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 to work and they're frantic, people get freaked out when they can't go to the bathroom. When you leave, you fix their problem, and 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.
Kim's Start in the Plumbing Industry
I was never given the option of going to college and 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 a degree." The trades get left out a lot. Being somebody that people thought could never graduate high school or have a future, who now is a successful plumber, feels really good.
I've been in the plumbing industry for 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, I win them over. I've earned a lot of respect in the plumbing community.
Van Marcke was like family; I worked there for a little bit. And then when I decided to go back into plumbing, they 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.
Work-Life Balance as a Plumber
A lot of plumbers work about 80 hours a week. I choose not to work so many hours and I have a comfortable life. My bills are paid, and 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 while listening to my husband play his ukulele, that's how he recharges. It's nice to just spend time together without the pressure of work.
Being a plumber gave us the ability to do stuff on the fly. I can go shopping, see my grandkids, and see my parents. When I have a day off, we go have fun, go to family get-togethers, and have the kids over with our grandkids running through the house. It's a nice peaceful break for the day.
It's important for us to teach the younger generation that 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. I like being a plumber.
I'm Kim Yeagley, and I'm a plumber.