Thinking of learning a trade? Consider becoming a plumber – it’s a valuable trade skill, a rewarding job and a lucrative career path. We offer apprenticeships to help aspiring plumbers get their foot in the door and learn the skills of the trade on the job.

Whether you’re keen to find an alternative career path over college or university, or would like to retrain and change career as an adult, plumbing apprenticeships offer a fantastic opportunity to unlock your true potential.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about plumbing apprenticeships,

What’s involved in a plumbing apprenticeship?

Plumbing apprenticeships have been around for literally years, and continue to be a well respected way to get into the plumbing trade. An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to join a reputable company and be trained up by one or more fellow plumbers. It can take several years to become a fully fledged plumber on an apprenticeship, but the good news is you’ll be paid for what you work, just like a normal job (more on that later). Also, you don’t need any prior qualifications to become an apprentice, although some apprenticeships will require an initial entry assessment.

Firstly, you’ll shadow your partner for several months, absorbing their knowledge and building your confidence in the role. After a while, you’ll be able to carry out some tasks with them by your side offering guidance. Eventually you’ll even be able to carry out jobs without supervision.

Your plumbing apprenticeship will cover a variety of day to day tasks, including learning how to:

  • Give customers cost and time estimates based on your measurements
  • Cut, bend and join fittings and pipes
  • Install water, heating and drainage systems
  • Service gas central heating systems and radiators
  • Find and fix faults
  • Install and fix domestic appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers and showers
  • Fit weatherproof materials, joints and flashings to walls, chimneys and roofs
  • Deal with emergency call-outs, such as boiler breakdowns or blocked drains

A plumbing apprenticeship will give you a real taste of life as plumber, and you’ll always have someone by your side offer guidance on best practice.

Once you’ve done your apprenticeship you can continue to learn by taking plumbing courses and even gaining related qualifications like an NVQ or a City & Guilds Certificate.

How much does it cost to train as a plumber?

Nothing. You’re going to be paid to learn. That’s the beauty of a plumbing apprenticeship – you learn on the job and you get paid for the time you work. While your peers are slogging away in college or university, and facing increasing mountains of debt, you’ll be enjoying the freedom and security a full time income can bring. It’s a fast track to earning decent money and you get paid a full time salary right from day one.

What does a plumber actually do?

From overflowing toilets to clogged up washing machines, emergency repairs to regular servicing: the day to day role of a plumber is hugely varied. You might visit people in their homes or you might offer services to commercial properties.

plumbing for a sink

The main responsibilities of a plumber include diagnosing a problem to find the root cause – perfect if you enjoy problem solving. You’ll also be required to check various systems, including the water heater, temperature, pressure and more. You have to take a critical approach, as often there is more to a plumbing problem than meets the eye.

Communication is an important part of the role too. With training you’ll learn how to communicate the problem to your clients in terms they understand, and explain how you intend to fix the problem. You’ll also need to be confident justifying the costs involved. You’ll quickly learn to explain the importance of using quality materials, as well as gently reminding your clients they are also paying for your expertise and experience, plus any warranties you might offer..

What’s the job like?

Well, for a start you’re making a big difference to people’s lives. Society needs plumbers. Not only do plumbers help everyone carry on with their everyday lives, they also prevent the spread of disease by dealing quickly and effectively with plumbing issues.

It’s a rewarding job too. When a boiler packs in or a leak suddenly appears, you can be the knight in shining armour who shows up ready to save the day. A plumbing emergency is a stressful situation, but thanks to your knowledge and expertise, you can quickly remedy the problem – which gives you a pretty serious dose of job satisfaction.

How much does a plumber earn?

Once you’ve completed your plumbing apprenticeship you can expect to earn a basic salary of £17,000 per year. Established plumbers can earn up to £40,000 per year, and for those who run their own plumbing business… the sky is truly the limit.

Will there be enough work for me?

Everyone needs a good plumber at some time or another. Whether you’re self employed or employed by a large company, there’s always going to be demand for your services. Your skills are never going to go out of fashion, people can’t just live without hot water, a flushing toilet or a working washing machine.This makes plumbing one of the most secure professions around.

Is there any opportunity for career progression?

Absolutely. If you’re the ambitious type, you can work your way up to becoming a master plumber and enjoy the rather nice salary that goes with it. Many plumbers start their own businesses and employ staff. Your drive will take you as far as you want to go.

You could also choose to develop your skills in one particular area and offer more specialised services, such as heating, ventilation, renewable energy or air-conditioning.

Take the first step to a career in plumbing

If you like the sound of a career in plumbing, talk to us today about joining us as an apprentice – it could be the best decision you’ve ever made.