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?

Click Here to see all Plumbing Courses >

Training to be a plumber

The path to becoming a plumber, or any type of tradesperson for that matter, is traditionally seen as being long and limited: several years of training as an apprentice alongside a professional whose main interest is the job at hand (and not the eager apprentice looking over their shoulder).

This image, some might feel, isn't particularly inspiring, and might even deter people from pursuing a trade career. However, this model is not the only way - nor is it the best way - to become a professional plumber.

Here at Access Training, we offer intensive plumbing courses in a professional and private training centre where the main focus is on teaching, rather than working, and your chances of learning how to do quality work quickly are far higher. Not only that, but our intensive courses are much shorter and more efficient, giving you a range of experience in a matter of weeks, rather than years.

Browse our plumbing courses >

We understand that some might approach a fast-track course offered by a private training college such as Access Training with suspicion - after all, how can a trade, something traditionally considered to require years of experience, be taught to a high enough standard in only a matter of weeks?

At first glance, it certainly seems implausible, but when you take a closer look into what the old-style apprenticeship process actually consists of, you might be inclined to think otherwise...

 

Five Reasons to Choose a Fast-Track Course Over an Apprenticeship

1) It takes less time.

This might go without saying, but a fast-track course takes far less time than an apprenticeship and the advantage of this is phenomenal.

Not only does it save you several years of valuable time, but it also means that you can begin working and earning much sooner. In the time it takes to complete a full apprenticeship, you could earn back the investment you made for a private training course ten times over!

2) It produces better results.

The feedback we receive from the companies who employ our students is largely supportive of the fast-track system. They claim that students trained on fast-track courses retain more information than those who have been training in apprenticeships for years.

Students are excited and enthused by their quick development on the fast-track course and are able to capitalise on this, increasing their employability, whereas those who have spent years as apprentices might have become less enthusiastic about their occupation.

In other words, you're more likely to still want to do the job after a fast-track course than an apprenticeship.

3) It involves intensive learning.

Back in the days of apprenticeships, the main style of learning was through observation, and very little else. For example, an aspiring plumber would have to spend a few hours a week following a qualified plumber from job to job, usually doing menial tasks like making tea and carrying tools.

Old style apprenticeships took years because the majority of time was spent shadowing the qualified worker and learning very slowly, not by experience or practice.

A fast-track course constantly involves learning about theory and is very hands-on, so that the skills you learn are put into immediate practice.

In a week, every single day on any trades course would be entirely dedicated to learning everything you need to know about that particular trade, instead of it being slowly drip-fed to you over a number of years.

4) The teacher's focus is on you.

In a typical apprenticeship scenario, the professional worker will most likely be focusing very little on the young aspiring apprentice eagerly looking over their shoulder. Rather, they will be concentrating on the job at hand, wanting to get it done to a high standard and in the shortest time possible.

As a professional who might have years of experience in the trade, any questions the apprentice would have might seem tedious and are likely to be either ignored or not answered in full. As a result, very little is actually learnt.

However, in a private college, the tutors' jobs require them to do exactly the opposite: to ensure that the students are fully equipped with the knowledge and skills they need in order to become skilled professionals. They are patient with newcomers, willing to fully explain theories and ready to take time to demonstrate procedures.

It's no surprise that apprenticeships take so long to complete - the difference is enormous.

5) You'll still get 'on-site' experience.

One possible argument to be made against fast-track courses is that they don't provide 'on-site experience' in the same way that apprenticeships do.

However, this can only be a good thing. On-site experience of the kind provided by apprenticeships still involves little or no practical or theory training, and is, in essence, quite useless - one might as well pay a visit to a construction site and watch the builders working.

However, as a privately-funded company, Access Training has the necessary resources to provide excellent facilities that are designed to simulate real working environments. Bathrooms, radiators, boilers and walls are among a variety of home appliances and structures you will be practising on during your course, in which the skills you learn can be put to immediate good use and be quickly developed as a result.

This style of teaching creates an effective fusion between having practical experience and essential knowledge.

Although apprenticeships are still considered as being the natural step on the route to a traditional working life, they are becoming increasingly a thing of the past: an inefficient, rusting machine in a new age of development.

A fast-track course is the best way to ensure workers are enthusiastic and skilled professionals by the end of their training. Enquire today about a course at Access Training - our professional course advisers will be guide you in the right direction.

