How to Become a Plumber in Australia
A plumber ensures all pipes that house liquids or gases are properly installed and repair them when that's needed. They are in charge of keeping water and gas running, essentially making lives easier. They install, repair and maintain heating, cooling and ventilation systems. The job itself is not physically easy, as it requires plumbers to lift and carry pipes, which are sometimes quite heavy. It can also be challenging, as it includes both indoor and outdoor work. Basically, a plumber needs to be comfortable working outdoors during the summer, adjusting to any weather and temperature.
While indoors work might seem easier, it often means cramped spaces, which don't mix well with tools. A good plumber is fine with getting their hands dirty, and that should be taken literally. Plumbing sometimes requires work with heavy machinery, various tools, necessitates knowledge of electricity and natural gas lines.
Do you consider yourself handy? Are you responsible and like tinkering? If you don't mind getting a bit dirty, becoming a plumber might just be for you. Here's an easy guide on how to become a plumber in Australia.
Step 1: Do an Apprenticeship
Much like with other construction and building trades, a plumber's career starts with an apprenticeship. Typically, it will take you three to five years to complete your training under the supervision of a registered professional. Over the course of the apprenticeship, you will learn about different aspects of the job. This will help you build the necessary skills and knowledge to operate independently in the future.
Step 2: Do a Certification
Once you've completed your apprenticeship, you can look into getting a certification. Most trade schools and technical colleges offer some plumbing vocational courses. These will enable you to gain more theoretical knowledge of different parts of the plumbing profession. Depending on if you've opted for full time or part-time study, a Certificate III in Plumbing might take several years to complete.
Step 3: Get Registered
First, let's take a quick second to define what it means. A registered plumber completed an apprenticeship and obtained a Certificate III, as well as registration, but still needs to work under the supervision of a licenced plumber. Getting registered will allow you to work in plumbing, but you will not be able to issue any compliance certificates. If you'd like to be more independent, take a look at the following steps.
Step 4: Get a Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services
To become a licenced plumber, you will need to obtain a higher level of skill and knowledge of the industry. That's why working towards a higher certification is a good idea. It will take you several years to complete it, but you will be eligible to become licenced once all is said and done.
Step 5: Get Licenced as a Plumber
In Australia, you need to get separately licenced for any and all classes of plumbing work you plan to be conducting. Once you've decided on what you want to specialise in, you can apply to get licensed. While different state to state, licencing usually consists of an exam you need to take and a fee you have to pay. Then, you're all ready to start working!
What Does a Plumber Do?
A plumber installs and repairs all gas, water, sewerage, drainage and ventilation systems. They need to be able to read blueprints in order to look at existing systems, as well as provide specifications regarding necessary materials for repairs or new systems. They work with various tools, outdoors and indoors. Additionally, they are tasked with installing any appliances that regulate pressure or run on gas. It's not uncommon for plumbers to specialise in a type of plumbing work, as it can be very varied. That practically means they specialise in what they prefer, whether that is working on small home maintenance or large construction sites. Plumbers design layouts for future systems and operate various tools and machines in order to get systems in place. It's quite a responsible and taxing profession, which will keep you on-call for emergencies and always tinkering with something.
- Installing gas, water, sewerage, drainage and ventilation pipes and systems
- Repairing gas, water, sewerage, drainage and ventilation pipes systems
- Installing appliances
- Reading blueprints
- Mapping out layouts for laying out pipes and systems
- Specifying requirements regarding materials
- Being on-call for emergencies
- Operating heavy machinery and tools when necessary
Skills for Success
In order to become a good plumber, first and foremost, a high level of responsibility is needed. Analytical skills and flexibility tend to come with the territory, as quick thinking can be what saves the day. That is to say, it doesn't hurt to be crafty and have a positive approach toward problem-solving. Plumbers also need to be able to effectively communicate and work with other professionals. Knowledge of how to operate tools is a must, as is the strength and stamina needed to actually handle them. These professionals also need to be able to troubleshoot problems and be efficient when making decisions.
- Responsibility and flexibility
- Solution oriented approach and quick thinking
- Craftiness and analytical skills
- Communication and client servicing skills
- Handling tools and heavy equipment
- Time management
- Effective decision making
- Troubleshooting problems