It can take years of training to become a qualified plumber / heating engineer. A career in plumbing and heating calls for a dedication to lifelong learning, as the rate of technological advancement is rapid. An understanding of maths and science is vital, and those on the tools need a head for heights, the ability to work in cramped conditions and the stamina to complete physically hard work day after day. The plumbing industry holds diverse career paths, good wages and the opportunity for individuals to run their own business. Many plumbers progress to design, consultancy, teaching and management, making the plumbing and heating industry a career with a future.
The CIPHE is not a training organisation, but we do offer information and advice for individuals thinking of joining the industry in our Training Guidelines FAQ.
We would always suggest that you select your training provider very carefully.
One essential piece of advice if you are looking to do training at an independant training provider, is to ask if the qualifications you will obtain at the end of the programme would allow you to become a Registered Plumbing or Heating Professional (you can decide later if you want to Register once you are qualified).
If the answer is 'No' then you should think very carefully about what type of training you will be getting, as it may not be recognised by the industry once you start work.
If the answer is 'Yes' then you will be gaining the minimum qualification requirements as set by the industry (NVQ Level 2 in England and Wales, SVQ Level 3 in Scotland, not just the technical certificate).
Training providers who tell you that you will be able to register but who do not provide the correct qualifications may well be in breech of consumer legislation and could be subject to investigation by trading standards.
If you are looking to gain a higher qualification there is information on obtaining a building services foundation degree Foundation Degree here.
The following organisations can offer advice on training in the plumbing and heating industry:
Tel: 01908 303 960
Fax: 01908 303 989
Skills Funding Agency
Telephone: 0845 377 5000