If you have a plumbing issue, i.e. broken pipe, toilet clog or just want something installed, typically the wait is at least 1-2 weeks for service. Why? The lack of plumbing professionals today. When the economic crash occurred several years ago, many plumbers fled the field for a more stable income, as people just did not have the money to pay for repairs or improvements. Work slowed, paychecks reduced.
Now we find that we have a dearth of plumbers wanting to get into residential service. Granted, it takes a special “people person” to feel comfortable going into someone’s house to do the repair. Sometimes it’s a very embarrassing issue and dealing with a very concerned resident takes tact and humor or comforting words. But there are rewards knowing you helped someone in distress. And believe me, many are distressed with their plumbing issue.
Plumbing is traditionally a man’s profession, but why aren’t woman getting into plumbing? Or a better question is: why shouldn’t they?
The answer: they should. But through the years, that idea was not promoted because the stereotypical female was thought of as “soft” and “weak.” Hello, have you been under a rock? Not only are women taking on more of the traditional “male” professions, they are excelling at them.
Sue Jacobs has been a licensed plumber in Norwood, Massachusetts for about thirty years. She has a one-woman shop, S. Jacobs Plumbing. Sue comes from a long line of plumbers, in fact her website boasts that she is the fifth generation of Master Plumbers in her family (since 1895).
Granted, she grew up with plumbing in her genes, but she still holds a passion for the profession. And yes, plumbing is a profession, not merely a “trade’s job.” (Note: there are no mere “trades jobs” when you are dedicated to the work).
Sue is quoted as saying, “I do have limitations as far as lifting heavy objects, but I always figure a way to get the job done.”
In Jordan, where there are strict rules regarding women’s activities, the increased number of woman plumbers is impressive. Women are not permitted to be in a room or house with any unrelated male, so if a plumbing emergency occurs, what are they to do? The number of women plumbers serving women in Jordan is remarkable.
Not only are they skilled at plumbing repairs and installations, they take the time to educate their clients on easy repairs so they can be self-sufficient. The training classes are always full; these women feel a strong responsibility for public service.
The strength of women in the workplace, in life, is evident all around. Take sports: some of the fastest runners, powerful swimmers, elegant tennis players, agile gymnasts and strong legged soccer players are female. Those require physical strength as well as mental acuity. And that’s just a small sample.
Over the past few decades, thanks to technology, there has been a lot of emphasis on computer science, technology and social media. Interest in professions such as plumbing, electrical, carpentry and such has dwindled tremendously. The recent economic crash pretty much desolated the construction industry and although it has rebounded, too many experienced tradespeople have moved on to other professions.
We need to get the word out to inspire women and men about our profession. The money can be good; the old adage is true: “An honest days’ work for an honest days’ pay” clearly represents our work. Knowing that what you did for someone, with a repair or preventing a disaster will give you that warm, cozy feeling that you made a difference in someone’s life. Most women are predisposed to nurture, so this is a natural fit.
Tell your daughter…and your son.
Julia Glueckauf, Oregon Cascade Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
Firkus Plumbing, A Division of Oregon Cascade Plumbing & Heating, Inc.