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Women's History Month Celebrates Women in the Plumbing Industry

Women's history includes breakthrough careers that were once male-dominated. The plumbing industry is no exception. Over the past several decades, training programs have noticed an increase in women plumbers nationwide. 

Women Plumbers Today

plumbingApproximately 5% of all plumbers in America are women. While once considered a man's profession, women are interested in plumbing for several reasons. Plumbers can earn up to $103,000 per year with the right qualifications. With a specific skill set and strong motivation, women from all over the country have decided to join the trade as trained technicians.

Becoming a plumber does not mandate years of college tuition. It allows students to learn by enrolling in a vocational school or community college. Hands-on training is provided, and plumbers can rise through the ranks to earn a higher income. Many women today have chosen to start their businesses for more freedom and flexibility.

Unlike many other professions, plumbing provides job security. Women can now make the same amount of money as men while working in the industry.

What Was the Ladies Auxiliary Committee for the National Association of Plumbers?

In 1858 an outbreak of hot weather caused untreated wastewater to infect a growing number of citizens. To combat disease many women chose to become plumbers as a way to combat disease and illness. The Ladies Auxiliary Committee for the National Association of Plumbers championed women plumbers in addition to women's rights as a whole.

Originally the organization was formed for housewives of local plumbers. It was considered a social event where women could get to know each other. What started as a friendly social group eventually evolved into an activism group that supported women's right to vote and the Family and Medical Leave Act. 

In the 1930s, they played a hand in the importance of public sanitation. They were able to help create clean and safe bathrooms for public spaces such as gas stations, offices, and restaurants. The committee is part of a larger organization called the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors' National Auxiliary. 

The First Female Master Plumber

lillianLillian Ann Baumbach became the first master plumber in America. In 1950 she began her career unclogging new pipe systems, but soon she would find herself interviewed by Walter Cronkite. She discussed what the general career was like, as well as her experiences as a woman in the field. 

Known by some as the "Pretty Plumber," Lillian Baumbach was a pin-up model during the Korean War. She received dozens of fan letters after becoming a plumber at age 21 and had over 200 pen pals. 

Lillian Baumbach always knew she wanted to become a plumber. In part, this was due to her childhood. In the 1930's Mrs. Baumbach went on service calls with her father, who worked with piping systems at the time. She would later become her father's business's service manager and treasurer.  

The number of female plumbers has dramatically increased since the 1950s. According to the Institute of Women's Policy Research, there has been a 70% increase in women plumbers from 2018 to 2019. The numbers continue to rise. 

About Bud's Plumbing & Repair Service

Bud's Plumbing & Repair Service has provided 24/7 plumbing services in Evansville, IN since 1920. Their friendly and reliable staff will always take the time to explain the issue, offer personalized service, and only start a project after providing upfront pricing and estimates. From emergency plumbing service to routine care, homeowners can rely on Bud's Plumbing & Repair Service today.

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