Plumbing careers focus on the installation and repair of various household systems, namely sanitation units (toilets, sinks and baths), heating systems (radiators and boilers) and ventilation appliances (air conditioning). Plumbers look after water and heating systems. They fit all sorts of pipes and boilers, bathrooms and kitchen sinks. They check that the plumbing systems are working properly and make sure people have clean running water and heating that is safe to use.
- Find out from the customer what the problem is
- Give time and cost estimates for jobs
- Install water, drainage and heating systems
- Cut, shape and join pipes and fittings
- Find and fix faults
- Service gas and oil-fired central heating systems and radiators
- Install or repair domestic appliances like showers and washing machines
- Respond to emergency call-outs, like boiler breakdowns or blocked drains
- Fit weather-proof materials, joints and flashings to roofs, chimneys and walls
Plumbers can be employed by lots of different organisations such as building contractors, who work on housing estates, offices and public buildings. They can also be employed by smaller companies, who do work for building contractors and private clients. Many plumbers are also self-employed.
Plumbers fix and look after the plumbing and pipework in all sorts of places like: homes, offices, businesses such as supermarkets and hospitals.
Plumbers often do normal office hours and on average work 37-40 hours a week. As a plumber you may have to work some evenings or weekends. This could be to deal with emergencies.
Trainee and apprenticeship plumbers will probably earn somewhere in the region of £15,000 a year. Trends -2.2% decline leading to: 3,806 fewer jobs by 2027.
Plumbing is a great option for those with practical abilities. There are no formal entry requirements. You could start as a plumber’s assistant or ‘mate’ and do training on the job to qualify. Some employers may ask for GCSEs, including English and Maths whereas other may be more flexible as long as you have good practical skills.
You could also apply for an apprenticeship. If you have an EHCP you may be able to apply under the DfE exemption which allows the apprentice to use Entry Level 3 English and Maths qualifications. The apprentice would have to be competent enough to successfully achieve all other aspects of the apprenticeship requirements, become occupationally competent and achieve Entry Level 3 in English and Maths before the end of their apprenticeship.
College – you could start off with a Certificate in Pathways to Construction in Entry Level 3 or Level 1 or a Level 1 Plumbing Studies Course.