Contact Access Training >

UPDATE - APRIL 2020: We now offer LIVE ONLINE LEARNING, so you can begin your plumbing training from the comfort of your own home! You'll attend virtual classroom sessions and learn all the fundamentals of plumbing before attending our fully-equipped training centre for the hands-on part of your course. Click here to learn more about our e-learning options.


Has your boiler seen a few too many winters? Are you starting to get lukewarm showers and weak flowing taps? Perhaps it’s time for you to get a new one.

Boilers made today are of a much higher quality and efficiency than those built 10-15 years ago, and so it definitely is worth keeping up to date. Today’s standards of boiler building ensures that the new products have the maximum energy efficiency of 90%, and will be more cost efficient as a result. 

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As our most recent summer fades away, the days are getting shorter and colder and we start the dreaded march into frosty mornings and pitch-black evenings. Not to mention those pesky heating bills that sky-rocket as soon as it hits September...

...Or is that really the case? A recent survey conducted by home heating oil specialists Emo Oil has revealed that central heating is actually used constantly throughout the summer, with households turning it up as soon as the evening chill arrives. More...


Plumbing tools

So you've decided that you would like to be a plumber, you've taken a quick look at the courses that we have to offer, and you've decided on the course that's most suited to you and the level of qualification you think you may require. But let us take a moment and explain to you in more detail what qualifications you need to fulfil your ambition and become a fully qualified plumber.

The minimum qualification that you need to become a plumber is the City & Guilds 6035 Level 2 Diploma in Domestic Plumbing. This qualification allows you carry out various domestic jobs, such as fixing taps, unclogging pipes, etc. If you complete our Essential Plumbing Course then you will gain this qualification. The City & Guilds 6035 is ideal if you are just entering the plumbing industry and would like to work alongside or become a domestic plumber.

If you would like to work on a large building site, or for a larger plumbing firm (e.g. British Gas or AA), you will first need to earn your NVQ Level 2. If you have no prior experience in the plumbing industry, don’t worry. Here at Access Training, we have developed two courses that are designed specifically for the absolute beginner - we'll train you up to become a fully qualified plumber in next to no time!

 

Professional Plumbing Course

Our Professional Plumbing Course will help you gain 4 industry-recognised qualifications:

  • City & Guilds 6035 Level 2 Plumbing
  • City & Guilds 6189-57 Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Plumbing and Heating
  • Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems Certificate
  • WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) Certificate

These qualifications will allow you to enter the plumbing industry with a varied skill set, allowing you take on a variety of work. In addition to completing jobs for domestic clients, you will also be qualified to work on larger sites and for large plumbing companies, such as British Gas.

View Professional Course >

 

Premier Plumbing Course

Our Premier Plumbing Course is Access Training's most comprehensive course for aspiring plumbers. If you wish to become a fully-qualified plumber, we advise you to enrol in this course.

If you complete this course, you will not only become a skilled plumber, you will also become a qualified gas engineer. Our Premier course includes the following qualifications:

  • City & Guilds 6035 Level 2 Plumbing
  • City & Guilds 6189-57 Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Plumbing and Heating
  • Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems Certificate
  • WRAS Certificate
  • Part P Domestic Electrical Installer
  • ACS Gas Certificate

View Premier Course >

 

Entering the plumbing industry with these qualifications will set you apart from the competition, either in a job interview or if you decide to embark on a career as a self-employed plumber.

If you are already working as a plumber (maybe you have taken our Essential Plumbing Course or completed some work experience with an employer) then you can also undertake you NVQ Level 2 through Access Training.

If you are interested in becoming a fully qualified plumber, get in touch now to discuss your options with Access Training.

View All Plumbing Courses >

Online learning now available - click here to learn more!

Plumber

We get hundreds of enquiries every week from adults wondering if they can become a plumber at 40. If you are currently aged 40 or under, you will not receive your state pension until you are 67 or 68 years of age; this may mean that you have another 27 or 28 years of work until you get any support from the state.

Can you really see yourself working in the same type of job - for roughly the same amount of money - for the next 28 years? If the answer is no, then now is the right time to change your career and retrain as a skilled tradesperson.

So, if you have been dreaming about changing your career, and becoming a plumber is appealing to you, then as long as you are in good health, no age is too old to retain!

A plumber will take on a variety of different tasks from one day to the next. One day you may find yourself installing pipes in a customer’s house; the next day, you may be fitting a bathroom. The great thing about plumbing is that you never know what jobs you will be faced with.

