5 jobs in Plumbing

Plumbing contractors are one of the highest, most in-demand contractors in the trades industry, but what job roles can you go into?


Plumbing contractors are one of the highest, most in-demand contractors in the trades industry. It’s a skill that will stay with you for life and provides you with a life-long career, should you need it! 

But what jobs can you go into, with qualifications in Plumbing? 


The obvious first job is as a plumber, but what is a plumber? 

Plumbers fit and service hot and cold water systems, heating systems and drainage networks.

Do I need to a degree? 

No – As with the majority of all trades, you do not need a degree-level qualification in order to become a plumber. You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

What will I do? 

As a plumber, you’ll:

  • find out from the customer what the problem is
  • give time and cost estimates for jobs
  • install water, drainage and heating systems
  • cut, shape and join pipes and fittings
  • find and fix faults
  • service gas and oil-fired central heating systems and radiators
  • install or repair domestic appliances like showers and washing machines
  • respond to emergency call-outs, like boiler breakdowns or blocked drains
  • fit weather-proof materials, joints and flashings to roofs, chimneys and walls

One day you could be working in a client’s home, the next you could be responding to a call-out to a business or organisation, the benefit of being a plumber is that you will work with, and meet new people every day. 

What salary could I earn? 

Contracted plumbers could expect to earn between £15,000 to £40,000 per year, based on experience. 

Plumbers also have the added bonus of taking on additional work, responding to domestic house call-outs and other emergency services. If you have built a reliable, strong reputation for yourself, you could even become self-employed and run your own plumbing services business. 

Gas Service Technician 

What is a gas service technician?  

Gas service technicians install, service and repair gas appliances and heating systems.

Do I need a degree? 

No – You don’t need a degree to become a gas service technician, however, you do need to be on the Gas Safe Register in order to work with domestic gas heating systems. 

You can apply for this job through a college course, apprenticeship or after completing a variety of assessments of both skill and experience by a professional body. 

Did you know? Oaklands College offer a variety of Plumbing courses from Entry Level 1, through to Level 3 Advanced Technical Diplomas. You can apply for these courses here

What will I do? 

As a gas service technician, you will:

  • install gas appliances and heating systems
  • carry out planned maintenance checks on systems and equipment
  • test controls and safety devices to make sure they work properly
  • respond to emergencies
  • find and repair gas leaks, using computerised fault-finding equipment
  • replace or repair faulty or old parts
  • complete work records
  • advise customers on gas safety and energy efficiency

Similarly to a plumber, your work environment will constantly be changing, one day you could be answer a call to our clients home, the next you could be assessing gas safety regulations at a large business – No two days are the same in the plumbing industry. 

What salary salary could I earn? 

A typical gas service technician could expect to earn anywhere between £18,000 as a newly qualified technician, to £38,000 with experience. Typical weekly hours of work can range from 41 to 43 hours a week, which can span across evenings, weekends and even bank holidays. 

Pipe Fitter

What is a pipe fitter?

Pipe fitters install industrial pipework, valves and pumps in factories, commercial premises and large buildings like power stations.


Do I need a degree? 

No – You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

Courses such as the Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing Studies, the Level 2 Technical Certificate in Plumbing and the Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma in Plumbing can provide the grounding, knowledge and skills required to enter this profession.

You might start as an general engineering operative or engineering craft worker, and learn and train on the job to become a pipe fitter.

What will I do?

In your day-to-day tasks you may:

  • plan how to do a job based on engineering designs
  • make or modify parts in a workshop
  • assemble components ready for installation
  • install and join pipework, using bolting and welding methods
  • carry out planned maintenance checks
  • find and fix faults
  • respond to emergency call-outs

The work environment for a pipe fitter can vary, as with many Plumbing jobs. You could be working in a factory or manufacturing plant one week, to working in cramped environments which require safety clothing and equipment, it’s an interesting role where no two days are the same. 

What salary could I earn? 

This sort of role requires a lot of work hours, with a working week typically made up of around 46 to 48 hours, working between 8am and 6pm and often away from home. But an incentive for the long hours can be a generous salary, starting at around £20,000 but rising to over £40,000 with experience.

Gas mains layer

What is a gas mains layer? 

Gas mains layers install and maintain pipelines that supply homes and businesses with gas.

Do I need a degree? 

No – You can become a gas mains layer after completing either a two-year apprenticeship, or applying directly if you have some knowledge and experience in the industry, as well as three GCSEs graded 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English, Maths, Sciences and/or Engineering. 

What will I do? 

In your day-to-day duties you may:

  • check technical drawings and plans to trace where you need to dig
  • dig holes by hand or use mechanical digging equipment
  • lay or repair pipes and mains systems
  • connect homes and businesses to the network
  • install and maintain gas pressure control equipment
  • respond to emergency gas escapes
  • fill in holes and repair pavements and gardens at the end of a job

As a gas mains layer, you could expect to be surrounding by physically demanding weathers, conditions and environments. You may also be required to wear protective clothing whilst on the job. Similarly to many roles within plumbing, you will not have a set work location and will experience a variety of environments and locations, which can involve a lot of travelling. 

What salary could I earn? 

The starting salary for a newly-qualified gas networks operative or mains layer is around £18,000 – Which can rise to upwards of £26,000 with experience. A typical working week will see you work anywhere between 41 and 43 hours, across evenings, weekends and sometimes night shifts. 

Kitchen and bathroom fitter 

What is a kitchen and bathroom fitter? 

Well, it’s exactly what you would think it is! Kitchen and bathroom fitters install kitchens and bathroom suites in homes and businesses.

Do I need a degree? 

Definitely not – But you will need the knowledge and skills required to be able to professional fit a kitchen and/or bathroom. 

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

College courses such as the Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing can provide you with the knowledge and skills required to professional fit a kitchen and/or bathroom suite. 

What will I do? 

On a typical day you could:

  • use a range of hand and power tools
  • measure out work areas
  • rip out and dispose of old units and suites
  • mark the location of pipes and cables
  • measure and cut worktops, recesses and joints
  • fit units and appliances
  • tile walls and lay flooring
  • clear away debris at the end of the job
  • follow building regulations to meet health and safety

A typical contracted week, working for a company as opposed to yourself would see you work approximately 43 to 45 hours a week, working in clients homes and/or businesses. 

What salary could I earn? 

Working for an employer over weekends and some evenings, a typical starting salary ranges from £17,000 – £20,000. For experienced professionals, you could expect to earn up to £35,000 a year. 

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