So you’ve made the decision to become a plumber, that’s great news, plumbing is a very exciting and rewarding career choice but deciding to be a plumber is just the beginning and your probably a bit confused or unsure as to what your next step should be well read on and hopefully we will help you on your way to getting started, we will explain how you can become a plumber and what courses will suit you.
The Apprentice Route
There are many routes into the plumbing industry with one of the commonest ways being apprenticeships, apprenticeships are particularly good for those just out of school, not everyone is lucky enough to get onto an apprenticeship scheme.
But if you do have the opportunity then grab it with both hands as this is one of the best opportunities that you will have. With apprenticeship schemes you will combine study at a local training centre or college with working on the job with a fully qualified plumber who will be in charge of you. You will become a fully qualified plumber in two or three years when training this way. Check out the range of apprenticeships in your area, ring up some plumbing firms or independent plumbers and ask if they are taking on apprentices, you never know you might be one of the lucky ones.
The Training Centre Route
If you cannot get on an apprenticeship scheme then don’t worry there are many other routes into the plumbing industry. You can take part time and full time courses at your local training centre or college, the amount of time you have available to put into your course will determine how long it will take to become fully qualified. You can complete a full time course within months or you can choose to spread your course out over months or even years, you really do have the choice to go at your own pace. These courses will cover all the basic plumbing knowledge that you will need as well as all the health and safety regulations you will also gain some of the practical skills that you will require when on the job.
The courses will include:
- Level 1 Certificate introduction to plumbing
- Level 2 Diploma in access to Building Services Engineering
- Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing Studies
Once you have completed these courses you will then have the opportunity to go higher up in the industry these act as your springboard into higher level qualifications. They will help you get an apprenticeship scheme or may help if you’re looking to work as a trainee. You would have gained your City and Guilds plumbing certificate and would have gained all the knowledge and hands on experience you would ever need to get going in the plumbing industry.
The plumbing industry organisations all agree that you should get a work placement or become employed by a plumber soon after you start your training. This way you will be able to put your practical skills into practice which in turn will help with your practical units of your Diploma. Ask your college if they can help you find a placement and you could try ringing up plumbers directly and see if they have anything available for you.
You’ve probably read a lot about short intensive courses or long distance learning. These are useful as your introduction into the plumbing industry but they aren’t likely to be in depth enough with regards to your practical skills and knowledge that’s required to become fully qualified. If you decide to enrol on a short course or a long distance course then check out how much time is given over to work placements and always check whether they are industry recognised.
Got Plumbing Experience but no Qualifications?
If you are already working as plumber but don’t have any qualifications as of yet then you may be able to have you skills, experience and knowledge assessed against the current industry recognised qualifications. The qualifications you gain will depend on the results. Contact your local college for more information and advice.
How much does a Plumbing Course Cost?
Plumbing courses vary in price depending on your training requirements, but typically they range between £4,000 and £6,000 to train a complete beginner to industry recognised standard of a domestic plumber. This may seem a lot of money but you must remember you are investing in your future, in time to come when you are a fully qualified plumber and earning these figures should seem like a worthwhile investment.
Well that’s about it really, hopefully we have provided you with the information you were looking for as to how to get into the plumbing industry. Plumbing is a great choice and will make a good career move. So let us now wish you the very best of luck with your next step into the plumbing industry.