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Plumbing

Overview

Plumbing and Services is part of the Construction, Plumbing and Services industry and covers work on new projects and renovations of existing buildings.  There is also a significant ‘domestic repair’ element to the sector, and several niche areas.

Sectors in the industry

Plumbers are mainly employed in construction, electricity, gas, water and waste services. Fire protection work covers the installation and maintenance of fire protection systems in buildings.

The work covers:

  • Preparing and/or studying drawings and specifications
  • Finding and marking position for connections, then cutting holes through walls and floors to accommodate pipes, measuring pipes and marking cutting or bending lines
  • Cutting, threading and bending pipes, assembling and installing piping, valves and fittings, joining pipe sections and securing pipes
  • Installing plumbing fixtures
  • Maintaining and repairing plumbing systems.

Employer profile for the industry

The plumbing and services sector employs over 87,000 tradespeople and is driven by public health and environmental requirements arising from the water industry and the need for proper sanitation, as well as economic activity and demand for housing.

The sector predominantly consists of small to medium sized businesses.

Source: Artibus Innovation

Typical features of the workforce

  • Nearly 93% of the plumbing workforce is full-time
  • Women make up less than 7 % of the workforce
  • The main age group is 25 – 34 years
  • 67% of the workforce holds a Certificate III or IV qualification and less than 10% hold higher education qualifications.

Sources: Australian Jobs

Emerging sectors, future growth

The sector is driven by public health and environmental requirements arising from the water industry and the need for proper sanitation.

Plumbing is set to expand in the future with a stronger focus on environmental sustainability, alternative energy technology and water conservation.

New technology is requiring plumbers to acquire new skills. For example, video cameras to detect leaks in pipes and high pressure hydraulic pumps connected to steel cables for trenchless sewer line replacement.

Jobs in Demand

Plumbers, Roof Plumbers, Gas Fitters and Drainers are occupations that have been identified as being in skill shortage on the National Skills List.

Licensed occupations and registrations

There are a wide range of licensing requirements across the states and territories for a number of occupations in the Building and Construction industry.

Access state and territory regulatory authority sites across several occupations through the Australian Government’s Licence Recognition website.

Safe Work Australia also provides links to all state and territory information.

Work Health and Safety

Under Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation all people working on construction sites must complete general construction induction training.  This is often referred to as a ‘White Card’, or ‘Blue Card’ depending on the training done or the location.  In any case, it’s needed before entering a construction site.  Safe Work NSW provides information in this area for states and territories.

Key Occupation

Plumber

Gas and Line Fitter

Mechanical Services Plumber

Roofing Plumber

This industry is positioned in the following groups

Industry

Building & Construction

Work Type

Practical & Manual

Ready to see where Plumbing can take you?

Career Pathways

Plumbing is part of the Construction, Plumbing & Services Industry & has career pathways from Certificate II through to Diploma. Look at the Job Pathway Chart to see what is of interest.

Job Pathway Chart

Practice Aptitude Quiz

This resource illustrates the maths and literacy needed to complete the entry level training in this sector.

Download The Quiz
 

Callum - Apprentice Plumber

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Daniel - Apprentice Plumber

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Jackson - Pre-apprenticeship Plumber

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Koder - Apprentice Plumber

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Leigh - Apprentice Plumber

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Mitch - Apprentice Plumber

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Nicholas - Apprentice Plumber

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Support Services

Further Research

Information

Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Use Google to search for the associations and organisations listed below. 

Industry 

  • Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association of Australia
  • Master Plumbers Association
  • National Fire Industry Association
  • Master Plumbers & Gasfitters Association
  • Fire Protection Association of Australia
  • Master Builders Association