After working in plumbing for 27 years, our Master Plumber Mike Boeddeker has truly seen it all. Clogged drains, leaky pipes, overflowing toilets – it’s all part of the job description. However, Mike says the “gross” parts of the job don’t happen nearly as often as people think.
“Plumbers deal with water that we drink more than the water we flush away,” adds Mike, who works out of the Bears Home Solutions office in Fargo, ND.
Anything that uses water in a home requires a professional plumber like Mike, who knows how to install, maintain, and repair it. To learn more about what a day in the life of a plumber really entails, our team sat down to chat with Mike. Here’s what he had to say!
“There is no typical workday.”
Many aspects of the plumbing profession are unpredictable. There is no “typical” workday, at least from Mike’s experience as a third-generation plumber.
Mike started with our team in 2018, back when the Bears Home Solutions plumbing department was affiliated with another company before we officially added it to our own brand in spring of 2022. However, Mike’s professional journey as a plumber started nearly three decades ago, when he and his father operated a plumbing business in the Twin Cities area for 18 years.
“I went into the profession with the same misconceptions that many people have about plumbing,” Mike says. “In reality, plumbers are more involved with water quality, the type of water we drink, how we heat our water, and anything people use in their houses that involves water.”
But every day is different. Usually, Mike only knows that the first call of the day starts at 8 AM. He also can anticipate that any appointments are booked in two-hour windows, to give him ample time to diagnose and fix plumbing issues for customers. However, schedule changes happen if there’s a particularly time-consuming (and often messy) job to finish.
To prepare for whatever comes his way, Mike always makes sure to carve out time in his morning for a cup of coffee and a workout at the gym.
“As a plumber, your tool is your body, so you definitely need to take care of it,” says Mike.
Although plumbers don’t always know when they’ll be home, modern technology has helped Mike and other plumbers on our staff get back to their families sooner than in the past.
“Software has improved a lot over the years,” Mike adds. “Since we’re able to use iPads in our trucks, the day does often end at 5 PM because we’re able to do more in less time.”
On his days off, you’ll find Mike coaching CrossFit, attending his daughter’s theatre performances, or spending time with his family.
“It’s about taking care of people.”
It’s no secret that plumbers clean up and fix a lot of messes. But it’s a rewarding profession since you get to help people solve problems every day, Mike says.
“I like being in a profession that takes care of people,” he says, adding that a lot of the job involves educating homeowners about their essential plumbing equipment. “I’m in a ton of houses where I’ll ask people where their water heaters are, or where their main water drain is located. Many of them don’t know, so it’s a chance to fill them in on the basics.”
But in most cases, fixing any plumbing-related issue is best left to the pros. This helps prevent further damage to a customer’s plumbing equipment, or even their home, which can get expensive.
“One of the things I appreciate about working for Bears Home Solutions is that we always give the cost estimate before we begin,” Mike says. “We strive to take care of as many people as we can each day.”
“You can make a good living.”
In addition to helping people, another major perk of working as a plumber is the good living you can make.
“I feel like the plumbing profession is joked about a lot, but it’s nowhere near as disgusting as people think it is,” Mike says. “It’s a good career.”
Mike also pointed out that any plumber in a city is required to be licensed. Becoming a Master Plumber – like he is today – can take up to a decade.
“A lot of training and education goes into being a plumber,” Mike says, adding that fortunately a lot of the training is paid and on the job. “I’m grateful that I’m able to support my family with what I do.”
Thank you, Mike, for taking the time to enlighten our readers about what it’s really like to work as a plumber! We’re grateful to have an expert like you on our plumbing team.