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How do you become a fully qualified professional Plumber in the UK

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Bir1812, 18 Feb 2021.

  1. Bir1812

    Bir1812

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    Hi All,
    I've had this question on my mind for sometime which is how do you become a fully professional Plumber in the UK. I was wondering as to whether you need a City & Guilds Level 2 or 3 Diploma as a pre-requisite to do the NVQ or whether having no prior qualifications will suffice to do the NVQ? I've tried researching into this question but to no avail. So to all could you please respond to this question of mine

    Kind regards, Bir
     
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  3. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    doesnt matter how many times you ask this the answer will still be the same
     
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  4. John the plumber

    John the plumber

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    This fella has asked this question 4 times today on this forum and I’ve seen it twice on another forum today. :sneaky::cautious:
     
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  5. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Do we have plumbers in the UK any more? Organ builders, and some IT equipment still uses lead, and there must be I am sure some who can still repair the church roof, but most workers in lead, and that is what a plumber is after all, it is part of a another job. Not sure I would want to work in lead.
     
  6. MJN

    MJN

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    If plumbers aren't plumbers what are they?

    (I fear it's going to have the word engineer in it... ;))
     
  7. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    water and sanitation technician (can do plastic, copper and some other stuff) but mostly plastic
     
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  8. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Coppersmith? Or if looking at Latin where Plumber comes from may be Aeramen, not a clue really, a pipe fitter normally works in steel, and looking at 36" pipes, not ½ inch, but Plumber is a worker of lead, that much I know.
     
  9. martyndc88

    martyndc88

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    Collect tokens from the back of Kellogg's boxes, collect enough and you even get your gas registration
     
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  11. ericmark

    ericmark

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    To my mind engineer refers to over level 3 trained, be it mechanical, electrical, or any other, up to level 3 a technician, or tradesman over level 3 engineer. However what I was taught as an electrical engineer was completely different to as an electrician, as an engineer more down to design, and an electrician more hands on.

    But as the frequency raises and we leave copper wires and move to wave guides, it does seem more like a pipe fitters job to an electrician.

    But I have worked with a plumber, and there is no way I could have wiped the lead pipes like he did, that was skill, and same with pipe fitter worked with them, and seen how they ground the heavy wall pipe so it was lifted with the crane into position and fitted first time, again a skill I do not have, and as to heating and ventilation yes they do tend to call themselves engineers, but maybe that is the right many for some one who can design a heating system fitted in the summer which 3 months latter when switched on works without any further adjustment.

    As to boilers, I now work with them, as a volunteer, and again I can see the skill, seen one engine where it was converted from coal to oil, and saw how it did not work, and converted back to coal fired, watched them testing the safety valves, and seen how dangerous live steam is.

    So should the guy who works on the foot plate be called a stoker, fireman, engine driver, boiler man or engineer, it is not simply shoving coal, or opening the throttle, water will not compress, so get it wrong and we have a big bang, keeping water over the tubes on inclines, these are real boilers, not things that only warm the water. And the carriages are heated with steam on a total loss system, clearly one pipe system, no return of any sort.

    So easier to call the fireman Samantha, as even calling her a fireman one gets into trouble, fire-woman and your saying she is not part of mankind, and by time she has finished the shift, to look at her not sure she is, clearly would not want to upset her.
     
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  12. Old Salt

    Old Salt

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    I would class myself as a retired marine engineer having operated and maintained boilers that used to reach 650 psi and steam plants that can develop 120,000 shp (and not even gas safe registered) :eek: :D
     
  13. Madrab

    Madrab

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    Well, as far as City and Guilds are concerned then the Lvl 3 (S)NVQ (6189) will allow you to be a:-

    • Heating and ventilation engineer
    • Specialised craftsperson (plumber or heating engineer)
    • Project development manager
    • Senior skilled operative.
    To answer the OP's question - there are access courses where if you can prove you have been working in the industry for a long time and have the skills and experience then you can short cut the technical certificates but I believe they are still needed to allow to progress to the (S)NVQ.
     
  14. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Each trade has some areas where you NEED qualifications, electrician you need them to become a scheme member, plumber to become gas safe, mechanic to do MOT testing, but there is also a lot you can do with just the knowledge.

    I installed a concrete press doing everything from air lines to PLC programming, what my boss wanted was some one who could do the job, not a string of qualifications, and lets face it, a small air leak or water leak on a concrete press is really not going to matter.

    We talk about allied trades, and if you work with pipe fitters, mechanics, etc, you learn a bit of each trade, so maybe the mechanic can't fit an program a new PLC like the electrician, but he can do most of the day to day work.

    So people do move sidewards, electrician becomes a fitter, or fitter becomes an electrician, and in industry if you can do the job, no one worries too much about bits of paper.

    Domestic we had loads of tradesmen who were useless, so there have be schemes to try to weed out those who were were useless, however some have back fired, you would get an organisation who would try and find work for tradesmen, they would give themselves names like trusted this or that, but they became the home for the useless, and as long as the tradesman paid his fee, he was not kicked off, so today names like trusted guy, simply are avoided, and they do the reverse to intended, but will the pubs closing they have been doing well as late, but word of mouth has always been the way for domestic.

    This does not help if you are known locally as the accountant, no one is going to trust you as a plumber it does not matter how many bits of paper. Today facebook is being used a lot, but a duel edge, the evil that men do lives after them, mess up once and everyone knows.
     
  15. durhamplumber

    durhamplumber

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    4 tokens!
     
  16. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Oh, that was fun and very much a knack worth learning. You just need to heat it to the plastic stage, then you can move it.
     
  17. Madrab

    Madrab

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    Used to have us churning out Lead slates to gain our soldering practical and hammering. It can be well fiddy. Use to be the plumbers job to do the step flashing/aprons around chimneys, or fitting the lead slates around soil vents etc, now it's really the roofers job. It's definitely an art that needs to be well practiced.
     
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