Variety is not the only positive aspect of being a plumber. Many people who retrain as plumbers with Access Training go on to become self-employed - you could be your own boss! Also, with such a large skills gap in the UK, plumbers are in high demand. If you are highly motivated and put in the hours, you could be looking at earning £30k+ a year.

Here at Access Training, we have developed flexible training programs that are designed to accommodate any work or family commitments you currently have. If you cannot afford to leave your job to retrain, you can still train to become a plumber outside working hours. No matter what your circumstances or your experience level, we aim to deliver a truly comprehensive plumbing course that will get you qualified quickly.

COVID-19: In these unprecedented times, we can help you to learn new skills and embark upon a stable, lucrative career in the trades. Whether you're interested in plumbing or a different profession, our combination of live online learning with hands-on practical training will help you to kick-start your new life.

To view our range of plumbing courses, simply hit the button below!

View Plumbing Courses >

Don’t let the thought of your age hold you back! Become a plumber at 40, become a plumber at 50...no matter when you choose to retrain, ou will be giving yourself the chance to spend the rest of your working years in a varied and rewarding career.

If you are ready to take the first step to change your career and learning to become a plumber, don't hesitate to contact us online or call us on 0800 345 7492 and a member of our customer service team will be more than happy to assist you.

Plumber becoming qualified

A question we get asked a lot here at Access Training is “what qualifications do I need to be a Plumber?” We hope to address and answer this question for many of you in today’s blog post.

To become a qualified plumber you will need to gain an industry-recognised qualification, this could be a City & Guilds award or an NVQ at level 2 or higher. The level is dependent on the experience you have. If you have no previous experience, we provide an NVQ Level 2 Certification – For New Plumbers Course, perfect for making a start on your plumbing qualifications. While it is still possible to get paid work without completing your NVQ Level 2 certification, you may be limited with the jobs that you are able to perform, and you will not be able to make nearly as much money as more qualified plumbers.

The qualifications that you will need will depend on which environment you would like to work in, either domestic or commercial. If you would like to embark on a career as a domestic plumber, you may be interested in our Essential Plumbing course. Our Essential Plumbing course covers all the key areas of plumbing, including how to run pipework, fitting radiators and bathrooms, installing external guttering, waste pipe and installing hot/cold water storage tanks. We also cover other areas, such as;

  • Health and safety
  • Electrical principles
  • Scientific principles
  • Domestic hot water systems
  • Sanitation
  • Central heating
  • Drainage and more!  

Our Essential Plumbing course covers the all of the basics of plumbing and will provide you will all the key skills necessary to work for recognised water companies, set up your own plumbing company or work as a plumber in other countries.

If, after completion of this course you would like to expand your skillset as a plumber, enrolling onto the City & Guilds 6189-57 Level 2 NVQ Diploma in plumbing and heating will provide you with an advanced level of knowledge. This practical assessment will set you apart as a fully qualified plumber and will test your ability to install bathrooms and repair, maintain heating and water systems.

To become a successful professional plumber you will need to become an “approved contractor” by your local water authority. This certification will allow you to take on contracts from your local housing associations, local authorities, health care trust and building contractors. Most employers will also require you to have this qualification. Our specially developed WRAS – Water Regulations Advisory Scheme course will equip you with all the knowledge you will need to gain an “approved” status. 

If you are really wanting to stand out from the crowd we also offer some advanced courses, such as the Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems course which will equip you with the skills you need to install and maintain unvented hot water systems, while familiarising you with the G3 Building Regulations and how to follow then when working with a Hot Water Storage System.

You may even wish to enrol onto our City and Guilds Bathroom Fitting Course which will equip you with all the knowledge you need to design and install bathrooms. Throughout this course, you will learn how to produce plastic and copper pipework, how to fit bathroom interiors and how to select the resources to complete each job.

On top of these qualifications, many of our students go on to study for their ACS Gas certificate which allows you to progress and become a gas safe registered allowing you to work on domestic gas appliances. 

Here at Access Training, your success is important to us, which is why we have also developed 3 courses that will guide you to become a fully qualified plumber in the shortest time possible. If you are interested in any or all of the courses mentioned in this blog post, click below to view all of the plumbing courses we offer. Alternatively, you can contact us to speak to one of our course advisors for more information.

Browse our Plumbing Courses >

How much do plumbers make?

If you're considering a change of career, plumbing can be a very lucrative choice. Plumbers are always in demand - every home needs water, after all - and whether you start your own business or get a steady job with a contracting firm, there's a lot of money to be made in this evergreen trade.

