If you want to get into a lucrative trade but aren’t sure where to start, you have come to the right place. If you enjoy interacting with people, fixing things or simply enjoy any hands-on activity, then plumbing might be an excellent career choice for you. In this article we explore the steps involved in becoming a plumber to help you decide if this is the right path for you.
Steps needed to become a plumber
1. Complete secondary education
The first step on your way to becoming a plumber is to obtain your GCSE certificates making you eligible to pursue plumbing. Plumbers tend to have a strong foundation in a variety of subjects including science, technology and maths. Since some schools offer more vacation courses, it may be worthwhile to consider taking some of these classes to further boost your knowledge and experience in skilled work.
2. Attend vocation training in plumbing
Although university is not a requirement for plumbers, completing a vocational college course in plumbing gives you the opportunity to learn both theory and practical modules with a signed off portfolio of onsite work. By covering a variety of practical tasks and techniques, you will be able to build your skills and confidence whilst gaining an insight into the industry.
3. Plumbing apprenticeship
If you are keen to get started and prefer a more hands-on route into plumbing, an alternative to a full time college course is an apprenticeship. Most apprenticeships require you to complete a certain amount of classroom hours before you can work as a plumber. However, the number of hours varies depending on the apprenticeship. During a plumbing apprenticeship, you have the opportunity to receive on-the-job training and learn about plumbing codes, plumbing procedures and specialised skills.
4. Fast track plumbing course
If you are looking for a career change into plumbing and can’t afford to have a significant time away from earning, completing a fast-track accredited plumbing course could be an excellent option. These courses tend to last 8-10 weeks and include a combination of course work related to general plumbing and some practical skills training.
5. Work as a plumber’s assistant
If you choose to take a fast-track course, your next step in entering your plumbing career may be to work as a plumber’s assistant or a plumber’s mate. This will allow you to earn a wage whilst gaining valuable training and experience working with an experienced plumber.
What does a plumber do?
A plumber is a person trained to install and repair plumbing systems. There are different levels of plumbers ranging from apprentice, journeyperson to master which indicate your level of experience and expertise in the trade.
Plumbers are responsible for installing, repairing and maintaining water supply systems, sanitation units and heating units. They tend to work alone and travel either locally or long distance to complete necessary repairs.
Where to buy plumbing supplies
Whatever level of plumber you are, at some point you will need to order supplies, fittings and fixtures to complete necessary installations and repairs. One of the leading online plumbing merchants is PlumbHQ who stock a range of high quality bathroom fittings and fixtures and offer free next day delivery. One of the reasons plumbing is considered a great trade to get into is because unlike some other trades, plumbing suppliers are relatively cheap.
Benefits of becoming a plumber
- Be your own boss
- Flexible working hours
- Lucrative trade
- Affordable equipment and supplies
- You will always be in demand
- It’s a skill you will keep and use for life
- Sociable job
- No two days are the same
Negatives of becoming a plumber
- The work can be physically demanding
- Daily routine may be unpredictable
- Requires you to work under pressure
- Occupational risk of injury