Plumbing apprenticeships (everything you need to know)

Kick-start your career in plumbing.

Are you a hands-on learner who is at your best when getting stuck into practical work? If so, a plumbing apprenticeship could be just for you.

Plumbing apprenticeships offer you the opportunity to earn a wage (up to £250 a week) while gaining important skills, knowledge, and experience to become a qualified plumber.

By completing a Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Plumbing, you will have the knowledge and skills to begin working under supervision. A Level 3 NVQ Diploma will enable you to design, install, and maintain complex systems. Each qualification gives you the basic skills needed to become qualified in both central heating and plumbing systems.

So read on to discover everything you’ll need to know on your apprenticeship journey.

Why take up a plumbing apprenticeship? 

As a plumber, every day is different. From installing a hot and cold-water system on a construction site to servicing a heating system or changing radiators in a residential home, a career in plumbing will always keep you on your toes. Of course, there will be some jobs that may require a strong stomach, but the reward of customer satisfaction after a job well done will always outweigh those tricky jobs!

With qualified plumbers going on to earn £32,000 a year on average, starting a career in plumbing presents you with a stable future. As an experienced plumber, you could eventually earn as much as £50,000 a year – so kickstart your career now by searching for a plumbing apprenticeship.

What do you need to start a plumbing apprenticeship?

Plumbing apprenticeships can take up to four years. For an entry-level intermediate apprenticeship, you will usually need some GCSEs (including Maths and English), or equivalent. An advanced apprenticeship requires 5 GCSEs in grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including Maths and English.  

Some of the skills that you need to become a successful plumber include:

  • Good communication
  • Attention to detail
  • The ability to use initiative
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Customer service skills
  • Ability to work with your hands
  • Ability to use, repair, and maintain tools and machinery

How to get started.

You can apply for Plumbing & Domestic Heating Apprenticeships in several ways.

By going directly to large companies, you could apply for a trade apprenticeship through a plumbing company such as London-based Pimlico Plumbers.

Alternatively, training provided also offer apprenticeships and will help you find an employer to complete your apprenticeship with. See, for example, training providers such as JTL Training.

Finally, check out any local colleges to see what apprenticeships they offer.

Plumbing Apprenticeship Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Plumbing apprenticeships in the UK typically last between 2 to 4 years, depending on the specific program and level of qualification. During this time, apprentices split their time between working under the supervision of a qualified plumber and attending college or a training centre.

Entry requirements can vary, but most plumbing apprenticeships require applicants to have a minimum of GCSEs (or equivalent) in subjects such as English, maths, and science.

There is generally no strict age limit for plumbing apprenticeships. However, you must be 16 or over to start an apprenticeship. (you can still apply before you are 16 as long as you are 16 on the apprenticeship start date).

Yes, completing a plumbing apprenticeship can provide you with the necessary skills to work as a self-employed plumber. However, it’s important to note that becoming self-employed usually requires further experience and obtaining relevant certifications or licenses, depending on the specific services you plan to offer.

Plumbing apprenticeships offer several benefits, including earning a salary while you learn, gaining valuable hands-on experience, developing practical skills, obtaining recognized qualifications, and building a strong foundation for a successful career.