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Old 08-28-2019, 09:49 PM   #1
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Default Why do people say there's a shortage of plumbers?

Why do the people say there's a shortage of plumbers?

I hear people say this all the time, there's a shortage of plumber in our area. I'd really like to know who really posts those lies and what is the agenda behind that?

Is it because some company posted an ad in the newspaper looking for 3 employees? They're usually looking for employees because the others either quit, never show up or they aren't cutting enough corners in that champion company. Do people assume there aren't enough plumbers because of an ad?

Seriously that's a load of bull there isn't a lack of plumbers, in 20 years I've worked an average of 4-5 months a year because there wasn't enough work for everyone. The last 4 years before I opened up I worked a total of 3-4 months in total. Many guys had to travel outside the province to work or did other jobs like snow plow driving. Doing garbage night to recycle metal. Some even quit the trade entirely.

Seriously WHY???
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Why do the people say there's a shortage of plumbers?

I hear people say this all the time, there's a shortage of plumber in our area. I'd really like to know who really posts those lies and what is the agenda behind that?

Is it because some company posted an ad in the newspaper looking for 3 employees? They're usually looking for employees because the others either quit, never show up or they aren't cutting enough corners in that champion company. Do people assume there aren't enough plumbers because of an ad?

Seriously that's a load of bull there isn't a lack of plumbers, in 20 years I've worked an average of 4-5 months a year because there wasn't enough work for everyone. The last 4 years before I opened up I worked a total of 3-4 months in total. Many guys had to travel outside the province to work or did other jobs like snow plow driving. Doing garbage night to recycle metal. Some even quit the trade entirely.

Seriously WHY???

mostly in the unions doing commercial or industrial work, not working on home owner stuff...
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:56 PM   #3
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That is not how it is in the world of non union shops. You clearly worked in big union jobs.

People probably say there is a lack of plumbers because there is less and less skilled plumbers and more and more helpers pretending to be plumbers. In the 3.5 years I have been with my current company I have seen 3 promising apprentices where of one is now a j man some where else and one quit plumbing because he got 2 dollars more doing somewhere else and one is currently working for us but refuses to take his j man test to save on license renewal fee and is only here until he can land a job as a firefighter.
Then there were maybe 4 apprentices who either quit or got fired because they could not handle the real world or were simply no good at plumbing at all. I my short time plumbing I have seen too many people come and go who were no good and only a couple good enough to be good but not great and none of them are or will be around plumbing much more. One of the companies in town have 3 plumbers that will retire in the next 2 years and I honestly don't see 3 new apprentices coming in to plumbing in that time who has the potential to replace them.

I think they make the retiring baby boomers lack if skilled plumbers sound worse than it is and I have heard the same thing for the last 15 years yet it is not all that bad. I think we might just not notice it as much because a lot of the employers are accepting and lowering the bar for who they will hire.

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Old 08-28-2019, 11:07 PM   #4
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mostly in the unions doing commercial or industrial work, not working on home owner stuff...
I'm not sure where you are going with this. I was in the Union doing commercial, institutional, highrises and industrial and I would jump on any related job including gas in new houses, I would travel anywhere with a suit case so much so I got all the certificates to work on gas, oil, pipe fitter, plumber and in the other province too. Even then there wasn't enough work.

Even now I get by doing service but more jobs would be welcome. In any field there isn't a shortage of guys.
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:46 PM   #5
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I guess it depends on the area or what your definition of "plumber" is.

Around here there is a dearth of talent. I've worked for some large companies as well as smaller companies. They all had trouble hiring talented plumbers. And they were offering decent wages so it wasn't like they were trying to low-ball.

Pretty much all those companies ended up hiring unskilled people and training them for a month or so, pretty much just long enough to learn how to close out a ticket. A lot of those guys didn't last long for various reasons.

You can bet they were still charging "plumber" rates to the customers when they sent guys to train on their houses.
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:06 AM   #6
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I'm not sure where you are going with this. I was in the Union doing commercial, institutional, highrises and industrial and I would jump on any related job including gas in new houses, I would travel anywhere with a suit case so much so I got all the certificates to work on gas, oil, pipe fitter, plumber and in the other province too. Even then there wasn't enough work.

