What's involved

A plumber uses a range of hand and power tools for cutting, bending and joining pipes, so you need a good understanding of how to work safely.

They work in both domestic and commercial premises and there are three main areas they can specialise in:

  • Heating and Ventilating Service and Maintenance Operative - this role involves servicing and maintaining heating and ventilating components, pipe work and appliances
  • Heating and Ventilating Installer - they install, test and decommission industrial and commercial heating and ventilating pipework systems. This could include hot water, cold water, fire protection, heating (including gas pipework) and compressed air systems
  • Heating and Ventilating Ductwork Installation Operative - they are specialists in installing, fitting, testing and decommissioning ductwork systems

Skills required

You'll be measuring and doing calculations so you'll need to be good at maths and be able to follow detailed technical diagrams and building plans. You'll also need a head for heights.

Qualifications required

At least four GCSEs Grades A*-C are preferred, including English or Welsh, Maths and Science, although other qualifications may be accepted.

(Applications from students with the Foundation or Intermediate Welsh Baccalaureate are also welcomed).

Salary ranges 

(This is a guide to the average salary a fully qualified and experienced person might expect to get.)

£16,500 - £35,000

Progression routes

With an apprenticeship in any chosen specialism, you could register on an appropriate Certification Scheme and progress onto a Level 3 qualification.

After gaining work experience, there are opportunities to progress into other job roles including: technician, designer estimator, project manager, site/workshop supervisor/manager, chartered engineer, sales engineer or commercial manager.