Make Money in the Chimney Sweep Business

The chimney sweep business is a low-cost entry with high profits, includes benefits of cleaning chimneys, safety issues and popularity of the business.

| January/February 1978

Make a living by creating a chimney sweep business in your area.

Make a living by creating a chimney sweep business in your area.

Photo By Fotolia/Laiotz

The chimney sweep business is a low-cost way to start your own business and lucrative too.

This may be the best start-on-a-shoestring business that MOTHER has ever featured! What other self-employment venture do you know of that you can get into for only $1,300 . . . yet which — right from the start! — can net you $700 or more a week?

How would you like to own your own business, set your own hours, wear a top hat to work, become something of a mystical figure in your community, perform a necessary and much-needed service . . . and clear $700 or more a week? Well, the chimney sweep business allows chimney sweeps all over the country to do just that, and the ones that MOTHER has talked to love every minute of it.

MOTHER staffers J. Weiland and Travis Brock, for example, recently watched Steve Curtis clean chimneys in Connecticut for four hours . . . and pocket a whopping $140 for his morning's work (Steve is averaging a gross of $1,000 a week and he's booked ahead for a month and a half). Another sweep in Mississippi had already chalked up 1977 earnings of $14,000 ($3,000 during the first 21 days of that month alone) when Travis talked to him late in October. Yet a third sweep in Michigan, who told Brock he "just works at it part time", is taking home an easy $300 to $400 a week.

In fact, the worst possible case that Travis was able to track down was a guy who lived in a remote section of Montana (there are only 11,000 people in his whole county) who charged less than recommended rates for his services, only cleaned about 12 to 16 chimneys a month on a very, very part-time basis . . . and who still was netting (for less than one full day's work) a respectable $100 a week. There just doesn't seem to be any way to fail in this business!

Chimney Sweeps, of Course, Sweep Chimneys

Just what the heck do chimney sweeps do to earn that kind of money? They clean chimneys. Six to eight a day in the case of full-time sweeps . . . while part-timers generally average two or three an evening plus a few more on the weekends. When you figure that most of the sweeps charge $40 for cleaning the first chimney on a job and $30 more for each additional one, it's easy to see how those dollars can add up. (During the four hours that Weiland and Brock followed Steve Curtis around, for instance, Steve cleaned one chimney on one house and three on another . . . for a total billing — $40 plus $40 plus $30 plus $30 — of $140.)

9/10/2014 2:14:46 PM

Boy, this article goes against everything that a professional chimney sweep actually stands for. There is a lot more to sweeping chimneys than you mention above. The Chimney Safety Institute of America educates and certifies those serious about protecting homeowners from the risk of chimney and home fires. Some states actually require you to be certified and most recommend you only hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® to be sure that they are hiring someone that has all the proper certifications and education. A chimney sweep not only cleans your chimney but inspects it for safe heating all winter. They know building code, make recommendations and most good chimney sweeps start as apprentices to master chimney sweeps. What you also fail to mention about the lucrative business is that while the above mentioned chimney sweep is raking in the cash what happens when there is an accident on a roof or if someone has a fire after you swept and your work was shoddy or not certified. Before you get into business, consider what the professionals are doing and how you might stack up. For more information about gaining proper entrance into the field, go to go to

8/15/2007 8:41:33 PM

i'm the real mickey mcmasters in this article. it's really cool to see this keep popping up !!! my google site strangely enough "mickey mcmasters" starts with issue 49 mother earth. then it appears later in this add. just wanted to share how much this has helped me in my newer carrier(seen on site) visisiting artist in both north&south carolina. the site tells the story better than i can. my point is your article from 30 years ago ,put me as the first google "mickey mcmasters" in the whole world and the universe. for this and everything else i am eternally greatful!!! GOOGLE ME...MICKEY MCMASTERS

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