Building and Plumbing Labourers

ANZSCO ID 8211

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
57,600
Future Growth
8.7%
Weekly Earnings
$1,550
Full-Time Share
76%
Female Share
3%
Average age
34

Summary

Building and Plumbing Labourers perform a variety of routine tasks associated with erecting and repairing structures and facilities, maintaining stormwater, drainage and sewerage systems, excavating earth and clearing and levelling sites, and installing and maintaining piping systems, fixtures and water regulators.

Tasks

  • loading and unloading building and construction materials, tools and equipment and transporting them around building sites

  • erecting and dismantling temporary structures such as barricades and scaffolding

  • mixing, pouring and spreading materials such as concrete, plaster and mortar

  • cleaning and carrying out minor repairs on stormwater drains and canals, and checking for cracks and leaks in sewerage systems

  • digging holes and shovelling excavated material onto conveyors, wheelbarrows and trucks for removal

  • spreading and levelling soil, gravel and sand on roads and driveways, trench bottoms and similar locations

  • assisting with assembling and installing piping, valves and fittings

  • assisting with installing fixtures such as toilets, wash basins and sprinkler systems

Characteristics

Job Type
Labourers
Skill Level
Entry level
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Above average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
Physical Demand
  • Medium
  • Heavy
  • Very Heavy

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:

  • is expected to grow strongly
  • is likely to reach 65,800 by 2026.
  • Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.

    Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

    Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
8.7%
(or 5,200 jobs)
From
60,600
in 2021
To
65,800
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 50,000
2012 47,000
2013 49,400
2014 57,500
2015 54,900
2016 55,300
2017 69,700
2018 72,300
2019 69,300
2020 60,900
2021 60,600
2026 65,800

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 76% of people employed as Building and Plumbing Labourers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 10 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 45 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Median full-time earnings are $1,550 per week, this is lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,276
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,017

    Median hourly earnings are $36, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Building and Plumbing Labourers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,550 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Construction
78.5%
2
Manufacturing
7.1%
3
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
5.9%
4
Administrative and Support Services
2.7%
5
Other industries
5.7%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

35.2% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

23.2% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

21.6% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

6.0% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

9.4% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

1.8% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.3% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.5% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Building and Plumbing Labourers All Jobs Average
NSW 35.2 31.6
VIC 23.2 25.6
QLD 21.6 20.0
SA 6.0 7.0
WA 9.4 10.8
TAS 1.8 2.0
NT 1.3 1.0
ACT 1.5 1.9


  • Around 43% of Building and Plumbing Labourers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    New South Wales has a large share of employment relative to its population size.

    The regions with the largest share of workers are:

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
34
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
3%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Building and Plumbing Labourers is 34 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.

    Females make up 3% of the workforce. This is 45 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Building and Plumbing Labourers All Jobs Average
15-19 7.1 5.0
20-24 15.9 9.3
25-34 27.6 22.9
35-44 19.6 22.0
45-54 17.9 21.6
55-59 6.5 9.0
60-64 3.7 6.0
65 and Over 1.7 4.2
Median Age 34 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Building or Plumbing Labourer. Although some workers have a certificate III in related areas like construction, plumbing, drainage or water stability.

Visit

  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Construction, Plumbing and Services VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Building and Plumbing Labourers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 0.7 10.1
Bachelor degree 4.3 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 4.3 11.6
Certificate III/IV 30.8 21.1
Year 12 24.9 18.1
Year 11 8.3 4.8
Year 10 and below 26.7 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Building and Plumbing Labourers who are reliable, have a strong work ethic and are physically fit.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 43%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 43%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 41%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 41%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 39%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 37%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 37%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 37%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 34%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 34%

    Equipment maintenance

    Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.

  • 34%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 32%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 32%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 32%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 30%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 29%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 29%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 29%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 27%

    Equipment selection

    Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.

  • 25%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 60%

    Building and construction

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

  • 57%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 57%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 54%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 54%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 49%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 48%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 47%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 44%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 42%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 42%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 42%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 41%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 39%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 36%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 35%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 34%

    Foreign language

    Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

  • 33%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 32%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

  • 29%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 59%

    Static strength

    Lift, push, pull, or carry things.

  • 54%

    Manual dexterity

    Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

  • 52%

    Trunk strength

    Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.

  • 50%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 48%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 48%

    Multilimb coordination

    Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.

  • 48%

    Extent flexibility

    Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.

  • 46%

    Stamina

    Exercise for a long time without getting winded or out of breath.

  • 45%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 45%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 43%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 43%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 43%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 43%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 41%

    Depth perception

    Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.

  • 41%

    Dynamic strength

    Exercise for a long time without your muscles getting tired.

  • 41%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 39%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 39%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 37%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 84%

    Handling and moving objects

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.

  • 76%

    Doing physically active work

    Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.

  • 64%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 59%

    Driving vehicles or equipment

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  • 58%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 57%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 56%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 54%

    Working with mechanical equipment

    Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.

  • 54%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 51%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 50%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 48%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 47%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 46%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 44%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 43%

    Drafting, laying out, and specifying parts

    Detailing and describing how devices, parts or equipment are to be made, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

  • 42%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 41%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 40%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 32%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 38%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 33%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 14%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 14%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 62%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 57%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 45%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 38%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 33%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 24%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 92%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 92%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 90%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 90%

    Spend time standing

    Spend time standing at work.

  • 90%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  • 89%

    Outdoors, exposed to weather

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

  • 83%

    Dangerous equipment

    Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.

  • 82%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 79%

    Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

  • 79%

    Making repetitive motions

    Spend time making repetitive motions.

  • 78%

    Physically close to people

    Work physically close to other people.

  • 77%

    Walking and running

    Spend time walking and running.

  • 76%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 76%

    Very hot or cold temperatures

    Work in very hot or cold temperatures.

  • 75%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 75%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 75%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 74%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 73%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 72%

    Bending or twisting your body

    Spend time bending or twisting your body.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 47-2061.00 - Construction Laborers.


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