So how much do plumbers make?

Once you have completed a professional plumbing course with Access Training Academies, it would be reasonable for you to expect a yearly salary of around £18,000 – £20,000 if you begin your plumbing career in a medium-sized firm. As with nearly every profession, plumbers working in the London area can expect a higher salary then those elsewhere in the UK.

Once you have become more experienced, your wage will increase, and you can probably expect a healthy yearly salary of roughly £21,000 – £30,000 (if working within an established medium-sized plumbing firm). To earn this wage, you will need to possess additional qualifications as well as holding a more supervisory / managerial position within your company.

Alternatively, you can enrol on our Premier Plumbing Course and gain multiple gas and electrical qualifications that will allow you to join the Gas Safe Register and complete a wider range of work, including installing and wiring boilers. If you have completed your Gas Safe training as well as your standard plumbing training, you may be able to earn as much as £35,000 per year.

Many of our learners choose to become self-employed once they've got their plumbing qualifications under their belt. Being your own boss gives you a lot of flexibility, allowing you to choose:

  • The hours that you work
  • The kind of jobs you do
  • The amount you charge per job

Not surprisingly, self-employed plumbers tend to earn more than plumbers who choose to work for a firm. Some self-employed plumbers make up to £60,000 a year.

Self-employed plumbers can charge up to £90 an hour, and could potentially make £1,000 per week. This obviously depends on how in-demand your services are in your area. But with the current skills shortage only set to intensify over the coming years, a skilled tradesperson can dictate their own prices. It is not unheard of for an experienced plumber to earn in the region of £100,000 per year. If you are prepared to put the hours in and offer a 24-hour emergency plumbing service as well as your day-to-day service offering, you can do very well for yourself indeed!

Access Training Academies can help you to achieve your career goals and earn the qualifications necessary to succeed as a plumber.

View Plumbing Courses >   Speak to a Course Advisor >

A new book recently released entitled “My Mummy is a plumber” encourages young children to start thinking about a career in plumbing. This book published by butterfly books, in collaboration with the UK’s accreditation scheme for plumbers – watersafe.  Not only does it aim to reduce the current skill gap by encouraging young people to learn a trade, it also encourages girls to consider a career in trade.

Even though these books are a brilliant idea and we really think that they will help get children interested in trade work in the future, these books are aimed at children who are between the ages of 3 and 7. So, unfortunately, they do not help the close the skill gap that we are presently experiencing.  

Not only does a career in plumbing need to be encouraged to young children to ensure that the skills are not lost to an ageing population, a career in plumbing, its benefits and how people can enrol onto plumbing courses through training centres, needs to be promoted to people who are aged 18 and above, so that the present skills gap can be decreased.

To help bridge the gap, we offer a wide range of plumbing courses for people who are over the age of 18.  Access Training’s plumbing courses are so popular because they have been specially developed for students who have no prior experience or knowledge about plumbing and work with them so they can gain relevant, and industry recognised qualifications, such as City & Guilds awards and NVQ diplomas.

In our state-of-the-art training centres we aim to emulate real life situations, so our students leave our courses confident that they can tackle any domestic plumbing issue presented to them. Because our students leave our courses fully competent plumbers it is easy for them to find jobs working for an already established plumbing firm, or set themselves up as a self-employed plumber.   

So if you fancy a new challenge and always fancied a trade career, enrolling onto one of plumbing courses couldn’t be easier. Simply get in touch with us either by phoning us on 0800 345 7492 or fill out our contact form, and a member of our team will get back to you.


Recently, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors reported a shortage in the amount of trained plumbers in the UK, signalling an obvious opening for a fresh group of ambitious candidates who are keen to train in this field. In order to keep up with the demand for skilled professionals in the workplace, and to cater to the various needs of our candidates, we have devised a range of plumbing courses to suit a variety of abilities and requirements.

Essential Plumbing Course

Of all our plumbing courses, this is the option that best suits absolute beginners! Designed for individuals with little to no experience in the field, our Essential Plumbing Course is a fantastic way to gain a foundational understanding of plumbing work, upon which to build a prosperous new career. From fitting radiators to installing hot/cold water storage tanks, this course will give you an understanding of the essential aspects of plumbing work, allowing you to achieve a City and Guilds qualification as evidence of your achievements. Most importantly, you will learn how to perform all of these tasks safely, making it a great starting point for further training.

