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:

A controversial advertising campaign commissioned by the Government to encourage people to change career if they’re in danger of redundancy or at risk as furlough as about to come to an end, has been pulled following complaints abouts its content and the lockdown conditions changing once again. 

 

Social media reacted with fury after the adverts called for people employed within the arts and culture, struggling sectors to ‘Rethink, Reskill, Reboot’, with an emphasis on considering a career in ‘cyber’. The ‘Cyber First’ adverts featured 4 different people in different roles but primarily a ballerina named Fatima who is pictured tying up her ballet shoes next to the words, ‘ Fatima’s next job could be in cyber. (She just doesn't know it yet)

The reaction has been ‘negative’ to say the least, with many responding to the calls to ‘Rethink, Reskill, Reboot’, with accusations of condescension and a dismissive attitude by those in the arts and culture sector, as it asked for them to consider other new careers, in ‘cyber’. 

Whilst this is obviously an area of future growth with the digitisation of virtually every aspect of our lives, the connection of people directly to specific areas is a risky approach for many reasons. When interviewed recently, Rishi Sunak admitted that many people are going to have to abandon their current jobs and retrain in ‘sustainable’ and ‘viable’ sectors: ‘I can’t pretend that everyone can do exactly the same job that they were doing at the beginning of the crisis’, he said.

 

“If you’ve spent years, possibly even decades, working in a specific job role, then the expectation to shift suddenly and seamlessly to another is obviously a tricky prospect.” 

 

This is a wiser approach in our view, to offer advice and to suggest there are other options is far more subtle. But compounding this, the government has devised an ingenious and comprehensive online questionnaire to help you answer the big question: what to retrain as? Based on your preferences and skills, the intention was to make finding a suitable new career much, much easier. Unfortunately, however, it hasn’t quite gone exactly to plan either...

Some questionnaire results have produced some, unlikely results. And people have found much hilarity in this bizarre but welcome bit of light relief, with ‘fair-ground worker’, ‘boxer’, ‘fish-monger’, ‘stonemason’ and ‘countryside rangers’. One person reported that she was apparently assessed as being suitable to be a ‘Bomb Disposal Technician’ or ‘Bingo Caller’.

Among the thousands of unsuitable job suggestions was one lady in her fifties recommended as a stunt-double; responding on Twitter, she optimistically suggested that she should retrain as she ‘could be a stunt-double for an unfit woman in her 50s?’.

Another slight miscalculation involved a self-proclaimed ‘painfully unfit PhD student (who loathed PE throughout her school career and continues to avoid any form of exercise) should retrain as a... ‘professional sportsman’. 

But some results have, at least, shown that the test gives some accurate results, as partakers in this quiz have ended up being told to retrain in… their current job: 

 

‘I’ve just done the government assessment to see what I should retrain as’, wrote one bemused user. ‘I’m going to leave my job as a teacher to become...a teacher’. 

 

You may want to take a look and see what vocations your skills match up to (but don't say we didn't warn you about unexpected outcomes):

https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/skills-assessment

On a serious note, however, this only reflects the gravity of the situation. Many thousands of people across the country are due to have their worlds turned upside down, and forced out of happy, prosperous careers. They are being forced to consider changes that were not part of anyone's plan only a few months ago.

Thankfully though, Access Training offers the perfect way out, but for those who have a desire to get a trade. We are quite clear that there are many other options out there for new careers and training courses to get you there but we will only ever offer advice to those who have asked for it. Not preach it to everyone regardless of their situation. 

Serving those wanting to retrain and change careers to get a trade has been a goal of ours since the beginning, 2003 to be axact; thousands of people from across the employment spectrum have approached us with the aim of retraining and starting out on a fresh path into trades training. 

Now our services may be needed more than ever – and we may be the service that you need. We will however, never condescend you or take your previous experience for granted. Our Career Support Team is here to listen and advise you.

 

"Guys who’ve 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.

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



Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.



 

In latest Covid-19 developments, Wales is preparing itself for a 2-week ‘Firebreaker lockdown’, which takes the entire country back to the restrictive conditions it saw in March. Similarly, Manchester and other large towns across England are on the verge of being made into ‘Tier 3’ restricted zones. The UK is seeing significant and dangerous rises in the number of Covid-19 cases. But as ever, we’re asking the same questions – what does that mean for workers and businesses in the construction industry?

