Job change can get very frustrating, as there's so much to think about.
...and straight-forward information can be tough to locate. With thousands of career hopeful's under our belts, we realised we should put together a starting guide for those that are still searching to find their ideal path.
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Plumbers are always in demand throughout the UK whatever the time of year. Construction sites may offer fewer opportunities, but domestic work is as buoyant as ever. How many times do you hear about the number of calls someone had to make to find a plumber who was free to stop their shower from leaking? Plus people change their bathrooms and kitchens more often than they used to, which provides a constant supply of work for certified plumbers. All of which means that re-training for a plumbing career could provide you with a very secure future.
No matter what skills you start off with, the right training and qualifications will quickly launch you into your new career. To get you off to the best start, we've prepared an in-depth downloadable training report that we're making available to you free of charge.
There are many training companies offering plumbing courses in the UK, so you'll find the information really useful when comparing the benefits of each one.
Download the e-book first, and go through it when you've got some time to spare. And when you're ready come back to this article and look at some of the trainers featured alongside. It might be an idea to bookmark it now so it's easy to find again.
One of the most appealing things about retraining to become a plumber (or any other tradesperson for that matter) is the idea of being self-employed. Most people training today will take on small domestic contracts in their local area. This is hardly surprising when you realise how much work is out there, and the kind of money that decent plumbers can make.A lot of work will come from friends of people you've done a good job for. People like to recommend great service.
You'll learn your industry skills through a training college, but it's equally important to learn how to deal with people. Getting along well with just one person may lead to many lucrative contracts. Courtesy and respect can go an awful long way.
Employed commercial plumbers normally do an eight hour day, weekdays only. But if you're going down the domestic route, those hours should be a tad more flexible. Working people will want to get to know you first before leaving you in their homes unaccompanied.
The great thing about plumbing skills is they'll set you up for life. Whether a house is ten years old or a hundred years old, it still needs water and heating! The work is very satisfying, as you're either seeing a job through from beginning to end, or solving problems for people when emergencies occur. No two days are the same - you're not stuck in the same place day in day out, and if you don't want to take a job on, you don't have to!When you're working for yourself you have to know how to price jobs properly. Naturally this means budgeting in all your own costs as well as labour and materials. You'll get into the swing of things once you've done a few. The best commercial colleges should include training on setting up in business.
Look for industry recognised City & Guilds courses. These are available from both technical colleges and private training companies. Most young people entering the industry straight from school will opt for an apprenticeship style of training by blending on-the-job NVQ training with their FE studies.
But more mature career changers like to hang onto their old jobs whilst they study part-time. This is where the private training companies score best, as they offer flexible programmes with courses that will cover the needs of the domestic plumbing market.
Private colleges will cost more initially, but the student looking for domestic self-employed work will gain relevant skill-sets much faster, and start generating income within months, not years.
With a basic qualification you'll be able to work on a range of plumbing jobs. It's also worth thinking about taking some extra courses so you can do more of a job yourself. Additional skills could be in plastering or tiling, basic electrical work or energy efficiency.
If you have a broad ranging skill-set you'll be more in demand. Each job will be more cost effective, and leave more money in your pocket. Customers will be happier if they only have you to deal with - it's much more straightforward than trying to juggle several trades.
To summarise, the most profitable and efficient way to get into the domestic plumbing market is to train with a reputable private training company.