How to become a... Plumbing, Heating and Ventilation Engineer

How to become a... Plumbing, Heating and Ventilation Engineer
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by Jessica Tabinor on

There are great plumbing, heating and ventilation engineer jobs in the UK construction industry.

Read on to find out more about the skills you’ll need and discover whether it’s the right fit for you.

£18-40k dependent on experience

Hinkley Point C / HS2

City & Guilds 6189, 6188, NVQ

What do plumbing, heating and ventilation engineer jobs involve?

Plumbing, heating and ventilation is an integral part of modern building, both in the residential and commercial sector. As well as commonplace hot and cold water-supplies and heating and air-conditioning systems, there are many industrial applications that require the installation of specialised plumbing and ducting networks.

Here are some of the most common job descriptions and a brief outline of the kind of work they entail:

  • Domestic heating installer – Fitting central heating systems in dwellings
  • Service engineer – planning and carrying out routine maintenance and repairs
  • Heating installer – Fitting heating equipment and pipework
  • Ducting installer – Fitting ductwork and ventilation systems
  • Commissioning engineer – Ensuring systems meet design specification
  • Control engineer – Designing and installing the control panels to operate and adjust heating systems

What is a plumber and heating and ventilation engineer’s salary?

Average salaries vary according to location, and from employer to employer. Starting pay is in the region of £18,000 per year, rising to £40,000 for skilled practitioners with the necessary accreditation.

Self-employed plumbing and heating engineers can set their own rates.

These figures are intended as a guideline only. 

What skills do I need?

You’ll need to take a college course in a subject like heating and ventilation, plumbing, building services or mechanical engineering. And you may find it very useful to have a driving licence.

Plumbing and heating engineers work in an increasingly technical discipline. You’ll need to be able to interpret technical drawings and apply problem-solving skills. A good grasp of mathematics is essential to make accurate measurements, calculate quantities of materials and to gauge the capacities of systems.

You’ll need to be confident operating cutting equipment and blowtorches for brazing and soldering pipework.

By law, you need special qualifications and accreditations to work on gas and electrical supplies.

What qualifications do I need?

For domestic plumbing and heating engineers, the City and Guilds Plumbing and Domestic Heating Course (6189) covers all the essential skills for installing and maintaining hot and cold water systems, central heating, sanitation systems and environmental technologies. The certificate includes the elements of gas safety required by law.

In addition, there are NVQ Level 2 Diplomas covering Domestic Plumbing, Heating and Maintenance.

The Level 3 NVQ Diploma (City and Guilds 6188) allows you to train as a Heating and Ventilation Engineer (HVAC Engineer).

You’ll need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a building site.

What are the hours and conditions?

You’ll typically work a 40-hour week, Monday to Friday. However, there are often opportunities for overtime or ‘emergency’ work out of hours, carrying premium rates of pay. Dawn-starts are the norm for site-workers.

You may work in all types of buildings and construction sites, often operating in cramped spaces and sometimes working at height.

Career progression

Because of the broad base of technical knowledge and strong emphasis on problem-solving and task management, plumbers and heating engineers often graduate into areas of site and project management.

In addition, there are attractive opportunities in technical sales.

Areas of specialism 

There is considerable scope for specialism in areas like renewable energy heating systems. Technical knowledge is required to install and maintain solar panels or ground source heat pumps and ensure that systems are as efficient as possible.

There are numerous opportunities for specialists in particular applications such as industrial refrigeration, refining and brewing.

To search for opportunities across the sector click here. Or, browse our dedicated HS2 and Hinkley Point C pages for more information.

Cx Jobs

Forecasting Data Analyst

Forecasting Data Analyst Remote/Flexi-working, Central London based - £35,000Are you a recent graduate with experience in Data Analysis or come from a statistical/mathematical background? Want to work for a growing company with a strong ethos and sustainable purpose?A London-based company are growing their Data team looking for a Forecasting Analyst to join them. This is a business that truly invests in their employees, where you will have extensive training available to develop your Data skills and work your way up in the collaborative Data team.This role offers excellent training and development opportunities. You will be working with, and developing your skills in some of the most in-demand technologies available, including Python, R and SQL. What are the key responsibilities?Performing operational forecasting, communicating to suppliers and ad hoc modellingMaintenance of in-house models (written in Python, R, SQL)Assist with reporting and interpretation of performance metricsWorking closely with wider Data team, assisting with data analytics or data insight workSkills Required:A degree in a numerate subject or experience in a role where Data Analysis knowledge is essentialStrong ability with Excel and ability to communicate data in meaningful wayExperience in modelling / forecasting or analysisStrong attention to detail and ability to work with complex technical conceptsAbility to provide insight into data and statistical analysisSome familiarity with either Python / PowerBI / SQL or R. This role will be remote working to begin with - and will remain flexible / part-remote post-lockdown. If you come from a strong statistical/data analysis background and want to develop your skills in an supportive environment, then please apply directly for more information.


Vital are engaged with a Main-Contracting Client who have exciting new projects starting in 2021!We will be delighted to hear from Electricians for a variety of works including Commercial, Fit out and General Building Services. Please forward your CV and ECS along with any other certs for consideration or text Susie on 07703613159 and we will follow-up with you.


Vital are engaged with a Main-Contracting Client who have exciting new projects starting in 2021!We will be delighted to hear from Electricians for a variety of works including Commercial, Fit out and General Building Services. Please forward your CV and ECS along with any other certs for consideration or text Susie on 07703613159 and we will follow-up with you.

Procurement Manager - Raw Materials and Packaging

Title: Procurement Manager - Raw Materials and Packaging Location: Northwich Salary: £45-50k Job overview The Category Manager for Raw Material and Packaging is responsible to the Head of Procurement for delivering the category strategy for Raw Materials and packaging. The Category Manager works closely with the respective Heads of Operations to ensure that suitable contracts are in place to meet operational demand. By working collaboratively with the sites, the operational requirements will be delivered and the opportunities for improved ways of working identified.Key responsibilities Developing a category strategy for raw materials and packaging. Identifying stakeholders and implementing stakeholder management plans to assist in developing the category strategies and operational performance.In developing category strategies identify cost optimisation opportunities and contribute to the broader corporate cost optimisation agenda.Report on Procurement performance against agreed service levels.In conjunction with business leads, as identified in the category strategy, undertake contract management of the suppliers within the category.Implementing Procurement processes and procedures - managing the inputs and responses to the procurement requests from site.Working with the Procurement team to deliver a matrix solution to deliver demand fulfilment. Working collaboratively with Procurement colleagues will help facilitate operational effectiveness.Work with Strategic Procurement to refine Procurement processes and ways of working, including the development of Procurement performance metrics and reporting.Become the P2P subject matter expert for all raw materials and packaging requests and orders; provide guidance and assistance to the business requisitioning community. Liaise and support Operational Procurement in the development and improvement of Procurement systems including P2P.In conjunction with Head of Procurement develop post-contract award contract management and supplier engagement and review. Candidate experience MCIPS or equivalentBachelor's degree in Procurement/ Business/ Finance3+ years in Procurement / Supply chain roles.Manufacturing background or background with mix of direct and indirect spend.Experience of electronic tendering and contract management.Experience of Procurement transformation. For further information please contact Jack Dawkins on / 07966-.531-.875

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