Remember the Laborers on Labor Day Weekend

August 30, 2015

Roto-Rooter employs more than 4,000 service technicians and plumbers across the U.S. and Canada in both company-owned locations and independent franchise locations. These are true laborers who do some very tough jobs. Jobs that many people do not want to do. For decades, Americans have been conditioning their children to overlook blue collar trade jobs like plumber, electrician and mechanic. Out of these three examples, the plumber is often the most under-appreciated. And yet where would we be without plumbers?

This Labor Day Weekend, we implore Americans to re-think the role of the tradesperson. The fact is that repair plumbers are in high demand because there aren’t enough people choosing plumbing as a career path. As a consequence of supply and demand, licensed repair plumbers, especially Master Plumbers, can earn a very good living with above-average pay and benefits. Plumbing requires skills that are learned and honed over time. And repair plumbers have skills that new construction plumbers don’t have. Diagnosing troubles behind finished walls presents a different set of challenges than installing new plumbing systems. At Roto-Rooter, we are repair plumbers and we know from experience that when hot water stops flowing, drains stop draining and toilets stop flushing that people go into panic mode. Then, they often develop an appreciation of the skills required to keep plumbing systems operational and reliable.

We occasionally hear from people who complain about the cost of hiring a licensed plumber. They’ll say demeaning things like, “he’s a plumber, not a doctor,” or “why so much money for such a low-skill job?” And “he was only fixing my toilet.” Puh-lease! You wouldn’t have called a plumber if you could have fixed the problem yourself. And is a plumber’s skill set worth less than yours? Are a plumber’s skills worth less than an attorney’s or a doctor’s? You could make that argument but we would argue right back that a plumber’s time is no less valuable than that of most any other occupation. In fact, because skilled and licensed repair plumbers are in such short supply, you may well pay more for a good plumber’s time than you will pay for many white collar service providers.  Again, it’s a matter of supply and demand. So maybe you should consider the plumbing trade the next time your son or daughter ponders possible career paths. After all, working with one’s hands should be appreciated, not discouraged. Here’s wishing a Happy Labor Day to the hard-working men and women who make an honest living working with their hands.


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