When you think of plumbers, male workers in jumpsuits, tools in tow, slightly dirty after fixing a nasty leak in your sink. And yes, most plumbers we know are men.
The plumbing industry is a male-dominated profession. The gender stereotype in this industry is that the plumber must be a man. This is not true. There are many female plumbers out there. They face the same challenges as male plumbers, such as difficult working conditions and low pay.
Women are considered a minority in terms of this profession. It is not easy for them to enter this industry, not only in the US but also in other parts of the world, because they are faced with many difficulties when they try to enter it.
First female master plumber in the US
One of these difficulties is that they often face discrimination from their coworkers and customers because they are seen as outsiders or intruders into this male-dominated profession.
But it was in 1951 when Lillian Ann Baumbach Jacobs became the first woman master plumber in the US at 21. She and 6 other men took the same plumbing exam with her. Only she and one of the men passed. Jacobs became a celebrity when the media reported on her news-breaking career milestone.
Since her record-breaking milestone, other women also broke barriers in the plumbing industry. Adrienne Bennett of Detroit, Michigan, was the first African-American woman who became a master plumber in 1987. She is also a certified medical gas inspector and installer.
It’s already 2022, and females working in blue-collar jobs like plumbing deserve more recognition. They offer a valuable contribution to this male-dominated industry and pave the way for women to pursue non-corporate but equally lucrative and rewarding careers.
Challenges of female plumbers in a male-dominated industry
Still, we can’t deny that women often face numerous challenges in the workplace, especially those in male-dominated industries. More so if the business is not family-owned.
One female plumber in Florida recalled an instance when a customer refused to let her fix their toilet because she’s a woman. Thankfully, her male colleague stood up to her and assured the customer she could do her job with the same quality as her male counterparts.
Regardless of gender, one thing is certain: starting a plumbing business can be lucrative. Plumber wages may vary depending on your location and the plumber’s qualifications. You can earn a good amount of money in a plumbing business.
Benefits of hiring female plumbers
Not everyone may be comfortable working with female plumbers. As mentioned, the plumbing industry is male-dominated, and not everyone is not yet open to the fact that women can also work blue-collar jobs such as plumbing.
Still, more and more customers love working with female plumbers and believe in their skills and the value they provide for the business. One female plumber shared that they have older women and widow customers who are more comfortable hiring a woman to service their broken pipes and fixtures.
More women also have more freedom to pursue their passion, not only jobs that will earn them money. More so, if the job is mostly male-dominated, it could be challenging. People who love their jobs provide high-quality output and exceptional customer service. Customers will love them too, so it’s a win-win for both parties.
How to become a plumber
For one thing, plumbing is a skilled trade. This means it takes years of training and education to become a professionally-licensed one. Online schools cater to those who want to learn about the plumbing trade.
It’s a great place to take your first step in this male-dominated industry. Some of the most popular ones in the US are TopTrade.School, Explore the Trades, and PHCCareers.com.
Gender should not have a say in what you want to pursue as your career. It’s all about the skills and the passion for doing the job and satisfying your customers. Professional plumbing service in Spring Hill, TN, hires the best plumbers regardless of gender as long as they have the skill and expertise in their chosen career.