Do You Want to Become a Plumber? Then Keep These in Mind

Whether you are tired of being stuck in an office all day or just want a change of career, why not become a plumber?  It isn’t for everyone, but if you enjoy going from one place to another, have a technical mind, and have ambitions to run your own business, then going into the plumbing trade could just be the ticket.


There is no preliminary experience or qualifications required to undertake a plumbing course, but as competition is fierce, it might help to have a City and Guilds qualification and you may be required to take an aptitude test.  Once trained, it is important to remember that you will have to keep your knowledge and qualifications updated – as this field, like many other technological industries, changes at a very fast pace.  You will also need to be reasonably fit as the job will involve a lot of kneeling, lifting of heavy objects, and working in confined spaces.

What do plumbers earn?

This will depend on factors such as whether you are self-employed, where your location is, and how long you have been established.  It may be that at the beginning you will have to work for free just to gain the experience.  However, on average, a plumber can earn anything from $26,000 per annum to $50,000.

Lifestyle and working conditions

This will be determined by whether you are self-employed or an employee.  If you are employed by a large company, then you’ll have guaranteed work with regular income and other benefits such as paid leave and sick pay, none of which you will get if you are self-employed.  If you work for yourself, you will have to sort everything out yourself but you could build a successful business and decide the schedule of when you will work.  Either way, good physical fitness and strength are essential as you will be working in awkward positions for lengthy periods.

How to start

You can start by training yourself for free and the best way to do this is to buy books for plumbing apprentices and tradesmen.  Make sure you have the most up-to-date material.  Check out companies who hire specialized staff. The traditional way of becoming a plumber is to apply for a plumber apprenticeship.  This will involve alternating learning between a local training college and working with experienced MEP engineering companies.

Formal qualifications

If you are an inexperienced adult, you will need to obtain City & Guilds technical certificates in Plumbing and in Mechanical Engineering Services.  Additionally, you will need NVQs such as water regulations, unvented hot water systems, and ACS gas safety for Gas Safe Register (formerly known as CORGI).

There is plenty of work out there and if you decide you want to be a fully-qualified plumber, whether you are working for yourself or working for a company, there are also grants that can help you with your studies or with setting up your own business.