Posted by Kindra K.
June 28, 2019
Whether you own a plumbing business and are trying to scope out the competition or you’re trying to get a job in the plumbing industry, knowing what companies have plumbing job openings can be useful.
In the third installment of our series on the national plumbing job market using data collected from Indeed.com (read about How Much Does a Plumber Make in Every State), we took a look at the companies that are driving demand for plumbing roles around the country.
First, a bit of context about the data that our team collected.
When collecting the data, we took into account whether plumbing appeared in both the job title and job description. This means that some jobs could have plumbing duties while not being exclusively plumbing jobs (such as a hotel maintenance engineer). Nevertheless, we did not exclude these jobs from the data since they include plumbing responsibilities.
We did, however, exclude job listings from both The Home Depot and Lowes. This is due to the fact that in many cases, the job listings aren’t for actual plumbers but simply for someone who will be selling plumbing supplies.
With that in mind, let’s look at what the data had to say.
Which companies have the most plumbing jobs open in 2019?
Looking at job listings across all 50 states, the 13 companies with the most plumbing job listings are:
Interestingly, of the top five companies with the most job listings, only one is exclusively a plumbing company (Roto-Rooter). The others are either property developers/managers (CBRE, JLL, WinnCompanies), hotels (Marriott International), or retail companies (Sears, Roebuck, and Co.).
This suggests that if you want to get a plumbing job, you shouldn’t limit your search to only plumbing companies.
Likewise, it suggests that those of you running your own shop may want to look outside the box when searching for new hires; your next great crew member might come to you from a hotel rather than a home service business.
In fact, you may be better off looking outside the plumbing industry proper and instead focusing on companies that utilize plumbers on a consistent basis, such as property development companies.
Looking beyond just the raw data, we wanted to get some first-hand knowledge about who’s hiring and what roles are in demand across the country. So, we did some manual research into the listings on Indeed and pulled some specific examples of the job listings being posted.
What types of plumbing jobs are being listed by the above companies?
Here are some examples of job descriptions pulled directly from Indeed.
CBRE Group, Inc. is an American commercial real estate services and investment firm that offers a broad range of services, including facilities, transaction, and project management, property management, as well as a variety of other services.
They currently have over 80,000 employees.
Building Engineer, Plumbing: The Building Engineer, Plumbing brings together a variety of skills in order to perform both preventative maintenance as well as repairs on buildings, industrial systems, vehicles, equipment, and grounds. They must be proficient in a number of skills, including carpentry, plumbing, electrical, painting, roofing, etc.
Union Apprentice Engineer: The Union Apprentice Engineer is responsible for performing general maintenance and corrective on buildings, industrial systems, equipment, and grounds. Like the building engineer, they must also possess a variety of skills such as plumbing, electrical, painting, roofing, carpentry, etc.
What’s clear is that both of these jobs are “jack of all trades” sort of jobs in which the employee must not only have plumbing skills, but also must possess other handyman skills as well. They appear to more general roles, as opposed to specialized roles.
This indicates that if you’re a plumber seeking a job at CBRE, it will be extremely helpful if you have other supplemental skills as well.
Marriott International is an American multinational diversified hospitality company that manages and franchises a broad portfolio of hotels and related lodging facilities.
They currently have approximately 175,000 employees worldwide.
Two examples of jobs listed by Marriott International include:
Resort Engineer 1: The Resort Engineer 1 is responsible for a wide range of tasks. They must be able to troubleshoot and perform advanced preventative maintenance, perform installations and repairs on HVAC systems, and also perform electrical, plumbing, mechanical, carpentry, flooring, and painting work.
Building Engineer 1: A Building Engineer 1 must be a jack of all trades who can respond to and resolve any guest requests. These requests include minor plumbing problems such as clogged drains and toilets, as well as leaky spigots and faucets. They must also have the ability to perform minor repairs such as tightening loose toilet seats and patching holes in the walls.
Much like the CBRE job postings, the jobs categorized as “plumbing” posted by Marriott International tend to be more general handyman jobs than plumbing jobs proper. A variety of skills are required to be qualified for the positions and the employee must be willing to perform a variety of tasks that go far beyond just plumbing.
Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Water Cleanup Service provides plumbing repair, sewer & drain services and water damage cleanup services to residential and commercial customers. They also manufacture the company's patented, proprietary Roto-Rooter sewer and drain cleaning machines as well as sewer and drain cleaning cables and blades.
Roto-Rooter has approximately 3,600 employees.
Plumber Apprentice: The Plumber Apprentice performs both plumbing repairs and installations for residential and commercial customers. They work alongside licensed plumbers to perform the repairs, as well as learn how to provide cost estimates. They also learn how to document estimates and invoices and collect payment for services.
Licensed Plumber: Our plumbers perform plumbing services ranging from simple faucet repairs to water heater installations and plumbing system replacements for both residential and commercial customers.
Unlike CBRE and Marriott International, which primarily hire for general handyman positions, Roto-Rooter specifically hires plumbers. These plumbers only perform plumbing related tasks and are not required to do other tasks such as carpentry or painting.
If you’re looking for a job that is specific only to the plumbing industry, Roto-Rooter might be a good fit.
