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A Career in Plumbing: Anna Pearson's Story

The trades is not butt crack, plunger, you know smelly, old, whatever. I really wanted to just show the world that it's all sorts of different people from all sorts of different walks of life. All I'm doing is documenting my journey, but I didn't expect to make such an impact the way that I have. Genuinely, I want people to join the trades. I want it to be a growing industry again.

Hi, my name is Anna, also known as the Plumbing Princess, and I am a plumbing apprentice in commercial new construction.

We are currently in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Las Vegas, Nevada. We're at one of my favorite hiking spots right now. I don't like sitting in a desk all day. 40 hours out of my life, every single week, being stuck in a cubicle is just my actual nightmare. I like recreational activities. I like staying active.

So I got into plumbing by telling my dad that I was struggling. I went through a divorce and I was working in veterinary medicine, and even though I loved it, it just wasn't paying me enough to support myself. I called on my dad who is a mentor to me. He's my best friend. He's a master plumber and a business owner, and he told me, well, think about this realistically. You've tried college, and you've tried selling insurance, and you've tried retail. You tried all sorts of things and nothing's ever really stuck. Why don't you try a trade?

I researched it for a few days. I saw nothing but good things, and so I decided to go ahead and take the plunge. All of my friends were really surprised. Maybe in their minds they were thinking this is a last resort, or I didn't think it through like, oh, that's really gross, why are you doing that? But now that they see me doing it and killing it, they're super-duper supportive.

What I love most about plumbing is that it's not your normal you go to college, you get a white collar job, nine to five, you go home, "Hi honey, I'm home," see the kids, go to sleep. It's an adventure. Every day I learn something new. You don't get to say that about a lot of other industries or fields of work.

Outside of plumbing, I really enjoy getting out and about. I love hiking. I like camping. I love finding new places to eat. I just like to get out and meet new people and have fun and do things. I do try to hit the gym two to three times a week at the least to just stay active, stay healthy and just stay strong. When you are in a trade, when you're on your feet all day, it's very tiring. You've been out in the heat. You've been in the sun. You need to be strong and healthy. You can't have a whole fast food diet, no sleep, caffeine, no water, because you're going to burn your body out very fast.

So I want to become a journeyman, of course. It's four years. Four years seems like a long time, but when you're out there in the field it's really not. With plumbing or with any trade you're paid to learn. When I was in college, I was broke and starving and very stressed. Now I get to have my full-time job and my college all in one. Everything that I'm learning, I'm going to be using, and I'm getting paid to do it.

For those people that are maybe a little lost or those people like myself, that schooling was never their strong suit, oh man, hands down, go into a trade. You're not going to regret it. You will always have a job. You're always going to be learning something new. You're going to be able to pay your bills, support your family, buy a home if you haven't already bought one, and create a legacy. And that's really what plumbing and the trades in general do for people.

My name is Anna and I'm a plumber.