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What is the right age to become a plumber?

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41 – The age of the nations most trusted tradesperson (But don’t worry it’s down to the training!)

According to a new study by Watersafe, consumers are basing how they pick a plumber on pretty unscientific methods, focusing on age rather than making sure they have the correct qualifications, with 41 coming out as most trusted age for a tradesperson.

This approach is bad news for our younger plumbers, with only 4% of respondents saying they would trust traders between 18 and 25. The most trusted group was aged between 36 and 49 – 50% stated they would prefer a plumber of this age, followed by the over 50s at 24% and 26 to 35 year olds at just 21%.

Plumbing qualifications are key

Apart from the fact consumers are clearly ageist, the majority are naïve when it comes to the importance of checking an installer’s credentials. 70% admitted to not checking plumbing qualifications, a worrying trend considering that, by Watersafe’s estimates, rogue plumbers have cost the nation £2.6billion in recent years.

Julie Spinks, director at WaterSafe, comments: “When it comes to the trade industry, there has always been an inherent degree of ageism – whereby it may be easy to assume that older traders, in having acquired years of experience, are more trustworthy.

“However, the reality is the age of a tradesman is irrelevant – whilst experience is valuable, it’s all about their professional qualifications and skills set. After all, each year we continue to see truly gifted, hardworking younger installers enter the industry – and their talent must not be overlooked.”

“Ultimately, the most important factor is to check a prospective plumber’s credentials to ensure they are qualified to do the job in hand.”

Consumers can find a list of qualified plumbers at If you’re a plumber, make sure you keep plumbing qualifications up to date. Watersafe is also asking member businesses to promote the scheme by always offering proof of their competency when starting a job.

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