How to Become a Plumber

If you’re interested in becoming a plumber, you should be a hands-on, practical type of person who enjoys working with your hands. In the UK, there are several options available for people wishing to become plumbers.

Depending on the type of training you take to become a plumber, you could end up working for yourself as a sole trader or finding employment with a well-established plumbing company. The sky's the limit when it comes to a plumbing career. You could find yourself installing, servicing, and repairing heating systems or fitting and servicing kitchens and baths.

Ways to Train as a Plumber

You can become a plumber by completing a traditional apprenticeship, working as a plumber’s assistant, or by completing a fast-track plumbing training program. Here is a breakout of each of these three popular options.

Plumbing Apprenticeship

A plumbing apprenticeship takes four years to complete. To take this route toward becoming a plumber, you’ll need to work for a plumbing company wherein you’ll train alongside an experienced plumber.

Typically, the third year of a plumbing apprenticeship is spent taking part in a domestic heating systems training program so you’ll become Gas Safe Registered when your apprenticeship ends. The fourth year of your apprenticeship will be focused on gaining hands-on experience.

A big advantage of a plumbing apprenticeship is that it won’t cost you anything. In fact, you can expect to earn a small income during your apprenticeship training. An apprenticeship will provide you with valuable experience which will significantly help you launch a successful career.

Fast-Track Plumbing Training

While an apprenticeship takes four years to complete, a Fast-Track plumbing training program can be completed faster. This training option can take anywhere from 4 and 16 weeks to complete, depending on the type of training you choose.

If you’d like to work on gas appliances when you become a plumber, you’ll have to spend several months in a Fast-Track training program to become Gas Safe registered.

If you’d prefer to take a faster route to become a plumber, you can sign up for basic Fast-Track plumbing training. An entry-level training program is typically designed for total beginners with no previous experience. This type of program will teach you how to undertake routine plumbing tasks like fixing faulty toilets, planning and installing bathrooms, fitting radiators, and identifying and fixing faults with pipework.

Working as a Plumber’s Assistant

If you happen to know a plumber, you can start your career as a plumber’s assistant to gain valuable hands-on experience. While this route won’t qualify you to become a professional plumber, it is a good way to gain knowledge of the sector while learning the tricks of the trade.

If you become a plumber’s assistant, you can start earning some money right away. Working as a plumber’s assistant is a good option if you’re unsure if plumbing is the right career for you. You could work full-time as a plumber’s assistant for a couple of months to see if it’s the career path you wish to pursue. If so, you could then seek out a 4-year apprenticeship or a comprehensive plumbing training course.