Being a plumber can be a brilliant vocation.
If you don’t want to be cooped up in an office all day and enjoy the ability to set your own hours and travel around the city, sorting out people’s waterworks, then plumbing is the job for you.
It can also be incredibly worthwhile, financially. In 2018, one self-employed plumber in the UK reported that he had taken home a salary of £210,000 for the year, which is approximately seven times the UK’s national average.
However, in order to get to this stage in your plumbing career, you need to be properly prepared.
Do You Have the Right Insurance?
One of the first things that you’ll need to ask is whether or not you have the right insurance.
While it’s a good idea to have insurance to cover the work that you’re doing at a customer’s home (ensuring you’re covered if you accidentally flood the place), that’s not the only type of insurance that you need to think about.
Unless you’re getting to each plumbing job on foot, then you’ll want to think about commercial auto insurance.
This type of insurance is designed for people who use some sort of vehicle for their job – such as a plumber who uses a van.
If there are any accidents on the way to or from a job, then commercial auto insurance will cover the cost of damages, allowing you to keep your vehicle on the road so that you can keep working.
Do you Have the Right Tools?
As a plumber, there are few things more embarrassing than turning up to a job and finding out that you don’t have the right tools.
Your customer suspects that there’s a giant hairball clogging up the pipes but you’ve forgotten the snake. Or, you realize that you need to unscrew something and find out that you’ve left your wrench at home.
There are more than two dozen tools that every plumber should have in their toolbox, ranging from a tube cutter and an adjustable wrench to a set of drain rods and a soldering mat.
While getting quality tools may seem like a big expense, they’re required if you want to be prepared to take on any job.
Do You Have Customer Service Skills?
As an aspiring plumber, you may think that your biggest task is to solve what’s making the water do the thing it’s not supposed to be doing.
That’s only mostly true. The other task is to keep the customer happy. They may not know a thing about plumbing but they are the one who’s going to be paying you – potentially with a hefty tip.
To keep everyone happy, it’s a smart idea to brush up on your customer service skills.
Practice having patience so that you can answer seemingly ridiculous questions about how plumbing works with a smile, and have good communication skills so that they understand how much the job will cost and how long (estimated) it will take.
If you take the time to think about what a good plumber has (skills, tools, and insurance) then you can find huge success in the plumbing industry. There’s always a need for someone to fix a clogged toilet and people will be willing to pay you very well to do it.