According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the plumbing contractor profession is estimated to increase by 24 percent from 2014 to 2024. This includes anyone who installs, repairs, or maintains pipes in commercial and residential settings.
Considering that the plumbing industry is a $124 billion industry, it’s unlikely that it will slow down any time soon. Additionally, since the U.S. expects to see a significant rise in construction throughout the year, the need for plumbing professionals will be more evident.
If you’re planning on entering the plumbing industry, here are some trends to look out for in 2021:
Today’s consumers are concerned about climate change. They’re incredibly well-informed when it comes to the “eco-friendliness” of their household appliances. This is why you should expect to see solar-powered heating as one of the year’s top trends.
Since consumers aren’t familiar with solar water heating systems, they’ll need a professional to handle the installation. So, if you want to specialize in solar, be sure to obtain the necessary licenses and certifications.
As we mentioned, consumers are becoming environmentally conscious. They’re actively looking for ways to converse water in order to reduce their carbon footprint. As a plumber, you’ll likely be asked about water conservation. One of the solutions that you can recommend is greywater plumbing.
Greywater plumbing uses water from baths, showers, and basins. It’s essentially wastewater that is treated in order to make it “usable” for gardening and other domestic activities.
The average age of pipes in homes in the U.S. is 47 years. Considering that certain types of pipes (e.g. copper and galvanized steel) last around 50 years, it can be assumed that there’ll be a lot of pipes to repair and replace in the coming years.
Those in the plumbing industry will have to prepare themselves for an influx of problems regarding aging pipes, such as corrosion, leakage, and “pipe belly” formation.
Artificial intelligence is taking over the plumbing industry. If you haven’t heard of self-diagnosing pipes or “smart pipes”, don’t worry -- you eventually will.
Smart pipes can detect leaks and alert the user before any further damage can be done. Does this mean that plumbers aren’t needed anymore? Not at all. Smart pipes simply pinpoint where the leak is located. Everything else has to be handled by a plumbing professional.
Today’s customers embrace the convenience of technology. They want to be able to control their plumbing systems from their smartphone. Hence, professional plumbers must be open to innovation, otherwise they won’t be able to cater to techy-savvy customers.
If you’re interested in a career in the plumbing industry, you may want to specialize in smart plumbing. These include smart toilets, smart sinks and faucets, smart leak detectors, and so on.
There are more than 480,000 professional plumbers in the U.S. If you want to be one of them, start by brushing up on your skills. If possible, specialize in smart or sustainable energy, as these are the trends of the future. In addition, consider contacting your local HVAC technician or company to learn about certifications that you might need.