So you want to be a plumber?

Becoming a heating plumber takes hard work and dedication but it can lead to an enjoyable, rewarding and well-paid career. Here we’ve shared our knowledge on how to get into the trade.

Education and qualifications

If you are starting from scratch and have no experience in plumbing, you will need to complete a college course. It is mandatory that all heating plumbers complete an NVQ Level 2 or 3 Course in Gas Installation and Maintenance.

Some people gain experience through working as an apprentice of a qualified heating plumber for several months or years. If you have gained technical experience this way, you may be able to do a shorter course at college, which will get you the formal qualifications you need.

Whichever route you choose to go down, make sure the college course you do meets the Gas Safe registration criteria.

What is Gas Safe?

The Gas Safe Register was launched back in 2009, taking over from the previous gas safety scheme known as CORGI. Whilst CORGI significantly helped to reduce domestic gas safety issues, a gas safety review in 2006 found that more improvements could be made, which lead to the creation of the Gas Safe Register.

Gas Safe registered plumbers are also referred to as heating engineers, as Gas Safe is a separate qualification to plumbing. Every Gas Safe plumber / heating engineer is required to carry a Gas Safe register ID card, which features their own unique licence number and shows the type of gas work (boiler, pipework, fire etc.) they are qualified to do. You will be required to pass different tests to prove your competence in different types of gas work.

Becoming Gas Safe registered

When looking for courses, be wary of any that say   they are Gas Safe training courses because no such thing exists. In order to become Gas Safe registered, you need to pass the ACS (Approved Certification Scheme) assessment. The training you have done at college should equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to pass this assessment.

Once you have passed the assessment, you will be able to register as Gas Safe and will have the opportunity to download the marketing toolkit from the website. Please keep in mind that you will be required to pass the ACS assessment every five years.

Getting a heating plumber job

Gas Safe registered heating plumbers are highly sought after by leading companies like Priory Gas Heating. The best way to find suitable roles is to look at plumbing companies and energy suppliers’ websites. You can also check online job boards for any positions that are currently being advertised.

In order to secure a heating plumbing job at a top company, you will need to prove your competence in carrying out gas work safely and to a high standard. Experience, knowledge and confidence in working with different heating appliances will greatly count in your favour.

Of course, some people choose to work for themselves and that’s fantastic! You may however find that it is much easier to establish your own business, once you have gained experience working for another company.


We hope this short guide has helped anyone out there, who is looking to become a heating plumber. If you are looking for heating plumbing work in the London area, it’s always worth checking our website for news about any roles we are advertising for. If you have any questions about Gas Safe or plumbing, feel free to get in touch, as we may be able to help!