A Career in Plumbing: Kim Yeagley’s Story
The part of plumbing that Kim Yeagley loves the most is fixing people's problems. When she first arrives, people are frantic that they can’t use their bathrooms or everyday fixtures. But when she fixes their problem and heads out, she's made their day. That's a good feeling inside.
This is what Yeagley gets to enjoy daily as the owner of Gold Canyon Plumbing in Gold Canyon, Arizona. And it’s a journey that she’s been on for 15 years, as she's found herself with a successful career and future she didn’t initially think she’d get to have.
Yeagley’s Plumbing Career Path
Yeagley was never given the option of going to college. She didn't know what she was going to do when she left high school. She simply wasn't ready.
“Most kids are told, ‘You have to go to college. You have to have the degree.,’” she said. “I feel like the trades gets left out a lot.”
Instead, she worked with her dad for five or six years before she met her husband, who is a plumber. Her husband realized she knew her tools and asked her to become a team. And that's where her plumbing career took off.
Being a Woman in Plumbing
Though she’s been a plumber for 15 years now, at first, she said she wasn't sure how guys were going to accept her.
“People doubt that I know my plumbing,” she said. “But once I start talking shop with you, that's how I win everybody over.”
She’s earned a lot of respect in the plumbing community, and most of the plumbers have become like family to her.
The Benefits of a Plumbing Career
A lot of plumbers work 80 hours a week, but Yeagley chooses a more balanced lifestyle — one that balances paying bills and having fun.
“You have to take time for yourself and do something you enjoy, and mine's the water,” she said. “When your body hurts all day, it feels so good to get in the ice-cold water and just soak.”
A plumbing career gives Yeagley and her husband the ability to spend time with each other without the pressure of work. It also allows them to do stuff on the fly. He plays the ukulele to recharge, while she may shop, see her grandkids or visit her parents.
“It's important for us to teach the younger generation, you don't always have to go to college to make a decent living,” Yeagley added. “Go learn a trade. I feel like I overcame a ton of obstacles in my life and I'm killing it.”
Explore more reasons to have a career in plumbing, whether you’re interested in entering the trade or you’re looking for a resource you can share to get more people interested.