An Apprenticeship is a mixture of work based and college training; you’ll earn money while you learn a trade. All of our Apprenticeships are industry approved to ensure you gain the skills you will need throughout a sustained career. The Plumbing apprenticeship scheme will qualify you as a professional Plumber as well as giving you the option to gain further industry recognised qualifications or progress to advanced level. On Site provides all apprentices with personal protective equipment and a tool kit before you get started.
A plumbing apprenticeship is a minimum of 2 years and typically lasts 4. Plumbers work with heating systems, installing boilers, pipe work and radiators in houses and offices. They work with water systems including water supplies to bathrooms and kitchens. They also make provision for the waste bathroom and water products to be removed to the main drain. Sometimes Plumbers might have to sort out problems with drainage systems. Plumbers are also often trained in the safe use of gas and gas appliances. On occasion Plumbers work with sheet lead on roofing work, guttering and drainpipes. Plumbers use a variety of skills, tools and materials, and it is possible to specialise in particular areas of plumbing work. A Plumber will be a hands-on person ready to adapt to new challenges and types of work.
Plumbing incorporates a large range of jobs and responsibilities. You could be a ‘wet only plumber’, who only handles piping systems in bathrooms and radiators for example. You could also be a ‘gas only plumber’, who often carries out their work in more industrial places, such as hospitals and laboratories. However, there are fundamental skills which are transferable from one job to the next.
It’s a mostly male dominated sector of work but, over the last few years, a number of all-female plumbing companies have been thriving and proving a welcome innovation with the elderly and single mothers.
A plumber has to be someone happy working with their hands. A good plumber will be agile and fit and not mind getting their hands dirty. You won’t be sprayed with water from a pipe every day but it’s not uncommon. Working in cramped and sometimes risky conditions is quite likely, so a plumber needs to feel confident that they can manage any sort of environment. Fitting under a sink needs to feel as comfortable and natural as fitting into bed.
As well as being good with their hands, a good plumber is also good with people. The best plumbers are the ones that are friendly, kind and honest. No one wants a stranger in their home, so the more chatty and polite they are, the more chance they will get their name passed around.
Word of mouth is often how plumbers get the most work. Although they will advertise in local papers and the like, the most work comes from people telling their friends and family that he or she is a good and reliable plumber. That’s why making a good first impression is vital for the job.
A plumber has an array of tools and equipment at his or her disposal. They consist of pipe cutters, wrenches, spanners, pliers, pipe benders, plumbers knives, tile tools, saws, tank cutters, blow torches, gauges, solders, brazers, immersion heater spanners, radiator keys, sink un-blockers and many more. A plumber’s bag of tools is the most important thing in his or her possession.
Here are some vital skills needed if you want to be a good plumber:
- Reading, drawings, and figures to understand the layout of water supply, waste, and venting systems.
- Installing, repairing and maintaining domestic, commercial, and industrial plumbing fixtures and systems.
- Being able to work in confined spaces or at certain heights.
- Communicating effectively and confidently with colleagues, subcontractors, and management.
- Locating pipe connections, passage holes, and fixtures in walls and floors.
- Using hand and power tools, as well as machines, to measure, cut, bend and thread pipes.
- Planning and performing calculations for specific and unique projects.
- Providing time and cost estimates of the work to be performed (both labour and materials).
- Being able to test pipes for leakages using water as well as air pressure gauges.
- Knowledge of legal restrictions and safety rules.
- Meeting safety standards and taking note of build regulations.