Plumbers enjoy a good deal of variety in their day-to-day work. One day they’ll be fixing a leaky pipe, the next they’re fitting a central heating system or installing air-conditioning.
They are not necessarily restricted to domestic call-outs – plumbers are always needed on big, commercial construction sites.
Becoming a plumber requires dedication – and four years of training.
Problem-solving ability, flexibility, good people skills and a degree of manual dexterity are all important requirements of the job.
GCSEs in maths, English and science are minimum requirements to get on an apprenticeship scheme. All plumbers need to complete an NVQ diploma (levels 2 and 3) in plumbing and domestic heating before they can call themselves fully qualified. Some colleges will also require an aptitude test.
If you’re colour blind, you won’t be accepted on to the course.
To work as a gas engineer you’ll also have to hold a relevant ACS accreditation for maintaining central heating boilers or gas fires and be on the Gas Safe Register.
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Other recommended resources:
Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers
A government-recognised chartered mark for those involved in the plumbing industry.
World Plumbing Council
A global institute promoting plumbing and developing the industry through research, technology and information exchange. Membership gets you access to these features in addition to networking opportunities.
Association of Plumbers and Heating contractors
A trade body for plumbers and heating contractors in England and Wales, promoting best practice across the industry through training and certification schemes.
Scotland and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation
A trade association for plumbing and heating business which supports the interests of plumbers and also offers a variety of training opportunities and apprenticeships based in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Gas Safe Register
If you work with any gas systems as a plumber, you will need to be gas safe registered. Their website offers a wealth of information about what you need to do.