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.
If you are working for a traditional company within the UK, then the hours of Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm are normal. Approximately wages of 15k and 30k p.a. are reasonable within the UK, along with standard benefits such as holiday pay and sickness allowance. A self-employed person can earn more money than this traditional approach, but will often need to work outside of the Mon- Fri, 9am to 6pm example. Without a doubt in the domestic market many clients require evening and weekend visits and self employed plumbers have to meet that need.
Around which is the question of self employment which appears to fit some people. This can involve factors such as getting the basics sorted out and the need to use good 'business sense' overall. Likewise self-employed people need to consider the implications of costs relating to materials and transport as well as legal and accountancy fees etc. These charges should always remain a small proportion of the overall income so that any profits created always outweigh them. Added to that, the positives virtually always outstrip the negatives!
Firstly, it is the ordinary employer who covers most of the needs and teaching prospects that Student Entrants are interested in. Alternatively, the Self Employed Entrant needs to quickly establish those certificates that they will rely on in industry. In fairness it is the 'domestic' market rather than the commercial sector that attracts the majority of the self-employed workers in the UK. (Whilst not everyone does the majority do!)
With reference to education in Plumbing, there is a likeness needed by each part of the industry in relation to the certification elements. 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 Student Entrant appears to rely more heavily on the NVQ structure than 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. In order to be able to meet the needs of the typical household, self-employed persons will need to rapidly gain key domestic-centred qualifications. In a similar way to an apprenticeship the Student Entrant will, once the core learning tools have been learned, enter the workplace and be able to carry on the NVQ element of their study. As it is cheaper form of study overall then the Student Entrant can make financial savings from the beginning. But the Self Employed Entrant will gain certifications faster (motivated by a more commercial viewpoint) and will therefore be achieving considerable financial reward long before the Student Entrant.
To be sure the financial returns required is the result of clear careers discussions covering certification and the overall study requirements. It is often the issue of spending time at college and then having to go back to an apprenticeship for up to 3 years that proves difficult to many adults especially those that have a family to look after. Normally, self-employed students to pay for their courses themselves whereas the younger Student Entrants have the majority of their courses paid for them as part of their apprenticeships. The level of certification sought by the student drives the course structure and can result in costs of between 3k through to 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. 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.
To increase their 'marketability' many plumbing students will go on to utilise extra courses. Courses in areas such as Gas, Electrical and Green Energy can provide added certifications. Gas training has always been a route for Plumbers to consider, as this forms part of the common domestic and commercial heating system.
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.
It is from this mix of training methods that the self-employed professional appears to benefit. The opportunity to learn a wider range of perceived skill-sets (whilst earning money from them) becomes the attraction. Instead of having to rely upon third parties to complete certain skill-sets, this adds to their commercial viability. 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. The higher the skill level of a Plumber the more that they can offer their client base.
Finally, whilst the Student Entrant breaks into the industry more quickly the Self Employed Entrant has the opportunity for higher potential earnings, but to do so they need to develop a broader range of certifications and a higher level of business skill sets. Note: This relative information is primarily for the UK workplace and policies alone.