Retraining as a plumber

in Water Bills
5 replies 39.6K views
Ok, I'm hearing a lot these days how good and lucrative retraining as a plumber is.

But is it really?

I've been looking at some of the courses (full-time, part-time, long distance stuff) available these days and they're all saying "in a few months we can teach you up to NVQ level", and "this leads on to city and guilds qualification" etc, but are any of them actually any good?

Does anyone know, or has anyone on here actually gone through this and retrained as a plumber, and is the end result as good as everyone makes out?
Are people earning those great wages and getting lots out of it?

I'm a fed up with what I'm doing now, fancy something better, and it just sounds too good to be true


  • kingshirkingshir Forumite
    578 Posts
    I work for the LSC and we get hundreds of call each and every day from adults wanting to retrain as plumbers but the problem is although there are plenty of courses to go on, there are not plenty of plumbing companies to take you on to give that final hands-on training. If you only want to fit bathrooms etc as opposed to gas fitting then you wouldn't necessarily need to spend time with a plumber to become qualified.

    As to money, well it depends where you are in the UK. There is a shortage in and around London and the Home Counties but in the Midlands for example there are lots of plumbers - you've only got to look in the Yellow Pages!

    Finally, no I don't know anyone who has retrained and is now a proper plumber!

    Good luck!
  • Well i've taken the plunge...Jacked in the corporate job and signed up at the local college a two year one day a week technical certificate...I'm pretty handy anyway (building my own extension) ...I'm not expecting top earn £80,000 a year or anything , but if I can earn 25- 30 I will be happy...Yes in the Midlands there are a lot of people who claim to be Plumbers that advertise in the yellow pages...I live in a midlands town and a number of my friends have had all sorts of problems with plumbers..

    Generally they fail to turn up, swear a lot, bodge the job and then demand loads of money...I'm thinking that if I can address some of those issues in the way I do my work I might do quite well??

    Anyway here's hoping, its got to be better than a corporate life of drudgery, restructuring , redundancy, fear of redundancy and crapp office politics????
    The Early bird may catch the worm ...but its the second mouse that gets all the cheese!
  • SevenIronSevenIron Forumite
    11 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Hi Guys,

    I have had the same idea to retrain as a plumber, not that I think it's easy, I just have an interest in plumbing and am totally fed up working in my current trade. Has any one else got any experience with this type of retraining, are the jobs there when retraining is complete? What is a realistic wage for a newbie qualified plumber? I am in the Bristol area. Any more information greatly appreciated.


  • Hi guys, I have been thinking the same thing for a while now. I currently have an office job and I hate it, I'm jealous of people who are out and about, inside and out, working on different jobs rather than being chained to the desk all day every day doing the same thing all the time.

    I've been looking at doing one of these intensive plumbing courses where you can be qualified up to NVQ Level 2 standard in 6-8 weeks which sounds alright - although it looks like its going to set me back about £4,000 or more. Does anyone know if I could get any help towards this cost, a grant of some kind maybe?

    Also, it appears that you can only pass your NVQ Level 2 by being assessed on a job in a work situation and I don't think it would be that easy to get a job straight away. I imagine there are a hell of a lot of people training to be plumbers, especially where I am (in the North West) and I expect there are not enough jobs for everyone.

    Ak301 is right, it does seem too good to be true. Does anyone have any advice they could give me regarding the above?

  • Dont do it yer wasting your cash , too many 6 week wonders chasing very few jobs , the wages are getting lower and lower, good luck but youll never get a job without a apprentiship or 5 year expierence
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