Being a plumber runs in the family for Shawn Powell, whose father and grandfather were both plumbers.
So it's not surprising that Powell, a master plumber for Superior Water and Air in the Salt Lake City area, recommends this path to anyone — that is, anyone who isn't afraid of hard work.
"I personally believe that there's a war being waged against hard work. Work has become somehow a bad thing. But any trade that you work hard in, you will be able to succeed and provide a good living and have a great life," he says.
There's good money to be made in this always-in-demand trade, says Powell. Plus, there’s the satisfaction of a job well-done.
A love of hands-on work steered him into this line of work. That's also what keeps him there.
"I tell people I'm like the Bill Russell of plumbing in that I get in the trenches with people," he says, referring to the Hall of Fame basketball player who also served as a player-coach for three years for the Boston Celtics. "I don't just tell them how to do it. I like to show them the way that I've been trained and things that I've learned along the way. It's a lot of fun for me to be in the field. (I don't have as much fun on my in-the-office days!)"
It's also an opportunity to connect with the people he supervises and the customers they serve.
"The guys that I work with — being part of their progression, helping them to grow, and then also helping customers who call us with a difficult situation. We remedy it! That's something I take real satisfaction in."
Of course, there’s sometimes a downside to enjoying your job so much.
"I'd like to say that I have a set time that I usually go home, but it varies. My wife could attest to that!"