Great earning potential? Plenty of opportunities? Job stability? A career in plumbing ticks all the right boxes. Moreover, the work is rewarding and no two days are the same.
In this article, we break down why you should become a plumber and how to get your career off the ground. Keep reading to find out the considerations you should keep in mind for this career path!
1. What can I do with plumbing?
Becoming a plumber isn’t just about fixing toilets, doing house calls and dealing with drainage. In fact, you might be surprised at how varied and interesting your options are. As a plumber, you can find work across a number of different classes. In Australia, the main ones include:
- Fire protection
- Gasfitting (plumber and gasfitter)
- Irrigation (non-agricultural)
- Mechanical service
- Roofing (stormwater)
- Water supply
What you end up doing depends on what you’re interested in, as well as the qualifications you get under your belt. Whether you decide to design plumbing systems, or develop new plumbing technologies – you’ll find there’s so much you can actually do.
2. How much do plumbers earn?
Plumbing is a licensed and regulated trade. This means you can work your way up to becoming a master plumber, as well as specialise in certain areas. Like many industries, the more experience and qualifications you have, the higher your salary will be.
While your wages will be at the lower end of the spectrum as an apprentice plumber, you’ll also be earning and learning at the same time. According to PayScale, the average salary for an apprentice plumber in Australia ranges from $23,000 – $55,0000.
Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship, and you’re registered or licensed with the VBA, you can start earning qualified plumber wages. How much you make will depend on who you work for and what classes you work in.
According to PayScale, the average qualified plumber can earn upwards of $85,000. In fact, some of the most qualified plumbers can earn over $180,000 a year – making it one of the highest paid professions in Australia.
3. Is plumbing a good job in Australia?
The demand for plumbers is strong – and this isn’t likely to change any time soon. Like many trades within the building and construction industry, there’ll always be a need for plumbers with the right qualifications and experience. So if you’re looking for a stable career choice, this one is right up there.
Moreover, plumbing can be a truly satisfying job. You’re working with your hands, solving complex problems, moving from site to site and meeting new people all the time. And with all the different classes to work in, there are so many paths to go down and opportunities to progress.
4. Can I start my own plumbing business?
Once you’re a qualified plumber, you’ll have the opportunity to start your own business. Depending on what classes you’re licensed in, you’ll find there are many ways to carve out a niche within the industry.
Building your own business gives you the freedom to work with all different types of clients. One week you might be doing callouts to local people in the community. The next week you might be subcontracting with a large construction firm on an exciting new project.
To be successful, you’ll need to be a highly motivated person. Starting your own business is tough work, and it can take a while to build up your client base and turn around a profit. But with the right drive and experience – the rewards are definitely worth it.
How to get started becoming a plumber
Where does it all begin? No matter what path you go down, your plumbing career will start by undertaking an apprenticeship with a registered professional, along with a class-based program such as the Certificate III.
Once you’ve finished your apprenticeship, you can then choose to study other building and construction courses, such as the CPC40912 Certificate IV in Plumbing Services (Plumber). This qualification will give you the skills and knowledge needed to become a licensed plumber and work in any of the classes without supervision.
Combined with your on-the-job experience, the more qualifications you get, the more opportunities you’ll have to rise up, change up your career and earn more money.
Study plumbing with Builders Academy Australia
If you’re interested in becoming a plumber, learn how to get licensed with the Victorian Building Authority, or you want to find out more about our plumbing courses – get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
This article was revised and updated 26 April, 2022.