Plumbers install, maintain and repair pipes, drains, guttering and metal roofing, mechanical services and related equipment for water supply, gas, drainage, sewerage, heating, cooling and ventilation systems.

A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and the majority of workers have this qualification. Training is most commonly through an apprenticeship which combines on-the-job training with the qualification. Registration or licensing is required.

Tasks

  • studying blueprints, drawings and specifications to determine the layout of plumbing systems and materials required
  • setting out and installing hot and cold water systems and associated equipment
  • installing water-based fire protections systems, including fire hydrants, hose reels and sprinkler systems
  • designing and installing sanitary plumbing and water supply systems, discharge pipes and sanitary fixtures
  • fabricating and installing soil and waste stacks
  • assembling and installing mechanical services plant, air handling and conditioning equipment and small bore heating systems
  • installing sewerage and effluent pumping equipment and disposal systems
  • installing below-ground drainage systems and associated ground support systems
  • installing gas appliances, flues and pressure regulating devices
  • fabricating and installing metal roofing, rainwater goods and flashings

Job Titles

  • Plumber (General)
  • Airconditioning and Mechanical Services Plumber
  • Drainer
  • Gasfitter
  • Roof Plumber
  • Plumber (General)

    Installs and repairs water, drainage, gas and sewerage pipes and systems. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Fire Services Plumber, Sanitary Plumber, Water Plumber

  • Airconditioning and Mechanical Services Plumber

    Installs, maintains and repairs piping, ducting and equipment for heating, cooling and ventilation of buildings or vessels. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Ductfixing Plumber

  • Drainer

    Installs, maintains and designs below-ground drainage systems and associated sewerage or effluent disposal systems. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Septic Tank Installer

  • Gasfitter

    Installs, maintains and repairs gas mains, piping systems downstream of the billing meter, and appliances and ancillary equipment associated with the use of fuel gases, including liquefied petroleum gas systems. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Gas Main and Line Fitter, Liquefied Petroleum Gasfitter

  • Roof Plumber

    Installs, maintains and repairs flashings, metallic roof and wall claddings and rainwater products such as gutters and downpipes. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Industrial Roof Plumber

Fast Facts

  • $1,142 Weekly Pay
  • 92,300 workers Employment Size
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 93.1% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 39.9 hours Average full-time
  • 32 years Average age
  • 0.8% female Gender Share

The number of Plumbers grew strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
from 92,300 in 2018 to 102,800 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 29,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 5,800 a year).

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: Plumbers work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Construction; Public Administration and Safety; and Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $1,142 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 (93.1%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%) showing part-time work may be hard to find.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 39.9 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 32 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (24.6%).
  • Gender: 0.8% 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 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
200874000
200971800
201078400
201175000
201280400
201384400
201479400
201581300
201684400
201787100
201892300
2023102800

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.
EarningsPlumbersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings11421230

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)
Construction89.3
Public Administration and Safety2.4
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services1.4
Mining1.2
Other Industries5.7

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.
StatePlumbersAll Jobs Average
NSW32.431.6
VIC33.126.2
QLD15.019.7
SA5.76.7
WA9.710.8
TAS2.02.0
NT1.51.1
ACT0.61.8

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 BracketPlumbersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-198.9-5.25.2
20-2415.7-9.99.9
25-3431.7-23.623.6
35-4414.9-21.721.7
45-5416.4-20.820.8
55-595.5-8.88.8
60-645.1-6.06.0
65 and Over1.9-4.04.0

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 QualificationPlumbersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree0-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV69.3-18.918.9
Year 1213.6-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1017.1-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and the majority of workers have this qualification. Training is most commonly through an apprenticeship which combines on-the-job training with the qualification. Registration or licensing is required.

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 Plumbers who work well in a team, are hardworking and provide good customer service.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Mechanical

    86% Important

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

  2. 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.

  3. Design

    74% Important

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  4. Customer and Personal Service

    67% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  5. Mathematics

    67% 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, 47-2152.02 - Plumbers.

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. Getting Information

    82% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  2. Performing General Physical Activities

    80% 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. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    79% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  4. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    79% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  5. Handling and Moving Objects

    77% Important

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

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, 47-2152.02 - Plumbers.

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