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The Real Poop

If you're looking for the real poop, you've come to the right place.

Your high-priced lawyer is busy and can't see you for two weeks. No big deal. But your toilets are backed up—you're not waiting two weeks. At almost ANY price, you will get your plumber to come out and fix it. If you like the idea of being that agent of olfactory rescue, then this might be the gig for you.

All right, so dealing with waste disposal and drainage systems may not top your list of fun things to do on the weekend. (If they do, it is possible you lead a very sheltered life.) But if you’re more the manual labor kind of guy or gal, plumbing is one of the highest paid construction occupations. Might have something to do with the fact that the job can be so gross.

Who's ready for pizza?!

However, that doesn't mean you can skate by on a pair of powerful biceps and a lean, sleek, well-hewn plumber's crack. (Ladies, this applies to you, too.) Because you will be taking a lot of measurements and doing layouts for installation jobs, some algebra and geometry knowledge will prove helpful. You will have to work with some chemicals, so a science background is good, too. And an advanced understanding of computers also goes a long way, especially when constructing blueprints. (Blueprints, you say? Are we sure we are still talking about a plumber? Yes, indeedy. "The Internet is a series of tubes….")

It's true—plumbing is not all about sticking your head underneath a sink and unclogging a few filthy pipes. There is actually great variety to this gig and a ton to learn in order to be a top-notch plumber, as evidenced by the massive exam you will need to pass in order to become licensed. As far as the job itself, you get out of it what you put into it. (Which can also be said of a toilet.) You can be that on-call guy working for a small plumbing company who has to make late-night runs to stop someone's busted bathtub faucet from spraying hot water all over the place. Or you could be the guy who runs that company, going on few calls himself, but mostly delegating to the other plumbers on your payroll and making gobs more money than any of them. You could work for a building maintaining all of their various plumbing systems, or you could be more on the design and installation side of things. No matter where you are or what you do, however, there will always be pipes. Pipes, pipes and more pipes. Even your dreams are inhabited by continual visions of pipes. There is no getting around that one.

You do have to put in a lot of time and effort. It takes years of studying all there is to know about plumbing, apprenticing under a master plumber, cramming for and taking that test, and then working your way up the ranks in a plumbing company before you can reach that place to which you should aspire. When you are on call, you may have to leave at odd hours of the night, so your life isn't quite your own. But once you're making real plumber money and are in a position to throw your weight around a little bit (careful—there's a structural beam behind you), things will be more under your control and the eventual financial and personal comfort you'll achieve will have been worth the difficult journey.

They are definitely not wearing the right shoes for this.

So you can make a really great living, avoid being stuck in an office and exercise your mind as well as your (possibly out of shape) body. Great plumbers make more than some lawyers and don’t have to wear ties. If you're curious to learn more, we will now provide you with everything but the kitchen sink.

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