To begin with newspapers appear to love discussing what can be earned in Plumbing. The lack of Plumbers in the UK has led to salaries of 30-70k p.a. being exhibited. Is this really a fib – or is this in fact accurate? Without a doubt, a fully experienced Plumber can command salaries of such levels. To be fair, the higher earnings of 70-100k p.a. are generally for those working within the self-employed field.
To be fair being with a regular employer often results in working from Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm as standard. Salaries of between 15k – 30k p.a. are easily achievable and will include typical benefits such as holiday pay and sickness allowance – what you’d generally expect from any UK employed status. That said it is by working longer than typically 9am to 6pm, Mon to Fri that self employed people achieve higher incomes than those adopting a traditional approach. This is more common in the domestic market where self employed plumbers often have to work evenings and weekends to suit those clients that work during the week.
There is also the issue of self-employment itself – which definitely suits some people more than it suits others. The inclusion of key elements such as utilising good ‘business sense’, covering areas such as advertising and marketing and getting your own cost-per-hour correct is integral to the picture. 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!
Without a doubt Student Entrants are looking for companies who can offer them regular employment and thereby teach them from experience. As quickly as possible the Self Employed Entrant needs to increase their list of accreditations that they will rely upon. To be fair it is the ‘domestic’ market which appeals to a large number of self-employed plumbers and not necessarily that of the commercial sector. (Well the majority do at least)
There does appear to be some union between certification relating to each path of Plumbing education and hence the industry. Without a doubt the issue of NVQ’s (SVQ’s in Scotland) raises a constant concern as to the way forward.
To begin with the NVQ structure appears to be much more important to the Student Entrant than to the Self Employed Entrant. By calling upon a wider range of qualifications Self Employed Entrants will be able to meet their clients’ needs from the start. Certainly, the self-employed person needs to rapidly gain the key domestic-centred qualifications that will satisfy their typical household-based clients. It is within the workplace – where the NVQ element can be appraised that many Student Entrants carry on with their apprenticeship after having covered the key fundamentals through a college scheme. Considerable savings potential exists to the Student Entrant by taking on this cheaper form of study. It is often by gaining certifications faster, by being motivated by a more commercial standpoint that the Self Employed Entrant will achieve considerable financial benefits before a Student Entrant.
It is the required financial rewards that drive the urgency of clear careers discussions, whether they are overall study or certification requirements. It would prove extremely difficult for an adult – requiring 20kp.a and having to look after their family – to go back to college and then spend 3 years in low-paid apprenticeship work. Furthermore, many Student Entrants have their studies paid for them whereas the self-employed students fund the variety of course themselves. For self-employed people these costs are set by the course structure and the level of certification sought and can end up between 3k-10k+.
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. It is the lead into familiar skill-sets and qualifications that commercially fixed plumbing course companies offer as part of their training paths. In the current climate the ability of Self Employed Entrants to maintain their current financial situation and job, whilst at the same time as training in the evening, part-time or on self study classes remains one of the advantages of this system. From this it makes sense to gather as much detail as you can especially with so many training options available. Why not book mark this page (CTRL-D) and then you can come back and review your options from the links and adverts we have provided for you.
Many plumbing students will go on to consider additional courses to increase their ‘marketability’. It is by training in areas such as Gas, Green Energy and Electrical that Plumbers can gain extra certifications. A typically popular route for Plumbers is Gas training, especially as this forms part of the usual commercial and domestic heating system.
With core subjects followed by NVQ’s, Gas Training is a thorough and exact training program. This considers ongoing development, especially for those who trained first as a plumber and are seeking extra skills. From this stance, the mature student is often more suited to a cross of Plumbing/Gas training. For the Mature Student the emphasis appears to be reducing the NVQ elements and focussing on the core subjects.
It is this distinct training hybrid that appears to suit the self-employed professional. Without a doubt the appeal is to learn a greater range of skill-sets and at the same time earn money from them. Instead of having to rely upon third parties to complete certain skill-sets, this adds to their commercial viability. Whilst sub-contracting can reduce the earning of a particular job perhaps more important is the deterioration of the value in a customer’s eye as they have to wait for jobs to be handled by others before completion of the overall task. To have a higher value within their client base a Plumber needs to consider their relative skill sets that they offer.
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 refers to the UK industry requirement and their policies alone.