The Role(s)

Plumbers work on the maintenance and installation of plumbing systems.

They install plumbing and heating systems (like central heating) into NHSScotland buildings. They maintain and repair existing systems and equipment.

They may work on their own, with other plumbers or with a team from the other technical or building trades, depending on the job.

They may move around on a hospital site as needed and work normal hours as required, but might sometimes be on call in case of emergency.

Skills, Interests and Abilities

Useful skills include

  • practical skills
  • be able to understand technical drawings and plans

Relevant interests

  • an interest in craft or working with your hands

Useful abilities include:

  • an ability to solve problems
  • a willingness to carry out unpleasant tasks
  • a good head for heights and physical strength to carry metal piping and other materials
  • work carefully and methodically
  • work alone or as part of a team with other craftspeople.

Entry Requirements

Plumbers are qualified and so will normally need to have an SVQ3 in Plumbing or an HNC as a Building Services Engineer to join the NHS Scotland as a Plumber.

Another way into a job as a plumber in NHS Scotland is through a Modern Apprenticeship in Plumbing - see the section on Modern Apprenticeships below.

Modern Apprenticeships

Modern Apprenticeships offer those aged over 16 paid employment with the opportunity to train for jobs at craft, technician and management level.

Modern Apprenticeship Plumbing level 3 (SCQF level 7)

Modern Apprenticeship Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning level 3 (SCQF level 7)

In Scotland the organisation that handles MA training for the plumbing industry is SNIPEF - the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers' Federation, see Professional Bodies.


Learning and Development

You will be helped and encouraged to develop your career as a plumber in NHSScotland.

Once employed, NHS Scotland encourages staff to study Scottish vocational qualifications (SVQs).  Look on our VQ Finder website to find the full range of SVQs we offer.

With further experience and qualifications you could progress to a role as an Technician, Estates Officer or Senior Estates Officer. The head of the team is the Head of Estates and manages a whole team of staff.