How long is a plumbing course?

Traditionally, learning and becoming qualified in a trade like plumbing takes years of college, followed by another few years of training and apprenticeships. Here at Access Training, we aim to get you qualified in a much shorter time frame.

There are lots of different avenues one can go down when looking to become a qualified plumber, so we're here to answer some of the most frequently-asked questions about what it takes to become qualified, and what you can expect on your journey.

 

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Plumber?

A plumbing course can cost anywhere between £495 and £4,995 depending on the course content. There are a wide variety of courses available that differ greatly in the content they cover – some just cover the basics you need to know, while others delve into greater detail or specialise in particular aspects of the plumbing trade. Choosing the right course is vital when you're training to become a plumber.

 

How Long Does It Take to Become a Qualified Plumber?

Generally, it will take you 1 to 2 years to gain all the plumbing qualifications you need if you are undertaking a NVQ Diploma Level 2. An apprenticeship will typically take anywhere between 2 and 5 years.

 

How Much Do Plumbers Earn?

Plumbers in the UK generally earn between £750 and £1000 per week, which breaks down to £150 - £200 per day of work. Plumber's wages can increase where demand is greater and higher rates of pay can frequently be achieved, so becoming a plumber is an excellent choice of career.

 

Access Training's Plumbing Courses

Here at Access Training, we offer three different plumbing course packages. We understand that every student is different, looking to get qualified with different levels of previous study and experience, and with different end goals for the end of their course. For those reasons, we've carefully tailored a number of different courses so that every student can find something perfectly suited to fit their needs.

We also offer part-time plumbing courses because we understand that not everyone has the time to dedicate to study full time. If you need some flexibility as you study, our part-time courses are perfect since they allow you to complete the course at your own speed.

If you're looking to start your career as a plumber for the first time and you're after a course that's suitable for entry-level students, there are three different courses available:

If you're a qualified plumber looking to further your career and get qualified in in a new, more specialised trade or skill, we offer the following courses:

Still not sure which course is right for you? Questions not answered here? Contact the Access Training team today and our course advisors will do their best to give you the information you need.

Plumbing Courses   Contact Access Training

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

“Output has increased for two months in a row and momentum is increasing. June’s 23.5% surge was triple the 7.6% growth seen in May… The recovery is still young and fragile, but so far it is taking the hoped-for V-shape.”

Gareth Belsham, Naismiths. Construction Enquirer, June 2020


The wider economic outlook is grim for the UK, that's been extensively reported. The OECD has forecast that the UK’s national income will slump by 11.5 per cent this year, greater than that of France, Italy, Spain and Germany. Brexit will also have an impact on the economy, but that’s another potential issue.

However in spite of all the negative predictions, the trades sector has much potential as it represents the spearhead by which government investment generates growth. These measures will seek to boost the economy in a manner not seen since the end of the Second World War.



“History shows the construction industry is the tried and tested means of driving economic recovery, just as it did after the Second World War”

Paul Gandy, managing director of Interserve Construction, Construction News 3rd July 2020



An article in Construction News in July of this year, written by Paul Gandy, managing director of Interserve Construction, highlighted the positives that could then filter down through all areas of the industry. He highlighted that jobs would be secured and created across manufacturing, architecture, planning, engineering, distribution and construction, plus many other indirectly related jobs.

He also goes on to state that the construction industry as a whole provides people with new jobs quickly and the money that is invested gives a speedy return. With the government now looking to prioritise their spending they could do no better than to provide people with a level of funding needed to create these new skilled jobs in the trades.



“If the government prioritises job creation, skills and infrastructure spending – as the prime minister has pledged – the industry could be well placed to bounce back quickly following an extremely challenging period.”

 

Paul Gandy also made it clear how valuable the sector is to the UK economy as a whole: 

 

“In 2018, the economic output of the construction sector, according to the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), was worth £413bn, equivalent to 8.6 per cent of GDP. This is nearly four times the combined annual output of the aerospace and automotive industries.”



The construction sector itself is huge with over 900,000 sole traders amongst the 3,000,000 people who are directly or indirectly working in the industry - There are also just under 1,000,000 people that are regarded as self-employed.

There is still a long way to go to ensure that these prospects are fulfilled and we have some way to go before we reach a full and sustained recovery. Demand for construction projects will continue to increase, although nobody knows exactly when this will happen, as Ragene Raithata, a senior associate in the construction and infrastructure practice at DWF Group, importantly reminds us: 



“In a post-pandemic world there will still be a requirement for more homes, urban regeneration, improved infrastructure, improved offices, retail space and more distribution facilities. We all know from past downturns that a robust construction sector will emerge but how and when, we just do not know.”



