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.

    You can work as a Building or Plumbing Labourer without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. Training is also available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

    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

    More about Building and Plumbing Labourers

    All Building and Plumbing Labourers

    All Building and Plumbing Labourers

    • $1,458 Weekly Pay
    • Strong Future Growth
    • Unavailable Unemployment
    • 69,400 workers Employment Size
    • Entry level Skill level rating
    • 76% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 45 hours Average full-time
    • 34 years Average age
    • 3% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Building and Plumbing Labourers (in their main job) grew very strongly over 5 years:
    from 50,400 in 2014 to 69,400 in 2019.

    Caution: The Australian jobs market is changing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These estimates do not take account of the impact of COVID-19. They may not reflect the current jobs market and should be used and interpreted with extreme caution.

    • Size: This is a very large occupation.
    • Location: Building and Plumbing Labourers work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Construction; Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services; and Public Administration and Safety.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,458 per week (similar to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (76%, higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 45 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 34 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (23%).
    • Gender: 3% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Caution: The 2019 employment projections do not take account of any impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and are therefore no longer reflective of current labour market conditions. As such, they should be used, and interpreted, with extreme caution. Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, National Skills Commission trend data to May 2019 and projections to 2024.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200953300
    201046200
    201156600
    201247400
    201350300
    201450400
    201556600
    201658200
    201764600.0
    201868100
    201969400
    202476800

    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.
    EarningsBuilding and Plumbing LabourersAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings14581460

    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)
    Construction80.1
    Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services4.8
    Public Administration and Safety3.4
    Administrative and Support Services3.1
    Other Industries8.6

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, 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
    NSW35.231.6
    VIC23.225.6
    QLD21.620.0
    SA6.07.0
    WA9.410.8
    TAS1.82.0
    NT1.31.0
    ACT1.51.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketBuilding and Plumbing LabourersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-197.1-5.05.0
    20-2415.9-9.39.3
    25-3427.6-22.922.9
    35-4419.6-22.022.0
    45-5417.9-21.621.6
    55-596.5-9.09.0
    60-643.7-6.06.0
    65 and Over1.7-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: 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 QualificationBuilding and Plumbing LabourersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.7-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree4.3-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma4.3-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV30.8-21.121.1
    Year 1224.9-18.118.1
    Year 118.3-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below26.7-12.512.5

    You can work as a Building or Plumbing Labourer without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. Training is also available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • construction induction card (white card)
    • national police check

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

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Building and construction

      60% Skill level

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

    2. Mechanical

      57% Skill level

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

    3. Customer and personal service

      57% Skill level

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

    4. Public safety and security

      54% Skill level

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

    5. Education and training

      54% Skill level

      Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    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, 47-2061.00 - 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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

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

    1. Contact with people

      92% Important

      Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

    2. Wear common protective or safety equipment

      92% Important

      Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

    3. Face-to-face discussions

      90% Important

      Talk with people face-to-face.

    4. Spend time standing

      90% Important

      Spend time standing at work.

    5. Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

      90% Important

      Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

    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, 47-2061.00 - Construction Laborers.

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