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1. How long are plumbing courses in the UK? Well the answer is that this can vary between months and years if you’re considering becoming a plumber. An apprenticeship can take up to 4 years to complete the plumbing course. While an intensive fast track course will usually take 8 - 20 weeks in length before achieving a plumbing qualification.  

2. How long does it take to get certified in plumbing? Generally, it will take you between 1 - 2 years to gain all the plumbing qualification you need if you are undertaking a NVQ Diploma level 2. City and Guilds and EAL offer this plumbing qualification. This method of training takes less time than completing an apprenticeship in plumbing.

3. Is 40 too old to become a plumber? The answer to this is NO, certainly not. You can undertake a plumbing course and gain qualification to become a plumbing at any time in your life. You can be working as a plumber in the trade after 12 months and upon becoming certified and qualified.

4. How much does it cost to become a plumber in the UK? Plumbing courses can cost between £495 and £4,995. They teach between the very basic skills required in plumbing up to full technical and practical skills required to achieve full plumbing certification. Choosing the correct training course with the right plumbing training provider is vital.

5. How much does a plumber 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. 

The plumbing industry is a well respected and lucrative trade. Talk to us today to discover whether a plumbing career is right for you and which plumbing courses you need to take.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

City & Guilds and EAL logos

NVQ Level 2 (called an SVQ 2 in Scotland) is the qualification every plumber ultimately needs. Because it is assessed in the workplace and not in the classroom, it proves your competence and is based on your practical skills.

In order to gain this qualification, you will first need to achieve the Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing, as some fundamental practical skills and a basic prior knowledge of plumbing systems are required. Completing the Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing demonstrates that you have learned and retained the core skills required to become a plumber (you will receive a certificate as proof of this).

You will then need to go out into the workplace, where you will be assessed on various jobs that meet the specific criteria needed to gain your NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing.

So there are two qualifications you'll need to become a plumber...

 

Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing

  • Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing Studies (City & Guilds 6035-02)

Level 2 will equip you with the relevant plumbing and heating knowledge and skills. Once you've got this qualification under your belt, you can carry out plumbing tasks - but you may have to be supervised depending on the task.

 

NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing

There are two choices for your NVQ:

  • NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing and Heating
  • NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Installing and Maintaining Domestic Heating Systems

Both of these options comprise mandatory units, including:

  • Understand and carry out safe working practices in building services engineering
  • Understand and apply domestic hot water system installation and maintenance
  • Understand and apply domestic above-ground drainage system installation and maintenance techniques
  • Install and maintain domestic heating systems

 

Are City & Guilds plumbing qualifications the best ones to have?

1878: City of London Corporation and 16 livery companies - the trade guilds - established The City and Guilds of London Institute to develop a national system of technical education. They were granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1900.

City & Guilds plumbing qualifications have always been the traditional route for plumbers to become qualified, and to this day, they are still recognised internationally. NVQ qualifications were introduced after this, so the qualifications that plumbers attain nowadays are NVQs - which can be provided by awarding organisations other than City & Guilds (such as EAL, who offer plumbing courses at the same level).

Browse Plumbing Courses

These courses come under the title of BSE (Business Services Engineering) and therefore include an understanding and application of:

  • Safe working practices
  • Communicating with others
  • Environmental protection measures
  • Scientific principles
  • Site preparation and pipework fabrication techniques
  • Cold and hot domestic water system installation and maintenance techniques
  • Central heating system installation and maintenance techniques

The assessments for NVQ Level 2 form part of the programme, along with practical and theory exams. These take place in a training centre as part of the plumbing course.

You will also have to submit a portfolio of work and pass performance assessments in your workplace to demonstrate your skills.

Call 0800 345 7492 and talk to us today to find out more about our plumbing courses.

Recommended Course: Professional Plumbing Course

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

essential plumbing tools

Every trade has its own set of specialist tools and equipment that's used to complete some very specific jobs. You can guarantee that an electrician's toolbox is going to look different to a plumbers toolbox, but what is all that specialist equipment and what does it do?

Well whether you're just curious or you're keen to start your plumbing training ahead of schedule, we'll talk you through the essential plumbing tools here.

 

Wrenches

wrenches

Plumbers would really struggle to do their job without the humble wrench, and you'll find wrenches of all shapes and sizes in a plumber's toolkit.

