The salaries of Plumbers are often highlighted in the national press. Within the UK, the figures of 30-70k p.a. are typical of Plumbers, mainly down to their low numbers. The question now is – are we being lied to, or is this the truth? To be certain, for the correctly qualified and experienced plumber, this level of salary is achievable and indeed attainable. Salaries of 70-100k p.a. are achievable, but these appear to be the area of the self-employed Plumbers rather than those who take the more familiar working methods.
It is fairly usual to expect working hours of 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday with a reputable employer. From UK companies comes the standard reward such as holiday pay and sickness allowance and a potential wage of between 15k and 30k p.a. By working ‘out of hours’ – typically longer than 9am to 6pm Mon- Fri the self employed person can often achieve a higher wage. This is especially the case where self-employed plumbers have opted to work in the domestic market, where their clients are at work during the day – requiring evening and weekend visits.
There is the also the fact which fits some people more than others and that is self employment. By using ‘good business sense’, including getting your own cost per hour correct, items such as advertising and marketing can also be worked out. To be fair most self-employed people will have to prepare for additional costs including those relating to legal and accountancy fees as well as those of transport and material usage. While these costs can mount up, so too do the benefits, however the costs should always remain a smaller part of the income generated. And the benefits nearly always far outweigh the downsides!
Often customary work from employers attracts Student Entrants especially if it meets their needs training in working knowledge and experience. On the other hand, the Self Employed Entrant needs to increase their list plumbing credentials as soon as possible. Having said that, we should bear in mind that the majority of self-employed workers tend to migrate towards the narrower ‘domestic’ market, rather than the commercial sector. (At least most of them do)
Considering the education in Plumbing, each path into the industry needs some match in the certification modules. There does remain considerable question when the factor of NVQ’s (SVQ’s in Scotland) is realised.
From the outset, it is clear that the Self Employed Entrant does not depend as much upon the NVQ’s as the Student Entrant. In order to meet their client’s expectations the Self Employed Entrant will often need to use a greater range of certifications. Certainly, the self-employed person needs to rapidly gain the key domestic-centred qualifications that will satisfy their typical household-based clients. Once they have covered the core parts the Student Entrant will often carry on their study not dissimilar to an apprenticeship in the workplace (where the NVQ element can be appraised.) Considerable savings potential exists to the Student Entrant by taking on this cheaper form of study. Nevertheless by taking a more commercial viewpoint and gaining qualifications faster than the Student Entrant, many Self Employed Entrants gain greater financial rewards and within a shorter space of time.
Clearly this illustrates the need for a careers discussion that covers certifications and study alongside those of financial returns. It would generate serious hardship, for example, for an adult requiring 20k p.a. (to provide for their family,) to go back to college and spend 3 years in low-paid apprenticeship work. Equally, many self-employed students fund the courses themselves whereas the Student Entrants often have their studies paid for them as part of their overall apprenticeships. These courses can run between 3k through to 10k+, depending upon the course and level of certification required and that is something that people need to consider.
Whilst the Self Employed Entrant can consider a wider range of education forms including private colleges the Student Entrant is limited to known further-education colleges. Commercially oriented plumbing course companies will provide an established path of training which ultimately leads into recognised skill-sets and qualifications. The ability to train in evenings, part-time or in self study classes allowing people to continue with their existing job and maintaining their current financial situation remains one of the key advantages to Self Employed Entrants. With so many colleges at hand, the key is to secure as many with technical data sources and gather them. We’ve provided links and a book mark to this page (CTRL-D) so you can come back whenever you wish and review the adverts and options available to you.
By going on added training programs many plumbing students seek to increase their ‘marketability’. These courses can provide a range of additional certifications in areas such as Gas, Green Energy and Electrical. Forming part of the common domestic and commercial heating system, Plumbers have often opted for Gas Training.
Gas training in itself is a specific and rigorous training regime, with core subjects followed by an emphasis on NVQ’s. This considers ongoing development, especially for those who trained first as a plumber and are seeking extra skills. It could be said that the blend of training covering Plumbing/Gas training is better matched to the mature student. It is by centring on these core elements and dropping the NVQ elements that the Mature Student appears to settle.
The self-employed professional appears to benefit from this distinct training mixture. Without a doubt the appeal is to learn a greater range of skill-sets and at the same time earn money from them. This adds to their overall package rather than having to rely on sub-contraction of key skills to third parties. Of equal concern is the lowering of customer value as they have to wait for essentials to be handled by others and the reduction of the overall earning potential that ensues from sub-contraction. The more professional a Plumber is within their field the more that they have to offer their relative client base.
It is by working at their broader range of certifications alongside business skills that Self Employed Entrants can achieve much higher income streams that their Student Entrant counterparts. Note: This information reflects the needs and requirements for the industry and policies of the UK market alone.