Handyman Question

What course would you do?

I am leaving the Armed Forces in October and I found a college that's going to offer me 3 trades to do they are Plastering, Tiling, Painting & Decorating, Bricklaying, Block Paving and Plumbing! I know I want to do plastering but what could I do for my other 2 any ideas?? Thanks Joe

Just want to thank you all for the comments! I just wanted to add that I damaged my hearing so I been moved from a Rifle Company to Motor Transport and being in Northern Ireland has made me want to leave I been in 6years and want some thing new am hard working and get frustrated if not doing something and if I don't get a job in a trade I have Cat C+E licence to fall back on. I have booked my course any ways I am doing Plastering, Plumbing, Tiling and Painting as well as a Self Employment course. Thanks for or the input and if in Notts Area and looking to take some one on keep me in mind lol :)

7 Answers

Tiling and plumbing.Both good earners,arent weather dependent and you can do complete bathroom refits all on your own.With times like this,its a good position to be in if you can do everything,AND do it well.I know a plumber that is also a tiler and he does pretty well with not having to share his work.

Answered 26th May 2012

Roc builders

Member since 25 Aug 2011

Plastering ,tiling and plumbing . You can then set up as a bathroom installer ,/plasterer/tiler/plumber you'll never be out of work that way.But one word of warning: these courses are sometimes very basic. Plastering and tiling need a lot of practical experience to be classed as a trade, there are a lot of so called plasterers /tilers who have done these 6-month courses and they are cowboys. Plumbing on the other hand is not as practically challenging as a lot of the work is hidden but it does require technical knowhow & takes around 2 years to become competent,good luck

Answered 26th May 2012


Member since 7 Jun 2008

Second choice would be decorating as a client may need any surfaces painting after plastering. Third choice would be plumbing. If you were to get a call out to stop a leak and a damaged ceiling needed plastering you can offer to quote for re-plastering and then repaint.
So what ever way you look at it you will will never be short of work.

Answered 27th May 2012


Member since 13 Oct 2008

you can go for the other 2 is tiling and painting and decorating hope this is ok for you from k. w. s. decoratings.

Answered 27th May 2012

kws decorators

Member since 17 Dec 2008

HI Joe, if you have an opportunity to learn a skill, I will advise you to choose something you like, it is very important to love your job. When you do something you really enjoy you improve your knowledge quicker and every day you have a chance to enjoy your life. But at the same time you need to do something that will warranty you regular work. Plastering, tiling, painting are nice trade, but you need to learn something that is a necessity for people, like plumbing,gas. You will be registered and as far as I know,people can live without a nice tiling job or a nice plastering job or a nice decoration in there house but will they live without hot water or heating system?? That is the way you should choose your next career.
good luck,regards

Answered 27th May 2012

Luigi Guitart Carpentry

Member since 27 Apr 2012

Your doing a course to learn three trades. I did five years to learn how to become a painter and decorator. What you need is on site experience, you would be better to just learn one trade.

Answered 27th May 2012

Proctor Decorating

Member since 6 Mar 2011

Hello Joe. Tough question to answer really as you're going to get lots of different views.

I'd seriously question why anyone other than a young apprentice would consciously decide to try to get into any of the trades you've listed these days. Every man & his dog seem to be offering these services so it might not be the most prudent of career choices.

The wet trades such as plastering and bricklaying are very difficult to do properly and are imo highly skilled trades that require years of practice to become proficient at. New build housing has been in decline for years and with few now able to re-mortgage easily, extensions are also few and far between, so you'll need to think about where your brick laying work would be coming from.

In all of the trades listed, you will also have an abundance of highly experienced competition, especially in plastering and painting and decorating.

If you really want to try plastering then I'd suggest the obvious choices that would support and compliment that line of work would be tiling and painting & decorating. You'll need a good few bob for the professional tile cutting & drilling & tools, laser levels etc., but tiling is not that difficult to do properly. At least you'd only have yourself to blame when the walls are all over the place!

Block paving, imo, isn't that difficult either and again you'll find lots of competition and will struggle to continually get this type of work.

I know I'll risk the wrath of properly qualified sparks and gas engineers when I say this but for long term employment prospects you might also like to investigate training for these trades.

The "plumbing bubble" burst long ago, scuse the pun, so there are plenty of "six monthers" out there who have re-skilled and are now struggling.

The training is only one part of the steep hill you've got to climb, it's the work experience after that which counts so you'll be best advised to keep this in mind when sourcing your courses.

I do know that BT have been giving preference to hiring ex forces chaps for their national fibre infrastructure projects, so maybe that's worth a look and could open doors for you longer term.

Sorry if this all sounds too negative, but, unless you are absolutely convinced that you want to enter into the construction trades and can work in the London area / South East, then I'd seriously think about your long term prospects and maybe consider alternatives.

Good luck with your endeavours. You're going to need it, in spades.

Answered 28th May 2012

Amwell Property Services

Member since 11 Sep 2010

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