As the country prepares itself for another potential large-scale lockdown, we’re here to sing the praises of the ‘fireproof’ construction industry, which, despite all the odds, is thriving and surviving through this turbulent period. Furlough and lockdowns will likely be things of the future, for months and potentially years to come. Retraining in construction early could be your ticket out of purgatorial furlough schemes, stationary jobs, and a sinking job-support ship. Read on to find out five reasons why we think retraining in construction is a no-brainer.

 

 

  • All construction work is set to continue despite lockdown

 

Although minor repair and maintenance work in private homes is banned in Wales, all other commercial and infrastructural building work is set to continue. Build UK has recently issued a template letter for all construction workers to carry around with them, in case they are mistakenly stopped by police enforcing the lockdown. This letter will have details of the worker, company they work for, and site they are working on – for any workers currently in the construction industry, you can download your own here: https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/health-and-safety/wales-lockdown-workers-issued-letter-of-proof-as-construction-continues-20-10-2020/

In short, construction workers are now treated as essential workers – and rightly so!

This will be a massive reassurance to those working in construction, as it ensures that major projects will go ahead, freeing up a long backlog of projects yet to go ahead. Even better, construction work of all kinds is continuing as planned in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Ireland too. 

 

‘A sharp output rebound of 13.5% for the whole construction sector is forecast in 2021’ – David Rice, Construction News (October 20th, 2020)

 

 

  • Productivity and demand are at an industry record high

 

A recent forecast has shown that construction industry output has been affected less than first fears indicated. The Construction Products Association predicted an initial 20.6% reduction in output, but this has been lowered to 14.6% – a significant decrease. The industry is one of the few whose performance is actually looking set to improve as time moves on, and is proving to be the safest and most stable place to work at the moment – and, indeed, for a long time to come.

 

 

  • Construction made a quick recovery post-lockdown

 

The speed with which the construction industry got back on its feet is very promising, but it’s all down to one important fact: construction is essential, and tradespeople will always be in high demand. This is exactly what was seen in July and August of 2020, when the demand for construction work, after seeing a backlog of months, skyrocketed. Sites opened quickly after the lockdown, and workers adapted well to the new restrictions. They got their heads down, and did the job – a testament to hard work, determination, and a passion for the trade.

 

 

  • Building sites have adapted well to Covid-19 restrictions

 

When lockdown measures were first relaxed in July and August, allowing construction work to recommence, there were great concerns that social distancing measures would inhibit the productivity of a building site, making work inefficient, slow, and expensive. But this has not been the case – on the contrary, social distancing has hardly affected large-scale, infrastructural building sites at all. The trades have been allowed to continue largely unscathed, in relation to many other sectors across the country.

 

 

  • The lockdown won’t stop you from becoming a tradesperson

 

What the last six months have seen is that the appetite for changing career and retraining as a tradesperson has never been more ravenous. Thousands of people have approached us, from a range of different backgrounds, to seek our services and reskill themselves in whatever aspect or aspects of construction they wish. Taxi drivers, chefs, pilots, entertainers, solicitors – you name it. 

The development of our online portal means that, wherever you are, in whichever ‘Tier’ or whatever state of lockdown, you can begin a course right from the comfort of your own home. Over lockdown, literally thousands of people have benefited from this flexibility, and with more lockdowns potentially looming, we don’t want you to miss out this time.

With the uncertainty ahead which clearly isn’t going away anytime soon, we hope you can see that the decision to retrain really is a ‘no-brainer’. If you think you have what it takes – the practical skills, the determination, and willingness to work for what you want – then Access Training can get you into lucrative, satisfying, and above all important work, in no time at all.


Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

In a couple of weeks, the furlough scheme is coming to an end and economists are predicting that what began as a safety net for millions of people, will still result in mass redundancies. But there are reports that construction businesses are expanding due to demand which is great news for those changing careers and getting a trade. 

Rewind back to the beginning of lockdown, a time when furlough seemed, to millions of people, like a blessed relief. It kept thousands of people afloat, supported businesses through a tough time, and made sure that the brutality of the pandemic wasn’t made worse by a crushing economic crash. 

But now, six months on, the end of the furlough scheme is rapidly approaching. Predictions are coming through surrounding the impact of the next six months. And it isn’t looking good. 