The wrenches you see above are often called pipe wrenches because they're able to wrap around and grip tightly onto pipes of varying lengths and sizes. Plumbers usually reserve these heavy-duty wrenches for pipes made of metal as they would potentially cause damage to more fragile pipework.

Other common wrench types include basin wrenches (with a long handle for reaching behind sinks), faucet valve-seat wrenches (for old stubborn seals) and allen wrenches (for securing or loosening a range of plumbing fastenings).

 

Pliers

pliers

Pliers are a common feature of a lot of toolkits, but they can be particularly useful for plumbers because they're so versatile and can be adjusted to any size! Perfect if you need a good grip on a particular pipe while you unscrew a seized fastening or attach a new fitting. 

Rib-joint pliers are also great for getting a grip on small nuts, bolts and pipes because of their small yet strong jaws. Plumbers have to be careful when using pliers not to maw the pipe or fitting they're working on!

 

Plunger

plunger

The humble plunger - probably one of the first things that springs to mind when you think of a plumbers toolbox, right? There are very few other professions that are required to use a plunger, so this is really a piece of equipment that's iconic of the plumbing trade! If you've ever used one yourself, you know what they're for!

Applied over a sink or drain hole, plungers can suck up and help you remove any debris that's causing a blockage. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and there's bound to be at least one in every plumber's toolbox.

 

Hose Cutter

When plumbers are fitting bathrooms or kitchens they're required to use metres and metres of piping. Often, piping comes on large reels like the ones you see above, so of course, plumbers need a pipe cutter to hand!

Having a sharp pair of hose cutters to hand is paramount if plumbers want to ensure a leak-free clean edge. Pipe cutters can also be used to cut perfect shapes into copper hosing when necessary. 

 

 Soldering Tools

soldering

Often plumbers will need to join copper pipes to fix your sink or fit your new bathroom. With that in mind, it's possible that you'll see a portable soldering kit in and amongst the plumbing toolbox.

This could include a range of things such as a soldering torch, a fire-resistant cloth, solder, flux, and a striker. Having this equipment handy and being able to use it safely can be incredibly beneficial, particularly if you run your own plumbing business and are required to travel frequently for work.

So, this gives you an insight into the kinds of tools that plumbers use! To become a real expert on all things plumbing, why not consider signing up for one of our plumbing training courses?

Become a Plumber >

Research conducted by the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme has uncovered some startling statistics that could land the UK in deep water.

 

leaking tap, water wastage 

 

Leaking Information

According to the WRAS survey, over a quarter of Brits would wait over a week to fix a dripping tap, equating to almost 170 litres of water.

Meanwhile, over a fifth of all Brits would wait more than four days to address a leaking toilet, with the collective potential to waste between 215 and 400 litres a day, with a median of 72 litres per toilet a day.

Not only can this unnecessary water wastage see your water bills creep up needlessly, it can also have a potentially damaging effect on the population and the environment.

 

Down the Pan

It’s estimated that the UK wastes approximately 400 million litres of water every day as a result of leaking toilets. To put that into context, that’s enough to cover Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool combined.

Naturally, the sheer scale of this wastage is a concerning issue, made all the more concerning following Defra’s recent findings on population density.

 

Environmental Impact

According to Defra, the population density in the UK means that there is less available water per person than in many Mediterranean countries. As a result, effectively managing the water supply is all the more vital.

WRAS Managing Director, Julie Spinks, had this to say:

“We all have a duty to use water more wisely and consider the impact we have on the environment. When a plumbing problem first arises, a quick call to a local approved plumber can not only give you peace of mind but also help ease the burden on the environment.”

 

A Quick Fix

According to Waterwise, around 70% of leaking toilets can be fixed by a plumber on the very first visit, saving a considerable amount of water if caught early on.

Waterwise has made their stance on water wastage and unfixed leaks well-documented, once again highlighting the importance of plumbing maintenance in the home.

With a national campaign planned to raise awareness of water wastage, the already high value of plumbing professionals only looks to get stronger as the years progress, making it a safe and lucrative trade to become a part of.

 

Plumbing Training

If you’re looking to enter the plumbing trade, Access Training UK has a whole host of courses available to help you get started.

Meanwhile, we also have a range of courses specifically designed for existing plumbers to help more experienced tradesmen and women grow and progress on their professional journeys.

Check out the plumbing courses below to see the full list of what we have on offer at Access Training UK:

 

For more information on plumber courses and plumbing training at Access Training UK, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online by clicking the link below.

