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A career guide to becoming a Plumber 

Published: Friday 4th September 2020

Working as a plumber is a job that opens up many opportunities. A plumber will fit, repair and service water systems in both residential and business properties. They can also be called upon to repair and maintain heating systems and drainage systems. It is a profession that is frequently in high demand and there are always multi skilled plumber jobs available. A plumber can work as a sole trader or as part of plumbing company. Some plumbers can also work for contractors and do larger, industrial work. To find out how you can become a plumber, check out this useful career guide. 

What qualifications do I need to be a Plumber 

There are a number of different routes into plumber jobs. You can complete an apprenticeship which usually takes up to four years. There is usually an option between an intermediate and advanced apprenticeship. Both require GCSEs in English and maths, with access to an advanced course requiring up to five GCSEs. Another way into plumbing is by doing a diploma in Plumbing and Domestic Heating. You can achieve either a level 2 or level 3 diploma, both of which require a few GCSEs to gain access to.  

smiling plumber holding clipboard and looking at camera in kitchen

What other qualities do you need 

Working as a plumber means you will need to be good with your hands and use tools. Most plumber jobs also require you to be a good problem solver and be able to identify an issue and resolve it. You also need to be a good communicator and be able to explain complex terms to clients. Plumbers also need to have good maths skills and be able to work under instructions and sometimes as part of team. 

Main duties of a Plumber 

The duties of a plumber may vary depending on whether they are a sole trader or work for a company or contractor. Some multi skilled plumber jobs will require you to do a wide range of tasks. However, they are broadly working in the same area and among their duties, they will be expected to: 

  • Install and maintain water and heating systems 
  • Repair and upgrade drainage systems 
  • Safely install gas fittings 
  • Service gas and oil heating systems 

Additionally, professionals will be expected to communicate to customers the work they are undertaking and provide an estimate of cost and time.  

Professional plumber with client near kitchen sink

Where to find Plumber jobs near me? 

After qualifying, you can set up as a sole trader and do jobs in local homes and businesses. There is also the option of a applying for a job with a plumbing company. Building contractors often have work for plumbers, such as fitting out new homes or offices with water and heating systems. If you join the Gas Safe Register, you will also be qualified to fit and service gas fires and heating systems and that can help when looking for plumber jobs. 


Plumbers can work up to 40 hours a week and often be called out at weekends or on bank holidays. A trainee will start off on around £15,000. An experienced plumber can earn up to £40,000 a year and emergency call outs can be pay quite highly.  

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