Our rapidly changing world dictates that many people chase few available employment opportunities. It therefore follows that there is a need to have relevant qualifications for a higher chance to secure these jobs. Plumbing jobs involve fitting and repairing water systems and heating appliances in residential and business premises among other related chores. Before someone qualifies to be a plumber in the UK, certain qualifications must be met. This article briefly examines the qualifications an individual needs to have so as to be a plumber in the UK.
Firstly, qualifying to be a plumber in the UK means having NVQ qualifications. Entry-level involves obtaining the City and Guilds NVQ level 2 plumbing and a ‘Basic Plumbing Technical Certificate‘. Having these 2 certificates will be enough to get you on the job ladder and allow you to obtain most basic jobs, especially if you want to be what is known as a ‘wet-only’ plumber.
Then advancing, the next level requires one to have a City and Guilds NVQ Level 3 plumbing qualification. This allows the candidate to take on supervisory roles and more specialist contracts.
Supplementary, short courses in certain relevant fields are a requirement before one fully qualifies to be a versatile plumber in the UK and tackle all the specialist areas. These courses include a ‘Water Regulations certification in Unvented Domestic Hot Water Storage Systems‘, ‘Part ‘L’ Energy Efficiency‘, ‘Part ‘P’ Electrical Competence Scheme‘, ‘Disinfection of Water Systems‘ and ‘Solar Domestic Hot Water Heating‘.
The most basic requirements in order to be a plumber in the UK is having a minimum of a ‘C” grade in the GSCEs of Math and English. These qualifications are a must-have when enrolling to a college or training center that will further an individual’s plumbing profession.
To qualify to become a gas specialist plumber in the UK, one further needs to have working knowledge in installation ,operation, servicing and fixing gas systems. This can only be effectively achieved by going through a compulsory Core Domestic Gas Safety Assessment, Natural Gas (CCNI) to become CORGI registered. An individual striving to qualify to be a gas plumber in the UK must go through this assessment as a first step, however there are other optional specialist assessments, for example, in gas cookers, gas fires and heaters, laundry systems, water boilers, ducted air heaters and domestic gas meters that must be taken to be able to tackle more specialist gas jobs.
Plumbing certification and training ensures that an individual possesses the fundamental skills in plumbing. Training such skills as producing well-thought out work plans before embarking on a plumbing project, costing, negotiating contracts, practical work, I.T, English and maths skills. The level of academic skills in English and maths is not necessarily set at a high bar, so do not be disheartened if these are not your strengths. But remember that it is important to have basic English skills to be able to produce adequate documentation for clients and to have mathematical skills to be able to solve simple dimensional challenges when installing plumbing systems into non-uniform environment.
In addition to these skill sets, employers will want to see a proven track record of good communication skills that will assist in public relations with the prospective clients. Employers in the plumbing industry also demand that one has motivation, common sense and demonstrable reliability (i.e turning up to work on time and always giving the best that you can).
Technically, if you want to be a self-employed plumbing tradesman, you don’t actually need to have any qualifications. Qualifications are only nailed-on necessity for the occasions in which you want to be an employee of someone else’s business. However, this is definitely not a good idea. Without the proper qualifications, you will not be eligible for personal-liability insurance to protect you from the potential accidents that you may cause on other people’s homes or properties. This means that if you find yourself out of your depth and make a huge and costly mistake, you will be liable to be sued by your client for full extent of the damage, and this can be tens of thousands of pounds in worst cases.
One can choose to go through a plumbing apprenticeship to obtain the NVQ qualifications at a lesser cost. This exposes one to the industry and makes them fully qualified to venture in plumbing in the UK. The UK government funds those under the age of 25 and gives them the opportunity to study whilst earning with practical experience. An apprenticeship allows a candidate to obtain all the of the necessary certificates and chance to work experienced professionals to help you learn the trade. The most attractive part of an apprenticeship is the opportunity to earn a wage whilst gaining valuable skills at the same time. Learning the profession without doing so will cost the candidate several thousand pounds.
To meet the qualifications to be a plumber in the UK, the demands are evidently stiff but rewarding. The plumbing industry in the UK is a competitive and a fast-growing business that requires a rim of qualified personnel in terms of technical ability and personal initiative.