The term plumber refers to a heterogeneous group of professionals who install and repair pipes that move liquids or gases. Residential and commercial plumbing contractors are often available all hours of the day and night to handle emergencies such as leaks and pipe bursts. These situations require immediate attention to prevent severe and long-term damage.
A plumbing contractor’s typical residential task list may include fixing leaky pipes, installing sinks and toilets, and fixing water heaters and water conditioning units. Residential plumbing jobs are part of commercial plumbing tasks. Mechanical services, sprinkler system installation and repair, steam fitting and pipe services, and maintenance of lawn sprinkler systems are also included.
Outlook And Trends In Plumbing Industry
As a whole, the plumbing industry continues to grow and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. However, plumbing contractors have become more critical due to more significant construction trends. This would mean that the construction industry would always be affected by an economic downturn. The following are some other industry trends and considerations.
1. Employment Trends
Plumbing contractor jobs are expected to grow 14% over the next 10 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports most recently. During that same period, all occupations are expected to grow by 5%, the BLS estimates.
Finding qualified employees is likely to be a significant concern for plumbing contractors since industry growth is outpacing employment averages.
It can take years for someone to become a licensed plumber due to the extensive training and apprenticeship programs, making it essential for plumbers to retain their employees. With low unemployment and expected growth, salaries could rise.
2. Technological Trends
Ecological concerns continue to be a significant trend in the plumbing industry as well. Drought-prone areas have a national focus on reducing water consumption. Consequently, many plumbers are leveraging technology to reduce energy consumption and improve efficiency.
A few of the latest trends in plumbing are:
Tankless water heaters – A traditional water heater is inefficient. No matter how much water is needed, they are designed to heat a lot of water. Still, tank water heaters may not suffice for households with enormous water demands. Tankless water heaters, by contrast, heat only what is needed.
Recycling greywater – Greywater is wastewater from sinks, washers, showers, baths, and kitchen appliances. Blackwater can contain human waste, while greywater is relatively clean. Greywater systems collect water for reuse, thereby reducing water usage. While greywater cannot be used for human consumption, it can be used for watering grass or gardens.
Smart pipe systems – These systems use sensors to detect leaks. Detecting leaks quickly can help prevent severe damage.
Infrared technology – Infrared cameras are commonly used to detect electrical issues, but they can also be used to find leaks and moisture.
Telematics – As telematics become more widespread, plumbing firms and other contractors who operate light- and medium-duty trucks implement GPS trackers. The software can also assist with dispatch and efficiency and track risky behaviors such as speeding and harsh braking.
3. Regulatory trends
Deregulation may play a significant role in some states for plumbing contractors. Plumbing contractors hiring qualified employees is one benefit of regulation, explicitly licensing. Increased regulation is a barrier to entry for individuals or companies because obtaining licenses can be costly and time-consuming. Texas recently came close to eliminating all licensing requirements. In states with less regulation, hiring and training standards are crucial if businesses wish to avoid liability claims.
Environmental concerns also influence regulatory trends. There are water usage limits in some states, especially in the west. Greener technologies, such as greywater recycling, may become more common as a result.
The plumbing service industry is ever-evolving with technology and human needs. There will be no scarcity of jobs in this field. Local plumbers having small independent plumbing businesses and large national operations can coexist and operate as plumbing companies. Independently owned plumbing franchises can also think of growth with the growing needs.