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  1. Bhavin Patel

    Bhavin Patel New Member

    Dear All,

    My name is Bhavin and I am a healthcare professional from SW London. I am thinking about changing careers and starting a Plumbing college course. Can any experienced plumbers explain the following:
    1. How difficult is it to get work experience, plumbing assistant jobs?
    2. Why is it difficult to get work experience, no time, competition ?
    3. Average salary in London?
    4. How physical is the job ? Young persons job ?
    So many friends and family find it difficult to get tradesman in London ..

  2. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber Top Contributor!!

    1. Almost impossible, even working for free, unless you know someone.

    2. Because this isn't a highly enough paid profession to mean that an extra pair of hands you don't yet trust can repay the risk involved in leaving the work and the customer's property in them. Very easy to cause damage where water is involved - in a solicitor's office, paperwork can be checked before sending it out so you can leave things to the apprenctice, while on a plumbing worksite, a moment of inattention can be £500 worth of carpet, plus your reputation. Sadly college courses are not as rigorous as one might hope and don't really ensure a candidate is fit for work on a worksite, so it takes a lot of time before a plumber can trust his apprentice and count him as an asset, rather than as a burden (and there are no longer government incentives to take on apprentices, as I understand things).

    3. I don't know.

    4. I wouldn't say it is a heavy job, and I have had more physically demanding jobs, but you will be active all day long while on site, and up and down a flight of stairs around 20 times a day at least. A great deal of time is spent working in difficult locations, so you do really need to be reasonably slim and agile to get into the corners, in lofts, behind cylinders etc. You also spend a lot of time working under floors so will probably be on your knees a lot of the time. Not necessarily just a young man's job, but you do need to be in good health, I think.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. scott_d

    scott_d Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    What do you expect to earn?
    how many hours do you think you will work?
    What sort of work do you want to do? bathrooms, boilers, small jobs
  4. Bhavin Patel

    Bhavin Patel New Member

    Thank-you for the advise Ric2013 !

    RE work experience - I have heard it is very difficult to get a trainee position. It's a shame the course providers don't get students to a certain basic standard. In my healthcare career, I went to uni, studied, got a trainee job for 1 year (easily) and then qualified, very simple.

    RE Health problems - I am reasonably fit, running,swimming etc but I hear a lot of older plumbers have bad backs, feet, knees etc. They end up training or working in sales?

    I think I would enjoy the job/course but see qualifying and health problems ahead ..

  5. Bhavin Patel

    Bhavin Patel New Member

    Hi Scott, thanks for your input too.

    I don' have any salary or hrs expectations. I hear the Average salary for a London Plumber is 40-50k, 50 hrs/wk. Job wise, I was thinking the areas you have mentioned.

  6. scott_d

    scott_d Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Thats probably double what I would expect you would earn.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Murdoch

    Murdoch Active Member

    Hum .. average "salary" - that I very much doubt . most are self employed and theres far more hours to the week than just out doing the work...
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Turnover in London, perhaps. Salary is another matter.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. michael c

    michael c Plumber GSR

    Hi mate, your best option at the moment is probably smart metering. You will struggle to get in with a tradesman for work experience and most apprenticeships unless with a large company like British gas aren't brilliant.
    The company I work for has 3 gas apprentices who are doing their final exams in a few months, yet when I tried talking to them about gas they didn't have even the most basic knowledge as all they have been doing is fitting radiators and toilets in new build properties.
    With smart metering, there are currently two companies which train people up advertising on indeed. These companies have their own individual differences. With both you are garaunteed a job at the end, however you must pass an interview with the end employer before you are taken on for the course. 1 company charges around £2500 for the course with a job guaranteed paying £22000 per annum minimum the other is £6000 but offers a job with a garaunteed wage of £30000 per annum.
    With this said, many smart meter contracting companies pay a salary for the first 5 installs per day plus bonuses for each additional install. With some companies it is possible to earn £45000 per annum.
    My uncle used this route and then took a pay cut to work for a large energy provider. He then completed his full gas qualifications and despite having never done anything except smart metering, he is now the gas expert for his team and in a supervisory position.
  10. jtsplumbing

    jtsplumbing Plumber GSR

    Same question I always ask WHY PLUMBING ? its not the high earning glamorous job that people think it is, look on the other side of the coin how to you fancy being outside in the cold & rain unblocking a excess chamber full to the top with all sorts of nasty things, not every ones idea of a glamorous job and a side not meny see.
  11. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber Top Contributor!!

    You see, my answer to that question would be that I enjoy the work. It can be reasonably technical, but it also has a craft side.

    As such, when I'm actually doing the installation work (and not estimating and doing administration), I don't look at my watch and think 'I can go home soon', I look at my watch and think ' I wonder if I have time to do this before the customer wants me out'. And I'm not thinking 'this is boring, but at least I'm getting paid'.

    That was why I trained.

    Not ever had to rod a drain professionally (though I did one for a friend, and on the shared drain from my house). But it's kind of satisfying when you can get it to clear and all that bleurgh suddenly shifts.
  12. tomplumb83

    tomplumb83 Plumber

    No easier / harder than any other job out there
    You could easily earn 50k. If your good and can get the right work you could earn 50million? See Charlie Mullins
    Don't get the work and youll get nothing apart from grief
    Go for it - Let us know how you get on
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