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According to figures recently released by Direct Line, plumbing and electrical issues are the two primary headaches commonly faced by buy to let landlords across the UK.

While the diagnosis is far from surprising, the extent of the problem is certainly shocking, racking up sizeable bills nationwide.

 

house flood

 

Landlord SOS

According to Direct Line’s statistics, over half of UK landlords have had to enlist the aid of an emergency contractor in the last 12 months.

In fact, on average, landlords in the UK are said to have called out a contractor once every three months, amounting to 4.7 million landlord SOS calls a year.

The most common emergencies relating to these calls were all plumbing related, closely followed by electrical/gas supply issues and water problems.

Plumbing issues, in particular, accounted for 365k rental homes being evacuated, with electrical/gas supply racking up 293k evacuations and water issues relating to 267k.

 

A Hefty Bill

While buy to let properties have proved to be a savvy investment for many property owners, the subsequent maintenance issues have seen the need for emergency contractors impede those profit margins considerably.

Overall, Direct Line noted that Britain’s landlords have had to shell out a collective £4.5 billion on emergency contractors over the course of the last year. Statistically speaking, that equates to an average sum of £764 per call out and £2141/year per landlord.

 

Every Cloud...

Naturally, the figures paint a rather devastating picture for landlords and anyone looking to enter the buy to let property market. However, for those in the plumbing and electrical trades, the news is anything but that.

The demand for top-quality plumbers and highly skilled electricians remains strong in the UK, as the national skills shortage in this area continues. The result is healthy profits, a steady stream of work and a reliable income for those in the trade and attractive career prospects for those thinking of making the jump.

  

Plumbing Courses and Electrician Courses

At Access Training UK, we have a wide variety of courses on offer for potential plumbers and would-be electricians. These range from entry-level courses for complete novices with no prior experience all the way up to NVQ Level 2 Certification and PAT Testing courses.

Whether you’re looking to enter the electrical trade, build on your existing plumbing skills or anything in between, an Access Training course can help you get where you want to be quickly, efficiently and affordably.

Check out the buttons below to find out more right now and begin your skills journey today.

Plumbing Courses                    Electrician Courses

 

For additional details on the various plumbing and electrician courses available at Access Training UK, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 to speak with one of our expert advisors or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

Get in Touch

Fending off competition from over 400 other plumbers nationwide, Martin Warnes has been crowned 2019’s UK Plumber of the Year.

The Essex plumber was able to outlast four other finalists to take home the crown after wowing the judging panel with his impressive qualifications and organic growth of his business.

 

plumber of the year

 

All Hail the King

Entering the trade in 2007 as a local apprentice, Martin made the jump to become a self-employed plumber back in 2009.

Capping off his tenth year as a solo tradesman in style, the Essex man can now add the title of Plumber of the Year to his growing list of accomplishments.

Following the win, a shocked Martin remarked:

“I still can’t believe I’ve actually won. I love what I do and to be recognised for it by such a fantastic competition really is the icing on the cake.”

The win sees Martin take home the prestigious title, as well as the £15k prize pot and some pretty lofty bragging rights for the next 12 months.

 

A Royal Flush

Now in its fifth year, the Plumber of the Year competition has been recognising industry excellence across the nation since 2015.

The competition itself takes place over the course of sixth months, involving a public vote, shortlisting and, for the five finalists, a 30-minute interview, where their skills, attitude and business acumen are put to the test.

The victory puts Martin in exclusive company, joining previous winners Josh Colbert, Shaun Scott, Drew Styles and Steve Bartin.

 

Untapped Potential

Of course, the journey to the Plumber of the Year crown all began with a single step for Martin Warnes. You too could begin your journey by entering the trade today.

If you’re thinking of taking the plunge, why not explore the variety of plumbing courses at Access Training?

We have a whole host of courses available for all skill levels, designed to help you become the very best plumber you can be, whether you’re experienced or not.

Check the list of courses below and see what’s on offer at Access Training:

 

Essential Plumbing Course

Professional Plumbing Course

Premier Plumbing Course

Bathroom Fitting Course

Unvented Hot Water Storage Systems

WRAS - Water Regulations Advisory Scheme

NVQ Level 2 Certification – For Experienced Site Plumbers

 

For more information on the variety of courses available at Access Training, why not give us a call today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online using the button below.

