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  • Am I employable?

    I'm starting to consider slowly making the transition from engineer to apprentice, and I want some input from you guys.

    I'd like to start out with a service plumber and work part time for next to nothing and maintain my full-time job for the time being. I'd work for free just for the opportunity to get out in the field and learn if i had the right opportunity. I've been designing plumbing for about 6 years now, so I think I know enough to be dangerous. I can solder pretty good, I know what goes where, I know the code, and I'm not afraid to work. I know a lot of people in the industry and I try to keep a good relationship with a lot of plumbers around here. I don't have any experience as a plumber, and I haven't been to school (although I do have a few AWS certifications under my belt, but I'll save that for the day I want to join a mechanical outfit).

    Am I employable? What would some of you (pros) say if I called you up one day and offered to work for next to nothing just to learn? In this economy? Am I worth it?

    Any words of advice/encouragement?

  • #2
    Re: Am I employable?

    Originally posted by Manning Formula View Post
    I'm starting to consider slowly making the transition from engineer to apprentice, and I want some input from you guys.

    I'd like to start out with a service plumber and work part time for next to nothing and maintain my full-time job for the time being. I'd work for free just for the opportunity to get out in the field and learn if i had the right opportunity. I've been designing plumbing for about 6 years now, so I think I know enough to be dangerous. I can solder pretty good, I know what goes where, I know the code, and I'm not afraid to work. I know a lot of people in the industry and I try to keep a good relationship with a lot of plumbers around here. I don't have any experience as a plumber, and I haven't been to school (although I do have a few AWS certifications under my belt, but I'll save that for the day I want to join a mechanical outfit).

    Am I employable? What would some of you (pros) say if I called you up one day and offered to work for next to nothing just to learn? In this economy? Am I worth it?

    Any words of advice/encouragement?
    I'm headed to TN!

    J.C.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Am I employable?

      Originally posted by Manning Formula View Post
      I'm starting to consider slowly making the transition from engineer to apprentice, and I want some input from you guys.

      I'd like to start out with a service plumber and work part time for next to nothing and maintain my full-time job for the time being. I'd work for free just for the opportunity to get out in the field and learn if i had the right opportunity. I've been designing plumbing for about 6 years now, so I think I know enough to be dangerous. I can solder pretty good, I know what goes where, I know the code, and I'm not afraid to work. I know a lot of people in the industry and I try to keep a good relationship with a lot of plumbers around here. I don't have any experience as a plumber, and I haven't been to school (although I do have a few AWS certifications under my belt, but I'll save that for the day I want to join a mechanical outfit).

      Am I employable? What would some of you (pros) say if I called you up one day and offered to work for next to nothing just to learn? In this economy? Am I worth it?

      Any words of advice/encouragement?
      No.
      (The Low Spark of Steel-Toed Boys)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Am I employable?

        Originally posted by Manning Formula View Post
        I'm starting to consider slowly making the transition from engineer to apprentice, and I want some input from you guys.

        I'd like to start out with a service plumber and work part time for next to nothing and maintain my full-time job for the time being. I'd work for free just for the opportunity to get out in the field and learn if i had the right opportunity. I've been designing plumbing for about 6 years now, so I think I know enough to be dangerous. I can solder pretty good, I know what goes where, I know the code, and I'm not afraid to work. I know a lot of people in the industry and I try to keep a good relationship with a lot of plumbers around here. I don't have any experience as a plumber, and I haven't been to school (although I do have a few AWS certifications under my belt, but I'll save that for the day I want to join a mechanical outfit).

        Am I employable? What would some of you (pros) say if I called you up one day and offered to work for next to nothing just to learn? In this economy? Am I worth it?

        Any words of advice/encouragement?
        We have a member on this forum who went from plumber to engineer then to a hybrid of the two and seems to be doing fine.

        Mark
        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Am I employable?

          Do mind and can you handle the smell of others poop in large amounts?

          I.e. backup toilets , sewers etc

          Can you handle having others urine and feces on your clothes?

          It happens and often sometimes depending on your service area or types of jobs

          That's what I would ask yourself.

          Then on the other side of the coin, there is the freedom of not being in an office, enjoying the open road and working with the boys.

          Getting that hands on experience is just priceless, compared to just looking at drawings.

