Building and Plumbing Labourers perform a variety of routine tasks associated with erecting and repairing structures and facilities, maintaining stormwater, drainage and sewerage systems, excavating earth and clearing and levelling sites, and installing and maintaining piping systems, fixtures and water regulators.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job. Around one in three workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education. Sometimes additional tickets are required to work in this job.

Tasks

  • loading and unloading building and construction materials, tools and equipment and transporting them around building sites
  • erecting and dismantling temporary structures such as barricades and scaffolding
  • mixing, pouring and spreading materials such as concrete, plaster and mortar
  • cleaning and carrying out minor repairs on stormwater drains and canals, and checking for cracks and leaks in sewerage systems
  • digging holes and shovelling excavated material onto conveyors, wheelbarrows and trucks for removal
  • spreading and levelling soil, gravel and sand on roads and driveways, trench bottoms and similar locations
  • assisting with assembling and installing piping, valves and fittings
  • assisting with installing fixtures such as toilets, wash basins and sprinkler systems

Job Titles

  • Builder's Labourer
  • Drainage, Sewerage and Stormwater Labourer
  • Earthmoving Labourer
  • Plumber's Assistant
  • Builder's Labourer (also called Construction Worker)

    Performs routine tasks in erecting and repairing structures and facilities on building and construction sites and in factories producing prefabricated building components.

    Specialisations: Bricklayer's Assistant, Carpenter's Assistant, Tiler's Assistant

  • Drainage, Sewerage and Stormwater Labourer

    Performs routine tasks in maintaining drainage, sewerage and stormwater systems.

  • Earthmoving Labourer

    Performs routine tasks in excavating earth, clearing and levelling sites, and digging irrigation channels.

    Specialisations: Grave Digger

  • Plumber's Assistant

    Performs routine tasks in fabricating, laying, installing and maintaining pipes, fixtures, water meters and regulators.

Fast Facts

  • $1,100 Weekly Pay
  • 63,600 workers Employment Size
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Entry level Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 81.0% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 40.2 hours Average full-time
  • 30 years Average age
  • 2.0% female Gender Share

The number of Building and Plumbing Labourers grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to stay fairly stable over the next 5 years:
from 63,600 in 2017 to 62,900 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 58,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Building and Plumbing Labourers work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Construction; Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services; and Manufacturing.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $1,100 per week (similar to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (81%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 40.2 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 30 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (29.4%).
  • Gender: 2% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200759400
200856500
200953300
201046300
201156600
201247200
201350300
201450300
201557700
201657900
201763600
202262900

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsBuilding and Plumbing LabourersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings11001230

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Construction78.0
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services5.7
Manufacturing4.9
Administrative and Support Services2.9
Other Industries8.5

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateBuilding and Plumbing LabourersAll Jobs Average
NSW34.031.6
VIC20.626.2
QLD22.619.7
SA6.56.7
WA10.910.8
TAS1.72.0
NT1.81.1
ACT1.91.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketBuilding and Plumbing LabourersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-199.4-5.25.2
20-2420.0-9.99.9
25-3430.7-23.623.6
35-4416.3-21.721.7
45-5414.7-20.820.8
55-593.9-8.88.8
60-644.4-6.06.0
65 and Over0.6-4.04.0

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationBuilding and Plumbing LabourersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree2.6-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma1.2-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV29.2-18.918.9
Year 1234.2-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1023.6-17.717.7
Below Year 109.2-8.18.1

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.
Around one in three workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education. Sometimes additional tickets are required to work in this job.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Construction, Plumbing and Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Building and Plumbing Labourers who are reliable, have a strong work ethic and are physically fit.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Building and Construction

    82% Important

    Materials, methods, and the tools used to construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

  2. Mechanical

    71% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  3. Administration and Management

    69% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

  4. Public Safety and Security

    67% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  5. Mathematics

    65% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 47-2061.00 - Construction Laborers.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  1. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    84% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  2. Performing General Physical Activities

    82% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  3. Handling and Moving Objects

    81% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  4. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    75% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  5. Operating Vehicles or Equipment

    74% Important

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 47-2061.00 - Construction Laborers.

go to top