We have received a lot of feedback and been part of some great discussions as a result of our editorial in the December 2013 issue of FCI,“The Next Generation: Would You Let Your Family Join the Trade?” Ryan Potier, an installer based out of Milwaukee, is one of several readers who responded back directly to the magazine. He not only wouldn’t recommend that the next generation become part of the flooring installation trade, he is actively trying to leave it himself. He writes:

“I grew up in the flooring business and have been self-employed for nearly eight years. I’m 34 years old. If I did have children I would find it difficult to recommend they follow in my footsteps. With the deterioration of quality promulgated by big box stores, the lack of consistent work, lower wages and/or higher costs of living, lack of respect toward the trades, and physical damage to one’s body, there’s no reason to recommend such a trade full time.

“That being said, I’d recommend they know a trade in order to be more diverse, have something to fall back on and a way to make money on the side if needed. I do believe there will be opportunities in the future for good installers and that they may even garner more respect and money with fewer good installers available.

“I myself have been back in school for a few years now. I didn’t see much future in the tile installation business for myself and needed a change. I hope to now get into the business of real estate. Something I enjoy and hopefully make more money at while saving my back and knees.”

We wrote back to Ryan for clarification on whether he still does any installation work. He stated, “I still do installation work. I’m in the process of changing careers to become a real estate investor. Essentially, I plan to get my real estate agent license, get my broker’s license, then find people who would like to invest in flipping homes or building spec homes. I’ll definitely be doing installation work until I can get my new venture off the ground.”

What do you think? Have you been itching to change your career, or do you feel flooring installation is a profession where real money can still be made? Let us know.