“Do you know any certified plumber in London?” asked my friend during our morning walk together. He needed a plumber for his parent’s home in London.
Despite the world going online, people still prefer recommendations from their near and dear ones when it comes to hiring a trade people in London: be it plumber, electrician or any other trade. And even in case of big plumbing firms, where the best plumbing jobs are created, you don’t get entry without being a qualified plumber.
So how can you prepare myself to be a certified plumber in the UK? Well, here we go!
Who can be a plumber?
The job of plumbing often requires you to do certain calculations, especially at plan and design stage, and that means you’d better be good at basic maths and science.
What qualifications do I need to be a certified Plumber?
You have to have S/NVQ Level 3 qualification in plumbing or related trade. Yes, you can be taken on as a trainee even with certificates equivalent to NVQ Level 2; but you may not find many vacancies with this level of expertise.
How long will it take to achieve NVQ Level 3?
That varies from person to person. On the average, it can take around three years. There are, however, many tradesmen who have taken longer or shorter than that.
How to get work experience or apprenticeship?
Classroom lectures and labs can only teach you so much. And this is why apprenticeship or some real on-the-job training is necessary. In most cases, your college can arrange this with local plumbing employers. Or you can start out on your own to look for apprenticeship or jobs.Make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of the regulations, such as Water Regulations and Building Regulations, before carrying out practical plumbing work.
What are the job prospects for qualified plumbers?
Apprentice’s wages start low but things improve as you grow in skill and experience. A full time employment can have you easily earning up to £20,000 a year and this could rise up to around £25,000 after five or more years. Still not satisfied? You can go for self-employment or launch your own mini firm. Provided that you are ready for emergency call outs, can work at unsociable hours, and don’t mind putting in more days and hours in the week, there is no limit to what you can earn.
What is the road ahead?
You can choose to advance your career and earning by diversifying your expertise. Learn about piped water systems for bathrooms, drainage or radiators OR just gain some qualification related to gas industry like how to install central heating systems.
Many plumbers also move on to consultancy, teaching, design or managerial roles OR better still, launch a firm of their own offering a range of services. Just remember one thing: more the skills, higher the pay.