Thinking of becoming a plumber? Here's a preview of what an average working day might look like once you're qualified...

Plumber doing a job

Plumbers tend to rise early in the morning, often completing the first job of the day before the nation's office workers have even switched on their computers. But while those office workers will be chained to their desks for the next eight hours, a professional plumber gets to spend the day travelling around, tackling a variety of tasks in all sorts of different workplaces.

 

What jobs do plumbers do?

The jobs that make up a plumber's average working day depend (to an extent) on whether that plumber is self employed or employed by someone else.

 

Self-employed plumbers

If you've decided to set up your own business and be your own boss, you're free to pick and choose what jobs you take on. In all likelihood, domestic plumbing repairs and installations will form the majority of the work you do.

Common jobs include:

  • Stopping leaks and drips
  • Unclogging drains
  • Improving water pressure
  • Installing new pipework
  • Fitting bathrooms
  • Repairing boilers*

*Note that plumbers must be Gas Safe registered in order to work on gas boilers.

 

Plumbers employed by somebody else

If you are employed by a commercial plumbing company, your typical working day will probably look a little different from that of a self-employed domestic plumber.

Yes, there will still be plenty of leaks to fix and drains to unblock, but you may also find yourself...

  • Installing plumbing systems in new buildings
  • Maintaining large-scale water supply / waste removal systems
  • Carrying out work on public water mains

If you're not keen on the idea of spending lots of time in the van, zipping from one job to the next, then you might prefer a 'static' job that allows you to do all your work in one place. Many large businesses employ resident plumbers to carry out regular inspections and maintenance on the company's premises.

 

What hours do plumbers work?

Some plumbers work a standard nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday week like everyone else. But there's a lot of extra money to be made if you're happy to work evenings and weekends. If your average customer is at work during the day, they'll probably want a plumber who is willing to pop by later on, when they're at home...or maybe on Saturday, when they've got the day off. And of course, some plumbing emergencies can't wait until the next weekday!

Self-employed plumbers have the freedom and the flexibility to choose their own timetable and work as many (or as few) hours as they wish. Plumbers in traditional employment usually - though not always - operate on a more rigid schedule. Both career paths have their benefits; once you've completed your training and got some professional plumbing qualifications under your belt, it will be up to you to decide which lifestyle suits you best.

Browse Our Plumbing Courses >

Further reading:

Returning for its fifth year, the UK Plumber of the Year competition will reach its climax next month, as a new king is crowned.

A joint venture of JT, Bristan and Wolseley UK, the competition has grown in popularity year-on-year since its launch in 2015.

This year was no different with applicants from across the UK throwing their hat into the ring with hopes of becoming Plumber of the Year.

 

plumber of the year, plumber of the year 2019

 

The Final Countdown

From an original shortlist of 10 candidates, the field has been whittled down to just five remaining finalists as a result of a public vote.

The final five include:

  • Christopher Clare – Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside
  • Paul Clark – The Wirral, Merseyside
  • Caine Curtis – Yeovil, Somerset
  • Dan Tempest – Pontefract, West Yorkshire
  • Martin Warnes – Harwich, Essex

The five nominees will now go on to the grand finale, set to take place next month.

 

A Hot Pot

This year’s Plumber of the Year prize pot consists of a variety of industry perks, including £2000 worth of items from JT, £2000 worth of vouchers to be spent at Wolseley and £1000 worth of products from Bristan.

Bristan is also throwing in their new Rapid 4in-1 Boiling Water Tap and, yes, they’re even including the kitchen sink – quite literally.

The top prize also features a variety of other perks, from Apple products courtesy of Vendigo Finance to a beer-centric getaway from Cornwall’s Proper Job beer.

 

A New King

Last year’s final was won by Steve Bartin from Taunton, who walked away with the title and his part of a prize pot totalling £10,000.

Speaking at the time, Bartin said: “It’s an honour to call myself the UK Plumber of the Year. I’ve been in the industry for 23 years and I feel like all those extra hours and dedication have paid off.”

In one month’s time, that honour will fall to a new plumbing king when one of the final five is crowned the 2019 winner.

 

Pipe Dreams

The Plumber of the Year award is a great way to recognise trade excellence and for the plumbers themselves to gain some well-deserved recognition from industry and public alike.

Many of these finalists and past winners will have started out with little to no experience at all yet, through heart, drive and determination, have made it to the top of the trade.

If you are looking to start your journey into the world of plumbing or simply looking to sharpen your skills and add a few strings to your bow, why not take a plumbing course with Access Training UK?

Our wide range of courses caters to all experience levels, with each one designed to help you learn and grow into a better plumber and skilled professional.

Who knows, in a few years’ time, you too could find yourself in the finals of the Plumber of the Year! Every journey starts with a single step, so make yours now with Access Training UK.

 

For more information on plumbing courses from Access Training UK, call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online using the link below.

