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Plumbing Apprenticeships – How to Make a Splash in the Trade

If you’ve got your ear to the pipes, you’re probably aware of the current ongoing shortage of skilled individuals in the plumbing industry and therefore the potentially lucrative prospect of becoming a plumber! More than ever, the UK needs young, up-and-coming skilled plumbers to keep our waterways working so now is the time to undertake that training or apprenticeship you’ve always been wondering about. To help get you started, here’s everything you need to know about becoming a plumber.

Is a career in plumbing really for me?

Before you start applying for training courses and apprenticeships, do have a think about the challenges of the career and whether it’s really for you. Plumbers have to be extremely hard-working and willing to learn all the time to keep up with ever-changing technology. You’ll need an aptitude for maths and science as well as the stamina to work under challenging conditions – such as in high or small spaces – and to carry out tough physical work every day. If you become self-employed, there are plenty of challenges there too; be prepared for unsociable hours, weekend work, and having to manage your own finances and tax bills.

Plumbing: The best bits

That being said, there are countless pros to life as a plumber too! As we mentioned there is currently a shortage of skilled and trained plumbers in the UK so plumbers are hugely in demand and there’s plenty of work and opportunities available. This is especially true of female plumbers, who are scarce and therefore highly sought after. Plumbing work is well-paid; you can expect to start on around £18k a year after you’ve completed your training and this can go up to £40k for experienced workers. Plumbing also, more than other careers, gives you the opportunity to become self-employed or to run your own business – meaning you get the freedom to set your own schedule and be in control of your own career.

How do I get started?

To be a WaterSafe-approved plumber, you’ll need at least a level 2 NVQ in England and Wales or a level 3 SVQ in Scotland so you’ll need to undertake training that will leave you with the right qualifications. The simplest way to achieve this is to attend an approved course at technical college, after which you can start work. However, if taking time off to study isn’t an option, there are also many ways in which you can train on the job or take an apprenticeship that allows you to both learn and work at the same time. JTL and BESA are both great resources for finding out if there are any apprenticeships and training schemes near you.

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