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.

    Either extensive experience or a certificate III in plumbing is needed to work as a Plumber.

    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

    All Plumbers

    • $1,894 Weekly Pay
    • Strong Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 92,300 workers Employment Size
    • Medium skill Skill level rating
    • 88% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 44 hours Average full-time
    • 33 years Average age
    • 1% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Plumbers (in their main job) 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 2018.
    • Location: Plumbers work in many parts of Australia. Victoria has a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Construction; Public Administration and Safety; and Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,894 per week (very high compared to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (88%, much higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 33 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (24%).
    • Gender: 1% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employers found it hard to fill vacancies for Plumbers in 2018. Find out more in the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business latest report on Plumbers.

    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 Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings18941460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Construction89.6
    Public Administration and Safety2.4
    Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services1.7
    Other Services1.2
    Other Industries5.1

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StatePlumbersAll Jobs Average
    NSW29.031.6
    VIC32.025.6
    QLD17.720.0
    SA6.37.0
    WA10.910.8
    TAS1.72.0
    NT1.01.0
    ACT1.41.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketPlumbersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-197.9-5.05.0
    20-2416.3-9.39.3
    25-3428.2-22.922.9
    35-4419.3-22.022.0
    45-5415.7-21.621.6
    55-596.1-9.09.0
    60-644.3-6.06.0
    65 and Over2.3-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate0.2-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree0.9-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma2.4-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV77.0-21.121.1
    Year 129.2-18.118.1
    Year 113.8-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below6.6-12.512.5

    Either extensive experience or a certificate III in plumbing is needed to work as a Plumber.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • plumbing licence
    • construction induction card (white card)
    • driver's licence
    • Psychometric or aptitude tests

    Thinking about study or training?

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

    • 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.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    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.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Mechanical

      76% Skill level

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

    2. Building and Construction

      70% Skill level

      Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

    3. Design

      64% Skill level

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

    4. Customer and Personal Service

      60% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    5. Engineering and Technology

      58% Skill level

      The use engineering science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and 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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Face-to-Face Discussions

      90% Important

      How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

    2. Exposed to Contaminants

      89% Important

      How often are you exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours?

    3. Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel

      88% Important

      How much time do you spend using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?

    4. Telephone

      87% Important

      How often do you talk on the telephone?

    5. Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings

      83% Important

      How often are you exposed to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and 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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