Finding the Right Career Path: Carpenter vs Plumber

Finding the Right Career Path: Carpenter vs Plumber

It’s never easy to make those big career decisions. That’s why we’ve crafted this blog to help you choose. 

Read on to learn more about the differences between the carpentry and plumbing to figure out which one’s right for you.  

The carpenter

Picture yourself working as a carpenter. You’ll build and fix home framing, windows, doors, cabinets and many other things. You’ll report to a boss or maybe even work in your own small business.

You’ll do a variety of tasks each day, including:

  • Work from drawings and designs
  • Order materials and cut them to size
  • Assemble parts or pre-prepared structures
  • Work with timber, laminates, perspex, metals and more

Carpenter salaries

You are probably curious about how much you could earn as a carpenter. While the amount varies depending on your location and level of experience, we can look at some statistics to get an estimate.

According to the Australian Government’s careers website JobOutlook, Aussie carpenters earn a typical salary of $1,358 per week before tax.

JobOutlook notes that this salary is based on full-time non-manager jobs for adult workers. This salary figure gives you a rough guide, and is not an official figure of what your wage should be.  

Carpenter pathways

If you want to become a carpenter in Australia, you’ll get your qualification through a combination of work and study.

You study a CPC30211 Certificate III in Carpentry part time while doing a 4-year apprenticeship with an employer.

This allows you to earn a modest income while learning all the skills you need on the job in a hands-on way.

If you’re an Australian, you could be eligible for government subsidies to fund your studies. Get in touch with BAA and we’ll help you work out if you’re eligible.

If you’re from overseas and you want to get a work visa as a carpenter in Australia, you have to prove your qualifications and experience.

If you already have your training and plenty of experience in your home country, you can do a carpenter skills assessment with Trades Recognition Australia.

Alternatively, if you don’t have enough years of work experience in your home country, you can do a CPC30211 Certificate III in Carpentry in Australia. Then, through the government’s Job Ready Program (JPR), you can get your carpenter work visa just 1 year after your certificate.

Upskill to builder

Becoming a carpenter in Australia is a great job because it lets you work on the tools for a little bit and then upskill if you want to.

If you want a more challenging job, to own your own business and earn a higher salary, you can go from carpenter to builder.

A builder has a building licence and manages carpenters and other tradies while they create homes and buildings.

The plumber

Like the carpenter, the plumber is a construction tradie who does skilled work. 

As a plumber, your day to day would involve setting up and fixing pipes, drains and gutters. You’d also work with related systems like water, gas, sewerage and heating and cooling.

Envision yourself doing some of these daily tasks:

  • install or repair plumbing, sewage or gas from designs and specs
  • set up hot and cold water systems
  • build water-based fire safety systems like hydrants, hose reels and sprinklers
  • assemble machines like air conditioners
  • maintain metal roofing, gutters and rainwater tanks

Plumber salary

To give you a rough idea of what you could earn if you choose to become a plumber, let’s take a look at some statistics.

According to the Australian Government’s JobOutlook, Aussie plumbers earn a typical salary of $1,894 per week.

This salary is for a full-time non-manager worker paid at the adult rate before tax. It’s based on the ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), Customised Report.

Plumber pathways

If you want to become a plumber, you’ll need your qualification.

Take the CPC40912 Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services to learn all of the skills you’ll need and get job-ready for employment.

We recommend doing your Cert IV in Plumbing Services with a registered training provider like BAA. We’ve got decades of experience training thousands of Aussie plumbers in the Cert IV in Plumbing Services, and our trainers are second to none.

Still not sure if you prefer carpentry to plumbing? To learn more about the different trades, read our article Which Construction Trade is Right for You?

Carpenter vs plumber

Whether you become a carpenter or a plumber, you’ll have a rewarding career with plenty of job opportunities into the future.

The choice between the two really depends on your interests and preference. If you want to build things like houses, or eventually become a licenced builder, then carpentry’s for you.

Or if you prefer working with systems and machines, or possibly as a sole trader, then plumbing could be the right choice for you.

Either way, you’ll need construction qualifications like the Certificate III in Carpentry or the Cert IV in Plumbing Services.

Got questions about the Cert IV in Plumbing Services or the CPC30211 Certificate III in Carpentry (CPC30211)?? Give us a call today on 1300 534 363 (LEGEND) or complete the online form, and one of our course advisors will get in touch soon.