Plumber Job Opportunities: How Much Do Plumbers Earn?


When it comes to job opportunities in plumbing, it’s not all just fixing pipes and dealing with drainage. In fact, you might be surprised at how varied your options can be.
As a qualified plumber, you can find work across a number of different classes – from gas fitting and fire protection to mechanical service and irrigation. It all depends on what you’re interested in, and the kind of qualifications you have.

To give you a better idea of what to expect when you enter the construction industry, let’s take a closer look into areas of plumbing employment, as well as how much you can potentially earn.

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What are the different types of plumbers?

In the construction industry, plumbers are in high demand. In fact, the employment of plumbers across Australia has shown strong growth over the past years. The good news? This isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

With the right qualifications and experience under your belt, you’ll find there are plenty of job opportunities in plumbing in most cities and regions around the country. To break it down, here are the main classes of plumbing you can work in:

  • Fire protection. This involves installing, repairing and maintaining fire protection systems for commercial, domestic and industrial properties.
  • Gas fitting. Gas fitting plumbers install and test hot water services, heaters cooktops, and other fittings for natural or manufactured gases.
  • Irrigation (non-agricultural). This involves designing, installing and connecting irrigation systems for water supply connections and domestic pumps.
  • Drainage. As a drainage plumber, you can install, repair, and maintain drains, pipes and other fittings for wastewater and stormwater.
  • Mechanical service. Plumbers in mechanical service will work with heating, cooling and ventilation systems. This involves installation, repair and maintenance.
  • Water supply. Jobs in water supply revolve around installing, repairing and maintaining hot and cold water pipes, fittings and systems.
  • Roofing (stormwater). This includes all plumbing work associated with roof water systems, such as gutters and downpipes.
  • Sanitary. Sanitary plumbers repair and clear sanitary fixtures such as toilets, basins and sinks, as well as install sewage pipes, ventilation and other fittings.

There are also job prospects in an additional six speciality plumbing classes. Plus, as the industry continues to focus on environmental sustainability, alternative energy, and water conservation, you’ll find more opportunities to secure employment and make an impact.

job opportunities in plumbing

How much does a plumber earn?

When you start out as an apprentice plumber, your wages will be at the lower end of the spectrum. But just remember that your earnings will increase during the course of your apprenticeship, and again once you move to a qualified plumber salary.

Here is some important information to know

  • Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship and you are registered or licensed with the VBA, you can start earning qualified plumber wages
  • How much you make will depend on who you work for and what classes you work in
  • So how much does a plumber earn? According to PayScale, the average rate for an apprentice plumber in Victoria is $46.62 per hour

The more experienced you become, the more money you’ll make. This just goes to show that with the right qualifications and drive to succeed, you can be among the highest earners in Australia.

How long does it take to become a plumber?

As you know, being a qualified plumber doesn’t happen overnight. Like many trades in the building and construction industry, it all begins with undertaking an apprenticeship with a registered professional, along with a class-based program such as the Certificate III.

Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship, you can then start looking into other building and construction courses, such as the CPC40920 Certificate IV in Plumbing Services. This course will arm you with skills and knowledge needed to become a licensed plumber.

Having a qualification such as the CPC40920 Certificate IV in Plumbing Services is important if you want to work in any of the plumbing classes independently – without supervision. As a licensed plumber in one or more classes, you’ll have more opportunities to find work and earn better money.

Whether you stick with the business you did your apprenticeship with, or take the plunge into self-employment, getting licensed is the best way to expand your horizons and advance your career.

How to become a licensed plumber

To find rewarding and well-paid work in any of the plumbing classes, you need the right combination of skills and industry knowledge. Look into the CPC40920 Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services – this will fill the gaps and prepare you for registration and licensing.

If you would like to learn more about enrolling in such building and construction courses, simply get in touch with us today. We’ll be happy to help.

At Builders Academy Australia (BAA) we feel genuine in helping our students achieve great results in a range of study options – and we believe that our 8000+ successful graduates across 120 locations are a testament to that.

With completion rates well above industry averages, trainers who remain leaders of their professions and free registration mentoring sessions, it’s no wonder that BAA was recognised as a finalist for the 2017 Victorian Training Provider of the Year. Let us help you build your future.


This article has been updated and republished on 26 April 2022.