Homes will always need building, infrastructure will always need developing, modernising, adapting – and we will need it now more than ever before. When things do return to normal, Britain needs the workforce to contribute to its road to recovery, to fulfill its prophecy of re-growth. We need to create our own masterplan for revival to see us out the other end – but most importantly, we need skilled tradespeople who are able to get the job done.

It is no overstatement to predict that the construction industry will provide the means of rebuilding our country: physically, economically, and mentally. And who knows? The next decade might see the UK economy becoming dependent on the continued growth of the construction industry. 

Whatever happens, we’ll need skilled tradespeople to get the job done – and you could be one of them.

Enquire for a course today



Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

"Anybody who's lost their job... my advice is don't be afraid. With hard work and the right training... you can do anything that you want."

Jimmy Adkins, Access Training Academies Tutor speaking to Robert Peston from ITV

Today’ Rishi Sunak announced his ‘Wage Top-Up’ scheme, a plan which effectively allows employers to work a third of their hours for almost the same wage; that is, 77% of their salary for one third of their normal working day. Another skilful avoidance of complete redundancy, another catastrophe missed; but ultimately a temporary measure to delay the inevitable. 

And let’s not forget, that this indicates a reduction in payment from the previous 80% salary offered by the furlough scheme. What happens to people already struggling to make ends meet, now met with a 3% reduction? What will happen at the end of another 6 months when industries are on their knees? 

There is a great cause for concern, as Paul Johnson, head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, predicted that 2 million people could lose their jobs by the end of this year. He called Sunak’s new plans ‘significantly less generous than the furlough scheme’; he also makes a crucial point, that only those currently working more than a third of their usual hours will benefit from this updated system – those not working at all will lose their jobs.

But we at Access Training want to reach out and reassure you that all is not lost. We want to point out the ways in which this period is an opportunity to grasp, that now is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Here are 5 tips on how to navigate the new furlough as a worker:



  1. Use gained time to retrain and prepare 

A lack of time and resources are no longer a reason not to invest in a training course. With Sunak’s new scheme announcement, you have the same wage, but two thirds more free time than before. What better way to use that free time than to upskill, retrain, and prepare for the next phase? It’s a no brainer – invest your time wisely.

 

  1. Plan ahead for the worst

If your sector, business, industry of work is likely to be one of those about to crumble, then planning ahead is crucial to avoiding a redundancy further on down the line. Why leave it to chance? Why not join the thousands of chefs, pilots, solicitors, cab drivers, and many other professionals, who are enrolling on a course with us?

 

  1. Keep your options open

Regardless of what line of work you have been, or are currently in, a construction course will cater for you. And with every other sector now under threat from financial ruin and collapse, wouldn’t it be better to have the option to jump ship if it had to come to that? 

 

  1. You have nothing to lose, everything to gain

As you read this, construction courses are reaching peak demand with new students leaving their careers to begin afresh in construction. With the continued uncertainty ahead, this makes perfect sense: a sturdy and dependable industry, guaranteed work and high demand. Upskilling is a win-win situation: you become more employable, you expand on your professional skills, and you gain qualifications which will always benefit you. In these times, it’s best to leave nothing to chance. 

 

  1. Believe in yourself – remain hopeful

As soon as self-belief is lost, then getting yourself back on your feet and moving forward can become impossible. We are here to assure you that Access Training is your way out and up to security and confidence. As Sunak inspiringly noted in his announcement speech:

 

"What was true at the beginning of the crisis remains true now. It’s on all of us, and we must learn to live … without fear.

Live without fear, and take the leap you’ve been meaning to take – because now really is the time." 



Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

From Solicitor to Plumber: How People Are Retraining to Cope During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Robert Peston interviews Access Training on ITV

ITV News, 24th September 2020

Access Training was recently featured on a special edition of ITV's Tonight. Titled 'Can We Save Our Jobs?' and presented by Robert Peston, the programme highlighted the trials and tribulations that people have endured while on furlough during the coronavirus pandemic: the stress of having no work, the strain of having to provide for your family, and the hopelessness of a jobless future.

But it's not all doom and gloom.

 

"Anybody who's lost their job... my advice is don't be afraid. With hard work and the right training... you can do anything that you want."

Access Training tutor Jimmy Adkins, speaking to ITV's Robert Peston

 

The programme featured several Access Training students - people from a variety of backgrounds who felt the economic impact of the pandemic and made the wise decision to pursue a career in the trade industry. Chefs have become gas engineers, cab drivers have taken up plumbing, and even solicitors are jumping on the bandwagon.

