Barry King

Barry King is training to become a plumber. We spoke to Barry to find out more about his life, changes, and future ambitions in the trades.


I was born in New Forest, between Salisbury and Southampton, where I lived until the age of 7, and then I moved to Southampton. Some 8 years ago I moved from Southampton to Melton Keynes where I started my own property maintenance business. However, I wasn’t qualified to do it and I decided to take a foundation course in plumbing 3 years ago. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to take this course and continue with plumbing… and eventually get a qualification and a trade behind me, so I can earn more money and look for a brighter future.

What careers or jobs have you had up to date?

I have had many jobs. I have been working in a bar… When I was 25 I went into the army to do my basic training…I came out of that as I didn’t like it. Since then, I have been working on building sites etc. I have done jobs that I have always thought I could better myself and have a trade behind me. That’s the reason why I am doing this course, so I could get a qualification out of it and earn more money than what I am currently doing.

What are your other interests in addition to plumbing?

I am very much into art and I also like using my hands to do physical things, so plumbing is ideal for me.

What kinds of paintings do you like drawing?

I mainly do watercolour landscapes… no portraits because I can’t draw faces, but can draw animals and people’s pets. People often ask me to do one for them as a Christmas present. Every weekend I go for a walk in the New Forest, I take pictures and then go back indoors and sketch different landscapes from there. I have always liked painting and drawing because I am a very arty person. It is the same with plumbing…you get an achievement of creating something new.

What is your plan for the future and your greatest ambition?

I would like to set up my own business, but firstly I would like to go and work alongside someone else in peoples’ homes, so I can get an insight of the industry.

What would you say to those willing to pursue a career in the trades?

I wish I did this course 20 years ago. Obviously, for people out there who want to have a trade behind them I would definitely advise them to do the course. It teaches you everything you need to know from the basics to when you do the gas-safe part of the course. There is plenty I have learnt and it’s enjoyable too.