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.

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Further reading:

Whether you’re thinking about starting a career in plumbing or you’re curious about where you can progress from your current plumbing position, there are a few different routes that someone in the plumbing profession can take.

Plumbing Career Pathway

Becoming a plumber

With no prior experience in the plumbing industry, people might believe that plumbers have a somewhat limited career path, but that simply isn’t the case. From your first day of training to become a plumber you are presented with a variety of different areas that you could choose to specialise in, including:

  • Ventilation systems
  • Heating systems
  • Air-conditioning systems
  • Solar-powered systems

Will I be doing the same jobs every day?

Not necessarily. The role of a plumber can be very diverse, one day you might be carrying out a bathroom repair or boiler check, and the next day you might be working on a design for a new plumbing system in a home or commercial building. It really depends on your skill set and the type of company that you work for.

How can I progress in my plumbing career?

One of the easiest ways to progress in your plumbing career is to acquire new qualifications and skills that set you apart from other plumbers and set you up to carry out a range of duties.

Our Premier Plumbing Course enables you to work across the plumbing, electrical and gas industries. The training in this course covers aspects such as:

  • Health and Safety
  • Bathroom Installation
  • Electrical Principles
  • Gas Safety

Find out more about our Premier Plumbing Course >

Alternatively, you could also choose to pursue higher education. With a good amount of prior plumbing experience and a range of qualifications under your belt, you could work towards acquiring a university degree in engineering or a related subject.

Why not take a look at the Plumbing Training Courses available on Access Training Academies, to see how we can help you start, or progress further in your plumbing career?

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