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Friday 20th of October 2017

An Analysis Of Plumber Training PDF Print Email
Business - Careers
Written by: Jason Kendall   
Sunday, 31 January 2010 14:43
To begin with newspapers appear to love discussing what can be earned in Plumbing. Salaries of 30-70k p.a. are often discussed, along with the lack of plumbers within the UK. So, is this really the position or is this basically untrue? To be fair, this wage level is reasonable for the correctly qualified and experienced Plumber. To be fair, the higher earnings of 70-100k p.a. are generally for those working within the self-employed field.


To begin with newspapers appear to love discussing what can be earned in Plumbing. Salaries of 30-70k p.a. are often discussed, along with the lack of plumbers within the UK. So, is this really the position or is this basically untrue? To be fair, this wage level is reasonable for the correctly qualified and experienced Plumber. To be fair, the higher earnings of 70-100k p.a. are generally for those working within the self-employed field.

To be fair being with a regular employer often results in working from Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm as standard. Approximately wages of 15k and 30k p.a. are reasonable within the UK, along with standard benefits such as holiday pay and sickness allowance. That said it is by working longer than typically 9am to 6pm, Mon to Fri that self employed people achieve higher incomes than those adopting a traditional approach. This is more noticeable when the self employed plumber chooses to work in the domestic market, as result often requiring many evening and weekend visits to suit their clients.

On a personal level remains the issue self-employment, something that does not become everybody. Finally there is good 'business sense', such as getting the hourly rate correct, advertising and marketing budgets spot on which are all important. Likewise self-employed people need to consider the implications of costs relating to materials and transport as well as legal and accountancy fees etc. Whilst it is expected that the benefits will be high, the costs can mount up though they should always remain a small part of the income overall. Certainly the downsides are virtually always beaten by the income!

Initially, by searching for standard work a Student Entrant can get the majority of training especially with working knowledge and experience. Alternatively, the Self Employed Entrant needs to quickly establish those certificates that they will rely on in industry. In fairness it is the 'domestic' market rather than the commercial sector that attracts the majority of the self-employed workers in the UK. (Whilst not everyone does the majority do!)

Considering the education in Plumbing, each path into the industry needs some match in the certification modules. The issue of NVQ's (or SVQ's in Scotland) nevertheless appears to cause some difference.

From the beginning the Student Entrant instead of the Self Employed Entrant is much more reliant upon the NVQ requirements. In order to meet their client's expectations the Self Employed Entrant will often need to use a greater range of certifications. Certainly, it is the qualifications aimed at meeting the needs of the typical household-based client base that self-employed persons need to focus upon. Having covered off the key elements of training within the college, the Student Entrant usually then enters the apprenticeship stage within the workplace - where the NVQ element can be assessed. By using this cheaper form of study the Student Entrant can make sound financial savings from the outset. It is often by gaining certifications faster, by being motivated by a more commercial standpoint that the Self Employed Entrant will achieve considerable financial benefits before a Student Entrant.

This shows the necessity of a clear careers discussion, covering the overall study and certification requirements alongside the required financial return. It is often the issue of 3 years in low-paid apprenticeship work, alongside going back to college that many adults having to look after their family and with say 20kp.a requirements find difficult. It should also be borne in mind that many young Student Entrants have their studies paid for them as part of their overall apprenticeships, whereas the self-employed student generally funds the course themselves. The level of certification sought by the student drives the course structure and can result in costs of between 3k through to 10k+.

Self Employed Entrants can consider a wide range of private technical colleges as opposed to the reliance on further-education colleges and that differentiates them from Student Entrants. Plumbing training companies can offer commercial routes in to reputable training paths that cover the necessary qualifications and skill-sets. The ability to train in evenings, part-time or in self study classes allowing people to continue with their existing job and maintaining their current financial situation remains one of the key advantages to Self Employed Entrants. With so many training colleges available, it makes sense to gather information from as many sources as possible. We've provided links and adverts from several, so why not book-mark this page (CTRL-D) so you can come back later to review your options.

Many plumbing students will increase their 'marketability' through the use of further courses. It is by training in areas such as Gas, Green Energy and Electrical that Plumbers can gain extra certifications. A typically popular route for Plumbers is Gas training, especially as this forms part of the usual commercial and domestic heating system.

Gas training in itself is a specific and rigorous training regime, with core subjects followed by an emphasis on NVQ's. This considers ongoing development, especially for those who trained first as a plumber and are seeking extra skills. It could be said, from that viewpoint, that a hybrid of Plumbing/Gas training would be more suited to the mature student. By reducing the NVQ parts the Mature Student appears to be able to allow the focus on the core subjects.

From this, the self-employed professional appears to suit the variable training schemes. To earn money whilst at the same time as gaining a wider range of perceived skills becomes a desirable prospect. This further enhances their commercial offering, instead of sub-contracting key skills to a third party. Of equal concern is the lowering of customer value as they have to wait for essentials to be handled by others and the reduction of the overall earning potential that ensues from sub-contraction. To have a higher value within their client base a Plumber needs to consider their relative skill sets that they offer.

It is by working at their broader range of certifications alongside business skills that Self Employed Entrants can achieve much higher income streams that their Student Entrant counterparts. Note: This information deals with industry requirements and policies for the UK market alone.

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