At RWC, we know just how invaluable plumbing and heating engineers are to society, and how fulfilling this career can be. After all, plumbers give people access to clean water and sanitation, protect vulnerable people from hazards such as scalding and some water-borne diseases, and keep homes warm during the colder months.
The demand for plumbing and heating installers is expected to increase as the UK government rolls out its plans to rebuild Britain and invest £640bn in construction over the next five years. When you consider this increase in work along with the current skills gap in the sector, it highlights the importance of training new talent within construction to reduce the pressure on the existing population.
Our industry really needs more plumbing & heating engineers to ensure we are fully equipped to successfully complete the strong pipeline of upcoming projects. In this blog, we will discuss the benefits of becoming a plumber and how you can develop the necessary skills while working at the same time.
The benefits of becoming a plumber
Plumbing is a very rewarding career as it holds the backbone of our infrastructure. Trade roles require entrepreneurship, complex technical skills and knowledge, and can be very rewarding. Alongside this, there are a number of other benefits too, these include:
Due to increasing demand, plumbers will always be needed. For example, the government has extended its Green Homes Grant, which will create and support up to 250,000 British jobs. Alongside this, we have seen consistent and continuous growth in new build constructions, home renovations and extensions over the last 5 years.
A rewarding career
Plumbers are integral to society. As we mentioned earlier, they are responsible for providing water sanitation, protecting the general public from waterborne diseases and scalds and keeping people warm during winter months.
Little to no student debt
Vocational training is more affordable in comparison to getting a degree. For example, UK students can expect to pay £27,000 in tuition fees over the course of their degree, whereas the fees for vocational training can be fully covered, depending on the programme.
How to become a plumber
Whether you have just finished school or looking for a career change, there are a number of ways to make an entry in this profession.
The government is introducing a major expansion of post-18 education and training to offer more opportunities for aspiring plumbers to up-skill or re-train. So even if you don’t have the relevant qualifications, you may be able to access a free, fully-funded college course. For those looking to make a career change, this initiative is a great way to kickstart your journey as a plumber.
Here we have listed some ways that can help you to make a start in this trade. You can find even more information on how to become a plumber on this National Careers Service page.
Intermediate and advanced apprenticeships in plumbing and heating are a great way to get invaluable, hands-on experience. They are also a great opportunity to work alongside seasoned tradesmen, learn the tricks of the trade, and eventually become an insider.
Apprenticeships can take up to four years, and you will need GCSEs in English and Math’s. For an advanced apprenticeship, you will need 5 GCSEs between grades 9 to 4 (A* to C).
Another way to become a plumber is to get Level 2 and 3 Diplomas in Plumbing and Domestic Heating. There are more than 100 colleges in the UK offering plumbing courses, and you can find out more about these on the Access Training Academies website.
A diploma will teach you the key skills needed for the job, which will support your application for a trainee position in a plumbing company.
Night school and distance learning
Night schools and distance learning are flexible options for those who want to study while working full time as a trainee.
These options give you the opportunity to apply theory into practical skills for getting a better and clearer understanding of how the different systems work in real life. You also get a chance to develop confidence and soft skills to deal with customers.
Look at what manufacturers are offering
While learning the skills through apprenticeships and college helps, new tradesmen, can also take professional advice and guidance from manufacturers.
For example, at RWC we are committed to helping new plumbing & heating professionals to build up their confidence. Our technical experts who are also experienced plumbers by trade can provide face-to-face on-site support, best practice guidance and hands-on training where required.
Get in touch with us to find out more about how we support the plumbers of the future.