Michigan’s Skilled Trades Crisis

Plumbers, electricians, pipefitters, roofers, carpenters, ironworkers, glaziers and other skilled tradespeople are in high demand and short supply in Michigan. Shortages of unskilled workers are also on the rise.


Michigan isn’t the only state affected by a lack of skilled trades workers. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to fill vacant skilled labor positions throughout the entire United States.


A large part of the workforce problem stems from negative perceptions. Young people tend to view these professions as arduous and lacking opportunity for advancement.  High school students are encouraged to forego shop class in exchange for computer science and information technology. The elimination of vocational training in high school has played a major part in the reduction of skilled trades workers everywhere.


Help is on the horizon as Governor Rick Snyders “Marshall Plan for Talent” was announced in February 2018.  His plan is to spend more than $100 million over five years to reconstruct the way Michigan prepares its young people for the workforce.  Funding assistance programs are available through various agencies as Michigan Works, Veterans Administration, and American Indian Tribes. The Builders License Training Institute (a division of Certified Training Institute) is currently offering a nationwide scholarship program for Students and Veterans interested in becoming licensed in the building trades.


There are thousands of job openings across various industries just waiting to be filled. Such trades can prove to be quite lucrative with a median wage of more than $20 per hour.  The demand for workers continues to rise, older tradesmen are reaching retirement. If you’re looking for a long-term career, you might want to consider becoming skilled in one or two of the aforementioned trades.  If you are already established as a tradesperson, encourage the young men and women you know to become licensed. Certified Training Institute offers online Exam Prep for a variety of trades, including Michigan Plumbers and Builders. Whether you want to become licensed or maintain your license, you’ll find it on their website.


Michigan Plumbers, It’s Not Too Late!

You can STILL do your 5-Hour Code Update course ONLINE in VIDEO!
If you've missed the April 20, 2018 deadline, you can still complete your training online and receive a certificate of completion. You are not required to submit your certificates of completion to the State but you will need to have proof of completion on hand in case of an audit.

If you are audited, you'll fare better having completed your code update course a few days late than if you'd never completed the training at all. 

What happens if I don't complete the 5-Hour Code Update and I'm audited?

The state of Michigan will suspend and/or revoke your license if you are audited and you have not completed your code update.

Plumbing Code Update Requirements

Michigan plumbers must complete a 5-hour code update course by April 20, 2018If you've missed the deadline you can still complete your training. The course must correspond with the 2015 Michigan Plumbing Code Rules set forth by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs on April 20, 2017.

What is included in the Michigan plumbing code update course?

The Michigan plumbing code will cover code changes pertaining to both commercial and residential plumbers.

Where do I find a Michigan Plumbing Code Update Course?

Plumbers Training Institute offers an online, Michigan approved 5-hour Code Update course. This course is available 24/7 at your convenience for 6 months after the date of purchase.

Who submits my 5-hour code update certificate of completion to the state?

The state of Michigan does not require certificates be submitted unless you are audited. Plumbers Training Institute provides printable certificates immediately after course completion.

I have plumbing licensing questions, who should I call?

Call LARA at 517-241-9316


Interested in Marketing Your Plumbing Business Online?

Most plumbers don't want to spend a lot of money but they do want to see results. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you begin marketing to ensure you're getting the most bang for your buck.

  1. Who are you marketing to?
    Make sure you understand your customer base. This will help you avoid spending money on marketing that doesn't reach your customers. For example, do your customers visit sites like facebook? What time of day are they generally online? What types of content interests them?  If you don't know the answers to these questions there's a good chance you'll waste money when you start marketing. Consider doing some research on your area or taking a poll of current customers or social media.
  2. How do you find additional customer information?
    Free sites like Google Analytics can help you determine where your customers are coming from. This information can help you determine where to aim your marketing efforts and who is visiting your site.
  3. Do you have time to dedicate to marketing?
    Marketing takes time. You may wish to learn new programs such as Google AdWords or Analytics. You'll need to decipher the results of any research you conduct to form a plan of action. If you don't spend the time and effort to ensure your marketing efforts are working, you'll lose out on your investment and potential sales.
  4. Have you explored all of your free options?
    There are a lot of free marketing options out there from social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to local directory sites (Yelp, Google Local).  A word of caution, while setting up a social media page or getting listed on directory sites is generally free it will take time and diligence. Do not set up an account that you are not ready to maintain, visiting a company Facebook page that hasn't been updated in months gives customers the impression 

Tips for Working in Small Spaces

One of the biggest problems for many plumbers is how to get the necessary work done in a confined space. We've all found ourselves trying to maneuver in confined spaces which prohibit quick or efficient work. Here are a few tips gathered from contractors to help in even the tiniest of spaces.

  1. Plan  - Identify the best piping routes, if possible, remote locate manifolds, pumps, and zone valves. There's no need to stuff everything in the mechanical room plus this method will save you time and exasperation in the long run.
  2. Sketch the mechanical room on paper before attempting to install anything.
  3. If possible, be the first person in. Even if everyone on site tries their best to avoid inhibiting others, a small mechanical room leaves little room (literally) for everyone. Get in first and avoid having to work around others.
  4. Stay organized! One would think a small space would make it hard to lose anything but on the contrary, the smaller the space the harder it can be to locate the correct tool if you have allowed your tools to become disorganized.
  5. Look for multi-function products. A combination heating and hot water unit can save you a lot of time and space in a tiny mechanical room.


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Michigan’s Capitol Building to Receive Geothermal Heating & Cooling

Michigan's capitol building is about to receive the largest state government geothermal system in the United States. Drilling for the geothermal field is scheduled to start later this year as part of a $70 million infrastructure upgrade. The geothermal system will cost around $4-million upfront but save the state $300,000 a year on heating and cooling costs. The system will pay for itself in about a decade.

This project calls for 224 individual bores that reach 500 feet below the surface. These holes will house a vertical loop that will carry vegetable-grade glycol transfer fluid underground, where it will be heated and cooled naturally for the building. To ensure safety if there is a leak, the liquid is the same food-safe glycol used in McDonald's milkshakes.


All Michigan plumbers must complete a 5-Hour Code Update class by April 20, 2018.
Plumbers Training Institute offers this class in an easy to use, HD video, and mobile-friendly format.