Plumbing Jobs and Careers

Everyone is familiar with the role of plumber and has, at some point, used their services to mend a leaking pipe or water tank, or install kitchens or bathrooms.

The role is much wider than this, however, as plumbers' roles cross over with those of pipe layers, pipe fitters and steam fitters in working in many different environments.

Plumbing Jobs Sites.

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For many years now, plumbing has suffered from a decline in numbers of people entering the trade, and as the current generation nears retirement, this continues to be true. At the same time, it has gained a reputation as a profession in which members can virtually name their prices and work wherever they like.

Despite this, the industry is heavily regulated and gaining full training can take many years. Here, we look at areas of the industry and the kind of person it takes to do well.

Plumbing Specialisms

Type of Person

Particular skills are needed for all areas to become a plumber:


Becoming a fully qualified plumber may take years of training and a willingness to undertake lifelong learning. Technological changes mean that update training is constantly required, as new products and methods enter the marketplace.

There are numerous training providers and it should be possible to locate a local training program. However, it's vital that you first make sure that the qualifications you will gain enable you to become a Registered Plumbing or Heating Professional.

You may not need to register immediately upon qualifying, but it's important to know that you can do so. If not, you may find that you are not recognised within the industry and are unable to conduct certain types of work. If you can register, then your plumbing training will be providing the minimum qualifications for the industry. Many other specialist training routes leading to certifications will then be open to you.

The minimum requirements in England and Wales are NVQ Level 2, or SVQ Level 3 in Scotland. Apprenticeships leading to this level are open for young people wishing to enter the profession. Through a combination of college-based study and workplace experience, apprentices learn to work under minimal supervision to install and maintain domestic hot and cold water, drainage and sanitation systems, as well as central heating and its components. The Advanced Level Apprenticeship serves to broaden your skill base, so that you are able to complete and oversee work.


As already mentioned, every area of the plumbing profession is required throughout the developed world, particularly in areas of high population density. Within the construction industry, plumbers are more represented than any other group in new building work, renovation, maintenance and repairs.

Meanwhile, there continues to be a skills shortage and good plumbers, pipe fitters and pipe layers are in much demand. Job growth for all specialities is expected to continue. The strict application of regulatory codes in the industry and the physical demands of the work limit the number of entrants - it is not the easiest profession to enter and gain licences within, so opportunities for those who do so successfully abound. This is limited only by the introduction of greater automation and more useable plastic materials.

The greatest opportunities today for plumbing jobs are via contractors or firms that work on projects and contracts. Instability can be found primarily in contractors working for the construction industry, which is currently affected by the economic climate. A willingness to travel is therefore beneficial.

Overall, though, the plumbing industry offers a diversity of career paths, together with solid wages and the opportunity to be self-employed. The physical demands are counterbalanced by the opportunities to develop small businesses and pay others to do the more demanding aspects of the work. You can also progress to management, design, teaching or inspection work, depending on your individual skills mix.

Plumbing Jobs Sites

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