Plumbers Are Worthy of More Praise

By: Art Gib

There are a few "dirty jobs" in the United States that some people consider to be undesirable or somehow beneath them. These are the kinds of jobs that many people see as holding a low status level and are looked down upon by many white collar workers. These jobs usually offer very hard work, very little pay, and almost no appreciation. That said, these are the jobs that make all of our lives easier: appliance repair men, factory workers, maintenance men, and plumbers.

Plumbers, perhaps, are one of the least appreciated groups as few people have the burning desire to work with toilets and sewage systems as a profession. But plumbers obviously do more than that. They deal in all sorts of home repairs including piping, heating and cooling, leaks, frozen pipes and, yes, sewage and septic issues. If you have ever called a plumber, you more than likely were dealing with an urgent situation. This is another reason that plumbers are not usually given the credit that they probably deserve.

Many plumbers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and much of their work is done to repair "emergencies." Not only do they often operate under pretty high levels of stress, but they also seem to get very little recognition for their services. Some people are under the impression that they are overpaid for what they do, but in reality, based on the hours they work and the nature of the services they provide, plumbers are very undervalued.

The difference in plumbers and white collar workers probably comes down to training. As a contrast, let's compare plumbers with lawyers in San Jose, California. Lawyers are highly specialized and require years and years of training. For this dedication and training they are awarded salaries that can reach seven figures for a general attorney practice in San Jose. Plumbers, on the other hand, also require significant and specialized training but this can usually be done in only a couple of years. Lawyers are required to receive the vast majority of their training in formal education avenues while plumbers continue to grow and learn while they are on the job. For this "real world" training, a San Jose plumber is paid, on average, around $37,000.

Most people would be quick to point out the cost and hard work that goes into becoming a lawyer and how that is directly correlated to the salaries that they receive. But how many people use a lawyer on a regular basis? Furthermore, how many people can honestly say that they TRUST their lawyers? While most people keep their plumber's phone number on file for years, few people show that dedication and commitment to a lawyer.

Plumbers are definitely undervalued, underpaid, and for most people, underappreciated. Keep that in mind the next time your toilet is clogged or your pipes freeze over, and remember to have a little more patience.

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