Plumbers and HVAC engineers are feeling confident about their prospects but are also feeling under pressure, according to the latest annual health check survey by ECIS, the employee benefits company for the construction industry.

The findings show that 34% of plumbers and HVAC engineers felt under more pressure last year than in 2013, and 25% put in more hours. A third (33%) worked over 50 hours a week, while 48% said they sometimes work evenings and weekends. For 30%, this is par for the course, leaving little in the way of ‘downtime’.

As such, 18% of respondents reported they have suffered stress and stress-related conditions such as high blood pressure, headaches and panic attacks. Worryingly, 23% of the 200 tradespeople surveyed have considered changing career in the past year – more than any other sector.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom as 87% of participants said they were ‘very’ or ‘quite’ confident about their prospects, and 48% of these said they were ‘very’ positive about their business. In fact, of all the tradespeople surveyed by ECIS, plumbers and HVAC engineers were the most confident.

Phil Scarrett, ECIS’ sales and marketing director, said: “The survey findings reveal a sector of the construction industry that appears to be high in confidence but there is a suggestion that all is not so rosy, with 23% thinking about changing career. This might be down to the precious family time so many plumbers and HVAC engineers seem to be sacrificing – along with stress and fatigue being experienced by almost a fifth.

“With skills shortages being felt across the construction sector, contractors will need to consider how best they can support their tradespeople to retain much needed skills and expertise. Healthcare as part of an employee benefits package can help support employee loyalty while offering the tradesperson a more holistic approach to managing their health and wellbeing.

“This will help ensure the confidence and positivity reported by plumbers and HVAC engineers is borne out in 2015 and they remain committed to their professions.”

Image courtesy of Anatoly Maslennikov/Shutterstock