In the trade and skills sector, plumbing is a lucrative career that’s offering various opportunities to experienced tradesmen. In fact, welding and plumbing are sought after skills. More people are looking to enter the industry by going to trade schools.
People who aim to become a licensed plumber need to complete an apprenticeship with a licensed plumbing contractor. After which they get a plumbing license. Aside from individuals who want to enter the field, plumbing careers are great for veterans and high school seniors.
Opportunities for Veterans
Veterans can receive their GI Bill Educational Benefits while completing a registered apprenticeship. A Registered Apprenticeship will allow eligible veterans to learn a certain trade, while they use their GI Bill benefits and receive a monthly stipend exempted from taxes.
Current GI Bill
Currently, the Post 9/11 Bill offers veterans a monthly stipend that’s equal to an E-5 Monthly Housing Allowance. They also earn a separate wage besides what they make during apprenticeship. If you’re an eligible veteran, you’ll receive a monthly stipend for each month during your apprenticeship. Six months after starting your apprenticeship, the stipend gradually decreases because of wage increases.
Registered Apprenticeships often have classroom training, while veterans enrolled in the program can receive a monthly allowance for supplies and books.
Benefits for Veterans
As a veteran, you get plenty of benefits by pursuing a plumbing career through a registered apprenticeship.
From the first month of your plumbing apprenticeship, you can earn a consistent salary that will increase as you acquire new skills. To top it off, your GI Benefits will supplement this salary.
Amazing Job Opportunities
After completing a plumbing apprenticeship, veterans can look forward to various long-term career options. Not to mention, you’ll have a great salary with minimal educational debt.
While most plumbers need to get a license based on state regulations, veterans can complete a Registered Apprenticeship and get a certification that’s valued throughout the U.S.
More Trades Businesses are Recruiting Veterans
As baby boomers retire from their positions in the trades sector and very few Millennials are willing to take up the challenge, the industry is facing a significant labor shortage.
This explains why talented plumbers, construction workers, and HVAC experts are highly sought after in this competitive market. Now, the industry is looking toward veterans to fill the skills gap.
Businesses in the mechanical and plumbing trades are facing a challenge recruiting new talent, and experts have recognized various groups that need to be approached with training and apprenticeship offers, and veterans are on the list.
Military Experience Offers Different Expertise
Unlike any other field, people with a military background have highly valuable experience that gives them a competitive edge in the plumbing industry. Veterans have developed team-building abilities and like working together with a team; in fact, it keeps them motivated. Let’s not forget that veterans appreciate careers that are part of something bigger, a concept that applies to the plumbing business.
In addition, military experience teaches them to be motivated and disciplined, which explains their admirable work ethic. Numerous businesses agree that veterans are a natural fit for trades, like plumbing.
Due to their training and community service practices, veterans can make great licensed plumbers – they already have the required soft skills, like professionalism, communicative skills, and an ability to interact easily.
High School Seniors and Plumbing Careers
In the plumbing industry, recruitment is an ongoing issue along with lead-free piping and efficient residential fire sprinklers. A few years ago, the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics explained that the plumbing industry alone will require over 82,000 more employees to replace the people who are retiring. Now, the job outlook until 2026, for plumbers, pipe lifters, and steamfitters, is 16 percent, which is faster than average. More trades businesses are creating summer employment opportunities for senior high school students to get some experience for a future career in the trade industry.
Senior year students are ideal candidates, and plumbing businesses will need to collaborate with local high schools to offer unique summer jobs to students.
Many high schools implement a system allowing seniors to prepare for future careers by taking up a summer job, but these mostly cater to students preparing to apply for college rather than students who wish to take on an apprenticeship in vocational training.
The Importance of Steering High School Seniors toward Trades
Many high school students in the U.S. are steered toward 4-year bachelor’s degrees, even though the financial return from such education is declining, while the dept and prices of such degrees keep increasing.
This is the case, despite the fact that trades jobs require far less training at an affordable cost, and allow students to make competitive salaries soon after starting.
The Benefits for High School Seniors in Pursuing a Plumbing Career
Plumbing businesses need to start promoting the benefits that a career in the trades industry can offer high school seniors.
You Get On-the-Job Training
Getting a plumbing license requires a high school diploma, but once you start an apprenticeship, you earn a salary while getting training. Comparatively, other career options will require you to spend a lot of money, and it’s not easy to take on a job with a university education, either.
Zero Student Debt
Unlike university education, which forces thousands of students to go into debt, trade skill apprenticeships like those for plumbing careers allow students to get training at minimal costs.
Even if you incur some debt, you’ll be making a competitive salary soon after getting a license, allowing you to repay it quickly. An average plumber earns more than 50,000 USD, but this can increase up to six figures in cities, like Boston, Chicago, and New York.
Like other trade skill-related careers, the plumbing business is growing fast, and it has greater job security as well. Plumbing isn’t a job that can be outsourced, and licensed plumbers throughout the U.S. can find amazing employment opportunities that value their experience.
High school students should start looking toward lucrative careers that the plumbing industry offers, instead of taking up the burden of a university degree. Furthermore, summer employment opportunities can give them an in-depth view of what the job would be like, so they can pursue the right career path from the get-go.