MEET THE PRO: Angel, David and Eloy Bahena, Plumbers

By Arkansas Next on Friday, October 13, 2023

Jacob Slaton

(From left) The Bahenas brothers: Eloy, Angel and David

Hometown: Little Rock (Angel and Eloy), California (David)

Ages: 31 (Angel), 27 (David) and 28 (Eloy)

Where They Trained: Arkansas Construction Education Foundation, University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College

Job Title: Self-employed

Employer: Diamond State Plumbing

Angel Bahena needed a way to pay the bills, so he pursued an apprenticeship with Arkansas Construction Education Foundation. He’s now a master plumber and owner of Diamond State Plumbing in the greater Little Rock area.  

“[A lot of people] think plumbing is easy,” Angel said. “They think we can just fix things with the turn of a wrench, but sometimes we require a lot of diagnosing and hard labor to get to an issue…”

David Bahena has many certificates on his resume; a lifeguard certificate, a cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR] certificate, a tax preparer certificate, and now a certified plumber. He received training at The School of Infantry West and United State Marine Corps Recruit Training before moving back to Arkansas to help his brother with his plumbing business. After completing an apprenticeship with ACEF, David is a fully licensed plumber working for Angel. 

“I decided on the plumbing field as my career path for the same reason I have chosen my previous jobs–family,” David said. “I’ve always been family-oriented, and when my brother needed help with his new company, I wanted to help.”

Eloy Bahena wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted to do with his future, so he enrolled in Pulaski Technical College to figure it out. After trying the traditional college route for a few semesters, Eloy realized it wasn’t for him and enrolled in Arkansas Construction Education Foundation to pursue plumbing. 

“I heard the money was good, and my older brothers did it–I just followed along,” Eloy said. “Going to college and having a full-time job was tough. [ACEF] gives you the time to do both. When I was doing my basics, I was indecisive. But with plumbing, at least I’d have a career after some schooling.” 

The Bahena brothers agree that there is less hassle and more time to build the life you want by pursuing trades.

“I still know some people in college,” Eloy said. “Not having to go to school for so many years and making good money during training has been great. Choosing a career in a trade means you can make more money. You’re helping the community.”

Jacob Slaton

Angel Bahena parlayed his plumbing apprenticeship into business ownership.


Install, assemble and repair pipe systems in communities

Education Needed: 


Climb the Ladder

Keep mastering the trade and rise into positions like:

 Master Plumber

 Plumbing Designer

 Journeyman Plumber

High-end earners (top 10%) make
$63,120 Annual
$30.34 Hourly

Median wages in Arkansas
$45,980 Annual
$22.11 Hourly


  • The Academy at Goodwill
  • Arkansas Construction Education Foundation
  • National Park College
  • University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville