How To Become A Plumber In Australia: A Complete Guide

Students want to know how long is a plumbing apprenticeship in Australia.


Do you possess good eye and hand coordination skills and consider yourself handy? Are you comfortable getting your hands dirty while working with tools and heavy machinery? Then, a career as a plumber might be perfect for you.

The main job of a plumber involves the installation, testing, and maintenance of sewage pipes and fixtures, metal roofing, fittings, etc. to ensure a proper and sanitized drainage system. Plumbers work at several places that include residential and commercial premises, sewage plants and more.

You need to be a licensed plumber to work legally in Australia. For this, you must complete a 4-year apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed professional along with a Certificate III in Plumbing from a nationally accredited training institute. To become a fully licensed plumber, you need to also obtain a Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services.

Here is an easy guide to know how to become a plumber in Australia. You will learn about the job profile, academic and personal requirements, state-wise licensing requirements, and the steps involved to get licensed.


1. What Is Plumbing?

Plumbing is a system that uses pipes, water tanks, plumbing fixtures, sewage valves, ventilation, HVAC systems, and other gears to transport fluids for several applications such as heating and cooling, removal of waste, and potable delivery of water.


2. Who Is A Plumber?

Plumbers are trained professionals who ensure proper installation, repair, and maintenance of all pipes and systems that house gases or liquids.

They are responsible for an efficient flow of gas and water in a building, which helps people simplify their lives.


3. Top Reasons To Choose A Plumbing Career In Australia

Plumbing is a rewarding career that gives you all that you look for in a dream job: great earning potential, an abundance of job opportunities, job security, and scope of specialization.


We have compiled a few compelling reasons why you should pursue it as your future profession.


Varied Job Roles

Plumbing is a smart career choice in terms of job prospects. 

For those with the right level of plumbing experience and training under their belt, plumbing offers endless career advancement opportunities in almost every region of the country.

More than repairing toilets, and dealing with sewage systems, the diverse profession allows you to work in a multitude of areas such as:


  • Fire Protection

  • Gas Fitting

  • Mechanical Service

  • Roofing

  • Sanitary

  • Non-Agricultural Irrigation

  • Water Supply


With the right qualifications and work experience, you can choose to become any of the following:


  • Plumbing Inspector

  • Plumbing Foreman

  • Project Manager

  • Hydraulic Engineer

  • Workplace Health and Safety Officer

  • Plumbing TAFE Teacher

  • Business owner

  • A Plumbing niche Blogger

Plumbers may even work for state and territory departments of the government. With continued training and experience, one can even become sales and technical representatives, building supervisors, building and construction managers, plumbing inspectors, building contract administrators, or purchasing officers.


High Paid Job

Do you wonder how much do plumbers earn in Australia? Let’s look at their earnings data:

A plumber starts to earn as he completes his apprenticeship and becomes a licensed plumber. An average apprentice plumber salary in Australia ranges between $23,000 and $55,0000.

The average hourly plumber salary in Australia is $41.74. Besides your qualification and expertise, the type of class you work in, and your employer also determine your salary.

Where an average qualified plumber earns approx. $85,000 annually, the most qualified plumbers even make over $180,000 a year. This makes plumbing among the highest paid careers throughout Australia Your earnings will increase as you gain more qualifications, industrial experience, and specialization.



Job Stability

If you are looking for a career with consistent and sustainable demand, then this one is the right one for you. There will always be a requirement for skilled and licensed plumbers.


Job satisfaction

Plumbing is suited for social people who like helping others practically solve their complex problems.


Different construction sites allow you to work with different clients and people. This makes it an exciting job that you would never get tired of.


Be Your Boss

If you are the type of person who doesn’t want to work under someone, then plumbing gives you the freedom to work independently and on your terms.


You will find several licensed and self-employed plumbers in Australia who runs their business serving different kinds of clients.


Scope Of Specialization

Often people dislike and leave jobs that do not give them a scope for growth and progression. Plumbing is a job that gives you a lot of opportunities to improvise your skillset.

