Career Path – Doctor Vs. Plumber, Who Has The Advantage?

When it comes to career path, there is none more prestigious than doctor. Doctors help us when we are sick, they save lives, and they conduct valuable research. They also happen to be top earners in our society. While some people are drawn to the medical industry because they like to help people, others enter the medical world because of its sound financial earning potential. With that being said, one has to consider if being a doctor actually pays off, or would the individual be better off becoming a plumber? While being a plumber isn’t nearly as prestigious as being a doctor, plumbers have the ability to earn a good income and they also extremely important for the success of a society. After all it is said that the way you measure the success of a society, is through its plumbing infrastructure. Without clean water and a way to properly sanitize and dispose of waste water, living conditions falter and sickness runs rampant. However, that is a topic for another day. For the purpose of today’s blog, we will be analyzing two career paths, doctor vs. plumber and who has the advantage.

Image Credit: Dr. Pamela Wible MD https://bit.ly/2Wi0Vxi

Doctor Vs. Plumber: Round 1 – Schooling

When it comes to becoming a doctor, a lot, and we mean a lot of schooling is required. For starters to become a doctor, one must first obtain a 4 year undergraduate degree. Followed by 4 years of medical school, and 3-7 years of residency training. Now depending of if the doctor wants to specialize in a particular field like neurology or cardiology, that might require and addition 2-3 years of fellowship. For some who have that passion, this may not seem like an eternity, but for others, this may be a deterrent. Another thing to consider is the doctor take on student loan debt, because becoming a doctor can cost around 50k a semester for med school. By the time the doctor is out of med school, they could have incurred between $180k – $200k in student loan debt.

 

In order to become a plumber, one starts out as an apprentice. The apprenticeship usually lasts 4-5 years. Under the apprenticeship, the apprentice learns under journeymen and master plumbers the tricks of the trade with real hands on experience. Most states require a professional license in order to become a plumber. Requirements to obtain a license vary and could include additional in class education requirements that typically required 500-750 hours. These include safety courses from OSHA, first aid and CPR training, and also courses related the blueprint reading and plumbing basics. Once the apprenticeship is over and a license is obtain, plumbers can work as journeymen. After a few years of on the job experience, they can apply to become a master plumber. The good thing about apprenticeships is that they are paid, and the required courses usually run around $800-$1,000.

 

Doctor Vs. Plumber – Round 2 – Income Potential

Most doctors earn a substantial income. Especially those that specialize in advanced fields like cardiology. The average income for a doctor during their residency is between $50k – $70k annually. Once the 3-7 years of residency is complete and they have completed the required fellowship for their residency, they usually see a significant pay increase around $200k – $300k per year, more if they go into private practice. While this may seem like a dream come true, one caveat is the missed income during school years, and the amount of debt that has to be repaid.

 

For plumbers entering an apprenticeship, they get paid right away. While they only earn around $12 an hour initially, it is hands on training that is paid. After their apprenticeship is over, journeymane usually earn  around $50k per year. This increases to over $100k once they gain experience and become a master plumber. Now, if the plumber decides to open his own shop, and hires other plumbers, his income earning potential significantly increases and could surpass $300k per year.

Doctor Vs. Plumber – Round 3 – Potential to Invest

Since the doctor has a lot of student loan debt to pay off and they don’t really start making money until they are over 8 years in, their ability to start investing in their future is delayed. While they can more than make up for it once they pay off their student loans, their break even point is a lot latter in life. While plumbers, don’t have any initial debt to pay off, they can start investing a portion of their income right away. If they continue to invest, starting at a young age, the compound interest could allow them to retire earlier than the doctor.

 

Doctor Vs. Plumber – Round 4 – Quality of Life

While doctors enjoy a nice income, there are a lot more social pressures on them to head a certain lifestyle. This can really add up over time, making the doctors cost of living higher than the plumbers. The social pressures on a plumber are a lot less, while he he can afford an extravagant lifestyle, it isn’t expected. Then you have to consider time. Doctors are always on call, and they can work long hours. This is time spent away from their family and loved ones. While plumbers do work long hours, there is a little bit more freedom and less pressure and demand.

 

Bottom line is, if you are looking for a career that pays well and is rewarding, consider becoming a plumber. Plumbers don’t have to undergo a lot of rigorous training, can start earning good income right away, and have the potential to earn 6 figures. If you are looking for a rewarding career in the plumbing industry, you’ve come to the right place. Rooter Hero is growing fast, and looking for motivated individuals to join the team. Learn more here.

 

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