Plumbing & Heating Apprenticeship

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Course overview

Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technicians plan, select, install, service, commission and maintain all aspects of plumbing and heating systems. Plumbing and domestic heating technicians can find themselves working inside or outside a property. Customer service skills and being tidy and respectful are important qualities as they can often find themselves working in customers’ homes as well as on building sites.

As a competent Plumbing and Heating Technician, the installation of plumbing and heating systems includes accurate measuring, marking, cutting, bending and jointing metallic and non-metallic pipework. Appliances and equipment can include gas, oil and solid fuel boilers as well as pumps, heat emitters, bathroom furniture or controls as part of a cold water, hot water, and central heating or above ground drainage and rainwater systems.

Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technicians are at the forefront of installing new and exciting environmental technologies like heat pumps, solar thermal systems, biomass boilers and water recycling systems. It is important for a plumbing and heating technician to be able to work independently or as a team and use their knowledge and skills to ensure that both the system and appliances are appropriately selected and correctly installed, often without any supervision, and done so in a safe, efficient and economical manner to minimise waste.

Course Facts

Course Length

Entry Requirements

How much does it cost?


Course Length

Usually 4 years. If you already have some qualifications in plumbing, the length of the course may be shorter.

Entry Requirements

You will need to achieve Level 2 Functional Skills in English and maths, if you don’t already have these qualifications or equivalent GCSEs.

Equivalent GCSEs are grade C or higher or grade 4 or higher. If you are not quite at this level, you will have the opportunity to work towards these qualifications as part of your apprenticeship.

These qualifications need to be achieved before the End Point Assessment is taken, usually in Year 4 of the apprenticeship.

In addition. you will need to be aged 16 and over for your employer to benefit from support funding.  If you’re older than 19, your employer may need to put some of their own money towards your studies.

You will need to have been a UK resident for the previous three years, or a national of any European Union (EU) country or European Economic Area (EEA) for the previous three years. This is unless you have an immigration status which exempts you from the three-year residency requirement. Contact JTL for more information about this.

You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still in education, but you need to have left before you can start with us. As a rule of thumb, you must have left compulsory education after the last Friday in June of the academic year in which you are applying.

You will need an employer before you can start an apprenticeship, although you can apply before you’ve arranged one.

How much does it cost?

The full training cost for a Plumbing Apprenticeship is £21,000, however as an apprentice you will not be required to pay anything towards your apprenticeship other than any travel costs you may incur getting to and from your employer’s workplace.

For employers there is no cost for hiring an apprentice aged 16 to 18 years.  If you recruit an apprentice aged 19 or over then the costs are 5 per cent of the full cost of the apprenticeship (e.g. £1,050 over 4 years).

For apprentice wages, JTL recommend that employers follow the JIB pay rates.


Level 3 Diploma in Plumbing and Domestic Heating
Awarding body – BPEC and City & Guilds 

You can view full details of the Standard for the Plumbing and Heating Level 3 qualification here.

Module information

Course Details 

Apprentices will complete the level 3 plumbing and domestic heating qualification to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to plan, select, install, service, commission and maintain all aspects of plumbing and heating systems. 

Year 1
  • Health and safety including health and safety test which meets the requirements to obtain a CSCS card through the JIB-PMES.
  • Common plumbing processes and techniques including use of hand and power tools, types of pipework and their jointing principles, use of clips and brackets to support plumbing and heating pipework and components.
  • Installation of domestic plumbing and heating pipework.
  • Basic scientific principles including units of measurement, properties of materials, simple machines and basic mechanics.
  • Types and layout features of cold water, hot water, central heating and rainwater systems and sanitary appliances pipework systems.
Year 2
  • More advanced scientific principles including force, pressure and flow, energy, heat and power, principles of electricity.
  • Installing, decommissioning and soundness testing of cold water, hot water and rainwater systems and sanitary appliances and pipework systems.
Year 3
  • Commissioning cold and hot water systems.
  • Installing, decommissioning, performing soundness testing and commissioning central heating systems.
  • Fault diagnosis and rectification on cold water, hot water, central heating and rainwater systems and sanitary appliances and pipework systems.
  • Service and maintenance of cold water, hot water and central heating systems and sanitary appliances and pipework systems.
  • Sizing and selecting cold water, hot water, rainwater and central heating systems and sanitary appliances pipework systems for dwellings.
  • Understanding of domestic fuel systems and environmental technology systems.
  • Work on electrical supplies and circuits for the control of plumbing and domestic heating systems.
Year 4
  • One of four pathways – gas, solid fuel, oil or environmental technologies.
  • Completion of the gas pathway will include ISA/ACS assessment in order to become a member of the Gas Safe Register.
  • Completion of the environmental technologies pathway will meet the criteria to register on the MCS competent person scheme for Solar Thermal and Heat Pump nominated technical persons.
  • Completion of the oil pathway will include OFTEC courses and assessments in order to register with the OFTEC competent person scheme.
  • Completion of the solid fuel pathway inclue HETAS courses and assessments to enable registration on the HETAS competent person scheme.

Delivery and Assessment

The course is usually delivered on a day release basis, meaning you will go to college or a JTL training centre for one day a week and spend the rest of your time at work. Some of our centres offer a block release option.

The End Point Assessment (EPA) is expected to take place in the final 3 months of the apprenticeship. You must pass this to complete your apprenticeship and become a fully qualified plumber. The EPA consists of a multiple-choice test, a design project, a practical installation test, a practical application test and a professional discussion.

Grades of Pass, Merit and Distinction are available.

You can view full details of the Standard for the Plumbing and Heating Level 3 qualification here.

Why choose JTL

  • Free starter toolkit in your first year*
  • Free study books
  • Dedicated training officer 
  • Free recruitment service 
  • Full equipped workshops at our dedicated training centres 
  • Dedicated support/EIC/JIB registered electrician skills development fund 
  • JIB PMES apprentice card 
  • Help accessing funds
  • Free recruitment process for employers
  • Ofsted Grade 2 GOOD Provider 
  • Regional national awards
  • CSCS card

*Once you have completed 6  months of your apprenticeship.

Equality & Diversity

JTL is committed to equality and diversity for all. We want to establish a culture of equality and diversity so that all applicants, apprentices, employers, sub-contractors and staff have the opportunity to work in and towards an environment that is non-discriminatory.

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Career progression

Fully qualified plumbing & heating apprentices can progress into roles such as supervising an apprentice, supervisory roles, project management roles, owning and managing their own business, advanced engineering, design and planning, teaching or training others.

As a fully qualified plumber you can go on to earn close to £32,000 per year (£31,695 )*

*Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2021 complied by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Data is published annually in November.

Our latest

Liam Davis & Nathan Portman

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Hear from both Nathan & Liam, two JTL apprentices who made it to the Grand Finals of the World Skills UK Competition.

Our latest

Green Vision - William Jack Edis

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“In general, it has been enjoyable and has given me the opportunity to do lots of things with my life. I have worked away from home a lot of the time which has given me lots of memories, good and bad. I’ve met lots of good friends and worked with some top people.”

Our latest

Amy Lister

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“Amy’s progression was undeniable; she was getting to the point where she was acquiring an amount of knowledge close to my own. When her apprenticeship with JTL finally finished, I immediately offered her a place as a full-time employee.”

Our latest

Luton Youth Partnership

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Luton Youth Partnership thanks Wilmott-Dixon and JTL Training for their service.


How to apply


Complete online application form


Pass our JTL initial assessment


Take an electrical colour blind test


Need more information?


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