Plumbers are tradesmen in high demand. Do you enjoy problem-solving? You don’t mind getting dirty or working in tight spaces? Could you see yourself as a plumbing superhero coming to the rescue in plumbing emergencies, then the life of a plumber may suit you well. When Mrs. Jones pipe has burst you are the one she will call. As a plumber, you will help people in emergencies, as well as troubleshooting and resolving less dramatic problems. You will also install new plumbing systems to houses and commercial properties. As solar solutions become more popular plumbers are increasingly called on to fit these systems.
Plumbers play a vital role in society which you could be a part of. Why not step up today and begin your journey to become a plumber? Keep reading to find out how to become a plumber, and to get started on your journey to success.
Step one: Take a course to prepare
Plumbers need to have good all-round knowledge of the construction industry as well as the specific knowledge they have as a plumber. For instance, it is important to know about the WHS regulations and good health and safety practice. Taking a course first will lay the foundation of knowledge you need to succeed.
Step two: Look for an apprenticeship
Once you have your qualifications you need to look for an apprenticeship. Most people will get their foot on the ladder this way, and learn on the job with experienced plumbers. Make sure to highlight your qualifications demonstrating your commitment to becoming a plumber. Don’t forget to mention your personal strengths, and any relevant experience you may have.
Step three: Apply for a plumbers licence
After completing your apprenticeship you must apply for a licence from your local authority. Once you have a licence you can work independently without a supervisor. It is worthwhile reading about the licence requirements early on in your journey. So you can make sure you do everything required before applying.
Step four: Begin to look for work
Now, you are all set! You may already have work lined up as a natural progression from your apprenticeship. However, if you don’t, you can begin to look for opportunities. Plumbers are always in demand and the industry is booming. Remember to tailor your resume and cover letter for each application you make. Also, mention your qualifications, personal strengths and any relevant experience you have.
Step five: Consider a specialisation
There are pipes and plumbing everywhere! This means as a plumber you have excellent job prospects, and there are plenty of specialisation opportunities as well. Here are three specialisations to consider.
In this specialisation, you spend your working days installing or repairing sprinkler systems. Your work takes you to domestic and commercial properties. This role in an interesting field will suit people who enjoy working outdoors and want to avoid banging pipes in tightly confined roof spaces!
On the other hand, a roofing plumber likes the challenge of working up high inside property roofs. You specialise in rooftop drainage and plumbing systems. You may repair old piping or install new systems. Sometimes, the spaces you work in are highly restricted. So you need to love a good challenge.
Drainers work solely with drains. Again, your work can take you to commercial or domestic properties. You spend your time repairing faults or installing new drainage systems. Lastly, you also play a role in the maintenance of drains, perhaps being called out to clear a blocked one.
Plumber Job Description
Plumbers need to have a broad knowledge of plumbing because they will find themselves working in a wide variety of circumstances with different problems to solve. By and large, you may work in private residences, or on commercial properties. You could be fitting new systems or repairing old ones. In addition, you may fit hot water systems, solar powered water systems, metal piping, and regulators. You will need to understand and read blueprints. This is especially relevant on commercial properties, or on new builds. When investigating problematic systems you will need to carry out tests on the pipes and other materials. If you are working on large construction sites you will need to cooperate with other tradesmen.
- Repairing faulty plumbing in domestic and commercial buildings
- Installing plumbing systems
- Welding pipes
- Marking out plans before installation
- Liaising and cooperating with other tradesmen
Skills for Success
Working as a plumber requires technical skills, physical strength, and a person who works methodically. Plumbing is a rewarding profession which has its challenges. Sometimes you will find yourself working in unpleasant, awkward or tight spaces. You will need good knowledge of health and safety procedures. In addition, having strong critical thinking skills will put you at an advantage. The work involves an interesting combination of physical demands and mental demands. Most plumbers will be working alone or in a small team of two or three. This means you need to know how to work independently without a supervisor looking over your shoulder.
Skills and attributes
- Pragmatic and methodical
- Physical strength
- Willing to work in tight and uncomfortable spaces
- A logical mind
- Problem solver
- Able to work independently
- Technical knowledge of plumbing
What do plumbers earn in Australia?
In Australia, plumbers earn a median wage of $58,426 per year. This varies according to a number of factors and is intended as a reference only, from Payscale 05/’18.