Three Way Plumbing Supports Women in the Trades
Women are underrepresented in the plumbing field, as they are in many professions. In fact, about 88% of the workforce is male.
Three Way Plumbing President Danielle Martini is helping change that through her work with She Built This City. This Charlotte-area nonprofit combines training and advocacy to work toward gender equity in the trades.
A veteran business owner and plumber herself, Martini is proof that women can thrive in the plumbing industry. Her goal is to give other women the chance to do what she’s done so they can experience the satisfaction of being a knowledgeable tradeswoman.
Plumbing Can Be a Great Trade for Women
You don’t need a four-year degree to earn a great living in the trades! Jump-start your career with an apprenticeship program through Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of North Carolina or a local plumbing company’s in-house certified apprentice program.
The number of women in the program is rising, making this a great time to try it for yourself. The benefits of choosing plumbing as your trade include:
- Great salary: The gender pay gap may still be an issue in other industries, but there’s no room for it in the trades. Male and female plumbers alike average over $54,000 per year, plus benefits.
- Financial aid: If you’re a woman interested in becoming a plumber, look for scholarships specific to women. When you complete an affordable apprenticeship instead of college, you can get started right away with no student debt, especially if you qualify for financial aid. Some companies like Three Way Plumbing don’t charge for the apprentice program. Instead, it’s an earn-while-you-learn program.
- Job security: By 2030, it’s forecast that 75% of people in the trades will retire. The resulting skilled worker shortage means plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, and other tradespeople will be in high demand for the foreseeable future.
- Opportunity to own a business: If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, the trades are perfect for you. Accomplished technicians often progress to business ownership before long.
- Sense of pride: Nothing compares to the satisfaction of identifying and fixing a problem for a distraught customer. You can even use your job skills to better your home and family.
Benefits of Working for a Small Trade Business
When you join the mission of a small trade business, you have a completely different experience than working for a big company. First, you have a chance to learn various aspects of the company, potentially gaining firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to run a small business.
There’s also plenty of room for advancement. Many service companies are set up, so you build rapport with your own customers. It’s like being self-employed but with the support of the company providing the best of both worlds.
The workplace culture is perhaps the best part of working for a small trade business. You enjoy more flexibility, have creative bonus opportunities, and spend your days with people you want to be around.
Three Way Plumbing exemplifies all these benefits and more. We’re a small family-owned, female-led business operating in the Charlotte area. While we don’t discriminate against male applicants, we welcome our fellow tradeswomen with open arms!
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re interested in furthering your plumbing career with us.
Danielle Martini’s Work With She Built This City
Martini is a champion for women in the trades and a standout in the plumbing industry. Last year, with She Built This City, she created a pre-apprenticeship course that exposes women to the plumbing industry, teaches them entry-level plumbing skills, and prepares them for employment.
Martini developed the curriculum, assisted in hiring instructors, sat in on classes, guest-taught, and donated supplies to make the program a reality. Eight women graduated from She Built This City’s inaugural 15-week program in October 2021.
Seeing women advance through the pre-apprenticeship program has been truly gratifying, Martini said. “How much they’ve improved — it’s so exciting to see.”
SBTC participant Hatisha Mike had a plumbing job lined up shortly after graduation, proving the program works. She sees herself staying in the industry for the long haul. “My goal is to obtain my master plumbing license,” she told PBS Charlotte. “Once I [do], I want to start a business so that I can have others work under my license.”
So, the next time you call for home repair services, don’t expect Tom, Dick, or Harry to show up ― you might welcome Erica, Maria, or Kim through your door instead!
Plumbing Can Be a Great Trade for Veterans Too
If you’re looking for a rewarding career upon leaving the military, the trades could be a great option. This industry lets you flex your leadership skills, strong work ethic, and problem-solving talents, helping customers solve home repair problems they can’t tackle themselves.
The trades also offer a chance to be part of a workplace family, especially when you work for a small business like Three Way Plumbing. Our on-the-job training and apprenticeships are GI Bill–approved to help you use the benefits you’ve earned.
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