Plumber

Produce

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would fit and repair water and heating systems and appliances in homes and businesses. People who were having problems with their water supply or heating would rely on you to get these systems up and running again as soon as possible. 

You would:

  • Set up and service water supplies, heating systems and drainage
  • Find faults in equipment and repair them
  • Install and fix home appliances like showers, cookers, 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 to roofs, chimneys and walls.
  • Use hand and power tools, including welding equipment

You would need to be good at following technical plans. You’d also need to have a good understanding of safety rules.

As an experienced plumber, you might specialise in sheet metal work for industrial, commercial or historical buildings.

Working conditions

Hours

You would work around 40 hours a week, with the possibility of overtime. Some employers offer a 24-hour call-out service, which would involve working unsocial hours (like evenings, weekends and public holidays). As a self-employed plumber you would set your own hours.

Environment

You could work indoors, sometimes in cramped spaces, and outdoors in all weather conditions. Some work may be at heights, for example on scaffolding to repair guttering or leadwork on roofs.

Travel

You would travel locally between jobs, and some contracts may involve overnight stays away from home. A driving licence may be needed.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

People behind the job

Meet real people who’ve done this job – hear their stories and the path they took to get there.

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Working as part of a team
  • Helping customers
  • Working on your own
  • Working with your hands
  • Repairing and fixing
  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Being logical
  • Working with numbers

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

You would do a Modern Apprenticeship through the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation (SNIPEF).

Entry requirements for a Plumbing Modern Apprenticeship are a minimum of four subjects at National 4 (SCQF level 4) or National 5 (SCQF level 5). 

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • A technologies subject

You will also need

You usually have to pass an aptitude test before you can start training. 

You must have a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to train and work on site and will need to pass a health and safety test.

You must hold a gas ID card before you can start work.

You will need a driving licence for some jobs. 

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show practical skills such as Skills for Work Construction Crafts (SCQF level 4/5).

A driving licence.