• Geoff Burke

How Plumbing Service Companies Pay Their Employees



We’re going to get away from the nitty-gritty of the plumbing systems today and give you a bit of insight into how the employee pay structures in the service plumbing industry works. You may be a bit surprised!


Having to call a plumber into your home can be a stressful endeavour. You already know you’re going to have to fork over your hard-earned cash, as tradespeople are expensive! It doesn’t help that the industry has a terrible reputation for taking advantage of people through the use of scare tactics and other not-so-nice sales ploys. As you may have guessed, many companies are not working with the best interests of the customer in mind. Often, this is due to how a company is paying it’s employees!


Service plumbing companies pay their employees in one of two ways: an hourly wage or commission. You might be saying hold on… commission? You read that right.


Unknown to many, there are quite a few companies that pay their plumbers using a commission model, meaning they only make money on the jobs they sell; they aren’t paid to drive between jobs, quote work, etc.


I’m sure this is at least a little surprising to hear. Understandably, it isn’t nice to know that someone is coming into your home, in your time of need, with a goal of selling you anything they can. Just the same as a car salesman, the plumber will find the best way for you to part with your money. Unnecessary add-ons, intentionally misinterpreting the issues, over selling – all things you don’t want to have to navigate through. These are where the typical stories you hear of calling someone in for a blocked toilet on the second floor leads to a full basement dig come from.


On the other side of the coin are companies that pay their employees an hourly wage. These employees are paid from the time they clock in to the time they clock out. While they’re driving, at the suppliers, fixing your issues, or anything in between, they are collecting pay. Since they are not in the sales mindset all of the time, this leads to solutions that tend to be much fairer to the customer. If the situation calls for it, these plumbers will still suggest add-ons, but it is much more likely that they are doing so with the best interest of the customer in mind.


Next time you call a company out to your home, feel free to ask what structure they use. I’m quite sure you will get some squirmy, awkward answers, but at least you’ll know what you’re in for!

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