Electricians vs plumbers

It's well known that tradespeople make a decent amount of money. Both plumbing and electrical work can be very lucrative trades - but how much do plumbers and electricians actually make? And who earns the most?

Before we dive into that question, a disclaimer: it's rare for two tradespeople to have exactly the same salary, and earnings largely depend on an individual's work experience and qualifications. For the purposes of this blog post, we'll be looking at statistical averages, primarily those provided by the Office of National Statistics.

So who, on average, earns the most money?

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plumber fixing sink

There are a lot of reasons you might call a plumber to your house; maybe you’re planning a large scale bathroom renovation, have a leaky tap that needs fixing, or are looking for an emergency fix to a DIY mishap that has left your bathroom flooded. Either way, you’ll be picking up your phone and searching for “good plumbers near me”.

While there are lots of different scenarios that might require you to call a plumber, have you ever wondered when might be the best time to call? When are plumbers the busiest? Whilst plumbing might not be a profession you’d typically associate with seasonality, research has shown that there actually is a busiest time of year for plumbers.

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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:

If you read the survey carried out by the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS) you will see that basic skills are completely lacking! The survey found that 18-24 year old adults lack basic repair skills, from unblocking a toilet to fixing a leaking tap. Only 1 in 3 know how to bleed a radiator with over 55's the most capable age groups when it comes to home plumbing tasks.

What is clear is that young people are the most challenged by these tasks with less than 30% not knowing how to change a light fitting where, in contrast nearly two thirds of over 55s are able to carry this out. The survey also found that 37% of young people could change a showerhead but double this figure were capable in the the over 55s category.

Further to this the survey showed that adults born after 1985 are increasingly unable to take on simple tasks. However, a third of millennials would in fact know how to bleed a radiator, but this is still way short of the 79% of over-55s who would be able to carry out this most basic of jobs. 

So it is conclusive that when it comes to basic home repairs, they are not an issue for those in older generations, but the capability to carry out a repair is far less in the younger generations. In fact the repair that most people are happy to carry out is bleeding a radiator:

  • Bleeding a radiator - 57%
  • Replacing a shower head - 53.3%
  • Fixing a blocked toilet - 44.6%
  • Replacing a light fixture - 44.5%
  • Fixing a leaky tap - 30.2%
  • Fixing a leaky toilet - 21.2%

What is clear from the survey is that repair tasks within the home have become something or a mystery or even a no-go for most. This is great news for tradespeople and those considering taking up a trade as there are so many tasks that home occupiers will need to be carried out by professionals, no matter how simple they are in really. 

In fact it would not be advisable for anyone to tackle a task that they were not sure about as problems and possibly dangerous scenarios can result from the most simple of tasks. It's always best to use a trained professional, someone who has the training, skill and knowledge to deal with these situations. 

At Access Training, we are always striving to provide people of all ages, young and old, with the professional level of training, knowledge and skills needed to carry out basic and complex tasks, safely and efficiently. For those looking to become skilled and qualified as a plumber, electrician, gas engineer, carpenter or plasterer, we will teach you what you need to know, allowing you the opportunity to turn basic DIY jobs into earnings and a career.

To find out how to become professionally certified in a trade such as plumbing or to simply discuss the career options available to you, call us today.

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.




*WRAS Survey of 2000 adults in April 2019.

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.

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