Apprenticeship In Plumbing

With a plumbing apprenticeship you’ll learn on the job, achieve a recognised qualification and gain skills and knowledge to help you progress in your career. On the job, you'll work as an employee alongside experienced plumbers. Off the job, you'll learn through a combination of learning methods including day release at college, online assessments and assessments in your workplace.

As a Plumbing Apprentice you will be involved in the installation of bathroom suites, central heating systems and above ground sanitation. You will also be responsible for their general day-to-day repairs and maintenance. You will learn the skill of cutting, bending and jointing pipework of all types, including copper, plastic and steel. As an advanced apprentice you will also receive training on gas appliances and unvented systems.

To become a qualified plumber you will need to complete industry recognised training and qualifications. A common way in is through an Apprenticeship. 

If you want a varied job that makes good use of your practical skills and takes you out and about, this could be perfect for you. You will need to be good at solving problems, have the ability to follow technical plans, and understand the importance of health and safety. You'll also need good customer care skills.

Depending on whether you work in homes, industrial or commercial locations, you're likely to:

  • install water supplies, heating systems and drainage
  • find faults in systems or equipment and repair them
  • service gas and oil-fired central heating systems, boilers and radiators
  • install and fix domestic appliances like showers, cooker, gas fires and washing machines
  • service air-conditioning and ventilation units
  • attend emergency call-outs to fix leaks, for example during cold weather
  • fit weather-proof materials, joints and flashings to roofs, chimneys and walls

On all jobs you would use hand and power tools, which may include welding equipment. As an experienced plumber, you might specialise in sheet metal work for industrial, commercial or historical buildings.

As a student of Oldham College you will have full use of all the college facilities

  • NVQ Diploma Level 2 or 3 in Plumbing
  • Functional Skills English, Maths and IT
  • Employment Rights and Responsibilities

Ideally GCSE Grades A-C would be required, however, learners can complete an initial assessment to ensure they can meet the requirements of the programme.
There will also include a Bpec assessment.

If you are ages 16-23 the Skills Funding Agency will fund the cost of the training.
If you are aged 24+ an employer contribution would be required.

Apprentice plumber or in construction and have access to domestic and commercial projects.

On successful completion of level 3 progression routes are available to move on to self-employment – gas-installation or alternatively HNC/HND or progression for career including management/site management training and qualifications.

Starting salaries for newly qualified plumbers can be between £18,000 and £22,000 a year. Experienced plumbers can earn between £22,000 and £35,000 a year. Rates vary in different regions. The highest average salaries are in London and the south east. Self-employed plumbers set their own rates. Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Study Programme


All students at Oldham College will participate in a personalised study programme that will maximise your potential and enable you to progress onto employment, apprenticeships or higher education.

This means you will:

  • Study a core qualification in a vocational discipline and continue to develop your English and Maths skills through functional skills, GCSE resits and the option of Level 3 qualifications
  • Participate in meaningful work experience
  • Enjoy a range of enrichment opportunities e.g. basketball, archery, skiing and sign language
  • Take part in dedicated tutorial sessions to review your progress and development