Even now I get by doing service but more jobs would be welcome. In any field there isn't a shortage of guys.
who is crying about lack of plumbers? canada or the USA, the USA is short of any qualified person in a trade that does hands on work well...
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:14 AM   #7
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who is crying about lack of plumbers? canada or the USA, the USA is short of any qualified person in a trade that does hands on work well...
I was referring to people who I talk to in general in my city. For 20 years I've been hearing that.

I just remembered on the news the contractors in the province needed more certified workers. Ok so I found an article from this summer and it said employers needed carpenters(new residential houses I believe), drywallers, painters, tilers, labors and plumbers.

Once again I say BS for plumbers, just before I decided to open my business, I went to several service shops, none were hiring but one did, during the interview I felt like they were looking more for a plumber who didn't know the code book, who would cut corners and after talking with them I realized they weren't knowledgeable in the code and didn't know about specialized plumbing tools either.

The next interview for a gas installer they never saw someone with so many certificates and I didn't even get a call back.

Then I applied to the city, same thing I had 3 tickets they required and I didn't get a call. No one in the province has all 3 than me that I know of!!
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:18 AM   #8
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I was referring to people who I talk to in general in my city. For 20 years I've been hearing that.

I just remembered on the news the contractors in the province needed more certified workers. Ok so I found an article from this summer and it said employers needed carpenters(new residential houses I believe), drywallers, painters, tilers, labors and plumbers.

Once again I say BS for plumbers, just before I decided to open my business, I went to several service shops, none were hiring but one did, during the interview I felt like they were looking more for a plumber who didn't know the code book, who would cut corners and after talking with them I realized they weren't knowledgeable in the code and didn't know about specialized plumbing tools either.

The next interview for a gas installer they never saw someone with so many certificates and I didn't even get a call back.

Then I applied to the city, same thing I had 3 tickets they required and I didn't get a call. No one in the province has all 3 than me that I know of!!



any city job you probably need a hook to get hired, you say the hacks are busy doing plumbing in many of your posts, just because your not busy doesnt mean there isnt a ton of work out there needing to be done..
you have to figure out why you arent being called for the plumbing work?
I have turned down plenty of work in the last few years as im as busy as I want to be, but I also have been in business over 30 years and built up a customer base and I get many calls from people that got my name from the list of licensed plumbers with the municipality ..
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:05 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Tango;1211966]Why do the people say there's a shortage of plumbers?

It is the plumbing trades fault that there are not enough plumbers. Those that own the shops, in some cases don't call their employees there true title. They call them techs. I hear this term day in and day out. A tech is a persons who repairs appliances, office machines -- even an auto mechanic could have a tech title. How many shops call a new employee a helper? Give your people the title they deserve "Apprentice Plumber, Journeyman Plumber,
Master Plumber." If you are in a heavy code area, then use the word REGISTERED in front of all three. You have a distinction in this trade might as well capitalize on it. Use these words on truck lettering, business cards, ID badges. There is a difference between a helper and a Registered Apprentice Plumber, or for a Journeyman Plumber vs a Tech. Don't get me started on Clients and Customers.
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Old 08-29-2019, 01:59 PM   #10
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[quote=PLUMBER_BILL;1212046]
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Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Why do the people say there's a shortage of plumbers?

It is the plumbing trades fault that there are not enough plumbers. Those that own the shops, in some cases don't call their employees there true title. They call them techs. I hear this term day in and day out. A tech is a persons who repairs appliances, office machines -- even an auto mechanic could have a tech title. How many shops call a new employee a helper? Give your people the title they deserve "Apprentice Plumber, Journeyman Plumber,
Master Plumber." If you are in a heavy code area, then use the word REGISTERED in front of all three. You have a distinction in this trade might as well capitalize on it. Use these words on truck lettering, business cards, ID badges. There is a difference between a helper and a Registered Apprentice Plumber, or for a Journeyman Plumber vs a Tech. Don't get me started on Clients and Customers.
I already wrote on my business cards and emails (My name + Master Plumber). No one else seem to use it in the province but I sure did when you see some people title themselves as Mast/lawyer Doctor etc. Then why not it's a big deal to get this title here. You need to pass 4 contractor exams before you are even eligible to try the master plumber exam.

You have a good point I could integrate it on my van, makes it look a lot more sharp.
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