Plumbers fit and repair water systems.

What does a plumber do?

Plumbers work across homes, businesses and in industry. You could be fitting, servicing and repairing heating and drainage systems or installing water supplies and associated appliances such as washing machines and showers. You may also be installing and servicing air conditioning and ventilation systems. 

What do I need to do to become a plumber?

Most plumbers begin their career with an apprenticeship. You’ll be expected to complete a range of vocational qualifications as part of your training. If you are also working as a heating specialist you will need to have appropriate certification in order to work with gas appliances. 

Grade D or above GCSEs, including maths and English would be an advantage

Commonly entered via an apprenticeship in plumbing or heating and ventilation. These take two - three years to complete. Level 1 or 2 college courses in plumbing (full or part-time) or heating and ventilation can offer a starting point prior to an apprenticeship.    

Related skills

  • Problem solving
  • Physical fitness
  • Patience
  • Numeracy
  • Attention to detail
  • Customer service
  • Mechanical knowledge
  • Ability to understand technical plans

Related subjects

  • Design technology
  • Maths
  • Physics

Essential qualifications

  • Industry-recognised qualification at level 2 or 3 such as an NVQ domestic plumbing

Where could I be working?

You may work for yourself as a sole trader or be employed by a larger plumbing and servicing company. Some big institutions like universities may have their own plumbing department to look after all of their properties

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