does have more consistant hours, you don't have to work weekends, has about the same pay(25-37$/hr) and is very dirty.
Commercial construction is arguably the best pay, you definately do the least amount of work but it can get extremely boring, everything is layed out on plans and there isn't much thinking involved, read blueprints and do.
All of them have drug/alcohol problems, but from what I have seen most trades almost run on it.
There is constant learning as new technologies come out but once you have been in it for a while the only challenge is to stay focused on a task that you have done a thousand times before.
If you become a journeyman it becomes what you are, it stops being a job and becomes what you do. you can take it for what it's worth...

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tfdown in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

63 months ago

Though my observation on plumbing im my area here in Oklahoma city, Oklahoma on pay/incentives is that there is too little of it. Most companies don't even have any sort of retirement program,vision or dental insurance is a myth, and if your lucky to have health insurance it will not be very good.Owners cosistantly choose to ride the empoyees about performance and sales just before they go out of town for the weekend with their family on the company boat. Customers want to complain about rates that are not set by technitians enevitably lowering how much they get paid so that a customer can get their "VALUE" at your exspence reguardless on how professional or exsperianced you are. journeyman plumbers with good sales make about $52k or less and thats on a 60-70 hr work week. Short of being in a union job, wich are limited,you can exspect to make around $41k with the same hours worked.
Today I started to set up my own company, I dont plan on having any employees and yet i should make 2-2.5 times what i currently make and work less hours.I'm personally tired of trying to teach people that dont want to learn the trade and only do it for a paycheck, for owners that could care less as long as they get their check at the end of each week.
there has to be something seriously wrong when McDonalds managers and Convienent store personel make more than most of us. Do the math! 40 x $15per hour= $600 $22.5per hr(1.5 on 15)OT x 20 hours = $450 wich leave your 60hour weekly total at $1050.$1050 is high end for our area. 60 hours a week is an average, some weeks like when on weekend calls can exceed 80 hours! and I have seen alot of people have a tuff time breaking $1k per week. SERVICE WORK should be more lucretive then that.

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koop in Vancouver, British Columbia

47 months ago

cory in Kelowna, British Columbia said: I don't know if it is different in the U.S., but here we ARE paid well. we are still at the top of the pay scale in trades(journeyman can make 55-150K a year). I have worked in all types of plumbing for over 20 years and each type has its good points and bad. Service work is good for variety and constant change but can be very irritating due to dealing with customers(can also be satisfying). Also the hours are almost always bad either you are working too much or not enough.
With housing you don't have to work with customers(+) but it can get very repetative. It does have more consistant hours, you don't have to work weekends, has about the same pay(25-37$/hr) and is very dirty.
Commercial construction is arguably the best pay, you definately do the least amount of work but it can get extremely boring, everything is layed out on plans and there isn't much thinking involved, read blueprints and do.
All of them have drug/alcohol problems, but from what I have seen most trades almost run on it.
There is constant learning as new technologies come out but once you have been in it for a while the only challenge is to stay focused on a task that you have done a thousand times before.
If you become a journeyman it becomes what you are, it stops being a job and becomes what you do. you can take it for what it's worth...

Hey, im currently in gr12 and basicly ready to leave school and start a career. Im not too much of acedemic student so i was wondering on your opinion if studying in trades would be a good idea. I live somewhat near you but obviously ill probably not be working in vancouver for my first job, having a slightly though competition with others. What do you think are the pro/cons to plumbing? Is the pay well? how hard is it to get a job? ect. just some opionions on what you think.

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the plumber in Henderson, Nevada

41 months ago

i am in the union and constantly learning new things about plumbing.it is bad when other people do not the trade and try it and screw it up and it makes all plumbers look bad i have retirement,medical,good pay .i have been doing this for 23 years and would not give it up .it is a good trade and you make very good money

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okie apprentice

37 months ago

How hard is the journeyman test. I was told not to expect to pass it the first time.

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C. BAILEY

28 months ago

I am 20 and am interested in the trade, does anyone know how the pay is in ct? where i'll be living.

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Holly in Orem, Utah

16 months ago

My brother is a contractor and works with plumbers in Burlington Ontario quite often. He often asks them why they decided to become plumbers and the answer is usually because they were taught it when they were younger. I don't think it ever turns out to be quite as you're expecting when training for the job or getting hired. I always try to show respect for them if ever I need anything fixed. Thanks for all you do! www.pacificplumbinghamilton.com/plumbing-services

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