Plumbing career in the uk

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Lindsey Jones is a plumber and works for a local firm of plumbing contractors. She is in the middle of her training, which involves a mix of college work and work placement, and hopes to qualify eventually as a registered CORGI (Council for Registered Gas Installers) plumber.

What type of work do you do?

As I am training at present a lot of time is spent with my boss who supervises my work and talks me through the various jobs. I am involved in refitting bathrooms with new equipment. This entails removing the wash basin, toilet and bath. In addition, I am soldering pipework together and putting in radiators.

What tools do you use?

I use plumbing tools such as wrenches, spanners and power tools as well as handsaws and waterpump pliers.

What is your working environment like?

It is interesting as we go to lots of different houses installing new equipment into bathrooms, shower rooms and toilets. Usually, I work on these jobs with my boss and one other plumber. During my training I am working full time for two days a week with the rest of the time spent at college. The jobs are fairly local so I leave home about 7.45am and get home around 5pm.

What training is involved?

I go to college and study an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) plumbing course. And my boss teaches me plumbing methods while I am working. I want to complete this two-year course with a good pass and then continue to become a CORGI registered plumber. This means I can then work on gas installations such as boilers.

What special skills or qualities do you need for your job?

You need to use your initiative and have lots of patience because learning something new can be quite hard and very tiring.

Lindsey's route to her career as a plumber in the UK

  • GCSEs.
  • NVQ Level 2 Plumbing.

Lindsey's tips to a plumbing career

  • Look around you and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Listen carefully and mistakes will not be made.
  • Enjoy and be positive about what a job really gives you.

Plumbing related jobs

The salary range of a plumber

  • Starting salary for a qualified plumber will range from £15,000 - £19,000, rising to about £25,000 after two years of experience.
  • Some plumbers become selfemployed and expect to earn more.

Plumbing career in the uk

  • To train as a plumber it is best to have GCSEs/S grades (A-D/1-4) in English maths science and craft design and technology or a vocational qualification such as a Foundation GNVQ/GSVQ Level I in Construction and the Built Environment.
  • Modern Apprenticeships (Skillseekers in Scotland) may be available.
  • There are NVQ/SVQs in Plumbing which are available at Level 2 and Level 3.
  • The British Plumbing Employers Council (BPEC) provides Learning Support Modules which give help with gaining NVQs/SVQs.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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