Becoming a plumber is a great career choice for anyone wanting to work in the construction industry. If you enjoy carrying out practical tasks and want to gain all the skills that can be carried out in many ways then plumbing would be a career to go for.
As a plumber your day to day work could involve fitting, servicing and repairing water pipes and also heating systems, in businesses and people’s homes. Plumbers also have to follow technical plans and drawings and they must have a well organised approach to work, have good customer skills and must be well up on health and safety regulations.
In order to become a plumber the qualifications you require will depend on your experience with the industry previously, but basically you will need a level 2 or 3 plumbing qualification.
A plumber’s work
Ok so let’s look a bit more closely at what a plumber’s day to day working life could involve. As we said previously they could have to deal with heating systems and water pipes as well as dealing with drainage, servicing gas and oil fired central heating systems, radiators and boilers, installing and fixing appliances in the home including, showers and washing machines. They could also deal with servicing ventilation units and air conditioning in the home or in business premises. Plumbers could also have to fit weather proof materials, flashings to roofs, joints, walls and chimneys.
All jobs that plumbers carry out will involve using hand power tools and could also involve using welding equipment.
More experienced plumbers can specialise in sheet metal work for commercial buildings, historical buildings and industrial buildings.
The hours a plumber works
Plumbers work on average 40 hours a week and they also have the option of carrying out overtime. If you are working for a plumbing company then many of these do offer 24 hour call outs which will involve working unsocial hours. Maybe, evenings, weekends and public bank holidays. If you are a self employed plumber then you have the luxury of choosing your own working hours. Another thing to consider is sometimes you may have to work away from home which could involve staying the night, so for some work you will need a driver’s license.
How much do plumbers earn?
The starting salary for a newly qualified plumber is between £16,500 and £21,000 a year. More experienced plumbers could earn £21,000 and £35,000 a year.
Rates do vary from region to region, with the highest salary being the London and the South East.
Self employed plumbers have the added bonus of choosing their own rates.
What are the entry requirements?
To become fully qualified you will need an industry recognised qualification at levels 2 or 3. The level you need to have will depend on any previous experience you have.
The main qualifications you need to become a plumber are, Level 2/3 Diploma in Plumbing and Heating and Level 2/3 Diploma Installing and Maintaining Domestic Heating Systems.
Also look out for any plumbing apprenticeships being advertised in your area as this is a fantastic way into the plumbing industry. You will be trained up by an already qualified plumber and so gaining your practical skills while you study for your theory in the classroom.
Part time and full time plumbing courses are available and they will cover everything you need to become fully qualified as a plumber. Home distance courses are available but be careful as they may not cover enough of the practical tasks you need.
Well that’s about it, I really hope this article on plumbing has been of use to you and let me wish you luck with your journey to becoming a qualified plumber.
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