A Career in Plumbing: Clint McCannon's Story
I feel like when I am getting back in tune or rebalancing, it's when I'm outside. In a river, trout fishing, or in a deer stand, or just hiking on a trail. I would love to spend most of my days outside. It's been very rewarding to have a job that focused on my life outside of work versus focusing on my work.
My name is Clint McCannon. I'm the owner of Cannon Plumbing here in Braselton, Georgia. I went to college and I majored in psychology while I was there. I thought I was going to be a counselor. I quickly started realizing I would be in debt 60 or 70 grand by the time I was able to start earning a living.
Doing the math on that, it just didn't seem like it made sense, so I dropped out of college. I was waiting tables and not able to make ends meet. When I first got started in plumbing I just needed a job. When I was a kid I remember thinking, "I will never be a plumber. That is the grossest job. I can't believe people would do that."
Friend of mine was working for a company in Atlanta, I went and got in their apprenticeship program. They started me at $11.00 an hour, which in 2003, that was quite a step up for me. I was able to pay my bills, not get evicted. Pay for a car. It became a career, because I stuck with it for so long, but I really just needed a job.
I didn't have any desire to start my own plumbing company for a long time. I got really tired of working for other people, so I just stepped out on my own. I feel like I jumped out of a plane without having my parachute on, but it's been a lot of fun.
I started Cannon Plumbing in May, and I met my wife the following February. We have a little boy. His name is River. He was born on our third anniversary. He loves being outside. I mean, I could be outside with him for hours and he cries every time we go in.
I'm thankful that I was able to almost fumble my way through this, and wind up where I am, because I know guys that are making six figures, but they don't see their families. I have no desire to do that. Even without working 60, 70, 80 hours a week I'm still able to make a great living, provide for my family, have a good life. We're able to go on vacations, enjoy time off.
My kids are going to be really privileged with the income that I'm able to bring in, and I'll be able to put them in a better position than I was when I was a kid. I enjoy solving problems for people. I show up at someone's house, toilet's clogged or leaking, or something's going on with the kitchen sink.
They don't know what to do, but when I leave it's fixed. I was really nervous when COVID hit. I didn't know what was going to happen. Our numbers were up 35% over last year, and it didn't slow down. It sped up.
Even when the economy is going down, people are still going to call you if their water heater goes out, if their toilet's clogged. If it's something they can't handle on their own, they're going to call you.
It's not a budget item, it's a thing they have to have. I've come to learn that plumbing is not just a job, it's not just a paycheck, lives depend on it. It's a noble profession, and I'm proud to be a part of it. My name is Clint McCannon, and I'm a plumber.