Drainers install, maintain and design below-ground drainage systems and associated sewerage or effluent disposal systems.
Specialisations: Septic Tank Installer.
Extensive experience or a certificate II in drainage is needed to work as a Drainer.
Studies drawings and specifications to determine the layout of plumbing systems and materials required.
Installs sewerage and effluent pumping equipment and disposal systems.
Installs below-ground drainage systems and associated ground support systems.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
The NSC 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, Plumbers, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 89% of people employed as Drainers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 23 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).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Drainers||All Jobs Average|
Around 42% of Drainers 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 Drainers is 36 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 2% of the workforce. This is 46 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||Drainers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.7||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
Extensive experience or a certificate II in drainage is needed to work as a Drainer.
- 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||Drainers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||0.2||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||8.5||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 Plumbers who work well in a team, are hardworking and provide good customer service.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
46%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
46%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Fixing machines or systems.
43%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
41%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
39%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Teaching people how to do something.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Talking to others.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
63%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
49%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
49%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
44%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
42%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
42%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
39%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
32%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
31%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
21%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
20%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.
48%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
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.
See details that are far away.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Tell the difference between sounds.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Do two or more things at the same time.
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.
73%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
64%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
62%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
59%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
57%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
57%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
55%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
55%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
52%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
48%Working with mechanical equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
Convincing people to buy something or to change their minds or actions.
46%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
43%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
43%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
42%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
41%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
39%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
38%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
38%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
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.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Talk with people face-to-face.
95%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
94%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
94%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
92%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
Talk on the telephone.
88%Very hot or cold temperatures
Work in very hot or cold temperatures.
84%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
82%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
79%In an enclosed vehicle or equipment
Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).
Work with people in a group or team.
78%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
76%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
76%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
74%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
74%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
72%Bright or inadequate lighting
Work in extremely bright or dark lighting conditions.
Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.
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, 47-4071.00 - Septic Tank Servicers and Sewer Pipe Cleaners.