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A Background In Plumbing NVQ and Technical Certificates

A Background In Plumbing NVQ and Technical Certificates


A Background In Plumbing NVQ and Technical Certificates

by Jason Kendall

The salaries of Plumbers are often highlighted in the national press. It is this need for trained Plumbers that has led to salaries of 30-70k p.a. being advertised. So, are we being told a story or is this the genuine picture? To be certain, for the correctly qualified and experienced plumber, this level of salary is achievable and indeed attainable. So whilst those working in the self-employed role can get incomes of 70-100k p.a., those working in more conventional employment routes often find it hard to achieve this salary.

However, working for regular employers often results in the typical hours of Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. Normal remuneration such as holiday pay and sickness allowance, along with wages of between 15k and 30K p.a., are usual from UK companies in this area. 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. This is more common in the domestic market where self employed plumbers often have to work evenings and weekends to suit those clients that work during the week.

There is the also the fact which fits some people more than others and that is self employment. This can involve factors such as getting the basics sorted out and the need to use good 'business sense' overall. To be fair most self-employed people will have to prepare for additional costs including those relating to legal and accountancy fees as well as those of transport and material usage. Generally the payback outstrip those of the costs, to the extent that these charges should always be a small part of the earnings overall. And the benefits nearly always far outweigh the downsides!

Student Entrants are generally looking for regular employment with a particular employer who can cover most of their working needs and teach them from experience. The need to increase their certifications and accreditations regularly affect the Self Employed Entrant. That noted the main drive of self-employed workers is towards the 'domestic' market and not that of the commercial sector. (Well the majority do at least)

With reference to education in Plumbing, there is a likeness needed by each part of the industry in relation to the certification elements. There does remain considerable question when the factor of NVQ's (SVQ's in Scotland) is realised.

From the outset, it is clear that the Self Employed Entrant does not depend as much upon the NVQ's as the Student Entrant. The Self Employed Entrant will often call upon a wider range of certifications right from the outset; in order to satisfy their perceived client's requirements. To satisfy their typical household-based client base many self-employed persons will need to quickly focus on the relative domestic skill sets. 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. It is fair to say that long before the Student Entrant the Self Employed Entrant can gain financial benefits through establishing certifications faster and by being more commercially motivated.

Clearly this illustrates the need for a careers discussion that covers certifications and study alongside those of financial returns. 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. It should also be remembered that many younger Student Entrants are entering an apprenticeship and thereby have their courses paid for them whereas the mature self-employed students do not. These costs (for self-employed status) can often end up around 3k-10k+, dependent upon the course structure and the level of certification sought.

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. Often through the use of established training schemes many commercially oriented plumbing courses are now able to deliver the necessary skill-sets and qualifications. In the current climate the ability of Self Employed Entrants to maintain their current financial situation and job, whilst at the same time as training in the evening, part-time or on self study classes remains one of the advantages of this system. With the high number of colleges it makes sense to gather as much technical data as you can. 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.

It is through the use of bonus courses that many plumbing students want to increase their 'marketability'. Areas such as Gas, Green Energy and Electrical training can offer additional qualifications to Plumbers. As part of the commercial and domestic heating procedures, Gas training continues to be popular with Plumbers.

Gas Training is considered a dedicated training program with key subjects followed by important NVQ's. It is the ability to add extra skills to the fore, along with the features that on-going training offers that continue to be attractive to those who trained as a plumber. From this stance, the mature student is often more suited to a cross of Plumbing/Gas training. Indeed, the path for the Mature Student seems to be to drop the NVQ elements and to focus on the core subjects.

The self-employed professional appears to benefit from this distinct training mixture. Without a doubt the appeal is to learn a greater range of skill-sets and at the same time earn money from them. Instead of having to rely upon third parties to complete certain skill-sets, this adds to their commercial viability. Of concern is the reduction in customer's value as they have to wait for jobs to be completed by others that in turn can lead to a reduction of the earning potential of a job. The more professional a Plumber is within their field the more that they have to offer their relative client base.

In conclusion, the Self Employed Entrant can enjoy a much higher (and more quickly achieved) income than a Student Entrant, but they would have to work at developing a broader range of certifications (and consider the business side of things too.) Note: This information refers to the UK industry requirement and their policies alone.

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