Plumbing Apprenticeships

Why Plumbing?

Plumbing is vital to public health, plumbers help to make sure we have clean drinking water, sanitation and heating. They don’t only deal with what’s totally necessary, they also make sure we have the simple luxuries in life, like hot baths and central heating. Without plumbers disease would be rife, there would be little sanitation and clean, fresh drinking water from a tap wouldn’t even exist.

So plumbers are extremely important people in society and a career in plumbing offers a range of exciting opportunities, the pay is good and a highly skilled, qualified plumber is rarely short of work.

Why an Apprenticeship in Plumbing?

Doing an apprenticeship is the best way to become a plumber, it will give you a direct route into the industry, equip you with the hands-on training and experience you need and enable you to eventually specialise in an area that suits you.

Who would it suit?

A career in plumbing would suit someone who is good with their hands, likes physically demanding work and considers themself to have great customer service skills.  You also need to have full colour vision and be able to work under pressure and authority.

What are the job opportunities?

Some plumbers work as ‘wet only plumbers’, dealing with piped systems for water such as installing radiators, bathroom suites and showers. Others decide to do additional training so that they can specialise and become registered to work in the gas trade, this means they can install gas central heating systems and generally earn more.

Domestic plumbers usually work independently and are called out to people’s homes or small businesses, whereas commercial or industrial plumbers work on larger projects, usually with a team of other plumbers.

What can I earn?

The average plumber employed by a business will earn between £16,500 and £25,000.

A self-employed plumber can earn £40,000 or more. (Being self employed can be more risky, especially if you are newly qualified as you don’t get the same support or guaranteed work)

What will I learn?

The training is based on looking at you in your day to day work, making sure you are receiving the necessary on and off the job training and assessing that can you reach competence in your role. For example you will you will be assessed on your ability to carry out your responsibilities at work and work within your business environment (as your mandatory units) and (as your optional units) you might be assessed against your ability to store, retrieve and archive information, use IT systems or work effectively with other people.

 How long does it take?

Training takes 9-12 months from start to completion.

What’s the training?

Apprenticeship training is structured so that you spend most of your time learning at work and some of your time at a training centre or completing training online.

All the qualifications you gain are recognised by employers and industry professionals.

There are two levels of Apprenticeship training for plumbers:

Level 2 Apprenticeship:

• NVQ level 2 MES Plumbing
• Technical Certificate in Basic Plumbing Skills.
• Key Skills
• Employment Rights and Responsibilities

The Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

• NVQ 3 Mechanical Engineering Services – Domestic Plumbing
• Accredited Certification Scheme (ACS) CORGI Gas and other mandatory industry tests
• Key Skills
• Employment Rights and Responsibilities

What does an advanced apprenticeship in Plumbing involve?

LAC also supports you through your Advanced Apprenticeship. You will be employed by a committed employer, possibly the same employer that you have been with through your Level 2 Apprenticeship, and be given an appropriate wage which reflects your previous experience and qualifications.

So that you can learn and practice the full range of skills needed for the NVQ level 3 you will need to be employed by a company that works on Gas Appliances and Heating. If you are employed by a company that does not cover this during your Level 2 Apprenticeship you will need to change employer before you progress onto the Advanced Apprenticeship.

What support will I receive?

  • LAC Mentor
    The London Apprenticeship Company will appoint you with a mentor who will be on hand to support you throughout your apprenticeship.
  • Employer Supervisor
    Your Employer Supervisor or Manager will address your needs at work and be responsible for making sure your employment is appropriate to your level of skill and training requirements.
  • Trainer
    Your trainer is responsible for making sure you are keeping up with your assignments, assessing you at work and ensuring the training they deliver meets all the industry requirements.

What happens after completion?

The three most likely progression routes will be:

  • Continued employment
    If you have done well in your job your employer may offer you continued employment.
  • Secure employment elsewhere
    With your qualifications, experience and references in place, you will be in a great position to get a good job.
  • Further Training
    Your apprenticeship can lead to further training such as an Advanced Apprenticeship or even University. (LAC will continue to support you if you choose to do an Advanced Apprenticeship.)