Learning a trade means learning a skill for life, and due to the rising population and housing market, the trades industry is booming.

Where once being a plumber was enough, with more competition and an ever-evolving industry, plumbers are now training to become gas and heating engineers to meet demand. And with a broader skillset comes more customers and a higher earning potential.

The way we heat our homes in the UK is changing. With much of the UK still using gas boilers, gas engineers are still very much in demand. However, as we work towards a lower-carbon future, gas engineers must evolve with the industry and expand their skillset.

As a result, we no longer offer the NVQ Level 2 Plumbing Training Course and instead deliver a full ACS Gas & Renewables Training Course.

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Our ACS Gas & Renewables Training Course offers just that. From new entrants to existing tradespeople, students can train with us to earn plumbing, gas, and renewables qualifications, including the domestic suite of gas qualifications, low-temperature heating design and heat pump installation and maintenance.

As a gas and heating engineer, not only will you be launching a future-proof career, but you can also be your own boss. Setting your working hours, where you work and most importantly, setting your own pay rate, you have freedom and flexibility in your career.

In the UK, the average salary of a plumber is £25,000 (Source: CV-Library), whereas gas and heating engineers earn an average of £32,000. (Annual earnings can rise to £60,000 depending on location and the services you offer).

But the benefits don’t end there. As a gas and heating engineer, you will meet new people, travel as far as you desire, and no two days will ever be the same. In addition, customers who receive a good service will remain loyal, recommending you to others – resulting in an increased customer base.

Here at Options Skills, we have devised a heating and gas training programme based on years of industry experience, creating a professional course and business support package that will help you capitalise on the vast opportunities within the market.

Duration: Eight Weeks

For eight weeks, on either a full or part-time basis, students will attend our fully equipped training centre for the first step of the NVQ Level 2 Plumbing Training Course. This section of their training will combine both theoretical knowledge and practical skills, teaching them the basics of the plumbing trade.

Throughout the eight weeks, students will cover several different units. This includes health and safety, hot and cold-water domestic systems, central heating domestic systems and pipework fabrication techniques. These units, plus others, will be assessed both practically and via online exams and assessments.

Practical skills are a fundamental part of plumbing work and during step one, students will undertake training to erect and safely use scaffolding, fabrication and jointing of copper, steel, and more, as well as installing various water systems and bathrooms suites.
Duration: Maximum 2 Years

Upon completion of the eight-week plumbing course boot-camp, students will progress to step two of their NVQ Plumbing Training Course.

In order to gain their NVQ Level 2, students are required to complete a portfolio of evidence whilst working in the plumbing industry. Trainees may either work on an employed or subcontract/self-employed basis. Trainees must undertake on-site installation, faulting finding and the maintenance of domestic plumbing systems.

Evidence of the work must be gathered in both photographic and written forms and testimonials from the employer/workplace provider must also be included in the portfolio.

The trainee will also be subject to onsite observation from an NVQ Plumbing Assessor. The number of observations will vary for each student depending on the work being undertaken and the amount of evidence generated.

Following successful completion of the plumbing portfolio, together with successful completion of stage one performance and knowledge units, the trainee will be awarded their Plumbing NVQ Level 2 Qualification.
As an NVQ Qualified Plumber at Level 2, you are deemed competent and able to install and maintain all hot and cold water plumbing systems in a domestic environment.

A qualified plumber can either choose to seek paid employment or may decide to work as a self-employed contractor or even start their own plumbing business.

Qualified plumbers typically seek to add ACS Gas qualifications to further enhance their Plumbing Qualifications and in turn, increase their earning potential. Gas Training involves a further 3-stage training process, although students that have completed the Plumbing NVQ may be able to reduce some of their centre led their training time.

Visit our course page for further information about our ACS Gas Training Course.
NVQ Level 2 Plumbing Training Pipe Bending
NVQ Level 2 Plumbing Training radiator installation

NVQ Level 2 Plumbing Training Course Syllabus

Morning Afternoon Evening
Introduction and course induction.

The opportunities in the industry and the best ways of accessing them.

Health & Safety requirements and practices, preparing for the H&S assessment. Your responsibilities in the industry and the responsibilities of employers and colleagues.

Knowing the safety signs on a building site and how you are expected to conduct yourself. Working with the other trades.
Practical work with pipes, cutting, bending and joining.

Making your work look professional with the finer points of vertical and horizontal lines, correct spacing for pipe clips.
You need to revise for at least an hour every night to prepare for tests.

Ask someone to test you, there are tests in the workbook.

If you have any questions write them down and ask your tutor next lesson.
Morning Afternoon Evening
A quick recap of the previous week's work and preparation for assessments due.

Cold water systems in plumbing, the different types. The properties of water, where it comes from, how it can be contaminated. Your responsibilities to the public.

Treatment methods of the water supply. Fluid categories. Backflow prevention. The negative impact of dead leg systems. Sources of noise in a water system.

Requirements for positioning drain valves. Aeration in a cold-water system. Greywater, rainwater harvesting, black water. Wholesome potable water and its constituents and contaminants.
Installing cold water pipes and systems, the procedure required, installing a cold-water storage cistern in an airing cupboard, filling and testing.

Choosing the right valve for the right location and purpose.

The WRAS category and what it means for plumbers.
As above
Morning Afternoon Evening
A quick recap of the previous week's work and preparation for assessments due.

Hot water systems in plumbing. The different methods of heating water. Direct, Indirect and Unvented Cylinders

Fuel types relating to the creation of hot water. The different types of showers and which is best for which particular job. Balanced water supplies.

