Why a Good Plumber Is Getting as Hard to Find as a Tenure-Track Position

ACADEME BLOG

We have all noticed how hard it is to find a reputable electrician or plumber. But almost no one ever asks, never mind addresses, why this shortage has developed.

The major reason that so few people are going into the trades is that, more often than not, doing so leads to just another kind of low-wage job.

Operating a small business as an independent contractor requires substantial operating monies up front, which completely eliminates it as a possibility for most young people from working-class, never mind even more economically disadvantaged, backgrounds. Such a business is also very difficult to sustain. To have any chance of succeeding in such a business, one needs not only vocational certification in the trade but also at least an associates degree in business. Because the demand for services always fluctuates, one inevitably needs at least a partner, if not employees, the cost of which will…

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