Plumber

Plumbers fit and service hot and cold water systems, heating systems and drainage networks.

Potential salary
£15,000 to £40,000
Working hours
37 to 40 a week
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of maths
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • customer service skills
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As a plumber, you'll:

  • find out from the customer what the problem is
  • give time and cost estimates for jobs
  • install water, drainage and heating systems
  • cut, shape and join pipes and fittings
  • find and fix faults
  • service gas and oil-fired central heating systems and radiators
  • install or repair domestic appliances like showers and washing machines
  • respond to emergency call-outs, like boiler breakdowns or blocked drains
  • fit weather-proof materials, joints and flashings to roofs, chimneys and walls

You could work at a client's home or at a client's business.

Your working environment may be cramped, at height and outdoors some of the time.

You can develop your skills by taking further training in areas like heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, and renewable energy technologies like solar powered heating.

You can also join the Gas Safe Register or get certified with the Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC). These would show you're qualified to work on gas or oil-fired appliances.

You could go on to study for a higher national diploma or degree and become an engineer. This could lead to career options in building services engineering, estimating and contract management.

You can find out more about becoming a plumber from the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering and Go Construct.

Data from National Careers Service.
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