Sears, Roebuck and Company, typically known as “Sears”, is a chain of department stores.
They currently have approximately 89,000 employees.
Some of the jobs listed by Sears include:
Installation Assistant: When a customer purchases an appliance and has it delivered to their home, an Installer and Installation Assistant perform the installation. The Installation Assistant is responsible for helping the installer to deliver and provide basic installation of appliance and plumbing products.
Service Technician, Refrigeration and Appliance Repair: Residential Appliance/Refrigeration Repair Technicians perform repairs on refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, stoves, microwaves, trash compactors, and a variety of other home appliances.
The “plumbing” jobs listed by Sears are a bit unique in that they are primarily related to the installation and repair of appliances. Some of these appliances are specifically plumbing related, such as dishwashers, while others are completely unrelated, such as microwaves.
If you’re in the hunt for plumbing job specifically, you may have better luck with a company like Roto-Rooter. However, if you don’t mind working on a variety of tasks, some plumbing and some more general, Sears may be a great fit.
If you’re considering taking a job at a company, you want to know what the company environment is like, what it’s like working for the company, whether management is supportive, etc.
In other words, you want to get a sense of what it will be like for you if you work for a particular company.
To give you a sense of what it might be like to work for some of the aforementioned companies, here are some individual reviews from the top 5 companies.
Overall, CBRE appears to be a fairly good place to work, with the average review score being between 3.3 and 3.7 (out of 5).
The reviews seem to indicate the company culture is a great strength. On the negative side, they also suggest that management is not always clear on communication and that employees feel distant from management most of the time.
A review was posted by a building engineer who rated CBRE 4-stars. He said, “The only real negative is the same problem any contractor has and that's mission creep. Management agrees to do things outside the scope of the contract to keep the customer happy.” As noted, this review seems to indicate that there is a disconnect between CBRE management and their employees.
The Marriott scores indicate that it is a relatively good company to work for.
The positive reviews suggest that Marriott places a high priority on helping employees advance their careers, and that the company culture is excellent. The negative reviews indicate that, for some, there appears to be a disconnect between employees and management.
As an example of a positive review, A chief engineer from Nashville said, “Great company to learn and grow your professional career, with so many opportunities worldwide there is always a way to advance.”
On the other side of the coin, a maintenance technician gave the company a scathing 1-star review, saying “Management is not there to help you. Whatever you do it will not be appreciated. Don't trust anything anybody says there. Don't waste your time definitely better places to work will treat you a lot better.”
Sears, Roebuck, and Co.:
With scores ranging from 2.9 to 3.4, Sears seems to be an average place to work. Some employees seem to really love their jobs, while others find them frustrating, which is what you would expect in any company with thousands of employees.
For example, one A&E factory service technician gave the company a 5-star review said, “The job is very enjoyable everyday and meeting the customers is a pleasure.” It seems that the variety of the job plays a big factor in his overall enjoyment of it.
However, a frustrated A&E factory service technician had this to say about the job: “Job pools were overbooked, had to drive all over town, didn't get home till 1 AM at times from repairs, got put on jobs that were severely broken without competent help.” Clearly, this technician didn’t feel like he got the support that he needed from the company.
Overall, Roto-Rooter scored right about in the middle. The main problem that some employees seem to have with the company is that not all of the jobs have guaranteed payment. For example, some employees are commission based. Additionally, the plumbers must give free estimates, which can mean they spend time at a location yet never get paid.
A somewhat frustrated employee demonstrated this point when he said, “Jobs every week aren’t guaranteed, some weeks you’re slammed and can’t get to all the calls and others you’re sitting around on standby waiting for jobs. Sometimes going home with $0 because the pay scale is commission based.”
JLL scored a bit higher than the other companies, with scores ranging from 3.3 to 3.6. Overall, the company seems to provide good salaries, a supportive company culture, as well as good work/life balance.
There does seem to be some criticism of management, which certainly isn’t atypical but should at least be on your radar if you’re considering taking a job at the company. It also seems that employees have some difficulty advancing their careers, which is another factor to consider.
For example, a retail maintenance mechanic from Everett, WA rated JLL 4-stars. He said, “If I did have a criticism it would allude to the size of the company and difficulty in advancement for lower level employees.”
To give you a general sense of what it’s like working for all of the companies we listed, here is the aggregate review data from Indeed.
These scores take into account all the reviews left by current and former employees and create five distinct scores, each representing a different aspect of the company.
Note: There were not enough reviews for Assertive Property Management to calculate a reliable average score.
Based on the scores above, the employer with the highest overall ratings is the Army National Guard, with Marriott International coming in second place. The worst company to work for is Millennia Housing Management, Ltd, and the second worst is Pinnacle Property Management Services.
The data above suggests both good news and bad news. The good news is that across the United States there are a large number of plumbing jobs available. If you’re hoping to be a plumber, now is a good time to start looking for a job.
The bad news is that working for some of the larger corporations has its downsides, as some of the reviews and scores show. However, the reviews also indicate that many times, a job is simply what you make of it. Some people have wonderful experiences with large companies like Marriott, while others have less than optimal experiences.
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