Are you interested in becoming a plumber? It’s a great career with plenty of opportunities to make money and develop your skills. Many people choose to learn a trade because it beats sitting in an office all day, and most plumbers would agree that they have a lot of career satisfaction.

According to PHPI, the demand for plumbers saw a 72% increase in 2021, and this trend is likely to continue, meaning plumbers can charge more money for their services. As a plumber, you can also earn a salary of £32,000 a year on average (UK Talent), but self-employed plumbers tend to make more than those that work for companies.

As you can see, there are plenty of incentives to become a plumber, but which skills do you need?

Read on to find out.


Plumbers must have good dexterity as they often work in small, tight spaces, which can be difficult and uncomfortable. Also, a big part of the job is being able to multitask and manoeuvre correctly.

You’ll also need to be able to operate a range of power tools, including saws, drills, and other items, so it’s worth getting to grips with them before considering a career change.

Customer Service Skills

Customer Service Skills

Plumbers must also have good customer service skills, as people often become angry or upset about a plumbing issue. Plumbers need to be able to calm people down and explain the situation so non-plumbers will understand.

If you don’t have much patience or hate dealing with people, you should probably find another job that doesn’t require much communication.

Good Communication Skills

Plumbers often have to explain the problem to customers and how they plan on fixing it. Communication skills are central to the role because your customers want to know they’re getting value for money and understand the scope of the position.

Extensive Knowledge Of Plumbing Systems

Knowledge Of Plumbing Systems

OK, this is an obvious one, but it’s worth mentioning. As a plumber, you’ll need extensive knowledge of how plumbing systems work and identify potential issues and fix them when they break.

Plumbing systems are something an ordinary person shouldn’t mess with, and you’ll need to ensure you can offer support and not make a problem worse.

If you’re new to the industry, it’s worth exploring the range of plumbing courses UK providers offer because you’ll gain certification and become a professional.

Good At Maths

You might not realise it, but plumbers often have to calculate the size of pipes and other materials and the amount of water that needs to be drained from a system. Plumbers should have good maths skills because the calculations are central to the job.

Plenty of online resources can help you brush up on your maths skills, so it’s worth doing some research before switching to plumbing.

Pays Attention To Detail

Plumbers must pay attention to detail because a tiny mistake can result in a big problem. For example, if you’re not careful when soldering pipes, you could cause a leak that damages someone’s property.

It’s essential to take your time and double-check your work before moving on to the next job. So, if you’re the type of person that makes careless mistakes, it’s probably best to find another career.

Works Well Under Pressure

Plumbing issues often need to be fixed urgently, which means that you might have to be able to work well under pressure. If you’re not used to working in a fast-paced environment, plumbing might prove a challenging career to navigate.

Staying calm and collected is essential, and many plumbers find that they often have to deal with the unexpected. Successful plumbers remain calm when faced with a challenging situation and think clearly about the best way to solve the problem.

Knowledge Of Health & Safety Regulations

Health & Safety Regulations

All plumbers need to understand health and safety regulations, as they often have to work in dangerous environments. For example, you might have to work in a mould-infested environment or be in contact with hazardous materials.

It’s essential that you understand the risks involved and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. Wearing the right protective clothing and using the correct safety equipment is vital when working as a plumber.

Plumbing isn’t the right career for your needs if you’re not comfortable working in hazardous conditions. However, once you understand the dangers, you can go the extra mile to protect yourself.

Physically Fit

Plumbers often have to crouch, kneel, and lift heavy objects, so you need to be physically fit. The job can be challenging if you’re not used to manual labour, and you might struggle with some tasks.

If you want to become a plumber but don’t think you’re physically up for the task, it’s worth researching the level of fitness required. You might be surprised at how much strength and stamina you need for the job.

Confidence In Your Abilities

As a plumber, you need to have confidence in your abilities, as you’ll often work independently and troubleshoot problems without supervision.

If you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s worth getting some experience before switching to plumbing. Plenty of entry-level positions are available, which can help you gain the confidence you need.

Successful plumbers also constantly update their skills by attending courses and workshops, so embracing the fact that you can never know everything is essential.

Administrative Abilities

Most plumbers need to write reports and document their findings. While this seems straightforward, if you work alone, you’ll need to understand computer programmes, including invoicing, booking and project management software.

Luckily, you can learn all of these things, but it requires a degree of commitment first.

Do You Have What It Takes To Become A Plumber?

Plumbing is a challenging but rewarding career, and while it’s advantageous to have the required skills, you can also build them.

There are many opportunities to progress, work for yourself and develop a successful business, which is why many people choose plumbing as a career.

If you think you have what it takes to become a plumber, it’s worth researching the training and experience required. Once you’ve all the necessary qualifications and experience, you can start your new career confidently.

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