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How do I become a Plumber?

Are you thinking about the next step in your career and like working with your hands, working independently and have good hand and eye coordination? If this sounds like you, an Australian Apprenticeship in Plumbing might be the perfect step for your career.

This month, we are partnering with Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) to bring you our job of the month, Plumbing.

What is Plumbing?

Plumber’s plan, install, maintain and repair systems which allow water and gas to flow in and out. These systems are commonly found in bathrooms, toilets, kitchens and laundries – to name a few! As a Plumber, you can expect to use a range of pipes, valves and fittings to ensure these systems operate effectively and safely. Aside from the common requirements of the job, you may also choose to specialise in different streams of Plumbing. These include:

Water Supply

  • Install hot & cold water supply to bathrooms and kitchens
  • Install hot water systems including solar systems

Sanitary

  • Install sanitary fixtures such as toilets, basins and sinks
  • Install suspended drains, waste pipes and connect to fixtures

Gasfitting

  • Install and test gas hot water services, heaters and cooktops
  • Install and test LPG and natural gas fitting lines

Roofing

  • Fabricate and install metal roofing, gutters and downpipes
  • Install skylights and vents in roofs

Drainage

  • Clear and repair underground drains
  • Install sewage treatment systems

Mechanical Services

  • Install hydronic heating, ducted heating, evaporative coolers and splits
  • Fabricate and install sheet metal ductwork

In order to legally work as a Plumber in Australia, you may be subject to strict registration and/or licencing requirements in your state or territory​. It's a good idea to familiarise yourself with these requirements before you start your apprenticeship.

Is Plumbing right for me?

Before committing to an apprenticeship, it's important to do your research to find out if Plumbing is suited to you. While there aren't any educational prerequisites for this apprenticeship, there a few qualities that will help you determine if Plumbing is the job for you:

- Enjoy practical work
- Can calculate weights and measurements
- Able to work at heights
- Able to work in various weather conditions
- Good interpersonal skills

What can I expect to be doing as a Plumbing apprentice?

A Plumbing apprenticeship takes 4 years to complete and includes a range of on-the-job and off-the-job training. Over the course of the apprenticeship, you will learn about different aspects of the job. This will help you build the necessary skills and knowledge to operate independently in the future.

During your apprenticeship, you may be trained and assessed in the following:

  • Read plans and calculate plumbing quantities
  • Use plumbing hand and power tools
  • Cut and join sheet metal
  • Weld using oxy-acetylene equipment
  • Locate and clear blockages
  • Install domestic treatment plants
  • Install stormwater and sub-soil drainage systems
  • Drain work site
  • Install below ground sanitary drainage systems
  • Install LPG systems in caravans, mobile homes and mobile workplaces
  • Install Type A gas appliance flues
  • Install Type B gas appliance flues
  • Install gas piping systems
  • Install LPG storage of aggregate storage capacity up to 500 litres
  • Install and commission Type A gas appliances
  • Design domestic urban irrigation systems
  • Install and commission domestic irrigation pumps
  • Select and install roof sheeting and wall cladding
  • Receive roofing materials
  • Fabricate and install roof drainage components
  • Install roof coverings to curved roof structures
  • Plan layout of a residential sanitary plumbing system
  • Install discharge pipes
  • Install sewerage pumpsets
  • Set out and install water services
  • Install and commission water heating systems
  • Install water pipe systems
  • Install trench support
What are my career outcomes?

What are my career outcomes?

There are endless opportunities and career pathways once you complete your apprenticeship. As well as owning your own business, a qualification in Plumbing may lead to the following careers:

- Plumbing Foreman
- Plumbing Inspector
- Project Manager
- Plumbing Teacher

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