100% Effort in the Plumbing Trade

Like many young men in high school, Gabe played sports and hoped that his athletic talent would be his key to a college education. While he didn’t know what his major would be, he was sure of one thing: he had no desire to sit at a desk or spend his days in an office. Gabe planned to build a career that guaranteed physical activity.

However, it wasn’t until a career fair at school that Gabe discovered his future: plumbing.

Coincidentally, the presenter of that topic would turn out to be Gabe’s future employer – Mike Barker, owner of Barker & Sons Plumbing in Orange County, California.

According to Gabe, “I decided I was going to pursue plumbing after listening to Mike at the career day presentation. Everything he mentioned gained my full attention and interest.” As it turned out, plumbing also runs in the family. “I didn’t know until after I started at Barker & Sons, that my maternal grandfather was also a plumber,” Gabe shared.

For those new to the industry, Barker & Sons Plumbing provides a month-long “inside look” at the plumbing trade through their ride-along program. “We encourage those interested in the trade to ride with a service technician for a month,” explains Barker. “This allows those individuals new to plumbing to find out if the trade is a fit for them, and our company pays those participants minimum wage during the program. It has been a great recruiting program for the team.”

As Barker shared, individuals who make great plumbers exhibit the following three traits: excellent interpersonal communication, the ability to diagnose problems, and the technical know-how to get the job done. Fulfilling those qualifications, Gabe has been a great addition to the Barker & Sons team.

Now three years at the company, Gabe is a service technician specializing in drain and plumbing service calls and is in his third year of a four-year apprenticeship program. He will graduate next year. “My favorite part of the job would have to be the jobs themselves. In a way, it’s similar to putting together a puzzle. As a plumber, you’re working with homeowners to fix a problem with plumbing codes and regulations. I also enjoy meeting new people and going somewhere different everyday.”

When asked for a piece of advice, Gabe shared, “For other young adults, like myself, who are interested in the trades, I’ll tell them to go in with a good mindset, be willing to help, and give it 100% effort.”