Why Become a Chimney Sweep?

Maybe you know someone in the chimney and venting industry. Maybe you’ve seen one of our CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweeps® driving around town. Or maybe you’re just sick of having a job and you’re looking for a career that’s more engaging and rewarding.

Whatever your reason for landing here, you probably have a few questions about being a chimney sweep and why you should even consider this career path. Well, we’re going to do our best to answer those questions.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

What Are the Perks of Being a Chimney Sweep? Is Chimney Sweep a Good Job?

Maybe we’re biased, but we think being a chimney sweep is one of the best jobs out there. People in our industry come from all different types of work and education backgrounds, and although some people may look at us and say, I didn’t even know chimney sweep was still a job, we wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

As a chimney sweep, you get to engage your body and mind, solve problems, face new challenges, work with your hands, meet new people daily, and make a great living doing it.

You won’t be tied to a desk glaring at a computer for eight hours a day, and every day won’t feel like a repeat of the day before. Every day, you’ll get another opportunity to make a real difference in the life of someone in your community.

So, if cubicle life, endless emails, and sitting on your bum for 40-hours a week sounds like one of Dante’s levels of hell to you, you’ll love being a chimney sweep. It’s nothing like that.

How Much Do Chimney Sweeps Make?

If you think being a chimney sweep is a low-paying job that won’t ever afford you the lifestyle you dream of, think again. Chimney care companies are always looking for good employees, and they’re willing to pay for them. Many companies will pay for your training, and once you’re fully trained, you can potentially make high five or six figures a year.

Thinking of starting your own chimney sweep business? If you’re willing to put in the effort to be one of the best and invest in your education and business, the sky’s limit. There are CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweeps® whose businesses bring in six and seven figures a year.

The bottom line is this: if you do things right, your chimney sweeping career can be highly profitable and financially rewarding.

Are Chimney Sweeps in High Demand?

With the increase in homeowner awareness around fire safety, chimney sweeps are in high demand. How in demand? Well, we get thousands and thousands of homeowner searches for CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweeps® on our website every year. And that’s just on our website.

If we’re getting that many direct searches on our website, imagine how many more searches are happening locally on Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, Facebook, and other platforms and search engines.

So yes, chimney sweeps are in high demand! Many sweeps no longer have a ‘slow’ season and a ‘busy’ season – they stay busy all year long.

What Are Some of the Things That Chimney Sweeps Do?

One of the great things about becoming a chimney sweep is you can specialize. You’ll learn a variety of skills and master a variety of services, but if one thing interests you more than another, you can specialize in that particular thing.

Chimney Sweep Carrying Ladder walking toward job on paved walkway

Because different companies in different parts of the country offer different services, there is no definitive list, but here’s a look at some of the things you might do as a chimney sweep:

  • Chimney Sweeping
  • Chimney Inspections
  • Masonry Repairs
  • Chimney Waterproofing
  • Gas Fireplace Service & Repair
  • Crown Rebuilds
  • Chimney Rebuilds
  • New Construction
  • Fireplace, Insert & Stove Installation
  • Damper Repair
  • Chimney Cap Installation
  • Flashing
  • Smoke Chamber Repairs
  • Chimney Relining
  • And more

Is Chimney Sweeping Dangerous?

There are a lot of Google searches around the dangers of being a chimney sweep. People wonder if chimney soot is cancerous. They wonder what the dangers are of being a chimney sweep. To answer these questions, we should start with a very brief history…

Chimney sweeps have been around since the 16th century, and up until the mid 1800s, chimney sweeps were mostly young boys. Many of these boys died of suffocation (from soot), testicular cancer, and other illnesses and injuries related to the work they were doing.

But the job of a chimney sweep then was very different from the job of a chimney sweep now. Boys were sent into the chimneys to clean them, and believe us, they were not prepared or protected with safety training or PPE.

Yes, soot and creosote can be dangerous, but today’s chimney sweep, if properly trained, will not need to worry about the same dangers that the child chimney sweeps of the 1700s had to worry about. If you’re properly trained, you’ll know what PPE is needed to safely do your job, and you won’t do your job without it.

The biggest danger of being a chimney sweep is that you will at times have to be on ladders and rooftops. But again, if you’re properly trained on rope, ladder, and roof safety, and you’re extremely careful while working, you’ll be prepared to do your job with minimal risk to your safety and health.

How Do I Know if Being a Chimney Sweep Is a Bad Career Choice for Me?

We’ve talked about who the career is a good fit for, but how do you know if it’s a bad fit for you? If…

  • You crave total predictability in your days
  • You hate driving
  • You don’t like meeting new people or engaging with customers
  • You prefer sitting at a desk or working from home
  • You’re afraid of heights

… then this is probably not the career for you.

But if you love learning new things and you’re ready to put in the work to get trained and become a confident expert in the chimney and venting industry, we’d love to have you in the family.


Learn all about How to Become a Chimney Sweep right here. It will help you determine if you want to be a career professional.