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  • #31
    Re: Commission

    Originally posted by PlumbingParamedics View Post
    How can u pay a service plumber hourly? what incentive do they have to sell the job to the customer. Im gonna add another plumber soon I pay them 25% of the job and take back 25% of gas and supplies they buy with my credit card. I good plumber will make 40-50 a year this way. And owner should make about the same off of them
    40-50k a year is not good money for a good plumber. at least not out here.

    i guess the cost of living has a lot to do with a pay scale.

    not sure what the present union scale is now, but when i left the union in 94, we were at 27 an hour on the check plus benefits. that was 16 years ago

    rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #32
      Re: Commission

      Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
      40-50k a year is not good money for a good plumber. at least not out here.

      i guess the cost of living has a lot to do with a pay scale.

      not sure what the present union scale is now, but when i left the union in 94, we were at 27 an hour on the check plus benefits. that was 16 years ago

      rick.

      ahhhh yea a house in so cal cost twice as much as so fla. 40-50 here is 70-80 there. Thats good money anywhere for a plumber working for someone else.
      You can lose with me, but you can't win without me!.... PPI

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      • #33
        Re: Commission

        I'm in southwest missouri. I make about 45k a year. my mortgage is also only $600 a month. So yeah, it's good money around here.
        No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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        • #34
          Re: Commission

          Mark hit the nail squarely on the head with his statement unskilled kid who has rode with someone for a few weeks is the issue.The only thing I would change is the word kid as it can be an older person that just completed ride along training.


          Whether they are commission or hourly paid employees there are many who have ethics and sell only what the client needs or wants. I also will maintain there are many who sell commission and hourly who pad their invoices and sell uneccessary items. Unethical behavior is easy when the work culture allows this kind of thing.

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          • #35
            Re: Commission

            personally i would lean towards commission. After several years of working for by th hour shops where guys essentially get rewarded for milking out jobs its gotten a little annoying. Lets say there isn't a lot of work on a given day, two guys go out to change two separate water heaters. I go at my normal pace and the heater is changed and disposed of in say 2 hrs. So i'm now done for the day and get paid maybe $50. The other guy goes and takes 5 hrs to change a similar setup. Well he got paid over a hundred for the day and i suppose the boss made a little more off the labor, but it was done at the price of probably ticking off a repeat customer. And i know customers talk abut this stuff because they've complained to me not only about our guys but other companies. I went to change out a pressure tank at a house where another company had just put in a 50 gal chimney vent. Nothing crazy about the job, good valves, access, etc. This other company billed her for 14 hrs full rate to change this water heater. Can you say a couple of guys milking out a job! I can see where the abuse could happen on commission but it can happen any way you do it, its all about the morals of the person doing the work.

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            • #36
              Re: Commission

              40k to 50k is only good if you are paying, ain't so good if your getting. heelll school teachers or cops make that kind of money here. when i hear people say someone could make x or y. they are talking about a fictional "one". could is the opportune word here. nobody ever has but they could. breid..........

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              • #37
                Re: Commission

                Originally posted by breid1903 View Post
                40k to 50k is only good if you are paying, ain't so good if your getting. heelll school teachers or cops make that kind of money here. when i hear people say someone could make x or y. they are talking about a fictional "one". could is the opportune word here. nobody ever has but they could. breid..........
                It's pretty much relative to the area you live in. I have a son-in-law who lives out of State who was working as a firefighter/paramedic and only making in the mid $20,000. Because he liked what he was doing he was also a respiratory therapist at a local hospital and a forklift drive across the State line. He recently left his local Department and now makes considerably more in a larger county. It's an 1 1/2 hour plus drive instead of a 5-minute drive but he no longer has to work three jobs.

                At the same time I had two LEO sons living in California earning over $100,000 per year each.

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

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

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                • #38
                  Re: Commission

                  Originally posted by cpw View Post
                  When hourly did your best guy produce more, less, or the same as on commission in a given hour?
                  The best guy produced more work and made more money on commission, both. He was real pleased to be on commission, since he made quite a bit more. Some guys see it as an opportunity to make money. Some guys see it as they are suddenly accountable for what they do, and they don't like it.

                  The worst guy was due to get terminated on hourly, and commission didn't inspire him to do any better. He was extremely highly skilled, but just plain lazy.

                  Of course in my business, which was not the same as plumbing, a 25% commission was very good -- these guys could rake in some bucks.

                  BTW, the structure said that on a warranty return, if it was a labor issue they re-did it and only got their base minimum wage - but I paid for any parts required. If the comeback was due to a parts failure, I ate the return cost and they got their same 25% commission.
                  Last edited by Andy_M; 02-20-2010, 06:27 PM.

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                  • #39
                    Re: Commission

                    Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
                    The best guy produced more work and made more money on commission, both. He was real pleased to be on commission, since he made quite a bit more. Some guys see it as an opportunity to make money. Some guys see it as they are suddenly accountable for what they do, and they don't like it.

                    The worst guy was due to get terminated on hourly, and commission didn't inspire him to do any better. He was extremely highly skilled, but just plain lazy.

                    Of course in my business, which was not the same as plumbing, a 25% commission was very good -- these guys could rake in some bucks.

