Ready to take your plumbing career to the next level? Find out how to become a licensed plumber in Australia, with the right combination of practical experience and education.
To break it down, we look into what requirements there are to get licensed, the steps involved, and the types of work you can end up doing.
How do I become a plumber in Australia?
There are two types of plumbers in Australia: registered and licensed. Becoming a registered plumber generally involves completing an apprenticeship, often with a classroom-based learning program such as the Certificate III in Plumbing.
If you were wondering how to become a master plumber, this is your first step. As a registered plumber, you can still work in a certain class or classes of plumbing work. However, you can’t issue compliance certificates and you’ll need to work under the supervision of a licensed practitioner.
On the other hand, these restrictions don’t apply if you become a licensed plumber. This is because you’ll have obtained a higher level of knowledge, practical experience and qualifications.
So, what do plumbers do?
To understand how to become a licensed plumber and what you’ll do in this role, it’s important to wrap your head around the different classes. There are eight main classes of plumbing work. These include:
- Fire Protection
- Gasfitting (plumber and gasfitter)
- Irrigation (Non-agricultural)
- Mechanical Service
- Roofing (Stormwater)
- Water Supply
There are also six specialised classes, including:
- Type A Appliance Servicing work
- Type A Appliance Conversion work
- Type B Gasfitting work
- Type B Gasfitting Advanced work
- Refrigerated Air Conditioning work
- Backflow Prevention work
To work under these classes independently, you need to obtain an individual licence for each.
How do I get a plumbing licence in Victoria?
Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship and Certificate III in Plumbing, you’ll be eligible to take the CPC40912 Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services. This is one of our building courses online, developed to teach you the necessary skills and knowledge to complete licensing and registration.
How long does a Certificate III in Plumbing take?
The course runs for 41 weeks, including six practical training days where you’ll be trained and assessed for each unit in a workplace environment. Once you’ve completed this plumbing license course, you’ll be ready to tackle the state examination to get your plumber license!
How can I apply for a plumbing licence?
Once you’re eligible, you can submit an application to become a licensed plumber. For the finer details on what you need to apply, check out the VBA’s plumbing registration and licences page.
Criteria for licensed plumbers
Broadly, you must meet all of these requirements to become a licensed plumber:
- Be eligible to be registered in that class of plumbing work
- For some specialised classes, you must be registered in certain classes already
- Have successfully completed the VBA’s exam for that class
- Be covered by the right amount of insurance.
Keep in mind that the VBA’s assessment process is quite thorough. This is simply to make sure you’ve submitted all the necessary information, and that this information is accurate. Depending on your hands-on experience, education and application, you may be asked for more information or to go in for an interview.
What else can plumbers do?
When it comes to career prospects, becoming a plumber is a smart choice. In fact, employment across Australian has shown strong growth over the past decade.
In the years to come, there will be plenty of opportunities for plumbers in most regions and cities throughout the country. Especially for those with the right level of hands-on experience and who are qualified to the level plumbing licence courses can give you.
Becoming a licensed plumber is a sure-fire way to advance your career. For customers, nothing beats an experienced and certified master plumber. Being licensed in a particular class means you’ve got the skills and knowledge needed to carry out difficult tasks.
With so many classes of plumbing to work in, there are plenty of opportunities to skill up and expand your career prospects. You might find that working in a specialist plumbing firm suits you best, or perhaps you’ll take the plunge and set up your own small business.
Either way, the more qualifications you have, the better your prospects will be. This is where our building courses online can make all the difference.
Find out more about how to become a plumber
For more information on becoming getting your plumber license, it’s best to jump onto the VBA’s website here. If you’re interested in learning how to become a plumber, or simply want to find out more about our building courses online, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
At Builders Academy Australia (BAA), we feel genuine in helping our students to 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 26th March 2023.