Have you been wondering how to ask for a raise as a plumber? Perhaps you never even asked for a raise. You would be surprised how many plumbers have never asked for a higher salary because they feel awkward about discussing this. Some plumbers worry that they will sound entitled or greedy. Some are just unsure about how to ask for a raise at all.
However, asking your boss for a better salary is part of having work. If you feel uncomfortable doing this, you may be giving up a large amount of cash just to avoid a five-minute conversation. For this reason, it is a good idea to know how to ask for a raise as a plumber and to have the confidence to do so.
How to ask for a raise as a plumber
- Have a game plan: Do not ask for a raise without doing a bit of homework first.
- Remind yourself that it’s normal to ask for a raise: High-performing works should receive raises.
- Give reasons for the raise: Base it on recent performance or comparable pay elsewhere.
- Plan for the right timing: Ask at the right time both during the week and during the year.
- Know how much to ask for: Have a number in mind before you ask.
We’ll go into each of these steps in detail below.
Have a game plan
It can be extremely nerve-racking to ask your boss for a raise. How much to ask and when to ask for a raise is a decision you have to make. Some plumbers feel unsure about whether they should be the ones to insist on the raise amount or should they wait for their boss to come up with a figure.
With the right gameplan, asking to get a raise does not have to cause nervousness. Even if your boss has a limited budget and you have a lot of competition, it is possible to get a YES out of him or her. All you need is a great approach. Your approach needs to emphasize every achievement you made for the company and it also involves research.
As a plumber, you need to ask yourself is whether or not you deserve a raise. Have you done consistent work and exceeded your customers’ and clients’ expectations? Have you gotten great feedback time and time again? How many times have your clients referred you to a new client? If you have been referred more than just a few times, you are an asset to your agency. Satisfactory attendance is a plus.
Remember, just because you have been a plumber for a certain number of years does not mean you are automatically entitled to a raise after X number of months. Just getting to work does not mean you need a raise. A raise is for plumbers that have proven to be company assets. If you decided to quit tomorrow and your company will be deprived of:
- Your knowledge of the work
- Your numerous referrals
- The great service you provided
If these apply to you, then you deserve a pay raise from your current company. But even if you still believe that a raise is something you deserve, then you can go ahead and follow the steps to get one. If not, you can improve your job performance and try again in a month or two.
Remind yourself it’s normal to ask for a raise
Asking for a raise is not entitled or greedy. This is especially true if your boss has previous experience with people management and is reasonable. A boss knows that people do ask for raises time and time again. Remind yourself that if your boss does not say yes immediately, this won’t damage your working relationship. As long as you are asking for a reasonable amount and that you have a good reason to do so, you won’t fall out of favor just because you want to talk about better compensation.
If you think about it, getting a pay hike is recognizing that you are now contributing to levels higher than your old salary. Raises are gifts or favors. This is a method for your boss to pay the fair value of the market for the great work you do. It is a way that your company can keep you around. Otherwise, you may want to bring your assets somewhere else that pays more competitively.
Plus, if you have been doing great work for the past twelve months since the last salary discussion you had, it may be high time to ask for another raise. Some plumbing companies like to talk about yearly raises. Others wait for great reviews. Some companies may have a reward system while others may not. Most companies won’t bring up this subject on their own, though. This is why you might as well learn the skill of asking for a raise. It might be the only thing between you and a better salary.
Know the reason why
When asking for a raise, most plumbing companies will ask plumbers the question: Why? As a plumber, you will need to prepare an answer to the question Why Do You Need A Raise? Before even making an appointment with your boss to ask for the raise, make sure you have a short but effective answer ready.
To prepare your answer, first, make a list of all the previous jobs you worked on where you were given great feedback by customers. Remind your boss the times you were singled out for doing certain jobs well. Write all these events down on a piece of paper.
Also, write down all the work you have done for the company since your last raise. Include great attendance if this is true for you. Speak clearly and to the point. Emit confidence and assertiveness. Remember, you are selling yourself.
Great timing is everything
Appropriate timing can make or break your request for a pay raise. Timing your request appropriately means asking for a raise when you have just gotten a great performance review. Other factors such as:
- Your company being secure financially
- Being given more responsibility
- Having delivered a great job that brought in more referrals recently
- Knowing that the pay raise you are asking is competitive and in line with other employees’ salary range
These factors will help in preventing you from making a request impulsively without having done any research. Just asking for a spur of the moment raise because you just heard the new hire makes a thousand dollars more than you is not a good idea. Asking with outrage and impulse is not going to get you that raise.
