Plumbers are some of the highest paid tradies in Australia and are always in high demand, making a career in plumbing a smart option.
They are also essential to the functioning of society – they keep our water running and our toilets working, so that we can be clean and stay safe from disease.
If you are curious about joining the ranks of Mario and Luigi, read on to find out how you can have a great career as a plumber in Australia.
Plumbers do more than just repair broken pipes and toilets. Some of the daily duties you can expect to perform in this role include:
- Fitting appliances such as air conditioning units, washing machines and showers
- Installing and maintaining heating, water and drainage systems
- Fitting kitchens and bathrooms
- Responding to emergencies such as blocked drains Wellington and broken boilers; and
- Planning and measuring to provide cost and time estimates.
Working hours and conditions
Plumbers don’t work the typical 9-5; they often work weekends, early mornings, evenings and on public holidays.
They typically work for around 40 hours a week; however this can be longer if you are self-employed. While most work is local, you may be required to travel long distances for some jobs and on certain contracts.
Work as a plumber is often physically demanding and requires you to work in a range of weather conditions and in confined spaces. You may also have to work on ladders or scaffolding to do guttering or leadwork.
Qualified plumbers can expect to earn between $40,000 and $120,000 a year depending on their level of qualifications and experience and their employer. The median salary in Australia is currently $62,000. Self-employed professionals can set their own rates and potentially earn thousands a day!
Plumbers are one of the highest in-demand professions in Australia and are also some of the highest paid tradies.
Becoming a plumber requires you to possess a number of important skills and qualities, such as:
- Sound number skills
- Sound problem solving skills
- Good customer service
- Steady hands
- Good general fitness
- Ability to work under pressure
- Ability to work to deadlines; and
- Ability to understand technical plans and drawings.
Of course, you will also need to gain certain qualifications in order to work as a plumber. This ensures that you can do the work effectively and safely.
The most common way to become a plumber is to complete a 4-year apprenticeship. This should involve the completion of a Certificate III in Plumbing – a nationally accredited qualification. If you want to work in construction you will also need to get a White Card.
You can start your journey by finding a licensed practitioner who will provide you with an apprenticeship. This can be found using a network provider or other organisation which looks for host employers.
Check with the licencing authority of the state you will be working in to make sure you are compliant.
You can also get extra experience and training by pursuing a Diploma of Plumbing and Services.
Once you are qualified, you can start looking for work using online job boards such as Seek and Indeed, which show job opportunities Australia-wide. You can also look directly on employers’ websites or give them a call. You may also want to ask any networking contacts you have gained for job opportunities.
Having some work experience can help improve your job prospects; having completed an apprenticeship should help with this. And of course, having a high quality resume and cover letter is essential.