The ultimate guide to starting your own plumbing business in the United States

If you are considering setting up your own plumbing business in the United States, I have this article to guide you.

In the United States, a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the growth of the plumbing industry is more than average.

As more and more existing plumbers in the U.S. retire, new opportunities open up for young entrepreneurs. These days, young entrepreneurs are leveraging digital marketing in growing their plumbing business in the United States.

Before we take a look at the requirements for starting your own plumbing business, let’s look at why you may need to start your own.

Is Owning a Plumbing Business Worth It?

The fact that consumers and businesses can’t maintain their own plumbing systems themselves makes the plumbing business a necessity in the United States. No matter what your income level is, you will need their services at one point or the other.

A professional plumber in the U.S. earns as much as $50 per hour. If he is to work 8 hours a day, that’s over $150,000 per year. His take-home might be as high as $100,000 when you subtract the cost of purchasing the needed plumbing tools. Even in Australia, the plumbing business is one of the most profitable small business ideas.

Now we are done discussing why you need to set up a plumbing business, let’s look at how it’s done in the United States.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start a Plumbing Business in the United States

If you want to start your own business as a master plumber, here are some basic steps we recommend you take.

Get Certified Before You Start a Plumbing Business in the United States

To be seen as a trusted professional plumber before consumers, you will need to attend vocational training programs. Having adequate foundational knowledge in areas like math, science and tech will be required of you.

Where can you study to become a plumber in the United States? The following are some of the best schools to learn plumbing trade and business in the United States: Arizona Western College (AZ), Montana State University-Northern (MT), Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (KY), Saint Paul College (MN), Salt Lake Community College (UT), and Macomb Community College (MI).

Once you pass through any of these schools and graduate in your plumbing studies, you will be given a certificate with which you can start your operation.

Serve as an Apprentice Before Setting Up Your Own Plumbing Business in the United States

Going to school to get a certificate in plumbing is not enough. It might grant you access to industry experts but to become an expert, you need to learn directly under a practicing plumber. The only way to do this is to serve as an apprentice.

The Igbo Apprentice System has made this a lot easier for younger people to learn from established experts.

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Choose a Specialty for Your Plumbing Career

How to start your own plumbing trade in America

You can’t afford to be everything to everybody. You will need to choose an area of specialty for you to stand out. While there are plumbers who offer a variety of services, niche-based plumbers are highly sought-after.

When is the best time to choose a specialty when starting your own plumbing business in the United States? It’s at the point of training and working as an apprentice that you choose the best area to major in.

You have the liberty to choose whether you will be servicing only residential or commercial apartments. You can as well choose the type of jobs you can do or not do. You may want to choose from any of these types of plumbing systems: sanitary drainage, stormwater drainage and potable water.

Purchase Your Own Plumbing Tools & Equipment

You don’t need to have a startup capital of a million dollars before you can start and grow a successful plumbing business. You can easily get some fairly inexpensive tools like pipes, pipe benders and fittings to start with.

What other tools does a plumber in the U.S require? Here you have some amazing plumbing tools list for plumbers: pipe wrench, basin wrench, adjustable wrench, faucet key,  hacksaw, tube and plastic pipe cutters, plumber’s torch and thread sealing tape.

To ensure that your plumbing equipment is transported safely to your client’s site, a truck or van might be needed. Get vehicle insurance coverage for your company van so as to further protect yourself.

Register Your Plumbing Business

Just like we have a list of documents needed for you to buy a house in the United States, there are requirements for you to register your plumbing business.

To legalize your business, you will need to register it following the official guidelines of your state and local community where your business is domiciled.

How do you register your plumbing business in America? Reach out to a business incorporation consultant in the U.S to help you in registering your plumbing business. Each state has different licenses, permits, and requirements. You can’t afford to start your business without having the right licenses and permits.

How to Price a Plumbing Job

The US plumbing industry is worth over $124 billion and it grew by 4% in 2021. This is partly because plumbers understand how to price their services to still remain profitable. Using plumbing software can make it a lot easier to manage your business activities.

How does this plumbing software work? Plumbing software will help you to convert your approved quotes into live jobs automatically. This cuts administration in half and allows work to be deployed to plumbers in record time. You’ll also be able to accept deposits online with an integrated payments feature. 

Aside from these other features offered by most plumbing software, you can also get all quotes and inquiries stored in your dashboard.

It’s not enough to use plumbing software in integrating your activities. You will need to have a set price for a selection of services. You can easily calculate the cost of each job by looking at the labor and supplies needed to execute it. Whatever you decide to go with, always stay consistent for a long period of time.

Choose an Office Location

If you are launching your plumbing business in the United States on a shoestring budget, you can save money by working from a home office.

There’s no rule that you must have a commercial office before you can be approved to set up a plumbing business.

You can even use a specialized, improved workspace that allows such trade to run your business.

Where you site your office can go a long way to determine the number of clients you can service. Having your office location in a well-populated business or residential district will help you attract more clients. 

Prospects want to be sure they can easily reach you before they can hire you and possibly have you on retainer.

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Boost Your Online Visibility

Can your plumbing business be found online? If not, then you are not ready for growth and that’s why your plumbing business needs a website. A platform like Google My Business will give you so much visibility when people go online to search for, “Plumbers near me.”

Let’s assume someone in Santa Monica, Los Angeles goes on Google to search for “Plumbers near me,” you will see the result below showing various plumbers in Santa Monica.

Plumbers in Santa Monica Los Angeles
Google Search Results for Plumbers in Santa Monica

Imagine for a moment you are able to rank for that. You will literally turn Google to your No. 1 salesperson because you will be getting steady clients without spending a dime on ads.

Another unique way to boost your online visibility is to build a website for your plumbing business. 

How do you build a plumbing website that generates quality and steady leads? For your plumbing website to generate qualified leads, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Does this plumber provide the services I’m looking for?
  • Does this plumber service my town/city/neighborhood?
  • How can I contact this company?
  • Why should I hire this company over the competition?

To build a reliable and affordable plumbing website that actually generates qualified leads, we recommend purchasing your domain name from Namecheap and web hosting from Bluehost. The best web hosting platform for building a plumbing website is Bluehost.

Get Your Plumbing Insurance Coverage

Plumbers will need the following types of insurance: business insurance, life insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance and personal injury and illness insurance.

Having adequate liability insurance will help to protect your plumbing business in the case of an eventuality. Oftentimes, you won’t be approved to start your own plumbing business without insurance. This is because plumbing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States.

Emenike Emmanuel
Emenike Emmanuel is a multiple award-winning blogger, CEO of Entrepreneur Business Blog, Chief Evangelist of Ebusinessroom Ventures, and the Lead Coach of an online community of over 12,000 business owners called, The Excellent Entrepreneurs' Network. He’s here to help you start, manage and grow a profitable and sustainable business using digital marketing strategies. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn & Pinterest with this handle, @emenikeng. Telegram group - t.me/yourfirst1000 | Email: [email protected]

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