The life of a plumber ticks a lot of the major boxes anyone looks for when deciding on a career path. Job demand remains consistently high, plenty of progression opportunities exist and earning potential can comfortably exceed the UK average with the right training and experience. 

It’s also a highly rewarding profession for those who enjoy problem-solving, challenging themselves at work and are looking for variety in their daily routine. An element of creativity is also often required when carrying out more complex tasks. 

Why is plumbing a good career?

According to Reed’s latest data, the average salary for a plumber in the UK is currently £34,173. Sitting above the UK’s average full-time salary—which is around £31,461—qualified plumbers are often able to take advantage of the ongoing skill shortage and earn a premium due to their services being in such high demand. 

Not only does that help boost wages, but it also brings with it a vital sense of job security that’s difficult to replicate in other industries.

Like most trades, earning potential can increase significantly with the very achievable possibility of setting up your own business. Hourly rates can vary depending on experience and location, though anywhere between £40-£80 is a fairly normal price point.

How do I begin training as a plumber?

Initial training will see you cover a range of basic hands-on skills that are essential to any plumber’s arsenal. Starting with a focus on the most common issues that can arise in a domestic setting, expect to tackle things like: 

  • Different systems and fittings
  • Soldering techniques
  • Jointing, bending and pressure testing copper tubing
  • Valves, taps and cisterns
  • Plumbing pipework

What qualifications do I need to become a professional plumber?

Once you’ve got to grips with the basics, you can begin to seek professional recognition. The City & Guilds level 2 certificate is an essential formal trade qualification and the perfect starting point for anyone looking to begin their career as a professional plumber. 

At this stage, you’ll begin to combine important theory with more advanced practical work. Assessments will take the form of hands-on assignments, along with online exams. During this training, you’ll develop a working understanding of a range of plumbing skills, including:

  • Electrical principles and processes
  • Common plumbing processes
  • Cold water systems
  • Domestic hot water systems
  • Sanitation
  • Central heating systems
  • Drainage systems

How can I progress following my initial plumbing training? 

Once you’ve completed your City & Guilds level 2, a variety of options are available to further your training and qualifications, including pursuing your NVQ accreditation.

You could even add to your training, expanding your skill set even further with specialist courses covering water regulations, energy efficiency and unvented hot water systems. 

Doing a gas safety course and becoming a member of the Gas Safety Register is also a common progression route taken by plumbers, as it can significantly increase the scope of work you’re legally able to carry out. 

Ready to start your journey as a plumber? Able Skills’ beginner courses have been designed by experts who know exactly what’s required to get your career off to the best possible start. 

Need a little more information? We’d be happy to chat, just give us a call on 01322 280 202, request a brochure or visit us in the training centre for a chat.