Plumbers

ANZSCO ID 3341

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
101,100
Future Growth
8.6%
Weekly Earnings
$1,419
Full-Time Share
88%
Female Share
1%
Average age
33

Summary

Plumbers install, maintain and repair pipes, drains, guttering and metal roofing, mechanical services and related equipment for water supply, gas, drainage, sewerage, heating, cooling and ventilation systems.

Tasks

  • studying blueprints, drawings and specifications to determine the layout of plumbing systems and materials required

  • setting out and installing hot and cold water systems and associated equipment

  • installing water-based fire protections systems, including fire hydrants, hose reels and sprinkler systems

  • designing and installing sanitary plumbing and water supply systems, discharge pipes and sanitary fixtures

  • fabricating and installing soil and waste stacks

  • assembling and installing mechanical services plant, air handling and conditioning equipment and small bore heating systems

  • installing sewerage and effluent pumping equipment and disposal systems

  • installing below-ground drainage systems and associated ground support systems

  • installing gas appliances, flues and pressure regulating devices

  • fabricating and installing metal roofing, rainwater goods and flashings

Characteristics

Job Type
Technicians And Trades Workers
Skill Level
Medium skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Interests
  • Practical
  • Analytical
  • Administrative
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 100,300 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
8.6%
(or 8,000 jobs)
From
92,300
in 2021
To
100,300
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 81,500
2012 73,800
2013 77,800
2014 79,900
2015 90,200
2016 85,600
2017 91,400
2018 84,000
2019 81,700
2020 89,800
2021 92,300
2026 100,300

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 88% of people employed as Plumbers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 22 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.

    More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Median full-time earnings are $1,419 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,254
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $1,669

    Median hourly earnings are $35, 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. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. 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 Plumbers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,419 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
91.0%
2
Public Administration and Safety
2.0%
3
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
1.5%
4
Other Services
1.4%
5
Other industries
4.1%
  • Most Plumbers work in the Construction industry.

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.


Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

29.0% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

32.0% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

17.7% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

6.3% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

10.9% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

1.7% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.0% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.4% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Plumbers All Jobs Average
NSW 29.0 31.6
VIC 32.0 25.6
QLD 17.7 20.0
SA 6.3 7.0
WA 10.9 10.8
TAS 1.7 2.0
NT 1.0 1.0
ACT 1.4 1.9


  • Around 41% of Plumbers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Victoria has a large share of employment relative to its population size.

    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
33
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
1%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Plumbers is 33 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 1% of the workforce. This is 47 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 Plumbers All Jobs Average
15-19 7.9 5.0
20-24 16.3 9.3
25-34 28.2 22.9
35-44 19.3 22.0
45-54 15.7 21.6
55-59 6.1 9.0
60-64 4.3 6.0
65 and Over 2.3 4.2
Median Age 33 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

A certificate III in plumbing is usually needed to work as a Plumber. This course is often completed as part of an apprenticeship.

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 Plumbers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 0.2 10.1
Bachelor degree 0.9 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 2.4 11.6
Certificate III/IV 77.0 21.1
Year 12 9.2 18.1
Year 11 3.8 4.8
Year 10 and below 6.6 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

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 52%

    Critical thinking

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

  • 48%

    Repairing

    Fixing machines or systems.

  • 46%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 46%

    Quality control analysis

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

  • 45%

    Active listening

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

  • 45%

    Complex problem solving

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

  • 45%

    Operation monitoring

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

  • 43%

    Judgment and decision making

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

  • 43%

    Active learning

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

  • 43%

    Equipment maintenance

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

  • 43%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 43%

    Learning strategies

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

  • 43%

    Monitoring

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

  • 43%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 43%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 43%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 43%

    Time management

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

  • 43%

    Troubleshooting

    Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.

  • 41%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 39%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 76%

    Mechanical

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

  • 70%

    Building and construction

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

  • 64%

    Technical design

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

  • 60%

    Customer and personal service

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

  • 58%

    Engineering and technology

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

  • 58%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 52%

    Education and training

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

  • 49%

    Public safety and security

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

  • 47%

    Chemistry

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

  • 46%

    English language

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

  • 44%

    Physics

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

  • 41%

    Law and government

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

  • 40%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 32%

    Transportation

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

  • 27%

    Communications and media

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

  • 26%

    Administration and management

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

  • 25%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 24%

    Personnel and human resources

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

  • 24%

    Production and processing

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

  • 23%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 61%

    Extent flexibility

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

  • 54%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 52%

    Visualization

    Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.

  • 50%

    Near vision

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

  • 50%

    Problem spotting

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

  • 50%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 48%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 48%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 48%

    Inductive reasoning

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

  • 46%

    Control precision

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

  • 46%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 46%

    Multilimb coordination

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

  • 45%

    Manual dexterity

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

  • 45%

    Sorting or ordering

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

  • 45%

    Trunk strength

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

  • 45%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 43%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 43%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 41%

    Balance

    Keep your balance or stay upright.

  • 41%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.


Activities

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

  • 76%

    Handling and moving objects

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

  • 72%

    Doing physically active work

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

  • 56%

    Working with the public

    Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.

  • 55%

    Planning and prioritising work

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

  • 52%

    Working with mechanical equipment

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

  • 50%

    Checking for errors or defects

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

  • 50%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

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

  • 50%

    Making decisions and solving problems

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

  • 49%

    Scheduling work and activities

    Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

  • 49%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

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

  • 48%

    Checking compliance with standards

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

  • 47%

    Communicating within a team

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

  • 47%

    Coordinating the work of a team

    Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.

  • 46%

    Controlling equipment or machines

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

  • 45%

    Looking for changes over time

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

  • 45%

    Driving vehicles or equipment

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

  • 45%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 42%

    Assessing and evaluating things

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

  • 38%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 38%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.


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.

  • 71%

    Administrative

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

  • 62%

    Analytical

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

  • 33%

    Enterprising

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

  • 24%

    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.
  • 67%

    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.

  • 67%

    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.

  • 62%

    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.

  • 57%

    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.

  • 52%

    Achievement

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

  • 43%

    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:
  • 90%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 89%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 88%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

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

  • 87%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 83%

    Minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings

    Be exposed to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings.

  • 83%

    Contact with people

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

  • 82%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 82%

    Very hot or cold temperatures

    Work in very hot or cold temperatures.

  • 81%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

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

  • 81%

    Cramped work space

    Work in an awkward position or in cramped work spaces.

  • 80%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 80%

    Spend time standing

    Spend time standing at work.

  • 80%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 79%

    Outdoors, exposed to weather

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

  • 79%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 78%

    Indoors, not heat controlled

    Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).

  • 78%

    Dangerous equipment

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

  • 78%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 77%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 76%

    Responsible for outcomes

    Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.

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, 47-2152.02 - Plumbers.


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