Once you get decent practical work experience, you can specialize in any of the eight classes of plumbing:



  • Drainage: Fit sewage systems, holding wells, septic tanks, absorption tracks, and sullage pits. Clean and overhaul underground drains.


  • Water Supply Install cold and hot water supply in kitchen, and bathrooms


  • Sanitary: Fit suspended drains, waste pipes, and sanitary fixtures that includes a washbasin, sink, and toilet


  • Roofing: Construct and install skylights, rainwater products, roof vents, metal roofing, downpipes, flashings, gutters, etc. on industrial, commercial, and residential buildings.


  • Gas fitting: Mount and check LPG and natural gas fitting lines, cooktops, and heaters


  • Mechanical Services: Construct and connect hydronic heating, sheet metal ductwork, evaporative coolers, ducted heating, and splits into commercial and industrial buildings.


  • Irrigation (Non-agricultural): Mount and/or restore irrigation lines, large watering systems, remove snow, and promotes the constant enhancement of workplace safety.


  • Fire Protection: Fix a fire protection system comprising fittings, water pipes, fire hose reels, fire hydrants, that includes pumping facilities, and water storage systems for extinguishing fire in and around a property.


And 6 specialized classes, such as:


  • Backflow Prevention work 

  • Refrigerated Air Conditioning work

  • Type A Appliance Conversion work

  • Type A Appliance Servicing work

  • Type B Gas fitting work

  • Type B Gasfitting Advanced work


With so many plumbing classes to work in, there are umpteen opportunities to find your niche, expand your skills and widen your career prospects.


4. Duties Of A Plumber In Australia

Plumbing is a varied field that includes working with various tools both indoors and outdoors. Therefore, plumbers usually pick one field that interests them such as large construction locations, or home maintenance, and specialize in that area.

Here is an all-inclusive list of duties that a plumber carries out in the workplace.



  • Upkeep and restore plumbing systems

  • Read blueprints to understand existing systems, and provide specifications for materials to repair or construct new systems

  • Install gas, sewerage, drainage, air conditioning, ventilation, water pipes, and systems

  • Install hot and cold-water systems, pressure regulating devices, and gas-driven appliances.

  • Install equipment that includes water heaters, boilers, solar water heaters, chillers, water tanks, and fixtures such as washbasins, and toilets 

  • Measure pipes, mark precise positions to make connections

  • Study and formulate specifications and procedures to define the plumbing system layout and required materials

  • Map out designs for plumbing pipes and systems

  • Operate heavy tools and machinery as per the job needs

  • Cut, join, and weld sections of pipes, assemble and fit piping, and valves, and secure pipes

  • Test pipelines and systems by plumbing regulations

  • Design and mount sanitary water supply systems, plumbing systems, sanitary fixtures, and discharge pipes.

  • Construct and fit metal roofing, disposal systems, soil, rainwater goods, fire hydrants, and fire sprinkler systems.



5. Skills To Become A Plumber In Australia

Before joining a training program, it is advised to figure out whether you have the desired skills and educational prerequisites for this job.


Here are the top qualities and traits that are highly desirable in a plumbing professional:


  • Responsible

  • Analytical mind

  • Optimistic toward problem-solving

  • Effective communication 

  • Physical strength to handle a variety of heavy equipment and machinery

  • Quick and efficient at forming decisions

  • Great troubleshooting abilities

  • Readiness to work in a challenging working condition

  • Solution-oriented approach

  • Good people and client servicing skills

  • Time management

  • Interested in doing practical work

  • Comfortable working independently, at heights, and in unpleasant weather conditions

  • Good hand-eye coordination

  • Able to perform well under pressure 

  • Good mobility


6. Qualifications To Become A Plumber In Australia

To become a plumber, you need to have the following educational qualifications:


  • Must be 18 years and more

  • Pass your high school education with a background in mathematics. 

  • Next, you must attend Vocational Education and Training to secure a Certificate III in Plumbing. This certificate includes a minimum of 2 years of practical training in this field. 

