Everything you need to know about plumbing apprenticeships

The plumbing industry is a fundamental part of the UK’s construction sector. It’s a highly competitive field and professional plumbers must be qualified and familiar with everything from domestic boilers to welding techniques to computerised control systems.

What can I expect from a career in the plumbing industry?

No two days are ever the same. You may be installing a sanitation system on Monday, servicing boilers on Tuesday, laying underground drainage pipes on Wednesday, fitting a bathroom suite on Thursday and instating an intelligent heating system on Friday.

You’re likely to find yourself working in many different places, from a commercial construction site to a residential home, and job prospects are good, both within established plumbing companies and on a self-employed basis.

In recent years, the industry has been at the forefront of eco-friendly technological advancements, including solar water heating and rainwater harvesting, so you could find yourself working in innovation too.

Why complete a plumbing apprenticeship?

You must be qualified to work as a plumber. The main awards needed are either a Level 2 (NVQ) Diploma in Installing and Maintaining Domestic Heating Systems or a Level 2/3 (NVQ) Diploma in Domestic Plumbing and Heating.

Apprenticeship schemes are a common route into the industry as learners can achieve these qualifications, gain real work experience and earn a salary.

Who can apply for an apprenticeship?

You can apply for a plumbing apprenticeship whilst you’re still at school, but to start the term, you must be:

  • aged 16 or over
  • living in England
  • not in full time education.

Depending which level you study, a plumbing apprenticeship can take between 2-4 years to complete.

What skills will I learn?

As a plumbing apprentice, you’ll learn about the installation and maintenance of plumbing systems and components, including:

  • Domestic hot and cold water
  • Central heating
  • Sanitation systems
  • Gas appliances
  • Drainage
  • Rainwater systems

You’ll work under minimal supervision for the intermediate level apprenticeship and you’ll be able to enter the profession at a higher level to oversee, install, service, maintain and commission plumbing work if you complete the advanced level apprenticeship.

We’re always keen to hear from talented plumbing professionals. To find out more about advancing your career with WPJ Heating, contact us today.

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