CLEVELAND — The unemployment numbers in Ohio are staggering right now. News 5 wants to help you rebound by highlighting companies that are hiring. Roto-Rooter Services Co. isn't a glamorous job, but it's an essential job, and one the employees take great pride in. It is also a job that's been providing stable, family-sustaining wages for decades.
"Very excited," said Drake Savage, who is ready to start his new career.
"I have a 2-year-old son and my wife is pregnant with another one," he said. Important people depend on him so he wanted dependable work. "It was another motivator to enter a performance-based environment."
Savage shifted careers from a waste water management plant to the full-service plumbing company, Roto-Rooter.
You know the jingle: "Call Roto-Rooter, that's the name, and away go troubles down the drain. Roto-rooter!"
But did you know the company has an in-house plumbing school?
"We offer a very unique opportunity to come to a paid training program," said Ron Trebec, general manager of the Cleveland branch. "With a guaranteed job at the end of it."
That is right; they'll pay you to train you to work for them.
It is out of necessity, says Trebec.
"We could add 20 guys to our rolls right now and still keep everybody very, very busy," said Trebec.
Like many of the skilled trades, the talent pipeline has dried up for the plumbing industry, but Trebec says the pay is flowing.
"Our average earnings over the last four years have been between $68,000 to $69,000, but last year we also had seven or eight guys who made over $100,000," he said.
The company says first-year plumbing service technicians can expect to earn about $55,000 on average.
"I worked in the restaurant industry for a really long time," said Kevin Kerg.
Feeling unfulfilled, Kerg says he went to Roto-Rooter on the advice of his best friend's brother who worked there.
"I'm turning 28 this year," he said. "I can easily be in this workforce for 35, 40 years. There's not a lot of places where you have guarantee job security over that level of time."
He also likes the daily problem solving required on the job.
"Water drainage, what supply, heating, gas lines... you gotta get from A to Z and determine what's the most practical and efficient methods to accomplish that goal here," he described.
No previous experience is required.
"Probably one of our most successful guys was a flight attendant before he started with us," said Trebec.
They will teach you what you need to know.
"If you have a good personality, you like dealing with people and you like working hard— you're going to do well here," said Trebec.
Savage just finished the 12-week program and is now a plumbing and drain cleaning technician.
"I am excited to get out there," he said.
As a family man, he said he's looking forward to the flexible hours.
"If I'm off on a Sunday and the rest of the family is busy and I want to go work, say it's raining and it's busy and I want to earn some income for my family , I can come in," he said. "There's that option."
"One of the things our guys love the most is they get dispatched from their home," said Trebec. "they love the fact that when they clock in on their phone, the dispatcher sees they're ready for work and they find a job as close to them as possible."
Roto-Rooter is hiring for positions like Drake's and Kevin's, as well as techs and sales reps for the water restoration division, and they're always hiring experienced plumbers.
Find available positions here.
This story is part of The Rebound: Northeast Ohio, News 5's initiative to help people through the financial impact of the coronavirus by offering one place to go for information on everything available to help and how to access it. We're providing resources on:
Getting Back to Work - Learn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.
Making Ends Meet - Find help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.
Managing the Stress - Feeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.
Doing What's Right - Keep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.