There are a number of routes open to becoming a UK plumber, depending upon your age, experience and qualifications. It can take you years to become qualified, although there are fast track courses available. To learn how to become a plumber, read the guide below.
Legal requirements in UK
Working without qualifications A few plumbing jobs are available for those without the relevant qualifications but getting employment through a recognised company or to work on a building site requires a NVQ in plumbing. How to learn the skills The best way to learn how to become a plumber is by gaining the necessary skills and experience through training. The best way to gain experience is to work alongside an experienced plumber.
Traditional route to becoming a plumber
Many of the UK’s plumbers course began through an apprenticeship scheme. They normally last for four years and time is spent at a local training college as well as getting on the job working experience with an experienced plumber.
Apprentices can only expect a basic wage during this time, although at the end of the course, they will have a NVQ (or SNVQ in Scotland) at level 3. Limited places available There are very few places available for apprentices and the competition is fierce. If you are aged over 25, it is virtually impossible to find a place available.
For the inexperienced adult
Becoming a plumber
To become a qualified plumber, you need to take the technical certificates followed by NVQ 2 and 3. City and Guilds (6129) offer the Technical Certificates in Basic Plumbing Studies Levels 2 and 3. City and Guilds (6089) also provide NVQ Level 2 and 3 courses in Mechanical Engineering Services - Plumbing.
Part-time or fast track
The courses can be taken through either of these routes, although as the name suggests, the fast track route gives you the opportunity to learn quickly. You can then begin earning money from your new trade through this quicker route. The fast track system with home study can be completed in just six months.
Grants and sponsorship There are very few grants available to prospective plumbers. You should beware of scams that operate, offering you the chance to pay in instalments. The high rates of interest charged mean that they cost a lot more than paying for a college study course in order to learn plumbing.