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Plumbing career or heating engineer?

October 12, 2021 featured image

If you’re thinking about becoming a tradesperson, it’s likely that plumbing has crossed your mind; an essential service with high consumer demand. Plumbers deal with all things water-based – from fitting toilets and sinks, to emergency call-outs for leaks and blockages, as well as the pipework associated with heating systems.

This last point is an interesting one. If you’ve thought about being a plumber, why not extend the scope into plumbing and heating?

What is a plumbing and heating engineer?

A plumbing heating engineer is someone that can fit the pipes and the heating appliance – such as a gas or oil boiler. Heating engineers tend to earn a bit more money than plumbers, so it’s a lucrative career move that can lead to more challenging work (and less dealing with u-bends!)

To upskill into heating requires more training, however. Plumbers need a Level 2 Diploma, with an added NVQ if they’re planning to work on sites which stipulate a CSCS card. You can do this a number of ways, including an apprenticeship (which mixes college with on-the-job learning), or our entry-level plumbing course takes six weeks to complete and covers the basics required to hit the ground running as a plumber.

Gas engineers train to Level 3, which can also be achieved through an apprenticeship, or an intensive course such as our Managed Learning Programme (MLP), a 10* week programme that combines classroom learning with real-world experience, culminating in Gas ACS – a necessary requirement of joining the Gas Safe register

Jumping head-long into heating might seem a daunting prospect, however. The good news is, plumbing is the perfect place to start, whatever your future aims might be.

If you train as a plumber you could be earning within a quicker timeframe, and then if you decide in the future to move into becoming a gas plumber, oil or renewable installer (such as air source heat pumps and solar thermal), this process will be easier and more cost-effective as you will have the correct grounding to upskill rather than starting from scratch.

All heating engineers have to know about pipes and water, so in beginning with plumbing you can’t go wrong.

Choose your route

We’ve created four different packages for would-be plumbing and heating engineers, which start with a Level 2 Plumbing Diploma and end with a full plumbing and gas central heating programme, including the Gas MLP.

For more information, click: here.


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