What skills should a plumber have?


Thinking about becoming a plumber? If so, a rewarding life-long career potentially awaits.

But just like any job, you should work out if you have the right skills to succeed.

As you read this article, you’ll learn about all the plumber skills that are essential to this trade.

At the same time, think about whether these skills match your own strengths, and whether you’re up for the challenge.

What does a plumber do? 

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of plumber skills, let’s see what the job itself entails.

As a plumber, your day-to-day involves laying out, installing, testing and maintaining plumbing systems. 

Aside from the obvious pipes, plumbing systems also include fixtures, metal roofs, fittings, gas meters and regulators.

If you were to work as a plumber, you would:

  • Read plans and specs to work out the layout of plumbing systems
  • Measure, mark, cut, connect, assemble, bend and install pipes
  • Cut walls and floors properly to feed pipes through
  • Install valves and fittings to join pipe sections
  • Test plumbing systems to make sure they meet regulations
  • Set up other systems like boilers, chillers, pumps, heating and cooling, gas appliances, water tanks, water heaters and solar water heating, toilets, sinks and industrial processing units
  • Use a welder on steel, copper, plastic and stainless steel pipework
  • Maintain and repair plumbing systems so they continue to work efficiently.

Plumber skills

Now that you know what you’d be doing on a daily basis as a plumber, let us explain the plumbing skills that you’ll need.


First, you will have to enjoy working independently, as this is a fairly solidary job. Whether you work for a big company or as a sole trader, you’ll often do calls outs on your own.

Working independently comes with some great advantages. You get to do things your way without someone else looking over your shoulder.


You will also have to love working with your hands and being on your feet a lot. This active lifestyle would suit you well if you can’t stand the thought of working in an office!

It also demands a certain level of fitness. While you don’t need to be an athlete, you need to be fit enough to spend a lot of time moving around.

Hand-eye coordination

Your plumber skills must also include good hand-eye coordination, which is essential to your safety on the job.  


Plumbers often need to work outside, in different types of weather, and sometimes need to work at heights. If you like the outdoors and have no phobias of heights, then you’ll have no problem in this job.

People skills

Finally you will need to have good interpersonal skills to get along with your employers, fellow workers, or your customers. while not strictly one of the plumbing skills, this is a personal skill that’s essential to the job.

How to learn plumbing?

 If you want to become a plumber, your first port of call is the Certificate III in Plumbing.

This certificate and apprenticeship teaches you all the skills you need to know to start applying for jobs and helps to build your confidence.  

If you want to become a licensed plumber, you’ll need to do your Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services (CPC40920).

This course gets you ready to do your VBA plumbing registration and has specialist streams in gas fitting, roofing, and sewerage.

Where to learn plumbing?

Builders Academy Australia is one of Victoria’s favourite colleges for plumbers because of our motto that tradies should teach other tradies.

Study with us, and you’ll learn plumbing the fun way: with our trainers who are industry professionals themselves, who can show you the pipes in an easy to understand way.

This gives you the chance to apply what you learn in lessons and assignments to real-world applications.


How much your pay for your certificate depends on whether you’re eligible for government funding or subsidies.

You might be eligible for the Victorian Skills First program, which could cover most of your costs.

To find out if you’re eligible, get in touch with one of our course advisers and we’ll help you work out the costs. 

How to improve plumbing skills

The best way to learn plumbing is by doing your certificate III in plumbing. Next, do your Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services to get your licence.

These certificates will help you develop all the plumbing skills you need to feel confident in your profession and earn a great living.Thinking of doing a Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services (CPC40920)? Get in touch to ask questions and confirm your eligibility for government funding on 1300 534 363 (LEGEND) or complete the online form.