Considerations of installing hot water pipes, preparing for the job, quantities, sizes, pipes etc. The different types of pipe insulation. Using hydraulic test equipment.

The differences between temporary and permanently decommissioning a hot water system.

Preparing to install an open vented hot water storage cylinder. The purpose and use of secondary circulation.

Fault finding both hot and cold water systems.
Installing hot water pipes and systems, the procedure required, installing a hot water storage cylinder in an airing cupboard, filling and testing.

Decommissioning the system.
As above
Morning Afternoon Evening
A quick recap of the previous week's work and preparation for assessments due.Rainwater systems, the different types of guttering and where they are best suited. Designing a system with the relevant falls in pipes and gutters. Rainwater outlets and code of practice as to where they can be installed.

Access considerations required when working on rainwater systems.

Gravity rainwater systems to domestic dwellings and the procedure for testing.
Installing a rainwater and guttering system.

Understanding the gap and spacing required on a system.

Getting the level drop exact for optimum water displacement.

Fixing brackets to guttering and vertical pipes at the correct distances as required by industry standards.

Testing the system and decommissioning.
  As above
Morning Afternoon Evening
A quick recap of the previous week's work and preparation for assessments due.

Sanitation, waste and drainage.

The different types of above ground systems. Primary ventilated stacks. Stub stacks. Multi-usage stacks for larger premises. Below ground drainage systems. Terminals associated with stacks. Trap seals used in drainage. Design Considerations. Reasons for trap seal losses. Finding common faults in existing systems. Equipment used in testing systems. Soundness test and procedures required to industry standards.
Installation of a soil pipe and ventilation stack to a toilet, bath and basin.

The correct fixing procedures, pipe clip distances.

Ensuring that pipe seals are correct before and after installation.

The correct falls in pipework.

The different types of fittings and pipes used in sanitation, waste and drainage.
  As above
Morning Afternoon Evening
A quick recap of the previous week's work and preparation for assessments due.

Central Heating Systems.

Types of domestic heating systems and the fuels used. Principle pipework systems. The difference in types of pipes used in the industry, plastic, copper, mild steel. Types of pipework insulation and its benefits Sizing rooms for radiators. Sizing the property for the boiler. Underfloor heating. Radiators (heat emitters) and the standards for manufacturers. Where to install the appropriate radiator valve. The correct position of a circulating pump.

The problems that an air lock can cause.

Fault finding in an existing system.
Installing copper pipes to a combination boiler jig and radiators.

Vertical and horizontal pipes with correct spacing for pipe clips.

Working with low carbon steel pipes and fittings (LCS).

Piping radiators, cutting and threading manually.

The correct method of joining LCS.

Drainage points and gate valves.

Testing the system with a hydraulic pump.

Decommissioning the system.
  As above
Morning Afternoon Evening
A quick recap of the previous week's work and preparation for assessments due.

Plumbing Science.

Detailed information about the properties of plumbing materials. Specific heat capacity. The coefficient of linear expansion. Heat conductivity and the effects of capillarity. Corrosion in plumbing systems. The different states of water. The density of water and latent heat. Pressure and the measurement of units. Frictional resistance in water pipes. The principles of velocity. The principles of siphonic action in water systems. Methods of heat transfer and problems created. The requirements of combustion and the properties of gases used for heating purposes.
Preparing to install a bathroom comprising bath, toilet and basin.

Design the installation starting with an empty room.

Marking for pipework and clips.

Choosing the correct pipes for cold and hot water supply.

Choosing the correct waste pipes for toilet, bath and basin.

Assembling all the pipes, fittings, clips etc for the installation.
  As above
Morning Afternoon Evening
A quick recap of the previous week's work and preparation for assessments due.

Re-take of any assessments not completed. More practical work in the workshops if all theory assessments completed.

Discussing the gas industry and future possibilities.
Installing the bathroom.

By now you will be ready to proceed. Take a deep breath and prove to yourself what you can do.

It’s time to shine.

But we’ll still be around to guide and suggest.

Final assessments.
As above

When you have completed the course, you will have achieved something that takes an apprentice 2 years to accomplish, with the grade of a GCSE

Friday evening, after you have passed the course party as you’ve never partied before. Good Luck.
Not only does training to become a plumber cost significantly less than going to university, but when you learn a trade you learn a skill for life. Plumbers are in high demand and because of this, they boast a generous salary. With a starting wage of £20,000, plumbers will see their salary increase as their experience level grows.

With the opportunity to become self-employed, plumbers can enjoy the benefits of flexible working hours, setting their own rates and choosing which jobs they undertake.

There is also room for growth in the industry. With several career options available to plumbers, it’s also common for plumbers to train to become gas safe engineers. This expands their skillset and increases their earning potential.
Options Skills are proud of the great service we offer to students, providing them with the best opportunity possible to start their new careers as plumbers. A dedicated student liaison manager is provided to ensure everything goes smoothly and as well as support throughout training, students will benefit from on-going support even after they've qualified.

Upon completion of the centre-led training and portfolio building and with a sufficient amount of evidence collected by an NVQ assessor, students will be awarded their NVQ Level 2 in plumbing.

After completing the course and gaining your NVQ, Options Skill will offer you your own website on Nice And Local to enable you to market yourself and your skills online.
Options Skills are in no way able to guarantee any student will pass. However, we do provide our students with expert training and that, combined with their hard work and dedication will give you the best opportunity to gain their NVQ Level 2.
Students must complete the eight weeks of the centre led training, followed by the on-site portfolio building in stage two.

Stage two varies in duration for each student as it is highly dependent on the time students put into building their NVQ portfolio.

There is no set time frame given for stage two, but it is expected to be completed within two years.