Today, there’s so much focus on a college education, that most people miss all the opportunities offered in the trades. A plumber is one of those jobs, which not only offers a good income, but also provides an avenue for self-employment. There are many different areas to work, including using your knowledge to teach others this career.
You won’t become a plumber overnight. It takes years of training to reach full qualification. In fact, in today’s world of technology, being a plumber means constant learning and keeping up with the new changes that occur each year. Plumbers are an important part of the process of building new homes and commercial buildings, as well as taking care of those already in use.
Over 2/3rds of plumbers are happy in their work. That same number, 76 percent, felt they got along with their colleagues, which is far higher than the 44 percent of bankers. The same 76 percent felt they were appreciated and recognised, while 74 percent felt their work was useful and worthwhile. If you’ve ever had leaky pipes or a clogged toilet, you’ll probably heartily agree with them. 67 percent of the plumbers today get to use their skills every day and 59 percent get additional training and support. Job satisfaction is high and even higher when the plumber is in a skill-based role.
If you think plumbing might be just the right job for you, you’ll be happy to know they’re well compensated. An inexperienced new plumber can expect £18k to £22k a year, but those with experience will earn: £22K to £35K. If you want more money, consider starting your own plumbing company. Of course, when you have the opportunity to earn more, there are also a few drawbacks, such as odd hours.
Those who are employed typically work a 40 hour week and potentially even overtime. If you’re self-employed, you set your hours. Working conditions vary. Sometimes you work in tight cramped areas, while other times you enjoy the expanse of the great outdoors. While you don’t necessarily need a driver’s license, if you travel between jobs, it’s almost necessary.
To become a plumber you need to be able to use technical knowledge to follow drawings and have good problem solving skills. You should be well organised, particularly if you own your own business. A working knowledge of safety issues and local regulations, plus the ability to work well alone and with a team or customers is important.
You can become a plumber through formal training and receiving a level 2 or 3 qualification. The level 2 qualification is a diploma in Installing and Maintaining Domestic Heating Systems, while level 3 is a diploma in Domestic Plumbing and Heating. You complete these while you work. They’re accredited by City & Guilds, BPEC and EAL.
There is one other route to becoming a plumber and that’s through an apprenticeship program. It combines studying at a training centre or college and on the job experience. It takes between two and three years to accomplish.
From that point forward, once you’ve completed your training, you can choose between employment with a steady income and set hours or becoming self employed, which allows you to set your own hours and rates.