  • After your apprenticeship, you can complete Certificate IV in Plumbing Services to study building and construction courses. This qualification equips you with the desirable knowledge, and skills to become a licensed plumber.


7. Steps To Become A Plumber In Australia

You need to be a licensed plumber to legally provide your services in Australia. Below is a stepwise guide to help you obtain a plumbing license in Australia.


Step 1: Attend an Apprenticeship program

The career of a plumber commences with an apprenticeship. Often students ask how long is a plumbing apprenticeship in Australia?


It takes 4 years to complete the training under the administration of registered plumbing professional. The program instills the necessary skills to operate self-sufficiently in this field.


Step 2: Complete a Certification

Most employers look for candidates who have completed a Certificate III in Plumbing.


The reason is that certification provides an in-depth theoretical knowledge of various key areas of the plumbing job.


Several technical universities and training schools offer full-time or part-time courses in plumbing.


Step: Get Registered

Once you have successfully undergone an apprenticeship and completed a Certificate III, you can apply for the registration.


Getting registered enables you to work in plumbing but won’t allow you to issue any compliance certificates.


Step 4: Get Licensed

To enjoy the full rights to work as a plumber, you need to complete a Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services. This is an advanced-level certification that provides you with a higher level of industry knowledge and skills.

Now apply for a license for a specific class of plumbing work that you want to conduct. Along with the qualification, you need to demonstrate your practical skills and pass the exam to obtain the license.

Following are the industry bodies that issue plumbing licenses to deserving candidates:



8. Certification And Plumbing Courses TAFE in Australia


Certificate III in Plumbing

This qualification helps you develop real-world skills to prepare for a role in this industry. Nationally accredited TAFE institutions offer this qualifying course to the budding plumbers in different states of Australia.




Nationally Recognised Training
Apprenticeship Allowed


  • Study Mode: On campus
  • Duration: Part-Time


Fully government-subsidized




No entry requirements

Study Mode: Traineeship or Apprenticeship



TAFE South Australia


  • Requirements: Contract of training from the employer

  • Duration: Up to 48 hours

  • Study Mode: On Campus

  • Location: Elizabeth, Tonsley, Mount Gambier



SouthWest TAFE


  • Location: Warrnambool

  • Study mode: Full-time, Apprenticeship

  • Duration: 4 years

  • Start Date: Any time



Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services

This course is offered at the following TAFE institutes throughout Australia.



Nationally Recognised Training
Traineeship Allowed


  • Study Mode: On campus, Combination

  • Delivery Mode: Part-Time



TAFE South Australia


  • Duration: Up to 24 months (Part-Time)

  • Campus Location: Tonsley




Study Mode: Online, On Campus





  • Part-time: 1 year

  • Campuses: Shepparton - William Orr and Wangaratta - Docker Street

  • Delivery Mode: Apprenticeship



Bendigo TAFE


  • Campus: Bendigo Charleston Road Campus

  • Course Structure: Flexi mode - Blended- 4 Years



SouthWest TAFE


  • Campus Location: Warrnambool

  • Study Mode: Part-time

  • Duration: Individual units offered throughout the year

  • Start Date: Apply any time



9. Working Conditions For A Plumber In Australia

Plumbing is a hands-on profession where you need to use your muscles while accomplishing jobs.

They are usually seen working independently, or in a team on large-scale construction projects and smaller domestic projects.

The job isn’t easy. It is a responsible, challenging, and demanding indoor and outdoor job. A plumber needs to have good stamina to lift and move pipes and heavy machines. You must be always ready to handle emergency conditions.

Plumbing is a full-time job. Depending on the requirement, a plumber may need to work on weekends and public holidays.

Plumbers need to wear a uniform as per the agreement and policies of the employer. Generally, the uniform includes a plumbing t-shirt, pants, a variety of safety gear, and trade shoes.


10. Conclusion

Plumbing is a licensed and well-regulated trade in Australia. It is a high-demand profession that requires the right blend of education and practice experience.

