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A Career in Plumbing: Kim Yeagley's Story

The part of plumbing that I absolutely love is going in and fixing people's problems. You go in and they're frantic. You know how freaked out people get when they can't go to the bathroom? And then when you leave, you fix their problem, you've made their day. That's a good feeling inside. I'm Kim Yeagley, and I'm the owner of Gold Canyon Plumbing in Gold Canyon, Arizona. I was never given the option of going to college. I didn't know what I was going to do when I left high school. I wasn't ready. Most kids are told, "You have to go to college. You have to have the degree." I feel like the trades gets left out a lot. So being somebody that they didn't think could graduate high school or have a future basically in life and now I'm a successful plumber, it feels really good.

I've been in the plumbing industry about 15 years. At first, I wasn't sure how guys were going to accept me, but most of the plumbers have become like family to me. People doubt that I know my plumbing. But once I start talking shop with you, that's how I win everybody over. Because I know, I know my (beep). I've earned a lot of respect in the plumbing community. Van Marcke, they just became family. I worked there for a little bit. And then when I decided to go back into plumbing, they've all supported me. They're the ones I turn to when I need help in the field.

I worked with my dad for five or six years before I met my husband. And then when I met my husband, it was a natural progression. He's a plumber. He realized I knew my tools and said, "Let's just become a team." And that's where it started. A lot of plumbers do work, what, 80 hours a week. I choose not to work 80 hours a week. I have a comfortable life. My bills are paid. I prefer to do something fun. You have to take time for yourself and do something you enjoy, and mine's the water. When your body hurts all day, it feels so good to get in the ice cold water and just soak. Listening to my husband play his ukulele, that's how he recharges. And just spending time together without the pressure of work.

Being a plumber gave us that ability to do stuff on the fly. I can go shopping, go see my grandkids, go see my parents. I have a day where I'm off, we go have fun. Family get togethers, have the kids over, grandkids running through the house. It's a nice break. It's a nice peaceful break for the day. It's important for us to teach the younger generation, you don't always have to go to college to make a decent living. Go learn a trade. Plumbers are going to probably make more money than doctors because one day, we're not going to have any plumbers. I feel like I overcame a ton of obstacles in my life and I'm killing it. It's awesome. It feels cool. I like being a plumber. I'm Kim Yeagley, and I'm a plumber.