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Discuss I'm looking for a way into the plumbing trade in the Plumbing Courses area at PlumbersForums.net

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3
Hello everyone, I hope someone will be able to guide me.
I am 31 and have my level 2 diploma in plumbing and heating, I currently work as a maintenance engineer and am desperately seeking a way into the plumbing trade, I would love to do an apprenticeship but like most cannot afford to take such a massive pay cut, I feel my only other option is to work as a plumbers mate (which i have some experience in) but am desperately struggling to find any job openings offering such a role.
Id love to work with/under someone with extensive knowledge and a professional approach to I can learn and nurture my own professional values.
any help/advice would be massively appreciated.
I am from southeast London (Bermondsey).

thank you all :D
 

WC1

Esteemed
Plumber
Gas Engineer
Messages
1,081
You could wait years for a mentor. If you're in London and you've got a qualification I would just start taking on small jobs on a self employed basis esp weekend and evening. If youve an ounce of sense, work will be coming out your ears before you know it. Don't bite off anything too complex. Crack the f on, I say.
 
S

Sweeney247

You could wait years for a mentor. If you're in London and you've got a qualification I would just start taking on small jobs on a self employed basis esp weekend and evening. If youve an ounce of sense, work will be coming out your ears before you know it. Don't bite off anything too complex. Crack the f on, I say.
Well said mate I appreciate your comments truly 🙌🏻 maybe I should just have some faith in my own ability and crack on.
 

WC1

Esteemed
Plumber
Gas Engineer
Messages
1,081
Small jobs here and there. Walk away from anything too complex. Even if something gets a bit tricky and you don't earn what you thought you might - and that will happen a lot at first. Regard it all as training for which you are being paid something.
 
Messages
3
I don't mean to hijack this thread by any means but I'm in almost an identical position to you. I am 31, have a level 2 diploma obtained from night school at Leeds building college and really want to get in to plumbing. I've been putting it off because of financial concerns too but I'm thinking of taking the plunge.

Realistically how long would I be expecting to earn minimum wage while I complete my level 2 nvq and how much would I earn while undertaking my level 3? Any help much appreciated.
 

scott_d

Plumber
Gas Engineer
Messages
5,673
Until you can work unsupervised and earn your wage.
I think the trouble is minimum wage for an adult, although not a huge amount of money will have to come out of your employers pocket. You will cost them money rather than earn them money for quite some time.
 

Knappers

Plumber
Gas Engineer
Messages
592
It's not easy I know as I've been there.
Altho just getting some jobs under your belt would be usefull I can't emphasise enough the value in working with/under an experienced engineer, not just initially but having someone to call for advice years later too.

I would recommend offering to work for free on a trial basis for a day or two.
Stay away from asking for anything longterm and just offer some labour to any plumber or gas man that might have you.
It's a win win and gives you a day or two to sell yourself.

When on a trial don't try to prove your skill as you'll likely just get in the way, focus on being usefull. If there's nothing to do then watch and be prepared to pass tools.
I would likely take on an apprentice that for a start showed willing, didn't get in the way and did a good job of sweeping at the end of day!
 
Messages
3
A very good point about how an employer would have to pay for me rather than me earning them money. I currently work full time so would find it very difficult to be able to get on with a plumber for a couple of days a week as my missus works weekends and I look after my daughter.

Would there be any kind of company where I can use my current skills (I'm a skilled welder) that would also allow me to finish my plumbing quals? That way I wouldn't be a burden and could still get the papers I want. Any ideas?
 

Knappers

Plumber
Gas Engineer
Messages
592
If your wanting something to fall into your lap then I have no advice.
If you find a way without making sacrifices then you should be very grateful!
 
Messages
3
If your wanting something to fall into your lap then I have no advice.
If you find a way without making sacrifices then you should be very grateful!
What kind of nonsense comment is this? There is a global pandemic that is hitting everybody's pockets and I'm trying to change careers at a time when a ton of people are losing their jobs. I'm trying to find a way that I can transition into another career while still being able to put food on my family's table and then being told that I'm basically not worthy of being a plumber because I'm 'not willing to make sacrifices'. I suppose working a full time job, a weekend job and going and doing evening classes to get my diploma doesn't count as 'sacrifice'.

I definitely would like advice, but no offence, I'm not sure I would want any advice you gave to give.
 
Messages
2,075
Would there be any kind of company where I can use my current skills (I'm a skilled welder) that would also allow me to finish my plumbing quals? That way I wouldn't be a burden and could still get the papers I want. Any ideas?
As you know, it's difficult (i.e. costly) to jump from one trade to another in mid-life. It may be better to think about making the transition incrementally.

You might, for example, be able to get work doing welding for a commercial plumbing outfit and from there try to get plumbing experience. Keep in mind that commercial work can be physically hard and if you're not as fit as a butcher's dog you may live to regret it.

Personally, I'd want to get into renewables rather than straightforward domestic plumbing. The latter is being de-skilled (plastic pipes push-fit joints, etc.) and is not tightly regulated so there is a race to the bottom on price that takes a new business quite a long time (building reputation, experience, word of mouth) to escape from.
 

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