Combined with the practical job experience, the more qualified you become, the more employment opportunities you will get to grow in your career and earn more money.


FAQ’s On Plumbing Jobs In Australia


What is the plumber course duration in Australia?

It takes 4 years to complete a Certification III in Plumbing course in Australia. Certificate IV in plumbing services is a 41-week course that includes six practical days of training.


How to become a plumber in NSW?

Follow the below steps to becoming a fully licensed plumber in New South Wales.


Start with an Apprenticeship

The apprenticeship provides you with knowledge on various aspects of a plumbing job. This helps a student attain the necessary skills and knowledge to work as an independent plumber in the future.


Get Certified

After the apprenticeship, the next step is to complete a Certificate III in Plumbing certification at TAFE NSW institute.


Register yourself

After qualifying, work under the supervision of a licensed plumber and apply for registration. You need to get a license before giving out any compliance certificates.


Complete A Certificate IV In Plumbing And Services

To become a licensed plumber in NSW, you need to develop an advanced skillset and gain in-depth knowledge about the plumbing industry. Certificate IV in Plumbing And Services is the ideal course that makes you eligible to obtain a plumbing license.

Different plumbing classes require different types of plumbing licenses to perform the plumbing job in Australia. Thus, you need to decide on the area of specialization before you apply for a plumbing license.

Along with submitting a license application form, you need to pass an examination that assesses your knowledge and skills in plumbing.

Once you obtain a plumbing license, you can begin working in your chosen specialization field in NSW.


How to become a plumber in QLD?

To legally work as a plumber in Queensland, you need to get qualified by completing a Certificate III in Plumbing course through TAFE QLD. While you complete the course, you can simultaneously undertake and complete a plumbing apprenticeship of 4 years.

Gain work experience under a licensed practitioner followed by completing Certificate IV in Plumbing And Services to become eligible to obtain a license.

Based on the license class you want to work in, you can apply for a plumbing license at Queensland Building and Construction Commission.


How to become a plumber near Sydney?

To become a qualified and licensed plumbing professional in Sydney, you must commence your career journey with an apprentice.

Look for an employer that provides you with an opportunity to learn about the various aspects of plumbing.


During your apprenticeship, you can complete a 4 year nationally accredited Certificate III in Plumbing course.

The course comprises on-site work and classroom training. After completion of the course, you must successfully pass the assessment. To be eligible to work in the construction industry, apply for a White Card too.

Once you fulfill the qualification requirement, it is time to work under the administration of a licensed practitioner and gain hands-on experience.

To become a licensed plumber in Sydney, browse through TAFE Sydney courses and complete a higher-level certification in plumbing i.e., Certificate IV in Plumbing Services.

Now you can apply for a license by submitting a license application and undergoing a test. Once you clear the test and obtain a license, you can apply for plumbing jobs in Sydney.


How to become a plumber in Melbourne?

The path to becoming a fully qualified and licensed career starts with a 4-year apprenticeship. During these years, you work in an apprenticeship arrangement and complete a nationally accredited Certificate III in Plumbing course at TAFE Melbourne.

After the completion of an apprenticeship and certification, work under the administration of a licensed practitioner and apply for registration. Successful registration will grant you a registration card along with a practitioner number.

To qualify to work in all areas of plumbing, you will need to complete a Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services. After completing the course and gaining experience, you can apply for a plumbing license in your state.


How to become a plumber in Western Australia?

To legally work as a licensed plumber in Western Australia, you need to attend a 4 years apprenticeship and complete Certificate IV in Plumbing from a nationally accredited TAFE WA institute.

Research and find a dignified and licensed practitioner to get work experience under his supervision.

Next, you can apply for a registration and gain higher-level certification in plumbing i.e., Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services.

After you complete the qualification, you can proceed to apply for a Plumbing Contractor License or a Plumbing Tradesperson License from the Plumbers Licensing Board of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

After you successfully obtain a license, you can work in your preferred license class in Western Australia.

Click here to know more about obtaining a plumbing license in Western Australia.



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