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Meet Justin Coutu, 2023 Plumbing National Championship Finalist

ETCS graphic with 2023 plumbing finalist Justin Coutu

This year, the Elite Trades Championship Series (ETCS) expanded its suite of skilled trades competitions with the addition of the inaugural Plumbing National Championship. While the ETCS has held competitions in HVAC, auto and electrical trades, this new championship celebrates and showcases the exceptional skills of plumbers across the country, and SharkBite is proud to be the category sponsor.

About the plumbing competition

There are three rounds to the championship. After hundreds entered the competition by taking a 3-minute quiz designed by Florida PHCC, 20 semi-finalists advanced to Round 2, which included a timed, at-home plumbing challenge. From there, only five plumbers emerged and will head to Tampa for the finals, which will be televised on CBS Sports Network on Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. ET.

The finalists

Ahead of the program, get to know the top 5 plumbers in the nation. One of them, Justin Coutu, works at Cropp Metcalfe — alongside another Plumbing Nationals finalist — in Fairfax, Virginia, and has been in the field for 15 years. Get to know his journey to becoming a plumber, what band he jams out to on the job, and how he feels knowing he’s one of the best plumbers in the U.S.

1. Tell us about how you first got into the trade.

I was working as a photographer, and there was a summer that was particularly slow, so a friend of mine offered to come work for him as a helper. By the end of the summer, I realized that plumbing had more of a future than photography did, so I stuck with it.

2. What is your philosophy for achieving a successful career in plumbing?

My philosophy to a successful plumbing career is to never stop learning and always stay humble. This trade is good at humbling the best of us quickly — right when you believe you have it all figured out.

3. What is something you wish you knew about the trade that upcoming plumbers should know?

I wish I would have known to work towards my licenses faster.

4. How does it feel to be considered one of the best plumbers in the U.S.?  

To be honest, it hasn’t really sunk in yet being top 5, and I don’t know that it ever will. This has been an amazing experience thus far, and I'm very excited to see what the last round of the competition is all about.

5. What’s your go to artist(s) you listen to on the job?  


You can follow Justin on Instagram at @jcoutu6594. Watch Justin and the other four finalists on CBS Sports Network on Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. ET.

Learn more about the first-ever Plumbing National Championship.