Changing Careers

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by T392, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. T392

    T392 New Member

    Hello All,
    I am in the process of changing careers from an accountant to a plumber. With very little knowledge of plumbing I am in search of training. The local junior colleges near my house only offer HVAC classes which I have found to be the case for most trade schools. I am having problems finding schools or any formal training in the plumbing field. Does any one have any suggestions on how to get started in the field?

    Thanks for any help :)
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Get a job working as a plumbers helper and find a tech school to go to nights that has a plumbing course.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Yakima WA
    I agree with Cass entirely. While there is a wealth of knowledge to be learned from books and classes, OJT with a journeyman is at least equal to the academics. Books can never cover everything you will encounter in the field. There are so many DIY screwups that have to be worked around.
  4. changeing carreers

    what kind of money are you presently makeing???

    I know that money isnt everything in life ,
    but it does pay the bills for everything else
    in life that you hold dear.

    if it is above 50k, then its going to be a quite a few years
    of trials and training before you ever see that again.

    keep that in mind before you decide to

    "live the plumbing dream"
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2005
  5. bigrebnc1861

    bigrebnc1861 Plumber

    Kannapolis N.C.
    There are 4 basic rules to remember in plumbing hots on left colds on right you know what flow's down hill, and the bossman a :eek: well I hope you got the picture
  6. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber


    Here is my 2 cents worth.

    Get in to a union trade school where you will work and then go to school is a good way to learn. I didn't do it that way, but if that is available to you, go for it. Or, find a plumbing shop that will hire a plumbers helper.
    Tough it out and get your liscense. They can't take it from you.
    But start at the bottom like we all had to do. Give yourself time.

    Find out if you would like to do service work in homes and businesses.
    I learned that is what I really like to do. It's almost a different trade though.
    And if you like doing service, you will never ever be with out a job.
    You can take it anywhere and you will make a very good living. You always collect when your done.

    If you get this far, just remember you won't have to hire anyone . Thats a whole other subject.
  7. brianj

    brianj Member

    I'm tempted to do something similiar actually. Currently I'm in IT, and it doesn't particularly excite me. My house was built in 1929, and I'm doing a complete remodel. Through this, I've learned a lot (reading, trial/error, or from others) and find myself wishing I could do it every day instead.

    I love electrical, which is probably what I would start with. But I like plumbing too, so we'll see. I really haven't see anyone who is certified in both. Is that even feasible?

  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Sure I do both, but you should start with one until you are good then check and see if you still want to get into another. Personaly I prefer geting wet to geting shocked and I find plumbing pays better.
  9. brianj

    brianj Member

    It may depend on what's getting you wet ;) Clear or dark colored :eek:
  10. Kristi

    Kristi Tradesman Plumber

    Vancouver, BC
    wow... accountant to plumber - all I have to contribute is this: it will take YEARS to make your great income again! Man, it sucks at the bottom, and I spent 4-6 years there, but it's great when you push through it and succeed in the end... 13 years later!!! lol

    I don't know if my body would endure what it did in the beginning when I was in my early 20's? There was a helluvalot of digging and a lot more labour intensive output on my shoulders than anyone elses on those jobsites! That's what comes with being a greenhorn. I remember a guy in my 2nd year plumbing class - I was 23 and he was 43! He had a wife and 3 kids, pets and house, and all I could think was "how on earth is he making that work?" Well he trudged through and he ultimately did make it work, so good on him!
  11. HandyDad

    HandyDad New Member

    Glendora, CA
    I hear ya

    Sounds like a conversation I had with my wife just yesterday. A million years ago I put myself through school working as a carpenter. Now I am a "Senior Technical Consultant" which is a fancy way of saying that I am an overpaid software engineer. Every time I pick up a hammer to work on my house, every time I get good wiff of some wood, I want to quit my job and go back to the trades. And I would, in a hearbeat, if I could make the same money, which I can't. Wife is in nursing school with two years to go. I told her that once she hits a certain income, I am quitting my job and going back to my first love ... the trades!
  12. mz4wheeler

    mz4wheeler New Member

    Just buy an old house to keep you busy with this and that, and keep your 9-5. I also am in the IT business which pays the bills and I find it comforting to know that on wet/rainy/hot days I can make money sitting in an office. With my own house I've had to replace a roof, do plumbing, sheetrock, replace a septic ejector system, (THAT wasn't fun) but at least all of that was by my choice. It seems to me that if I had to do all that for a living it wouldn''t be quite so much fun, but that is probably true with most jobs.

  13. wet, muddy , rainey days

    those wet rainey days are not fun....

    try digging a slab plumbing rough- in --- wadeing around
    in mud up to your knees on a snowey wet day....

    for lets say 12.50 per hour while the boss sits in the truck looking
    at the plans.keeping an eye on you and drinking coffe...LOL

    You can never predict the weather, but can rest assured
    that if your employees know a mean job is comming up,
    They WILL call in sick on that day...

    usually my dummies never show up for any hard work
    especially if they know thats whats in store for them...

    I would like to share a trick I used a lot back when I did
    new home construction and had to have a few employees on hand..........

    a trick I found that works real good for a bad day job.....

    is to tell all your dummies that their is a tough digging job
    comming up and it is going to be on Thurday,
    and make sure to let everyone KNOW THIS, and that they better
    show up on THURSDAY.....

