Plumbing is a highly skilled trade that requires an extensive knowledge base as well as a strong mix of tangible and intangible qualities to be successful. If you are serious about your career and providing a service at a consistently high level, read on to learn more about the top skills that will help you stand out as a plumbing technician.
Although it more than likely goes without saying, it’s important to note that the most crucial of plumber requirements is the technical knowledge that all plumbers have to learn. This is not a career you can enter into without some basic plumber skills, and ideally, you will have qualifications to your name to prove that you are able to undertake the work you need to do.
Some technical plumbing skills can be learned ‘on the job,’ and this kind of training is very common – you might become an apprentice, for example. However, before you can do this, you’ll often need some more formal qualifications, so it’s a good idea to investigate this. At the very least, it can help you stand out when a lot of people are applying for the same job, internship, or apprenticeship.
A lot of the time, a plumber won’t know what the issue is immediately, and they will need to carry out some investigative work to find out more. This is why problem-solving is so vital when it comes to important plumbing skills; you’ll need to be able to see an issue, work out what’s causing it, and then come up with a solution to fix it.
Your technical plumber skills will obviously be useful at this point, and knowing how to use them will help you fix the issue, but if you’re a good problem solver, you’ll stand much more chance of working out what that issue actually is and ascertaining the best way to fix it. Your customers will be happy, the work will be done more quickly, and you’ll enjoy your job much more as well if you like the challenge of solving puzzles.
Plumbing might seem to be a solo job. You go to a property, look at the problem, solve the puzzle, and do the work. However, even if this is the case (and sometimes it won’t be because you’ll be working in a team), you’ll still need to be good at communication.
Remember, no matter whether you choose to use your plumbing skills in a domestic setting or you want to work on larger projects, there will still be customers to talk to. You’ll need to be able to explain complex plumbing projects and problems – and the solutions – in a simple way that everyone can understand. Plus, you’ll need to offer good customer service if you want to get more work. A plumber who people don’t like because they are grumpy and don’t respond to questions won’t get repeat business or recommendations.
One of the basic plumber requirements is technical knowledge, as we noted in the first point on this list. However, something that works alongside that and that is vital for plumbers (and potential plumbers) to know is that this technical knowledge will have to be updated from time to time. Ideas change, new equipment is invented, and regulations get updated. If you are not keeping yourself up to speed with the innovations within your industry, you will get left behind by your competitors at best and make mistakes at worst.
As a plumber, you need to be constantly learning. Although you don’t necessarily have to go back to school to obtain additional formal qualifications (unless you want to, and it can be worthwhile), make sure you read journals, industry magazines, and blogs. You can go to conventions and talks. You can subscribe to plumbing YouTube channels and other social media pages. Keep learning as much as you can, and your basic plumber skills will continue to improve.
When you are a plumber, your business will depend on your reputation; a good reputation can bring in so many more customers. One way to ensure your reputation is a good one is to always be honest. Be honest with your pricing, the hours you work, the equipment you use, your experience, and everything else that people will need to know about.
Doing this might mean you make less money per job because you’re not inflating prices, for example, but that good reputation you’ll earn means you’ll have more business, which will more than make up for the money ou might have made through any dishonest actions.