As well as study programmes for school leavers, Apprenticeships are also available, allowing students to earn while they learn, as well as gaining first-hand experience in a construction environment and providing the relevant knowledge and experience to understand the installation of domestic water supplies and heating systems.
Career pathways may include working on new builds and refurbishments, from small domestic projects to major ones such as public buildings. Plumbers fit, service and repair hot and cold water systems, and heating systems in homes and businesses. They also work with gas fires and cookers. Depending on whether you work in homes, industrial or commercial locations, you’re likely to:
- install water supplies, heating systems and drainage
- find faults in systems or equipment and repair them
- service gas and oil-fired central heating systems, boilers and radiators
- install and fix domestic appliances like showers, cooker, gas fires and washing machines
- service air-conditioning and ventilation units
- attend emergency call-outs to fix leaks, for example during cold weather
- fit weather-proof materials, joints and flashings to roofs, chimneys and walls
On all jobs you would use hand and power tools, which may include welding equipment. As an experienced plumber, you might specialise in sheet metal work for industrial, commercial or historical buildings.