Just after finishing your apprenticeship, you would be able to expect a yearly salary of around £16,500 and £21,000. So this is a figure based on the full receipt of the NVQ level 2 in Plumbing studies and the General Certificate in Plubming. Of course like with nearly every other profession in the UK, job-seekers in London will be able to demand a higher salary than elsewhere in the UK as the average wage (and living costs) is much higher in this region.
With several years of experience and NVQ level 3 qualifications, you would be able to expect from £21,000 to £30,000 a year. These types of jobs often require you to take on a supervisory role. The NVQ level 3 qualification will introduce you to complex plumbing systems and gas. These are highly skilled areas of plumbing and hence the monetary reward for having these skills is evident. You can gain your NVQ level 3 qualification by completing an ‘Advanced Apprenticeship’ after your intermediate apprenticeship. To work with gas you must also become CORGI registered and if you take your ‘Advanced Apprenticeship’ with a reputable gas firm such, ‘British Gas’, they will typically cover the costs of this process for you, otherwise obtaining this qualification would cost you upwards of £2500.
Plumbers with more specialist training on top of their NVQ level 3 certification and experience can earn up to to £35,000 in the building and construction industry. These specialization areas includes topics such as water disinfection and energy efficiency.
More information about said specialist training qualifications for plumbing that would advance your plumbing career to the this upper bracket.
Some self-employed plumbers have to £60,000 a year, though this level is normally only obtainable in affluent areas such as London or areas where there is an extremely low level competition. However the average takings is closer to £35,000 a year for most plumbers. The state of the economy also comes into play, many self employed plumbers will admit to you that since the global financial crisis in 2008, contract offers have certainly dried up. Many plumbers are now having to work 3-4 day weeks these days, where as before 2008 it was not difficult to fill your appointment book up with needy clients.
The real juicy jobs are for the emergency call outs, where you can expect to demand £40-50 per hour for your services (plus costs). The challenge of offering this type of service means that you must make yourself available outside of your typical working hours, always having the phone switched on.
Having a great business acumen will go a long way when running your own plumbing business and so of course have a great baring on your total takings for any given year. Branching out and becoming an employer of other plumbers could either make or break you. You should evaluate your potential carefully before plunging into business ownership as failing in such a domain can prove very costly. Taking on apprentices yourself can be a cost efficient method, but you must remember that after their first or second year (for u18s) you must pay them the full national minimum wage.