Trades & Services
Plumbers and gas fitters install and repair gas, water and sewage pipes, as well as associated fixtures, guttering, and hot water systems.
What does a Plumber do?
Plumbers and gas fitters install and repair gas, water, waste water and sewage pipes, as well as associated fixtures, guttering, and hot water systems, in homes, businesses and commercial premises.
As a plumber and/or gas fitter, you would:
- determine the materials needed for each job
- instal water pipes, waste water pipes, sewage pipes, fixtures and drainage systems
- instal hot water services, including associated gas fittings or solar panels
- find faults in systems or equipment and repair them
- instal pipes and equipment in accordance with building plans
- service gas and oil-fired central heating systems, boilers and radiators
- attend emergency call-outs to fix water or gas leaks or broken pipes
- fit weather-proof materials, gutters, joints and flashings to roofs and walls
- use hand and power tools, which may include welding equipment
- take all necessary safety precautions, especially when working with gas.
Key skills and interests
To become a plumber, you would need:
- the ability to follow technical drawings and plans
- to enjoy working outside and in all weather conditions
- able to work at heights
- good practical technical skills
- good problem-solving skills
- a careful and well ordered approach to work
- a reasonable level of physical fitness
- an awareness of safety issues and regulations.
Working hours and conditions
In a full-time job you would work standard hours, Monday to Friday. You may be required to be part of a 24-hour call-out service, which may involve working evenings, weekends or public holidays. As a self-employed plumber you would set your own hours.
Plumbers work indoors, sometimes in cramped spaces, and outdoors in all weather conditions. You may need to work at heights, to repair guttering, and flashing or other roof parts.
You would need a current drivers' licence to travel between jobs.
How to become an Plumber?
Entry Level Education
To become a plumber you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in Plumbing or Roof Plumbing. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
Depending on the State in which you work, you will need to be licensed by the appropriate State licensing authority. Additional trade courses and qualifications may be required to fulfil registration requirements for more specialised areas of work, such as gasfitting, hydraulics and fire protection.
All those who work in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC). Authorised training is conducted by Registered Training Organisations.
Job prospects for plumbers and gas fitters are expect to remain strong.
Growth in employment opportunities has been strong for over the last ten years. Construction of buildings which require plumbing services and replacement of plumbing in ageing homes and buildings is expected to sustain this growth. Reported shortages in the supply of qualified plumbers adds to the prospects for plumbers and gas fitters.