Talking to Peston, our gas tutor Jimmy Adkins gives an excellent summary of the situation, detailing the enormous spike in demand for construction courses that followed the COVID-19 crisis:

 

"It went absolutely crazy. Guys have come from all sorts of backgrounds - taxi drivers, entertainment, even to the point where I've had some solicitors because they're unsure of whether they're ever going to go back to working in the office."

Access Training tutor Jimmy Adkins

 

One of our students, Chris Kruger, was also interviewed for the programme. Chris recently left his job as a chef, citing job uncertainty as the main reason for this decision. He speaks of the "very stressful and very worrying" threat to his job, and indeed the whole catering industry:

 

"Not knowing whether things were going to go back to normal, whether I would still have a job, the situation at home - expecting a baby and so forth - and my partner also being in the hospitality industry... both of us sitting on furlough, you can imagine the stress."

Access Training student Chris Kruger

 

Access Training on ITV

ITV Tonight: Can We Save Our Jobs?

Chris very wisely decided that retraining as a plumber would secure his young family's future in these increasingly unsettling and unstable times. Instead of sitting back and letting everything crumble around him, Chris took it upon himself to prepare for the future: "I just said, no, I need to utilise this time to study."

If Chris can do it, so can you. The furlough scheme has now ended, but the pandemic is ongoing and there is still a lot of uncertainty about the future - especially in sectors like entertainment and hospitality, which were hit especially hard by Covid and which will bear the brunt of any future lockdowns.

The Access Training students who appeared on ITV's Tonight programme took the right steps at the right time to become qualified tradespeople. They invested in their careers, and made the choice to be proactive and determined.

Access Training can be your stepping stone to a secure and fulfilling career; the safety net you need in these unforgiving times.

 

Demand is high, and the time is now. Take the initiative today - get in touch now to speak to a course advisor.

Browse Our Trade Courses >

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

City & Guilds and EAL logos

NVQ Level 2 (called an SVQ 2 in Scotland) is the qualification every plumber ultimately needs. Because it is assessed in the workplace and not in the classroom, it proves your competence and is based on your practical skills.

In order to gain this qualification, you will first need to achieve the Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing, as some fundamental practical skills and a basic prior knowledge of plumbing systems are required. Completing the Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing demonstrates that you have learned and retained the core skills required to become a plumber (you will receive a certificate as proof of this).

You will then need to go out into the workplace, where you will be assessed on various jobs that meet the specific criteria needed to gain your NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing.

So there are two qualifications you'll need to become a plumber...

 

Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing

  • Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing Studies (City & Guilds 6035-02)

Level 2 will equip you with the relevant plumbing and heating knowledge and skills. Once you've got this qualification under your belt, you can carry out plumbing tasks - but you may have to be supervised depending on the task.

 

NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing

There are two choices for your NVQ:

  • NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing and Heating
  • NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Installing and Maintaining Domestic Heating Systems

Both of these options comprise mandatory units, including:

  • Understand and carry out safe working practices in building services engineering
  • Understand and apply domestic hot water system installation and maintenance
  • Understand and apply domestic above-ground drainage system installation and maintenance techniques
  • Install and maintain domestic heating systems

 

Are City & Guilds plumbing qualifications the best ones to have?

1878: City of London Corporation and 16 livery companies - the trade guilds - established The City and Guilds of London Institute to develop a national system of technical education. They were granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1900.

City & Guilds plumbing qualifications have always been the traditional route for plumbers to become qualified, and to this day, they are still recognised internationally. NVQ qualifications were introduced after this, so the qualifications that plumbers attain nowadays are NVQs - which can be provided by awarding organisations other than City & Guilds (such as EAL, who offer plumbing courses at the same level).

Browse Plumbing Courses

These courses come under the title of BSE (Business Services Engineering) and therefore include an understanding and application of:

  • Safe working practices
  • Communicating with others
  • Environmental protection measures
  • Scientific principles
  • Site preparation and pipework fabrication techniques
  • Cold and hot domestic water system installation and maintenance techniques
  • Central heating system installation and maintenance techniques

The assessments for NVQ Level 2 form part of the programme, along with practical and theory exams. These take place in a training centre as part of the plumbing course.

You will also have to submit a portfolio of work and pass performance assessments in your workplace to demonstrate your skills.

Call 0800 345 7492 and talk to us today to find out more about our plumbing courses.

Recommended Course: Professional Plumbing Course

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

Get in touch to learn more about our training courses!

First Name *
Surname *
Telephone Number *
E-mail address *
Ask A Question *
 
Security Character Security Character Security Character Security Character Security Character Security Character
Enter Letters (No Spaces) *