Get in Touch

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.

Get in Touch

A recent study by Which? has revealed that dodgy DIY is a primary cause for plumber call-outs across the UK.

In a survey that covered over 3800 Brits, the variety of home maintenance jobs tackled by the untrained, unequipped and unqualified ranged from unblocking a toilet to fitting an entire bathroom suite.

Somewhat predictably, these DIY plumbing jobs often end in a damp squib, leaving many homeowners in hot water.

As a result, this translates to a lot of extra work for UK plumbers.

 

diy disasters,diy plumbing courses

 

The Numbers

The results of the study highlighted some interesting trends, particularly when it comes to the common DIY tasks we attempt at home.

According to the Which? study, 53% of those that took part had attempted to replace a set of taps themselves.

Theoretically, assuming this survey is indicative of the nation as a whole, that means over half of Britain has dabbled in home plumbing in pursuit of saving a few quid.

Meanwhile, a further 41% had attempted to plumb in an appliance themselves and 35% have attempted to fix a leak.

 

DI-Why?

On the flip side of these figures, traders are commonly hired to help solve these issues created by over-enthusiastic DIYers.

In fact, over 60% of the traders surveyed had been called in to finish the aforementioned tasks, proving that there really is no substitute for first-hand knowledge and professional experience.

Worse still, these DIY disasters often lead to even worse problems occurring, from small leaks developing into larger issues to poor installation completely ruining kitchens.

 

DIY Plumbing Courses

One thing that’s abundantly clear from the study is that DIY plumbing jobs are a sure-fire way to get yourself in deep water – quite literally at times!

That being said, here at Access Training UK, we have a variety of entry-level plumbing courses available, designed to help you not only become a DIY VIP but also a veritable plumbing pro in no time at all.

Ideal for anyone looking to learn a new skill, perfect their DIY skills or change their career path entirely, these plumbing related courses have the ability to change your life as well as your home.

 

Essential Plumbing Course

Designed for absolute beginners, this course provides you with a firm understanding of the basics and sets you up for a potential new career in the trade.

 

Professional Plumbing Course

This all-level course provides a variety of useful qualifications, designed to equip you with the knowledge to confidently enter the world of professional plumbing.

 

Advanced Plumbing Course

Ideal for beginners or those looking to update their existing skills, this course allows you to learn the ins and outs of plumbing and gas fitting.

 

Bathroom Installation Course

Specifically designed for those that want to design and install bathroom suites to a professional standard, this course is open to all skill levels.

 

For more information on our plumbing courses, call now on 0800 345 7492 or hit the button below to get in touch online.

Contact Us


Whether you dream of becoming a professional plumber or would simply like to improve your skills so you become handier around the home, a great place to start is understanding the most common plumbing problems and how to fix them. 

From dripping taps to leaking pipes, here are just a few of the most common water woes you may come across: More...



So, you want to learn how to fix a boiler and heating systems, but does that mean you need gas engineer course or a plumbing course? We often receive questions about the difference between the two jobs, so we thought we’d write a blog post that’ll clear up the issue and put the differences in black and white. More...


There is nothing worse than a boiler breaking down or having a plumbing issue during winter. No heating or warm water could mean some chilly days are in store. So, what can you do to prevent the big freeze taking over a home?

Some experts believe wrapping up a hot water cylinder to be a cost-effective solution. More...



With 2016 fast approaching, now is the perfect time to consider a career change or think about learning some new skills. If you're looking for an area of industry that offers a steady stream of work and income, then why not train to become a plumber?

At Access Training, we offer a range of plumbing courses, to suit both beginners as well as experienced plumbers:

  • Our Essential Plumbing Course is great for people who want to learn the basics of the trade, setting a foundation on which to build a portfolio of plumbing skills in order to go on to further training. 
  • For a combination of practical and technical plumbing knowledge, our Professional Plumbing Course will equip you with all the skills you need to become a professional plumber. By the end of the course, you will have achieved the qualifications necessary to start your career in plumbing. While this course is designed with beginners in mind, it would also suit experienced candidates looking to update their skills.
  • Candidates who are looking to become professional plumbers/heating engineers should consider our Premier Plumbing Course, which will allow you to also gain multiple gas and electrical qualifications, enabling you to join the Gas Safe Register and take on a wider variety of jobs.
If you're interested in enrolling on one of our courses or finding out more information, please feel free to get in touch with us today.

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