Raise Guide has a full article on the best time to ask for a raise.
Keep in mind that if your pay had been increased within the last year, it won’t be realistic to ask for another pay hike before the end of the year. It could come across to your boss as you not being in touch with reality. If you haven’t been working for a year, asking for a raise too soon can seem like self-entitled behavior.
The exceptions to this rule are:
- If your boss asks you to suddenly travel eighty percent of the time when you signed up for minimal travel
- What if the job you expected turned out to be extremely different from what you agreed to when you were first hired?
- Or, what if you started working for a new plumbing company only to find out the others were hired at a higher rate than you for the same job?
It is also never a good idea to ask for a raise when your boss does not seem pleased with the work you just did for a client. It might make the impression that you are not accurately making performance assessments for yourself.
Talk to the other plumbers
Find out from your colleagues how much they make. Do this confidentially. Carefully phrase your questions. You can get great information just by conversing with another plumber in your company. The right information can make a huge difference in your life. Talk to plumbers from other companies as well. Gather as much information as you can so that you can make an informed presentation when you talk to your boss.
Know the company budget
If necessary, factor in the company’s budget cycles and raises if needed. If you work for a plumbing corporation that gives raises generally one time per year, find out which month this occurs. Some give raises during the start data of each employee or around the anniversary. Others like to assess every plumber’s salary simultaneously, tied to the budgeting process or the fiscal year of the plumbing company.
There are approximately 500,000 plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters in the U.S. The average annual salary for those workers is around $54,000 per year, but that figure will vary greatly by geography.
The moment you know exactly when your plumbing company gives a raise, then this is the time to ask. Before they decide everything for themselves, set up a meeting. If not, it may be too late.
Set an appointment
Most plumbers think that to ask for a raise, you need a PowerPoint presentation. This is not true and you can keep it short and sweet. All you need to do is show why you earned the raise you are asking for. Show your contribution levels and your responsibilities.
Find a time when your boss is in a good mood and set up a meeting. Prepare your answer beforehand and show him you are serious. Be sure to show him you have prepared something for a serious meeting. For example, documentation of great customer feedback. A list of referrals your work generated for the company will help. At this point, you will need to prove your value to the company using results and achievements.
You can even start by saying how much you appreciate every opportunity the company gives you. Tell your boss you have been getting great referrals and extremely satisfied clients with work well done. Ask your boss if you can talk about adjusting your pay to reflect this high contributory level.
If you have a specific amount in mind, knowing the range of salaries your company gives out is a huge plus. You can make your point come across much more effectively when you know how the company operates. If a personal event is linked to asking for a raise, it is not a good idea to bring that up. The reason is that you want to bring up only relevant point to the achievements you have listed.
Some plumbers talk about their new car payments or their mortgages that they need to pay. You are more likely to get a raise if you leave these topics out of the discussion. instead, focus on why a raise is something you deserve rather than why you need one.
Confirm the next steps
Whether your boss expected you to ask for a raise when you did or not, they may not give you an instant answer. For this reason, you must establish time frames for another meeting. Make sure you are not left with questions. At the end of your first meeting, ask when you can expect to hear back from them.
If you think it feels awkward to ask for a raise, the follow-up with no time-frame feels even more awkward. You want to sound natural throughout your meeting with your boss. This is why you need to prepare rather than improvise. If you are used to a lot of improvising on the job, this is not going to work when asking for a raise. Increase your odds of getting the raise you want by following this game plan and executing it like a winner.
If you have a specified amount in mind, you can say it such as: I was hoping we could raise my pay up to X dollars. It is also okay not to state your expected dollar amount. If you opt not to mention specific figures, keep the figure in mind in case you are asked.
In case your boss needs approval from a higher manager, make it easy by leaving a bulleted, shortlist of important points that point to all your favorable qualities. Don’t go beyond 1 page. Highlight great qualities in an easy-to-read list of your accomplishments and responsibilities. Include competitive salaries and other compelling data you acquired when you did research.
If the answer is no
All is not lost. If your boss gives you a flat out no, just ask for what they think you need to improve to earn a future raise. Pay attention to what they say and make a decision from that point on.