          Designing and being out there are two completely different worlds, so I guess its really what you like, is what it comes down to.

          Good Luck!!!!

          PS: NEVER and I mean never, look for the sky-hook, bucket of steam, or open a closed Spackle bucket!

          OH PSS:

          One concern I do have is why you would want to work for next to nothing..........
          Help With Your Pool Or Spa Pump?►WeT HeaD Pump Repair ► Watch Me On YouTube: Pool & Spa Pump Repair TV
          New: Pump Repair MagazineNew: Pool & Spa Pump Repair Forums

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Am I employable?

            just a thought.

            i would do the construction thing first. that way you can see what it's like to install and see the physical lay of the pipe as-it-were.

            repairs/reno's/replacements is a whole different ball of poop.

            just a thought.

            Vince
            Last edited by Vince the Plumber; 12-02-2009, 01:55 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Am I employable?

              I would seriously question the motivation of someone who
              wanted to work for next to nothing, especially in this trade.

              There are some days when all the money in the world ain't
              worth it.

              If you want a tough job for little pay, consider the military.
              Afghanistan awaits. (Tell your Army recruiter that you want
              to be an Eleven-Bravo and jump out of airplanes. He'll fast
              track you.)

              If it was me, I'd stay in the office.
              But if you insist, then start out in new construction.
              Last edited by Big Jim; 12-02-2009, 08:06 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Am I employable?

                Originally posted by Vince the Plumber View Post
                just a thought.

                i would do the construction thing first. that way you can see what it's like to install and see the physical lay of the pipe as-it-were.
                repairs/reno's/placements is a whole different ball if poop.
                just a thought.

                Vince
                New construction is nice.Weather you end up in
                residential or the commercial side (I prefer!)...
                Problem *might* be the lack of building right now.
                ...And they will need a full time apprentice.
                This is really your best avenue to become proficient.
                Have your shots up to date and good luck.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Am I employable?

                  Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                  We have a member on this forum who went from plumber to engineer then to a hybrid of the two and seems to be doing fine.

                  Mark
                  how exactly do you pull that off?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Am I employable?

                    Originally posted by Manning Formula View Post
                    how exactly do you pull that off?

                    LOTS of hours and hard work !!!
                    Help With Your Pool Or Spa Pump?►WeT HeaD Pump Repair ► Watch Me On YouTube: Pool & Spa Pump Repair TV
                    New: Pump Repair MagazineNew: Pool & Spa Pump Repair Forums

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Am I employable?

                      Originally posted by Drip Trip View Post
                      No.
                      care to elaborate?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Am I employable?

                        Originally posted by Manning Formula View Post
                        care to elaborate?
                        I'm flattered, but I'm heterosexual.
                        (The Low Spark of Steel-Toed Boys)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Am I employable?

                          Why not, the majority came into this profession with little to no knowledge. I would even stretch it farther the first day there was most likely no knowledge other than what little experience they had at home.
                          I prefer service over new construction or remodel. I love meeting new and rekindling old relationships and helping customers relieve their stress and making a difference in their life.
                          Where I am presently residing, Florida very few construction plumbers can do service. They never get the chance to do service performing new and remodeling work. The opposite from where I grew up. In Ohio those I knew could new construction professionals could perform service. If your interests lies in those areas locate a plumbing company that does both.
                          As in all professions it is the attitude that carries the day.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Am I employable?

                            Don't do it free.
                            Don't do it part time.

                            You love it or you hate it. But either way you are committed.

                            My apprentices better be there 13 hours a day just like I am.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Am I employable?

                              I believe service is a better route to follow right now as new construction is down due to the economy. Over 30 years ago I wanted to break into the plumbing field and could not find any shops that would hire me so I also tried the " I will work for free thing" I'm glad nobody took me up on it but this is what I finally did and I landed the best job a young kid could ask for. I went looking for an older plumber that was working all by himself and kept on this guy until he finally hired me. Twenty five dollars a day and I had to pay my own taxes. (no complaints) Go down to a supply house (early!) and keep an eye on who comes in. If you get to know the guys at the supply house they can aim you in the right direction. They know who is busy and from my experience this has a direct correlation with knowledge honesty and fairness. If I was going to get back into plumbing this would be a path consideration.

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