Drainage, Sewerage and Stormwater Labourers
Drainage, Sewerage and Stormwater Labourers perform routine tasks in maintaining drainage, sewerage and stormwater systems.
Cleans and carries out minor repairs on stormwater drains and canals, and checks for cracks and leaks in sewerage systems.
Digs holes and shovels excavated material onto conveyors, wheelbarrows and trucks for removal.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Building and Plumbing Labourers, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 92% of people employed as Drainage, Sewerage and Stormwater Labourers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 26 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Drainage, Sewerage and Stormwater Labourers work in industries like:
- Electricity, gas, water and waste services
- Public administration and safety
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Drainage, Sewerage and Stormwater Labourers||All Jobs Average|
Around 64% of Drainage, Sewerage and Stormwater Labourers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Queensland 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.
Age and gender
The median age of Drainage, Sewerage and Stormwater Labourers is 45 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 4% of the workforce. This is 44 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)
|Age Bracket||Drainage, Sewerage and Stormwater Labourers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||3.7||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Drainage, Sewerage and Stormwater Labourer. Although some workers have a certificate I or II in drainage or water stability.
- 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)
|Type of Qualification||Drainage, Sewerage and Stormwater Labourers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||0.8||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||25.8||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 can be improved through training or experience.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
43%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
43%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Talking to others.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
41%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Reading work related information.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Fixing machines or systems.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
36%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs.
34%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Teaching people how to do something.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
68%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
52%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
48%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
45%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
42%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
41%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
27%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
26%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
18%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Communicate by speaking.
Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
43%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
88%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
85%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
70%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
61%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
60%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
60%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
58%Working with mechanical equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.
55%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
55%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
55%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
52%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
50%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
47%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
44%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
41%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
40%Coaching and developing others
Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.
38%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
37%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
35%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
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 are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
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.
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.
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.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
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.
100%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
100%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
99%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
Talk with people face-to-face.
93%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.
92%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Work with people in a group or team.
90%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
89%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
89%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
87%Whole body vibration
Be exposed to whole body vibration (e.g., operate a jackhammer).
87%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
Work to strict deadlines.
84%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
82%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
82%Bending or twisting your body
Spend time bending or twisting your body.
81%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
81%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
80%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
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, 47-2151.00 - Pipelayers.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.