Plumbers lay out, install, test and maintain pipes, fixtures, metal roofing, fittings, gas meters and regulators.
To become a plumber you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in Plumbing or Roof Plumbing. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.
Plumbers may perform the following tasks:
The industry is dominated by small firms and self-employed tradespeople. Plumbers may also work for federal or state and territory government departments concerned with public works. Plumbers are involved in everything from domestic maintenance to high-rise construction. Competition is strong for available apprenticeship positions. With further training and experience, plumbers can become technical and sales representatives, building supervisors, building and construction managers, plumbing inspectors, hydraulics consultants, technical teachers, estimators, building contract administrators or purchasing officers, or start their own business. Demand is linked with activity in the construction industry. However, unlike in other building trades, downturns in building activity have less effect on plumbers because of the work available in renovation and maintenance. Demand is also more stable because, by law, certain jobs must be performed by plumbers.
A drainer installs, maintains and repairs pipes in storm water or sewerage systems and drains. They also install septic tanks, holding wells, sullage pits and absorption tracks.
A gasfitter installs, maintains, tests and repairs gas lines, meters, regulators, hot water systems and appliances.
An irrigation installer plans, designs and installs large watering systems for environments such as golf courses and parks.
A mechanical services plumber installs and services plant and equipment used for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) in industrial and commercial buildings.
A roofing plumber installs and fixes metal roofs, flashings, gutters, downpipes, rainwater products and other accessories on residential, industrial and commercial buildings. The work conducted by roofing plumbers includes working outdoors, in a team environment and safely at heights.
A sprinkler fitter installs and maintains fire protection systems.