Professional Plumbing Course

If you're looking to cover a more comprehensive range of plumbing skills, then our Professional Plumbing Course is ideal. Like all of our plumbing courses, it is designed to suit the needs of individuals with no previous experience whatsoever, making it an ideal choice for both beginners and candidates with some previous knowledge of plumbing. Allowing you to train on a full or part-time basis, this course is both efficient and flexible to the needs of the individual. By the end of your training, you will have achieved four accredited qualifications, putting you on track to begin your new career as a professional plumber. 

Premier Plumbing Course

The most encompassing and advanced of all our plumbing courses, this training programme is ideal for candidates who wish to begin their career as a professional plumber and heating engineer. As part of our Premier Plumbing Course, you will gain gas and electrical qualifications as well as those in plumbing, enabling you to join the Gas Safe register and undertake a greater number of jobs. Despite the advanced nature of the course, it is still open and tailored to individuals with no experience in plumbing, as well as those who are simply looking to update their existing knowledge. On completion of the course, a successful candidate will have obtained six recognised qualifications, making it the perfect choice for those who wish to begin or resume their professional careers right away.

For more information about our plumbing courses, browse the selection here, or get in touch with us today.

Here at Access training we provide a number of plumbing courses in Kent that have been tailor-made for people who are looking to change their career. All of our courses are perfect for the absolute beginner, through to people who are industry professionals who are looking to expand their skill –set.

We know that you are all living busy lives, and changing your career path, especially when you have no prior experience can be a scary prospect. Here, at access training, we aim to make the transition as smooth as possible; we work tirelessly with our students and teach them everything that they need to know to become a fully qualified plumber in the shortest time possible.  

If you are living in Kent, or living near Kent, you can train to be a plumber at our state-of-the-art training centre located in Edenbridge, a quick 30 minutes’ drive from Tunbridge Wells.

If you are not currently living in the Kent area, we provide a range of appealing accommodation packages. It’s a good idea to stay near the training centre for the duration of your course as it is imperative that you arrive on time every day. Furthermore, some of our plumbing courses require you to read in the evenings and prepare for the next day. Straying away from your family and friends will minimise distractions allowing for you to complete your course quicker. Click here for more information about accommodation packages we offer in the Kent area.

Finally, all of our plumbing courses and training centres are accredited by City & Guilds, NVQ, and Logic. And our plumbing courses in our Kent training centre are no exception. So when you enrol on a plumbing course in our Kent training Centre, you can be confident that you will receive the highest training, and receive a nationally recognised qualification.

If you would like more information about the plumbing courses we offer in Kent, and all of our UK based training Centres. You can contact us by telephoning us on 0800 345 7492  or  you can fill out an enquiry form here and a member of our team will get back to you.

 
We have delivered countless plumbing courses to hundreds of people over the years, and we have seen that some students have a hard time achieving their qualifications because of their lack of basic plumbing knowledge.  

Here at access training we developed the professional plumbing course, this course has been designed so people who have no previous experience or knowledge of plumbing can get trained up to a professional standard, and for people who have taken a break from the industry and are looking for a fully comprehensive refresher course. 

To become a fully trained professional plumber requires a lot of intensive training. But don’t worry – We have you covered! 
Our professional plumbing  course not only covers a wide range of topics, such as, electrical principles, central heating, drainage, sanitation, maintenance, bathroom installations, water regulations and more. You will also work towards getting the following City and Guilds Qualifications:

  • City & Guilds 6035 Level 2 Plumbing – This Qualifications the installation of bathroom suites, radiators, waste pipes, external guttering, and hot and cold water storage tanks. 
  • City & Guilds6189-57 Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Plumbing and Heating – Gaining this practical qualification will set you apart as a fully-qualified plumber. You will be assessed in a “live” scenario, with the assessment possibly covering bathroom installation, and various other repair, installation and maintenance tasks. 
  • Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems Certificate – with this certificate you will be qualified to install/maintain energy-efficient hot water storage systems. 
  • WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) Certificate – with this certificate you will be granted the status of “approved contractor”. 
After completing our professional plumbing course you will have gained all the necessary skills to become a professional trades person. However many of our students choose to stay with us and undertake one of our bathroom fitting courses or a gas engineering course to broaden their service offering when they become professional trades people. 

At access training we accept students of any age, gender or nationality, and we offer flexible training programmes that can be taken on a full time or a part time basis. 
 
If you would like to find out more about our course, visit the Professional Plumbing course pageAlternatively you can contact contact a member of the access training team.
 
Image source: MoToMo on flickr