                    BTW, the structure said that on a warranty return, if it was a labor issue they re-did it and only got their base minimum wage - but I paid for any parts required. If the comeback was due to a parts failure, I ate the return cost and they got their same 25% commission.
                    What I could see easily happening is the guys beitchin about one guy getting the good jobs all the time, & the others getting the chit jobs.
                    Lets face it no 2 jobs are alike, so 1job will always be easier or more profitable than the other. How do you determine which guy gets which job?
                    What happens if you have to send 2 guys on one job, is the profit split? Because you know that guy#1 did more work than guy#2
                    Last but not least, the call back is always due to parts failure

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                    • #40
                      Re: Commission

                      Yesterday I had to spend 45 minutes rounding up a part for service call and then spent 40 minutes driving to the customer's house only to be turned down by him after 20 minutes inside his house. Then I spent another 40 minutes driving back home. I got paid for none of that time! Total BS IMO. I went to two more service calls. One was an easy toilet unclog and another a leaky tub which had no access panel and was a pain in the ***. If I include the 2+ hours I spent running around not being paid I made 11.06 an hour. My girlfriend makes more at a fabrics store

                      Of course, last week I made 20 bucks an hour and 18 the week before. This week is not going to be good. Lots of running around and lots of small, piddly crap like clogged toilets. Hopefully I get paid for the hour I spent sitting in our tech meeting. I didn't ask so I suppose that will be a no . I did learn some interesting stuff though, like the fact that we pay 500 dollars a week in franchise fees.

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                      • #41
                        Re: Commission

                        Very simple. You need to start a franchise.

                        J.C.

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                        • #42
                          Re: Commission

                          Originally posted by Don the plumber View Post
                          What I could see easily happening is the guys beitchin about one guy getting the good jobs all the time, & the others getting the chit jobs.
                          Lets face it no 2 jobs are alike, so 1job will always be easier or more profitable than the other. How do you determine which guy gets which job?
                          What happens if you have to send 2 guys on one job, is the profit split? Because you know that guy#1 did more work than guy#2
                          Last but not least, the call back is always due to parts failure
                          I would assign jobs first in-first out. It was never a problem. Over a pay period it would average out. No one really complained about that aspect.

                          If there was a situation where there was something that was discovered about a particular job that would take extra time and screw the guy's commission, the deal was they had to identify it as soon as they found out what the deal was. If it was legitimate I would fix it by adjusting the rate (and possible calling the customer with some bad news that it was going to cost more), or by taking care of the problem myself. Good engine machinists are hard to find so the idea was to make sure that they never felt like they were getting screwed.

                          Often we had several guys participate on one job. But I had flate rate pricing for each operation in the shop so it was easy to award the commissions based on what each actually did. They would do their part, write what they did on the timesheet, then get on with the next job. In this sense, it was easier than in the case were two guys spend the day on the jobsite and you don't know who did what.

                          Yes, you're right, come-backs were always a *parts failure*. So the deal was that I would make the final determination. When it was a legitimate question if a part caused the problem, the benefit of the doubt went to my tech. But 90 percent of the time it was very clear. A micrometer and learning how to read the witness and wear marks is your friend.

                          As a quick aside, the general quality of the metals, finishes and dimensions of parts were seriously downhill. It was a major reason I decided to get out. Perfect, accurate machine work doesn't really get it done if the parts aren't good. When valves and valve guides started coming from China we started having a lot more problems. Of course, the majority of the US made speed equipment wasn't worth diddley, either. It wasn't uncommon for a Customer to by a set of brand new aftermarket aluminum V8 cylinder heads, and we would have to change the valve guides, give them a valve job, and deck the heads because the quality was so bad.

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                          • #43
                            andy

                            i can relate. one of my customers is earl gaerte. they buy blanks for heads, cranks and blocks. rework them to their specs. breid...........

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                            • #44
                              i'm on commission

                              my wife and i own the company. she takes calls, i work them. we are on 100% commission. as far as i can tell all of us self employed people are. like rick or unclog and some others that is why we we will go when called. if you don't think so, just quit charging and see how long you will roll out of bed for emergencies. i love it when something i work on returns to service. love it, puffs me right up. also, i love it when i stop at the bank. love it. get things for our grand children and us. love it. spoil them. you take the spoiling out of my life, i will turn the phone off. i did that for 5 + years. i missed this. turned the phone on. breid..................

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                              • #45
                                Re: Commission

                                Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
                                I would assign jobs first in-first out. It was never a problem. Over a pay period it would average out. No one really complained about that aspect.

                                Often we had several guys participate on one job. But I had flate rate pricing for each operation in the shop so it was easy to award the commissions based on what each actually did. They would do their part, write what they did on the timesheet, then get on with the next job. In this sense, it was easier than in the case were two guys spend the day on the jobsite and you don't know who did what.V8 cylinder heads, and we would have to change the valve guides, give them a valve job, and deck the heads because the quality was so bad.
                                As you mentioned, the big difference is, plumbing is never done in a shop, or cotrolled environment. Flat rate pricing for different phases, or operation would never work either, in plumbing IMO. You gonna pay a guy different for water piping, than drain piping or setting fixtures?
                                When I was in the union, they had residential scale, & commercial scale, in an effort to make the union more competitive in the housing field.The 2 scales were about $6 per hr diff.{res. being less} Well it never worked.
                                We had a huge commercial job going & at the time only had 1 plumber that was certified backflow tester. Back flow testing was on the res. scale {as per union rules}. So this guy would get taken off my job to test BFP's and would get less pay for it. He goes out & spends 3 days at a class, gets certified, & then gets less pay. Then I always had to hear about it when he came back, & I had no control over it.
                                Last edited by Don the plumber; 02-22-2010, 06:50 AM.

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