Plumbing could become a attractive career path for many young Americans as they could earn up to $100,000 annually. Anil Karakaya/Pexels

One career avenue potentially beneficial for individuals uncertain over their future in the United States is the plumbing industry.

There will be plenty of opportunities for people who embark on the profession. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed over 40,000 job openings will open for plumbers each year over the next decade.

Partly responsible for the mass number of plumbing opportunities is the expected large pool of current plumbers who will either retire or switch occupations. Hence, there is an appeal to usher in a new generation of plumbers as there is a growing shortage of workers.

A striking issue is younger people are unwilling to follow past generations and land careers in the labouring sector. They have a negative perception of plumbing as it can involve plenty of physical work and operations in dirty conditions.

Also, it can require long working hours, and due to businesses, schools and homes requiring their assistance, they can be called for weekend or evening shifts.

The unappealing stigma around plumbing from young people can partially be put down to misconceptions about everything the job entails, according to Bloomberg reporter Enda Curran.

On the Big Take podcast, she explained: "They're not excited by the prospect of fixing toilets all day long. But when you speak to the plumbers — the educators and those practising the trade — they say there's so much more to it than that."

Despite these perceptions existing, plumbers will be well-rewarded for their services as findings from the bureau 12 months ago revealed the median pay for plumbers each year was $61,550.

This makes plumbing one of America's best-compensated sectors as the median annual wage across all occupations was much lower at $48,060.

However, the salary plumbers can earn largely depends on where they are based and carry out their jobs. Those operating in San Jose, California could earn $100,000 each year whereas a plumber in North Carolina could make less than half that, with a salary of $43,000.

The U.S. are hopeful more younger people become plumbers as the shortage of workers has hurt the economy. Findings from Lixil Americas showed a loss of over $30 billion in 2022, with some business buildings struggling to be completed on schedule and within initial budgets.

Other worrying findings revealed the U.S. will be short of roughly half a million plumbers in four years due to the lack of enthusiasm younger generations have to operate in the sector.

Whilst the financial perks of becoming a plumber may appeal to some people, a significant obstacle for the industry in turning out more plumbers is the lengthy process to become a certified professional.

At the Plumbers & Gasfitters Local 5 Apprenticeship School in Lanham, Maryland, 125 students signed up for the recent academic year that began in September 2023. However, the likelihood is that 40 per cent of the students will drop out at some point.

There are still students determined to see the course through and forge a professional plumbing career. 29-year-old Jamal Casimiro is a second-year apprentice at Lanham who settled in the plumbing industry after bouncing between numerous jobs.

He was convinced it was the right move after witnessing a plumber make a significant amount of money in a short time when completing a job at his parents' house.

Another thing which swayed him towards plumbing is the sustainable approach he would have, including the manufacturing of more water-efficient systems. This positive impact he can make on the environment was appealing to him.

34-year-old Jean Bosco Nshimiyimana enrolled on a pre-apprenticeship plumbing course at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland because he was concerned his previous welding job could be overtaken by technological advancements.

The presence of robots and artificial intelligence means many jobs in the labour sector could become discontinued over time.

Nshimiyimana believes this will not be the case in plumbing as there is an unlikely possibility of a robot ever being capable of doing a plumber's job.

Industry executive Ed Brady believes investment must be poured into recruitment and training for the next generation of plumbers to get the industry back on track.

However, he warns it will not be a quick turnaround, saying: "We are going to have this for a long time. This is not a market cycle issue. This is a generational issue."