    ( I know they probably wont, they can get a 12.50 job as a helper anywhere)

    then on TUESDAY morning when everyone shows up all bright eyed,
    bushey tailed and ready to work I tell them to load up the shovels and PICKS..and tampers ect....

    We are going to do that tough job TODAY, it was re-scheduled...

    Ohh you ought to see the pitiful - puppy dog sad tearful looks in their eyes...

    the boss got the better of them today ...and they cant get out of it.....

    It moments like these that make it all worth while...LOL

    I think that I might have a mean streak in me........??
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2005
  14. Kai

    Kai New Member

    I am curious to know what is average annual earn from a plumper, like doing service in homes only.

  15. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    There are so many variables it is hard to say. Different areas of the country bring different rates. I am going to guess but I would say the $/hr. charged is between $65.00-$110.00. Now if you in LA or NYC, Boston, Ect. or any of thoes suburbs it would be higher. I have a nephew working for a plumber in the Boston area that makes $40.00/hr. + benis. But where I am a good hourly wage for a plumber would be $15.00-$18.00 and no benis. Don't fall for the Roto R**ter trap of self employment, it a bad deal. They make it sound so good.
  16. per hour wages

    In the mid west, Indiana area a union plumber
    might make 27 per hour plus benefits.

    thats the big dream--the land of milk and honey--
    getting on at the union......

    its what they all sit around and talk about on Friday afternoon
    in a bar somewehre --- its all Beer Talk.....

    But this means you do what they tell you to do,
    no back talk. what-so-ever...

    you show up ON TIME dressed llike a decent human being , not a slob
    at 7.30 in the morning ready to work --rain--or shine..
    out in an open field, or on a half built building, ect.....

    It also means driveing as far as 50 -75 miles from home
    useing your own vehicle and your gas , if thats where the job is....
    (you got to keep those big benefits on your mind)

    They dont want to hear any excuses about how one of your kids is
    sick or your car has broke down, your wife is in jail, ect ect....

    You have stay off durgs, and stay sober
    and be willing to take a drug test at any time....
    and you got to pass it too

    usually you can expect year round work if you are a decent ,
    competent hard working plumber,

    if you are a trouble maker, they send you back to the union hall to sit..
    for a up to 6 months, or till you quit.

    usually the only people that can get in to the unions around here are
    related to someone that is already in, or knows someone.

    The average non-union plumber can make anywhere from apprentice
    of 10-15 per hour and up to 22-24 for a journneyman..

    benefits are an illusion.....its a pipe dream.... BEER TALK again....

    NOBODY is gets good benefits anymore...maybe if you are in Congress..

    Marry a NURSE and use her insurance for are better off.

    It takes at least 5 -7 good fun years to get to the 24 dollar level if you can
    tolerate it, usually thats with changeing jobs a dozen times along the way.. chaseing after those big BENEFITS....

    I guess you will get a good experience working at many different jobs...

    If you do your own thing some day, your own business
    a good honest service plumber can charge 65- 90 per hour
    in this region for various services.....many charge much more...

    I have made more in one day than many make in a month (beer talk??)
    and I am grateful for it, but it does come with a price.....

    My best advice:

    if you are already makeing fairley good money, and
    you are already over 30, dont wast your time chaseing
    those big plumbing benefits...
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2005
  17. bigrebnc1861

    bigrebnc1861 Plumber

    Kannapolis N.C.
    In North Carolina the avg. pay for a plumber is from 15.00- 20.00 an hr. , and some companies do have benifits. I am one of the lucky ones that work's for a company that has benifits :)
  18. define benefits==???

    would someone please define benefits for me

    at some places its a 401 k that you will be fully vested in
    after 7 years that you cant take with you till only after 5 years
    working for the company

    some places pay for YOUR medical insurance, but make you pay
    for your family and that usually costs YOU between 100-300 per month...

    I dont know of ANY company that pays for your health insurance
    including families FOR FREE. ---Maybe NASA??? US CONGRESS??

    Even the POST OFFICE has not got FREE DENTAL, for their employees!!!

    We are only blue collar plumbers here,
    not rocket scientiests and enjeneers or Doctors....

    is their something I am forgetting about or leaveing out that I dont know about????

    Maybe Free daycare???

    are these the Benefits that makes everyone happy and willing to leave a
    small company for that simply cant afford them???

    please fill me in.... is Social Security a benefit????

    right now in this country their is a crisis with literally ALL the large company pension programs because they have not been putting money into the program for their retireees..... Like....US Airlines, Teamsters, ect. probably GM and UAW too......and most are like 80% UNDERFUNDED????

    now whats gonna happen when all these peopel dont get the
    pension they were promised years ago???

    where did all their big benefits go???

    and how about social security being close to bankrupt too???


    One thing I am sure of....

    I am pretty sure that down
    in mexico, they define benefits as

    "some free tacos for lunch...."

    and all the overtime you want....
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2005
  19. dubldare

    dubldare Plumber/Gasfitter


    Mine does.
  20. tell me more

    I should corrcet myself here,

    any PLUMBING company that pays 100%

    health benefits for their employees and
    their family too ---scott free..

    and you work for such a plumbing company???
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