Q+A with Red Seal Plumber Sam Tsai
Meet Sam Tsai, a certified Red Seal plumber, gasfitter apprentice, and avid marathon runner who loves the benefits that come with a skilled trades career. “The everyday troubleshooting, problem-solving, and ever alternating jobs made the 5 years it took to get certified at age 20 feel like just a couple amazing summers”
How did you first hear about the skilled trades and what inspired you to pursue it as a career?
Upon being approached by a great individual who I would later know as my mentor, sponsor, and “Boss Man”. I fell in love with the specialized side of plumbing and gasfitting. The everyday troubleshooting, problem-solving, and ever alternating jobs made the 5 years it took to get certified at age 20 feel like just a couple of amazing summers. I love being able to serve each customer in a unique way catered to their needs as I inspect and repair issues daily.
Describe what you love most about the skilled trades?
I love to problem solve and find better and effective ways to complete a task. I love chatting with customers and going the extra two steps to ensure a good reputation and long-term customer. I enjoy explaining to each customer what exactly was done so they don't feel cheated. I love watching and learning from other trades professionals, and most of all I simply love to serve.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy cooking for friends, playing volleyball with my brothers, and chatting late into the night. I also love to run! From 7:30-4:30, I’m on the clock, and anytime before or after that, I'm probably marathon training. (or playing with my niece)
What are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of my relationships: my family raised me, my community mentored me, my teachers instructed me, and my friends supported me. I would not be where I am today as a certified Plumber and Gasfitter apprentice, and self-supporting at age 20 without their support.
What advice would you give to people who are considering joining the skilled trades?
If you aren't sure just try it out, it would never be a negative thing. Even if you don't decide to pursue that trade two years down the road, it still looks great on a resume and the price of trade school will never be beaten. The skilled trades are always a valuable career, and it never hurts to make yourself valuable as an employee.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would love to run a successful company in the future and relay the morals and high-tier service that I was taught as a young apprentice. I want to be a role model that you don't have to scam and take advantage of others to do well in life. Treat others well and they will one day do likewise.
Do you know an apprentice or employer champion?
The Champions of Apprenticeship are recognized for their outstanding achievements in BC apprenticeship system. These Champions are celebrated for their hard work in creating certified tradesworkers, supporting their industry and promoting apprenticeship. Do you know an outstanding employer sponsor or apprentice? Send us an email and nominate them to become a Champion of Apprenticeship!