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Kitchen and Bathroom Fitter

Source of Information: Next Step / DirectGov / Careers Advice Service

Kitchen and Bathroom Fitter

The Work

Kitchen and bathroom fitters install kitchens and bathroom suites in homes and businesses. They fit cupboards, worktops, appliances, flooring and fittings when working on kitchen installations. In bathrooms they put in baths, shower units, sinks, toilets and storage cabinets.

As a kitchen and bathroom fitter, your day-to-day work would include:

  • measuring out work areas in line with layout and design plans
  • ripping out and disposing of old units and suites
  • marking the location of hidden pipes and cables
  • filling in small cracks, and levelling walls and floors
  • relocating sockets and plumbing points where necessary
  • assembling cabinets, base units and shower units
  • measuring and cutting worktops, recesses and joints
  • fitting units and appliances
  • tiling walls and laying flooring
  • clearing away debris at the end of the job.

You would normally work alone or in a small team. You may need a qualified electrician, plumber or Gas Safe registered technician to complete parts of the job, for example, reconnecting a gas supply.

Health and safety is an important part of this work, and you would be expected to follow Building Regulations at all times.

Hours and Environment

Your normal working hours would be 37 to 40 hours a week. Overtime may be necessary to meet deadlines.

You would use a range of hand and power tools, and wear safety clothing on all jobs. Conditions are likely to be dusty, especially when ripping out existing fittings.

The nature of the work means you would travel between jobs, and some contracts will involve overnight stays away from home.

Skills and Interests


  • excellent practical skills
  • the ability to follow technical drawings
  • the ability to mark out accurate measurements
  • good problem-solving skills
  • creative flair
  • good customer care skills
  • the ability to complete work to deadlines
  • the ability to work alone or as part of a team
  • an understanding of Building Regulations
  • an awareness of health and safety.

Entry

You would normally have to be a qualified tradesperson, like a joiner, plumber or electrician. Employers may also be willing to take you on if you have experience in a related area, such as cabinet making, plastering or tiling. See the related profiles to find out more about these trades.

You may be able to get into this career as an apprentice tradesperson with a building company, then move into kitchen and bathroom fitting. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers. To find out more, visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk.

There is also a limited number of kitchen installer Apprenticeships on offer. See the Kitchens Bedrooms Bathrooms National Training Group (KBBNTG) website for details.

You would be expected to provide your own tools and transport for most jobs.

Contact ConstructionSkills for general information on construction careers and qualifications. The Know Your Place campaign aims to promote the construction trades as a career choice for women.

Training

Once you are employed, you could choose from a range of short training courses offered by the KBBNTG, including:

  • kitchen installation programme
  • Building Regulations
  • business start-up
  • the principles of kitchen design.

You could also take qualifications related to your particular trade, for example the NVQ in Wood Occupations.

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
Many building contractors now insist that you have a CSCS card to work on their sites. The card is proof of your skills and competence. To get your card you must:

  • pass a health and safety assessment
  • have an NVQ or equivalent qualification.

If you are working without qualifications, you may be able to use On-Site Assessment and Training (OSAT) or Experienced Worker Practical Assessment (EWPA) to get your NVQ and card. Contact CSCS for further details.

Part P
You will need Part P certification to satisfy Building Regulations if you want to carry out certain electrical work, for example, adding new circuits for showers or lighting. You can get certification by completing a short recognised training course with: (links open in a new window) NICEIC, ELECSA, British Standards Institution, National Association of Inspectors & Testers or Electrical Contractor's Association.

Gas Safe Register
If you work with gas appliances you will need to join the Gas Safe Register (formerly known as Corgi Registration). See the Gas Safe Register website for more information.

Opportunities

You could find work with building companies, design agencies, kitchen and bathroom manufacturers and retailers. You could also set up your own business.

With further training, for example in computer aided design, you could move into planning and installation design. In a larger company, you could progress to become a business development manager, area sales coordinator or project manager, leading a team of designers and installers.

You may find the following useful for job vacancies and general reading: (links open in new window)

Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association (KBSA)
bConstructive
Construction Jobs Network
Directgov (Jobseekers page)

We do not accept responsibility for the content of external sites.

Annual Income


  • Starting salaries can be between 13,500 and 16,000 a year.
  • Experienced kitchen fitters can earn between 17,000 and 25,000 a year.

Self-employed fitters set their own rates.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Further information

If you would like to discuss your career options with a learning advisor at the Careers Advice Service advice line, call 0800 100 900 or use our online enquiry form.
 

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