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30-year-old Carly Gayle from Crewe recently made headlines after being dubbed 'The UK's Sexiest Plumber'. Her story (which was picked up by The Sun, the Daily Star and the Daily Mail, among others) highlighted some of the challenges that female plumbers tend to face in this male-dominated trade.

 

"Where's the man?"

Gayle, a fifteen-year veteran of the plumbing trade, is often asked "where's the man?" when she arrives on-site for a job. Sadly, it's a line that lots of tradeswomen are familiar with, and it goes to show that many members of the public still hold very stereotypical views about what a plumber looks like.

While Gayle did go on to mention that she has used that dismissive comment as fuel to help her succeed, her story does bring to light the prejudices commonly encountered by women in plumbing.

 

Female plumber

Pictured: Leah Carney, a woman who started her own plumbing business after completing a course with Access Training. Read Leah's story here.

 

How many female plumbers are there in the UK?

According to industry experts WaterSafe, less than 1% of all UK plumbers are female. When Carly Gayle was learning her trade, she was one of only two women on a plumbing course of 200.

In an effort to address this vast gender gap, WaterSafe launched their 'Get Girls Plumbing' campaign back in 2014, aiming to promote the trade to female school leavers and women looking for a career change.

While the campaign has barely moved the needle in terms of overall figures, there is undoubtedly a market for female plumbers in the UK. In fact, WaterSafe also reported that 31% of women would prefer a female plumber to carry out work in their homes.

A number of all-female plumbing companies have begun to spring up in recent years; in fact, for many of these businesses, it's become a unique and lucrative selling point.

Gender equality is a hot topic in 21st-century Britain, and there's never been a better time for women to dive into the world of plumbing.

 

Our Plumbing Courses

Regardless of your gender, plumbing is a great skill to have and an even better career to jump into. Careers in plumbing are well-paid, challenging and always in demand.

Luckily, here at Access Training UK, we have a wide variety of plumbing courses that offer both men and women the chance to learn a trade, switch careers, and change their lives for the better.

 

Essential Plumbing Course

Learn the basics needed to become a domestic plumber (no experience required).

 

Professional Plumbing Course

A comprehensive course to help you become a fully-qualified plumber (no experience required).

 

Premier Plumbing Course

Combined course allowing you to earn plumbing and gas qualifications simultaneously (no experience required).

 

Bathroom Fitting Course

This course will equip you with all the skills and knowledge needed to install bathrooms (no experience required).

 

Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems

If you're already a plumber or heating engineer, this course will teach you how to install and maintain unvented hot water storage systems

 

WRAS - Water Regulations Advisory Scheme

Completion of this course enables you to apply for 'approved contractor' status with your local water authority - a prerequisite for many employers.

 

NVQ Level 2 Certification – For Experienced Site Plumbers

This fast-track NVQ programme is designed for experienced plumbers looking to gain the NVQ Level 2 Diploma quickly and with minimal fuss.

 

Whether you're male or female, why not consider training to become a plumber with the help of Access Training UK? Our courses offer qualifications for a range of skill levels, allowing you to achieve your career aspirations within a relatively short time frame.

View Our Plumbing Courses >>

With the recession only just behind us and various other money troubles coming into play, it isn't surprising that the country as a whole has adopted some sort of "DIY Nation" mentality of late. And while its encouraging that more and more people are picking up tools and having a go at something they could perhaps do without the aid of a trained professional, this is something that could potentially affect the amount of work of those with the qualifications. However, a recent study has revealed that this might actually not be the case.

The study, commissioned by business insurance broker Swinton Commercial, took a sample of 100 tradesmen and women across the UK and found that in fact business is booming due to the number of botched jobs performed by budding DIYers. 20% of the plumbers who took part said that it often accounted for up to 84% of their workload! A further 25% said that they were regularly called out to fix DIY mishaps at business, while 100% of them were in agreement that over-ambitious DIYers are putting themselves and others at risk.

Some of the jobs reported included:

 

  • A waitress in a cafe attempting to repair a commercial boiler using a bread knife and scissors while the unit was still live.
  • An unsecured bath where overflows were running into the ceiling void. Lead pipes had been left and fudged into the copper pipes, with boxing made from MDF absorbing water.
  • A basin tap fitted without a sealing washer, causing a large water leak, which ran through the ceiling in the hallway.

 

So how does this affect you? If you consider yourself a DIY enthusiast and often do this sort of work, it's vital that you know what you're doing before you start. Access Training offer a number of DIY training courses in plumbing, electric and various construction trades. These courses outline what you're capable of doing around the house on your own not just safely, but legally as well. Knowing when a job is too difficult for you is extremely important, and there's no substitute for the work of a professional tradesman when it is needed. 

Full story: http://www.hpmmag.com/newsitem.asp?newsID=2089

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