It's clear that the situation we’re in as a country is going to be very problematic for many. So we have compiled 5 important points about the current predicament, highlighted so that you have the information you need to make a decision about your future:

 

  • 1.8 million people are predicted to lose their jobs when furlough ends. Estimates now predict a massive surge in unemployment that could reach 12%.
  • 20% of people who received furlough are facing unemployment. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, 8.9 million people benefited from the furlough scheme. 

 

  • The Office for National Statistics reports that between 7-20th of September, only 11% of workers were signed up to the furlough scheme. This is down from 36% in April.

 

  • The Bank of England reported that it is likely that businesses have been exiting the furlough scheme quicker than we think. They suggest that only 7% of workers are still receiving furlough in September. 
  • The Times reports that, due to ‘weaker demand and uncertainty about the outlook’ ahead, businesses are ‘slashing jobs and investment’. Many workers will not be able to protect themselves from the economic downturn. 

 

However, there is a shining light coming from the construction and trades sector

 

Powered Now has reported the fastest rise in construction output since 2015. This great news was based on information coming from the UK Construction PMI (Purchasing Managers Index).






The report also noted that UK construction companies had rapidly expanded their business activities during the summer as new business had increased in spite of the wider economic issues. Powered Now also made comment on Yahoo Finance regarding the welcomed upturn:

 

‘....the building sector is back! This is great news. It means that this important sector is doing its part in the recovery from Covid-19. The whole industry is still in catch up mode and projects delayed by the lockdown are taking priority. This has helped to spike demand and we expect it to continue…’



So the trades may well be the place to be for a new stable career! Maybe it's time to consider a new direction: Invest in yourself, invest in a new career, and invest in a trade.



Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

After an intensive three-day practical, promising young plumber, Connor Cruden, has been named the SkillPLUMB champion for 2019 at the WorldSkills UK LIVE event in Birmingham.

Runners up included 21-year-old Kyle McGeoghie of Perth College UHI and 22-year-old Anthony Iacovazzo of City College Norwich, who achieved second and third place respectively.

 

trophies, skillplumb champion

 

Boiling Point

While the plumbing trade probably isn’t the first industry that springs to mind when you think of awards, honours and prizes, it’s that fact that makes the SkillPLUMB gong all the more prestigious in the world of professional plumbing.

Primarily aimed at apprentices and young tradespeople, finalists were tasked with completing a number of tricky practical assessments in order to test their skills and separate the best from the rest.

As part of the final trial, contestants were asked to install a sealed domestic central heating system with expansion vessel, pump and ancillary equipment. This included a radiator, unvented hot water cylinder and a boiler, along with the relevant copper pipework.

To further add to the intense pressure of this demanding task, all of this was to be completed under strict time constraints and ultimately scrutinised by expert judges against a challenging criterion.

Beating out competition from other regional finalists, Cruden will now be given the opportunity to compete in the Grundfos Installer Championship in Milan in March of next year.

 

Role Models

In addition to booking his place in the 2020 Grundfos Installer Championship in Italy, Cruden’s win also puts him into contention to be part of Team UK at the global WorldSkills 2021 competition in Shanghai, China.

Following the triumph, Cruden had these words to say:

“The competition has been brilliant and I am really proud to be leaving with the gold medal. It was really challenging working under pressure but I just did my best.”

Chairman of the British Plumbing Employers Council also spoke of the victory:

“The standard of work this year has been exceptional. The finalists are all excellent ambassadors for the industry and brilliant role models for other young people who are considering a plumbing career.”

 

Become a World-Class Plumber with Access Training UK

While such an achievement may seem out of reach for anyone thinking of entering the world of plumbing, it’s important to remember that every journey begins with that single first step.

At Access Training UK, we can help you achieve that first step and help you come on leaps and bounds with our wide variety of plumbing courses.

Whether you’re a complete novice or an experienced pro looking to add to your repertoire of skills, Access Training UK has the plumbing course for you.

Read on for a quick rundown of the various plumbing courses we have on offer at ATUK:

 

Essential Plumbing Course

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

 

Professional Plumbing Course

A comprehensive course to 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 teaches you how to install and maintain unvented hot water storage systems

 

WRAS - Water Regulations Advisory Scheme

Completion of this course provides you with ‘approved contractor’ status by your local water authority- a pre-requisite for many employers.

 

NVQ Level 2 Certification – For Experienced Site Plumbers

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

 

For more information on any of the plumbing training courses available at Access Training UK, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or click the button below to get in touch online.

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