Training the Next Generation of Plumbers

Step into middle and high schools to start encouraging youth to enter the plumbing industry.

Having kids at the college and middle school levels means I often hear conversations revolving around what they want to do when they are done with school and what career they are working toward.

If someone were to track the responses from middle and high school students when asked about their career, I bet the top answer would be: “I don’t know.” There’s nothing wrong with that. It does, however, provide an opportunity that this industry can help with.

Are you and your company doing enough to attract those teenagers or young adults to the profession?


I got started thinking about youth and their career paths even more after editing the profile in this issue on Modern Plumbing & Heating in Kalispell, Montana.

Owners Paige and Raun Grover want to help more people in their home area, which includes providing career opportunities for high school students that aren’t college bound.

“People just aren’t going into the trades like they used to,” Paige says.  “And once we grow to a certain point, we would love to get more involved in high school programs to mentor more of these students and help revive the skilled-trades industry.”

That’s a great idea, but how do you get started? There is one easy way to get rolling with that idea and that is by stopping in at your local high school and talking to the principal or the school counselors and putting an idea in their heads.

Would there be an opportunity for you or your staff to come in during shop class or even an economics class and talk about your career? What you do, what it means to do it and how much potential there is in this industry to earn a great wage. Just talking about your career and showing them that you love it, could get more young adults interested in this industry.


If you’ve done that step already and are stuck on which path to go down next, consider offering a summer internship to a high school student and teach them the trade. Let them go with your crews on jobs and see how things are done. Have the students work in the office, too, and learn the inner workings — like billing, scheduling and that side of the operation.

The more you can get a youth involved in your business, the more you plant that seed in them to want to do this as a career.


That student that you just talked to in a career class at the middle or high school could be your next star employee. How are you going to lead them down that path and support them?

I’d like to hear how you, or your company, are trying to get middle school, high school or young college students into the plumbing industry. Email me at or call 715-350-8436.

Enjoy this issue!  


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