Is Plumbing Hard on Your Body? (Explained)

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So you’re considering a career in plumbing? It’s a tough job.

Plumbing can be hard on your body because there are a lot of different physical hazards involved with the profession. This can include hazards that can come from cuts and fumes. Also, carrying and handling heavy pipes and tools can also take a toll on the muscles and skeletons of a plumber.


What are the disadvantages of being a plumber?

When you look at jobs that involve manual labor and skill such as plumbing, you might not think that such a job is actually putting a lot of stress on a person’s body because of how turning and installing pipes doesn’t seem too difficult to do. However, what you should know is that being a plumber also comes with a lot of disadvantages that you should know of.

Long and irregular working hours

Unlike other people who work fixed hours on a 9 to 5 schedule, the same cannot be said when it comes to the working hours of most plumbers. That’s because plumbers are on an on-call basis in the sense that they will have to work whenever they are needed.

They can’t just dictate when they want to work because they won’t be able to make a proper living if they set their working hours.

Meanwhile, plumbers may also end up working long hours especially when there is a need to finish a job. As such, it won’t be impossible to see a plumber working 10 to 12 hours in a single day or even more than that depending on the demands of the job.


The problem with clients is that they don’t really know how tough a plumber’s job is because they don’t understand the intricacies that go into what a plumber does on a regular basis.

This means that they constantly put plumbers under pressure to try to finish a job as quickly as possible not only because they want to be able to use their plumbing right away but also because of how plumbers work on a per-hour basis.

The longer a plumber works, the more than the client needs to pay him. But clients don’t really understand why certain jobs need to take as long as they do and why plumbers just can’t rush what they are doing.


Unlike other jobs that only require you to show up and do whatever you are told to do just like a robot, a plumber’s profession relies a lot on his reputation.

That’s because plumbers that do a good job tend to advertise their services based on a job that was done really well as their clients will pass their names from one person to another.

In that case, one small mistake in the usual 9 to 5 job might not cost you your job but a simple mistake that drew the ire of a client may end up costing a plumber his reputation.


Another one of the big problems when it comes to being a plumber can be attributed to possible lawsuits.

While lawsuits aren’t things that the usual employee experience while he is doing his job, this can happen quite often when it comes to plumbers because of how some clients believe that certain jobs that were not done well cost them more damages than they can think of.

However, not all plumbers can actually anticipate the extent of the damage that a failed work or a mistake can do, and that is why plumbers are at risk of lawsuits.

It takes a while to be a plumber

While there is no formal training that a plumber has to go through, he needs to undergo an apprenticeship program while working under seasoned plumbers through a plumbing company or a union of plumbers.

This can take somewhere between 4 to 6 years depending on how your apprenticeship goes. Of course, to be a licensed plumber, you also need to take a written test that can be quite difficult if you didn’t go through a good learning experience while you were still an apprentice.

What are the advantages of being a plumber?

While plumbing is indeed difficult, it still comes with some advantages that may actually attract people to get into the profession.

You are your own boss

While you are going to be working under clients if you are a plumber, you are most likely your own boss because there is no one telling you what to do while you are on the job.

Even your clients can’t tell you how to do your job because you are the one who knows what needs to be done and how you need things to be done.

No expensive training or college diplomas needed

Basically speaking, plenty of professionals may be earning well in their jobs but a huge chunk of what they earn goes into the student loans they took out just to earn their college degrees.

This isn’t something that a plumber will experience because plumbers have no formal training schools as they learn on the field as apprentices to other plumbers.

You will be forced to be physically fit

Plumbing requires a certain level of fitness from you because of how physically demanding the job can be. As such, if you are a plumber, there is no excuse why you can’t be fit as the job itself burns a lot of calories and tones certain muscles that you will be needing on a regular basis.

The pay is quite good

Plumbing is not a low-paying job because it actually comes with exceptional pay. An average plumber’s salary is somewhere close to $50,000 a year, which is quite good in comparison to most other professionals out there.

That means that you won’t struggle to pay off your bills and mortgages if you are a plumber.

You get to work on your own plumbing

If you are a plumber, then there is no need for you to actually call a plumber if you want work to be done on your home’s plumbing. Certain problems regarding your home’s plumbing can be remedied without the need to call another professional because you yourself can do it.


Is being a plumber physically demanding?

Yes, being a plumber is actually physically demanding because there are a lot of things that will require you to be physically fit when it comes to this profession. That is why it is rare for us to see plumbers that are grossly overweight or are actually too weak to handle the demands of being a plumber.

Some of the physically demanding stuff that a plumber does on a regular basis involves carrying different equipment, tools, and pipes. And plumbers often do this themselves as they rarely work as a team unless there really is a need to.

Meanwhile, something as simple as using a wrench to adjust and tighten the pipes can also be tough on your muscles because of how tough some pipes can be. This means that you need to be strong enough to handle the job.

But, of course, the most physically demanding part about being a plumber involves the usual aspects that you don’t often see in most office workers.

While the common 9 to 5 employee sits on his chair in front of his computer, plumbers spend an entire day on their feet while constantly bending and hunching their backs.

This can be very demanding on a plumber’s overall health especially if he doesn’t train his leg and back muscles well enough to handle the task of being a plumber.

What are the dangers of being a plumber?

On top of all of the physical demands of being a plumber, there are also risks that can make the entire profession dangerous for any ordinary person. Of course, they are also dangerous and hazardous to the plumbers themselves. These include:

  • Bending, carrying, or lifting heavy objects that can end up straining different muscles or causing muscular or skeletal injuries.
  • Crawling into cramped and awkward spaces can be difficult on the body.
  • Climbing ladders and even walking on wet floors can cause slips, trips, and falls, which can lead to injuries.
  • Operating different tools that may cause injuries if you are not careful enough with how you handle them.
  • Toxic fumes and odors coming from fecal matter and decaying food matter stuck in clogged toilets and pipes.
  • Extreme temperatures that some plumbers have to go through when they are working under different kinds of environmental conditions.


Being a plumber is something that not everyone can do because of all the different hazards and dangers that go into the profession.

That’s why plumbers have to learn from years of experience on the field so that they will actually know how to do the job in a manner that is as safe and as risk-free as possible.

If the profession of plumbing isn’t hard on the body, anybody else can do it.