If you enjoy doing practical things and you want to learn a skill that you can use in different ways, plumbing could be the career for you.
As a plumber you would fit, service and repair water pipes and heating systems in homes and businesses.
- Depending on whether you work in homes or in industry (factories etc) your job could include:
- Installing and repairing water supplies, heating systems and drainage
- Servicing gas and oil-fired central heating systems
- Installing and fixing domestic appliances like showers, baths and washing machines
- Servicing air-conditioning and ventilation units
- On all jobs you would use hand and power tools
- Working in small cramped spaces
- Local and possibly national travel
Generally you would work a 40 hour week but it could be more if you are self -employed or on call in an emergency, can involve weekend work.
Around £1600 a year to start however an apprentice could start on an apprentice wage of £2.73 an hour (October 14) which would be less
The main qualifications needed to become a qualified plumber are:
- Level 2/3 Diploma Plumbing and Heating
- Level 2/3 Diploma Installing and Maintaining Domestic Heating Systems.
You can train via an apprenticeship where you are employed and study part time or look for a full time course at a local college and then look for an apprenticeship or a job
Apprenticeships in plumbing aren’t easy to find. Employers will have many young people apply for every vacancy. They will look for good school attendance and a reference from school saying you are a hard worker; listens well and pays attention to detail, and keen and willing to learn.
You may have to take a maths and English test to get onto a college course even if you are expecting/have C grades in the subject.
Skills and Qualities
- Be able to follow technical drawings and plans
- Be able to measure accurately
- Good communication and customer care skills
- Have good practical skills and use tools confidently
- Be very aware of good health and safety practices
- Keen and willing to work and learn
- Good problem solving skills
- The ability to work as part of a team and alone