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Discuss 37 and looking for a career change in the Plumbing Courses area at

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  1. MadMossy

    MadMossy New Member

    So I'm 37, working in IT since leaving college back in the late 90's and changed careers in 2013 to Sales, to say I'm not happy with it would be an understatement, so I'm looking to change, I like technical work and love doing things practical, the one thing I enjoyed about the IT work is doing complete system overhauls and network installations but being stuck in an office most of the time just wasn't for me. Likewise the sales side I like having a goal/target and being on the road, but time invested and hours just aren't justified, which is why I have decided I need an ACTUAL trade, its either electrician or plumber and as our family have several (other side of the country though) it seems like the logical choice.

    Problem is I work full time, do unusual hours (evening classes are not an option) but at the same time I have bills and expenses which cannot be ignored. Where on earth do I start.
  2. JCplumb

    JCplumb Plumber

    For either of your chosen careers, you're going to need training. If you can't train because of your current work hours then you can't do it.
    There's day release, evening courses, fast-track courses(not a good option by the way) also full time courses.
    You'll need to choose the best fit and go for that one, but that depends on if you can get regular time not working to attend the course.
    I was in a similar situation to you, similar age too, was a 'database engineer' for one of the big 6 energy companies, designed and managed inter company software systems and such.
    Last couple of years I was there I was desperately unhappy and did 2 years night school plumbing, that included 2 weeks off work for the practicals, then lots of weekends/evenings/bank holidays etc. working for very little pay to get my NVQ portfolio.
    I was very lucky, I was trained and qualified but not willing to take the plunge into going full time self employed because I had bills/mortgages etc. and no guaranteed work, but my main job got moved down south and I got the option of volountary redundancy, that and a couple of properties I rented out paid my bills for the first year while I built up my business.
    It was a long hard slog juggling it all for 2 years but I wouldn't change a thing now except maybe I'd have done it 10 years earlier ;)
    TLDR: If you're determined then you need to either change your working hours or your job to accomodate training.
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  3. MadMossy

    MadMossy New Member

    So i've been doing some more research and it would seem that the only local place that offers the course, only has the C&G level 1/2/3 diploma, they have an opening day next week which I will be attending.

    It's South Devon College, Paignton I'm looking at attending as its only a few miles away for me.
  4. Callsimon55

    Callsimon55 New Member

    Simple do not do it. Stress levels off the scale for plumbing. Good electricians are born not trained. PS I am a plumber just in case you wondered
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  5. MadMossy

    MadMossy New Member

    Can't be any more or less stressful that my current role which is sales, or my previous job which was IT. Money is the driving force for my choice, job satisfaction is what I am after and being a person who excels at practical work rather than sat in an office. A trade like plumbing is the choice I have taken. It was either that or electrician.

    I also think that any job you do. Is only as stressful as you make it.
  6. Silvana Maccari

    Silvana Maccari New Member

    Age was never a matter for you carrier and never will be. Its all about your inner force. I have seen people started/changed their career in 45 and after two years he was the best in this market. If you think you can, then certainly you will.
  7. cr0ft

    cr0ft Trusted Plumber GSR

    How fit are you and in what condition is your body currently in? I ask as I'm 37 myself and things are just beginning to go wrong (creaking joints in morning), start of knee issues etc...

    Without being rude about it, even if you are brilliant at running a business you are likely to be looking at mid 40s before you have staff and get off the tools. Don't underestimate how much of a roll a trade takes on your body! Electrical work is much easier physically so I'd suggest that if I was considering a main trade getting towards the end of my thirties.

    Sorry to sound negative but it's best to be realistic.
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  8. MadMossy

    MadMossy New Member

    I'd say pretty fit, gym 3 times a week and practice brazilian jiu jitsu 4 times a week, think I can manage a few pipes and tools.
  9. cr0ft

    cr0ft Trusted Plumber GSR

    I see! Without ****ing in the wind, I run about 45 miles a week and there's probably not an ounce of fat on me to be honest. It's not helped me much at all! It's not the weight of carrying stuff about that knackers your body to be honest. Most of the wear and tear is due to leaning over constantly, being on your knees constantly, working in awkward positions that put excess strain on your back, fingers and tendons. All of this is fine in your 20s but really starts to accumulate as you get older, just ask any of the regular plumbers on here. I know I sound negative, but you came here asking for honest advice and mine would be don't do it at 37 if I'm honest. Don't get me wrong, you might make a living out of it for yourselves but it will probably be 5 years before you can regularly pull a £20k a year wage from the business so will you really be better off before you retire?

    If you are looking at doing plumbing to start with I think you will struggle to make a decent wage without doing bathroom installations. These take a very quick toll on your body and the simple fact is that as you approach 40 it takes your body longer to recover doesn't it.

    I'd consider myself very fit but recently I knackered my back and was off work for 3 months with no sick pay. Couldn't even pinpoint why but I'm certain it was down to the work I do. I woke up one morning and dropped off my legs due to a nice trapped nerve in my spine. Very luckily for me, I was in the fortunate position of having a couple of employees. If I didn't I would have earned nothing. Didn't have any of these issues when I started at 29.

    Usually by late 30s plumbers are working as gas engineers and doing boiler servicing etc for a large part of their week. Again, to get good at that you will be working for a good 5 or so years as a plumber. You can skip the plumbing and go straight into the gas of course, but you will be found lacking on knowledge and experience very quickly.

    I'm not saying this to put you off, I'm just saying be realistic. Ask some other people on here what they think and don't just take my word for it! Please don't make the mistake either that many people do - thinking plumbers are all earning a lot of cash each year. The money is in gas in this game and I believe it takes 5 years of experience as a plumber before you do gas to make a good, fully competent gas enginner.

    If you're really determined to do it, be an electrician. Much less working in cramped/awkward positions and you have a lot more control of the posture you can work in as a result. Pays better than being a plumber too I'd say based on my experience, on a par with gas work but without having to redo stacks of courses every 5 years!
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    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  10. JCplumb

    JCplumb Plumber

    I'm 45 and was pretty fit when I started, I'm knackered now, bad knees/feet/back.
    It's not that strenuous managing a few pipes and tools though so I think croft has a point ;)
  11. Pitty

    Pitty GSR

    I re trained few years ago went from a maintenance job and decided I needed a change so I retrained at my own expense at oxford energy academy and gained experience at my work( I work for a local authority) with a gas safe engineer ( done this after work in my own time) and then took my ACS and then they offered me a job as a gas /heating engineer
    Overall cost of course £4K (including exams etc etc) and a year of training etc but now I'm in a job I enjoy and learning new things all the time.
    So my advice would be take the plunge

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