When he’s not competing in his bowling leagues, or spending time with his family, you can find Trey Young on Instagram @iplumbit documenting his residential plumbing work in new construction.
And his Instagram success is not only in the work he shows off, but I have to think that it’s in the music he selects to accompany the posts. ”Some songs I pick for videos may be ‘trending’ sounds or songs on Instagram at the time, but most of the music comes from my personal catalog,” says Young. “I like to believe I have a good ear for music that adds something to the project I’m showing off.”
Young got his first taste of plumbing working for Plumbing Plus, St. Louis, during summer break of senior year of high school. “Plumbing Plus was performing a sewer repair for a rental property for one of my parents, so I approached owner Matt Baese and asked if they needed any help, and the rest was history,” says Young.
After a short stint in college for website development, Young started working for Plumbing Plus full time a few years after high school as a laborer, and earned an apprenticeship shortly after. “I dabbled in website development for a bit, and it just wasn’t paying what plumbing was paying, even at senior levels,” recalls Young.
After three to four years working side by side with master plumber Eric Pruitt, “I began working solo and eventually created an Instagram to document my work,” says Young.
Hard Work Pays
According to Young, both Baese and Pruitt have shown tremendous patience with him during his rookie years, imparting invaluable information to be proficient as a plumber. Moreover, “I consider myself an advocate for the trade, imparting need-to-know information to assist others in making an informed decision on whether the path of plumbing will best suit them,” says Young.
Yet, there is a misconception that trade work is repetitive, unforgiving manual labor for a meager salary. This misconception starts early with most kids, says Young, reinforced through unrealistic depictions on TV shows, movies and cartoons, etc. “It’s always been my opinion that the industry should focus on more outreach programs directed toward elementary school as much, if not more, than high schools to combat that misconception early,” says Young.
Work ethic is key to the trades, with traits such as dedication, integrity, punctuality and a willingness to learn mandatory. “’Hard work pays off’ may be a tad cliché in the year 2023, but it has always been the best intro to anyone considering a career in the trades,” says Young.
From a hornet’s nest inside a rehab home the size of a large yoga ball, to spiders the size of a small hand, “I’ve run across some pretty wild jobs,” says Young. But Young says he enjoys plumbing so much—being in different sites working on different jobs every single day. “Whereas with a corporate job, you are in the same cubicle, drinking the same cup of coffee, looking at the same computer, day in day out,” emphasizes Young.
Moreover, “the best reward is completing a job beyond expectations and bringing visible relief and or joy to someone who has been dealing a major plumbing issue for days, if not weeks.
Social media, and Instagram in particular, has helped Young become a more versed plumber by introducing him to new products, tools and methods. “I’ve also had the opportunity to virtually meet hundreds of like-minded tradesmen, some even in person through company ambassador programs or people recognizing me at the local plumbing supply house,” says Young.
The Next Step
How does Young balance his quest for the ever-elusive perfect 300, family time and work? “Unfortunately, I find myself asking the same question because work takes up the majority of my time lately. After recently earning his Journeyman’s License, “setting the groundwork to eventually venture off on my own demands most of my leisure time,” says Young.