If you’re looking for a skilled trade job, becoming a plumber might be a great choice. Plumbers enjoy strong job prospects in Australia, making it a popular career path for many. Understanding what plumbers do, the traits that make a good plumber, and how to become one may help you decide if this is the right job for you.

Job outlook for Aussie plumbers

The National Skills Commission expects the number of plumbing jobs in Australia to grow by 8.6% between 2021 and 2026. That equals about 8,000 new jobs across the country. They’ve also found that plumbers have a below-average unemployment rate and that 88% of them work full-time.

Median full-time earnings for plumbers are currently $1,419 per week, about $35 per hour. However, there is potential to earn more depending on your level of skill, the type of plumbing you do, and the region where you work.  

What does a plumber do?

There’s more to plumbing than just fitting pipes! Plumbers can do a lot of different tasks while on the job, such as:

  • Installing, maintaining, and repairing hot and cold-water systems
  • Installing, maintaining, and repairing sanitation systems
  • Fitting appliances (dishwashers, washing machines, etc.)
  • Fitting kitchen and bathroom fixtures (sinks, toilets, showers, etc.)
  • Fitting gas appliances (hot water systems, stovetops, heaters, etc.)
  • Unclogging blocked pipes
  • Doing emergency repairs
  • Inspecting pipes and water systems
  • Reading blueprints and technical drawings

Many plumbers are also small business owners. This means they are often responsible for admin tasks on top of their normal plumbing duties. This may include duties like estimating jobs, creating invoices, collecting payments, scheduling work, responding to customer questions or complaints, and advertising their business.

What makes a good plumber?

You definitely need many plumbing-related skills to do the job well, but there are other traits that also tend to make a good plumber. Successful plumbers are often:

  • Active listeners – Listening to others (but not interrupting) and asking good questions to understand their needs.
  • Problem solvers – Using your skill and knowledge to solve problems efficiently and creatively, if necessary.
  • Team players – Working well with your employees and the contractors you hire, as well as other contractors on job sites.
  • Customer service providers – Making sure every customer has a positive experience with your business and doing whatever you can (within reason) to resolve issues fairly.
  • Physically fit – Able to work on your feet for long hours, as well as bend, crouch, climb ladders, or work in awkward positions for extended periods.
  • Able to manage their time well – Knowing how to estimate job times as accurately as possible to help avoid excessive overtime, delays, or cancellations.

How to become a plumber

In Australia, students can earn a Certificate III in Plumbing and complete an apprenticeship to work as a general plumber. You will be supervised by a qualified plumber during your apprenticeship as you gain valuable real-world experience in the trade. General plumbers are limited in what they can do on the job and are unable to issue compliance certificates.

If you wish to take your skills further, you can complete a Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services (Operations Stream). This course can help you develop more specialised skills that could help you expand your business or move into a management role. Certificate IV holders are able to become fully licensed plumbers.

Insurance for plumbers

Every plumber faces on-the-job risks, regardless of their education and level of skill. Things can go wrong no matter how experienced you are. That’s why you may want to consider plumbers insurance to help protect you and your small business.

Insurance for plumbers can help you cover the costs of mistakes, accidents, and other events that could cause big trouble for your business. Public Liability Australia offers plumbers insurance policies, including:

  • Public Liability
  • Business Insurance, including Portable Equipment Cover (Tool Insurance)
  • Professional Indemnity

You may need specific insurance to get a plumbing license in some states or territories. Cover may also be required to work for certain companies or to lease commercial space for your business.

Loving what you do

Plumbing might be a great career choice for an ambitious tradie. With the right skills and knowledge, you could be on your way to positive job prospects for years to come. After all, as long as there’s running water, the world will need plumbers to help it flow!

Compare insurance for plumbers with Public Liability Australia and protect yourself while you work. It’s fast and easy to view quotes and buy the policies that best suit your business today.

This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.

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