​As long as people want to enjoy the modern conveniences of running water and basic sanitary amenities, there will be a plumbing industry.

However, the recent slump in the economy and the housing market had negative effects on this industry. Homeowners put off certain repairs or attempted to take care of them on their own to save money. Some plumbing companies had to pull out of the business or reduce their team and compete harder for existing business. The result? A shortage of professional plumbers when homeowners found themselves in a real bind.

Now that the housing and economy seem to be getting back on track, the need for plumbers has flourished.  Experts predict jobs will grow by more than 20 percent every year for the next several years, higher than other industries.

An increased number of individuals between age 16 and 18 are interested in the profession. Plumbing seems to be an attractive choice, especially to those who want to own their own home, travel, and become financially independent.

What can you expect from the next generation of plumbers in your home? See what plumbers do to stay competitive and what fixture could change your way of life.


Furthering Education

Although the majority of young adults choose to further their education at a university, that route isn't for everyone.

As with any profession, more training and schooling in a particular field will add to success. Plumbing has always required specialized skills.

Whether young adults work independently or for a company, they complete training to begin work as a plumber. An apprenticeship is typically three years long.  Specialized training provides plumbers with the ability to:

  • Install plumbing lines
  • Troubleshoot various plumbing equipment
  • Perform routine preventative maintenance
  • Repair residential equipment and lines
  • Staying Relevant

    A leak that costs a few dollars to fix can cause thousands of dollars of damage if you don't hire a well-trained, licensed professional. But not all plumbers handle all kinds of work.

    To stay competitive, some plumbers train to handle basic repairs in emergency situations. This type of plumber understands hydraulics, pressure, mathematics, and numerous industry tools.

    Other plumbers specialize in remodeling and additions that incorporate cutting-edge technology. Customers want the latest and greatest from new construction projects. These professionals understand strict water standards for plumbing systems, like low-flow shower heads and toilets, to assure you spend your money well.


    Fixtures of the Future

    As technology drives life forward, it continues to change the plumbing industry and make a plumber's job a bit more difficult. Professional plumbers need to come up to speed on products quickly coming to market. For example, take a look at these improvements on common plumbing appliances:

    1. Toilets. Innovators are beginning to market models with electrolyzed water to self-clean the toilet. Other features include built-in air purifiers, heated seats, music systems, and hands-free automatic flush. Some models come treated with agents to decrease the growth of bacteria, fungus, and mold.

    2. Showers. Programmable smart showers may have a high price tag, averaging $7,000, but they use powerful technology. Some luxury systems have digital touch screens that control water outlets, lighting, water temperature, and built-in audio systems. Each member of the household can save their preferred settings when using the system.

    3. Sinks. With the technology of LED lights, some sinks have a ring that lights up and glows red or blue to indicate the water temperature.

    4. Appliances. A handful of dishwashers can connect with Wi-Fi so you know when it costs less to run your electricity. With a new model of washing machine, you can start the washing process via text message. The machine will let you know if something goes wrong with the cycle.

    As long as people remain interested in this profession and new technology surfaces, you can expect big things from plumbing in the future.