The salaries of Plumbers are often highlighted in the national press. 30-70k p.a. is often talked about because of the lack of Plumbers. Is this really a fib – or is this in fact accurate? Certainly this level of payment is both possible and achievable for the correctly qualified Plumber. Those taking the more conventional ways to work will find it hard to reach the incomes of 70-100k p.a. that are sometimes achieved by the self-employed.
However, working for regular employers often results in the typical hours of Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. 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. By working ‘out of hours’ – typically longer than 9am to 6pm Mon- Fri the self employed person can often achieve a higher wage. For example in the domestic sector where clients are often at work during the working day, self employed plumbers are regularly required to work during evening and weekend visits.
On a personal level remains the issue self-employment, something that does not become everybody. Equally there is a need to manage good ‘business sense’, with items such as advertising & marketing factors as well as correctly assessing your own hourly rate. Likewise self-employed people need to consider the implications of costs relating to materials and transport as well as legal and accountancy fees etc. While these can mount up, (although they should always be a very small proportion of your earnings,) so can the benefits received. And the positives virtually always beat the downsides!
Firstly, it is the ordinary employer who covers most of the needs and teaching prospects that Student Entrants are interested in. The need to increase their certifications and accreditations regularly affect the Self Employed Entrant. 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. (At least most of them do)
In terms of plumbing education, there appears to be some similarity between the certification modules required by each path into the industry. Without a doubt the issue of NVQ’s (SVQ’s in Scotland) raises a constant concern as to the way forward.
Without a doubt, it is the greater dependence on the NVQ element that separates the Student Entrant from the Self Employed Entrant. In trying to meet their client’s needs many Self Employed Entrants will employ a wider range of qualifications. Without a doubt the self employed person needs to quickly gain the core domestic- centred qualifications to satisfy their typical household-based clients. Having covered off the key elements of training within the college, the Student Entrant usually then enters the apprenticeship stage within the workplace – where the NVQ element can be assessed. As it is cheaper form of study overall then the Student Entrant can make financial savings from the beginning. 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 is often the issue of 3 years in low-paid apprenticeship work, alongside going back to college that many adults having to look after their family and with say 20kp.a requirements find difficult. Furthermore, many Student Entrants have their studies paid for them whereas the self-employed students fund the variety of course themselves. It is often the course structure and the level of certification that can run into costs of around 3k-10k+.
For the most part the private colleges are the domain of the Self Employed Entrant whereas the Student Entrant is required to study at recognised further-education colleges. Plumbing training companies can offer commercial routes in to reputable training paths that cover the necessary qualifications and skill-sets. This method offers key advantages to Self Employed Students, allowing them to train evenings, part-time or on self-study classes thereby continuing with their existing jobs and maintaining their financial situation. With so many colleges at hand, the key is to secure as many with technical data sources and gather them. 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.
To increase their ‘marketability’ many plumbing students will go on to utilise extra courses. Areas such as Gas, Green Energy and Electrical training can offer additional qualifications to Plumbers. Gas training has always been a route for Plumbers to consider, as this forms part of the common domestic and commercial heating system.
It is with its main subjects, alongside added NVQ’s, that result in Gas Training being viewed as a technical program. It is the ability to add extra skills to the fore, along with the features that on-going training offers that continue to be attractive to those who trained as a plumber. 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 from this particular training program that the self-employed professional gains ground. The attraction is certainly the chance to gain a wider range of skill sets and earn money from them. This alone can add to their industrial viewpoint, as opposed to relying on sub-contracting core elements to third parties. Sub-contracting can not only reduce the earning potential of a job, but also erode the value in the customer’s eye, as they may have to wait for key stages to be handled by someone else before the final completion of the job. To have a higher value within their client base a Plumber needs to consider their relative skill sets that they offer.
In retrospect, the Self Employed Entrant has the potential to achieve a much higher and more readily available income stream than Student Entrant, but to do so they need to develop both their business skills and achieve a broader range of certifications. Note: This relative information is primarily for the UK workplace and policies alone.