A Plumber's Journey: Brittany DeRosa
When people think of plumbers, they think of like, oh, you're playing with poop all day. People view them as low on the totem pole, but you don't realize how important it is. My dad has this saying, if you have a hundred thousand dollars house or a million dollar house, they're both worthless without plumbing.
Joining the Family Business
Hi, I am Brittany DeRosa. We're in St. Pete, Florida, and I'm part of Scott's Plumbing. Me and my father, it's a company of two. So my dad started Scott's Plumbing in 2001, and so when I graduated high school, I was working with him like three or four days a week and taking college classes at night. Stopped taking my college classes at night because I wasn't quite sure what I was doing, and he was like, you can keep working if you want, or you can go find something else to do. And I was like, I actually really enjoy this. This is what I want to do. So he was like, all right, let's go.
Honestly, me and my dad have a great relationship. We're like best friends when we're not working, we're hanging out. We'll go grab dinner or go grab a beer together. I really love plants. I plant plants like a total nerd, and then my chickens are my new hobby. That's been a time consuming thing. Every free moment I'm making something for them or whatever, and then I'd go to my workouts and I feel like there's not much time for much else.
I love the satisfaction of fixing something, changing out a toilet, swapping out a water heater.
It's super nice going into someone's house and they are thinking the absolute worst. Like, oh my gosh, my whole house is going to have to be replumbed or something, and you're there for five minutes and then Good to go. It's insanely satisfying for me. The stereotypes are slowly changing. I feel like people assume you're going to be like a guy with a beard and like tatted up or something, and I get to the door and they're like, you look nothing like I expected a girl plumber to look. And I'm like, well, what did you expect? And they're like, well, I didn't expect you to be small. All the tight spaces that I'm in, I'm like, even having smaller hands is helpful in so many things. I can reach in little spots.
The Benefits of a Career in Plumbing
Anybody that I talk to that has young kids and, they're like, 'oh, they don't know what they want to do', I'm like, get them to try out a trade. Any trade, plumbing, electrical, AC, especially when they're not super into school, school is not for everybody, and it takes a lot. It takes a lot of patience, time, money. I know of a few people who have gone to college leave with a hundred thousand dollars in debt and then end up working at the grocery store because they can't get a job in their field to be able to keep up with those student loans. I luckily didn't have any debt from the two years of classes that I took, but I was able to go and make a real living right away. Anybody in any trade is so needed. If you don't want to deal with people, go on the commercial side. If you don't want to deal with the heavy lifting, go on the residential side, you have unlimited options in every field as opposed to getting a degree in a specific thing, and then you're kind of stuck in that realm.
For me, seeing my father in the plumbing field, For basically my entire life, I kind of had an expectation, but now as time goes on, it's definitely exceeded what I expected.