Nearly two thirds of plumbing businesses have apprentices in their workforce and these employers see apprenticeships as a vital lifeline to support the growing skills shortage in the industry. With so many unqualified people working in the industry, cowboy plumbers will have cost the UK £2.6 billion in recent years.
To become a plumber via the apprenticeship route it will take you approximately four years of training while gaining work place experience. Often taught on a day release with one day at college and the rest with your employer as you start to earn a real wage.
This Level 3 apprenticeship is perfect for you if you’re working in the plumbing industry and want to start your own business, supervise other plumbers within your current firm, or complete an apprenticeship to the highest level.
Read about a former plumbing apprentice who is now a lecturer here.
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You’re working in the plumbing industry and want to start your own business, supervise other plumbers within your current firm, or complete an apprenticeship to the highest level.
Four GCSEs at grade 4 including English and maths and a Level 2 qualification in heating or plumbing and heating.
This two-year advanced apprenticeship will take your skills and knowledge further to allow you to start your own business or be able to supervise other plumbers in a larger organisation as a fully qualified plumbing engineer. Throughout the programme you will learn how to:
• Design complex hot and cold water systems
• Build heating and sanitation systems from scratch
• Be aware of the latest building regulations and compliance requirements
• Gain industry required tickets such as Water Regulations certification
To be assessed with online tests, written assignments, practical assessments and a block week when you will install, commission and handover a fully-pumped, sealed system.
Completing your full apprenticeship and achieving several industry qualifications such as a Water Regulations ticket along with your NVQ Diploma.
Our plumbing students often win regional and national competitions such as the trade HiPEX competition.
Employment as a qualified plumber, on average with a starting salary of £15,000 to £20,000.
A range of specialist short professional courses to broaden your expertise such as our Installation of Solar Thermal Hot Water Systems Award, Installation of Heat Pump Systems or Water Harvesting to name but a few.
Careers in this industry
- Plumbing engineer
- Plumbing and heating engineer
- Plumbing and drainage engineer
- Plumbing sales
With additional training you may become OFTEC qualified and be able to work as a:
- Gas service technician
- Heating and ventilation engineer
Experienced plumbers can earn upwards of £40k a year and there is a current skills shortage with plenty of jobs available."
Alice Collard Self-employed PlumberAlice always enjoyed practical study and when she finished school she went straight to college to study plumbing because she wanted to learn a good trade. In her second year she got a job with a plumber in Falmouth and this took her through her third and fourth years of college, where she gained multiple qualifications. After leaving college Alice was determined to give plumbing a go on her own and set-up her own plumbing and heating business.
“My job can involve anything from fixing a leaking tap to a full bathroom refurbishment and I enjoy the variety, you never know what you’ll get from day to day and it’s always a challenge.”
*Courses listed on this website are indicative of the subject, nature and level of study. The college reserves the right to alter specific qualifications titles, awarding bodies and levels of qualification, which can change in year. Any cost may also vary, based on personal funding eligibility.