How to become a roof plumber in Australia – qualifications, certifications, skills

Do you enjoy working at heights and using your hands and practical know-who to solve problems? If you do, then a career in roof plumbing may just be the ideal career choice for you.

Roof plumbing is any work involved in fixing, installing, renovating, altering, repairing, and maintaining guttering, downpipes, roof flashing, and roof coverings on any building or structure.

Roof plumbers install and maintain roof drainage systems on all kinds of buildings, from residential to commercial to industrial. Understanding the training and qualities roof plumbers require can help you decide if you would be well-suited to a career in roof plumbing.

It goes without saying that roof plumbing can be risky business. After all, roof plumbers often work at heights, and potentially in slippery conditions, which adds up to a compelling case for roof plumbers to reduce their on the job exposure to risk via roofer insurance such as Public Liability insurance, Professional Indemnity insurance, and Business Insurance.

So, let’s dig into what’s involved in becoming a qualified roof plumber. We will cover how to become a roof plumber and what do roof plumbers do, while also answering some key questions that will help you decide if roof plumbing is the right career for you.

Defining roof plumbers

Roof plumbers are trained professionals in installing gutters, downpipes, rainwater tanks, and flashings on both residential, industrial, and commercial buildings. They may also install wall cladding and roof sheeting.

Roof plumbers read and interpret technical diagrams in order to install roof drainage systems of different angles in houses and other buildings. They also make sure that water tanks capture the maximum amount of rainwater by calculating the correct pitch and size of roofs.

Essential roof plumber skills

To legally work as a roof plumber in Australia, you need to complete a four-year apprenticeship, at the end of which you will obtain a Certificate III in Roof Plumbing.

Once you have completed your apprenticeship and graduated with your Certificate III in Roof Plumbing, you can further enhance your roof plumbing career prospects by continuing to refine your knowledge and practical abilities across all the essential roof plumber skills. Let’s look at each of the five essential roof plumber skills individually.

Technical skills

Roof plumbers are familiar with the workings of roofing materials and structures. They cut and handle materials such as metal, fibreglass, polycarbonate, and glass. They also know how rainwater behaves under certain conditions, such as different temperatures and weather events. They use their technical knowledge to interpret technical drawings and plans.

Problem-solving skills

When it comes to the question of what do roof plumbers do, the answer can be quite broad. Roof plumbers use their problem-solving abilities to find the right solution for clients. They may, for example, help clients find and fix leaks, improve drainage, or collect as much water as possible. They also ensure that the solutions they provide are cost-effective and efficient for their clients.

Mathematics skills

Roof plumbers calculate the quantities of material required by using mathematical formulae. This skill can also be used to determine the right pitch, size and placement of drainpipes for each roof to drain or capture the maximum volume of stormwater. They can create the best drainage solution and minimise costs for their customers by using precise calculations. Roof plumbers use their sound mathematics skills to also provide accurate cost estimates for clients.

Communication skills

Roof plumbers use communication skills to understand the needs of each client. Through active listening and asking key questions, roof plumbers gather the information needed to complete a project. To ensure safety, it is important that roof plumbers and their team members and contractors communicate effectively.

Time management skills

Roof plumbers use their time management skills to complete various tasks ahead of deadlines. They are organised and logical in their work, and they are able to work efficiently in order to complete jobs on time and to the standard their clients demand.

Roof plumber courses

Vocational education organisations such as TAFE and private Registered Training Organisations (RTO) offer enrolment in a variety of roof plumbing courses that equip aspiring roof plumbers for a career in the roof plumbing trade.

Completing a four-year Certificate III in Roof Plumbing (typically as part of a roof plumbing apprenticeship) enables budding roof plumbers to apply for a roof plumber licence and registration in their home state or territory. They may then also enroll in and complete a Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services.

Plumbers licence Victoria

Getting a plumbing licence in Victoria is a little different compared to in other Australian states. As outlined by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA), Victorian licensed plumbers are required to show evidence to the VBA that they hold the relevant Victorian plumbing insurance before they will be issued with a plumbing licence in Victoria.

This is critically important, because it is illegal to work as a licensed plumber in Victoria without plumbers insurance Victoria cover in the required areas. For more information, learn more about insurance for Victorian plumbers.

Five fantastic reasons for choosing a career in roof plumbing

Now that you know what’s involved in roof plumbing, it’s time to dive into five great reasons why you may pursue a roof plumbing career.

1. Earn good money

It’s no secret that tradies earn good money in Australia, and roof plumbers are no exception. So how much does a roof plumber earn in Australia? Well, it depends on your personal skill level, how much experience you have under your belt, and your roof plumber qualifications.

2. Become a specialist

If you are a general registered roof plumber who has completed their Certificate III in Roof Plumbing and apprenticeship, you are ready to up your game in the building industry. By specialising in roof plumbing, you can sharpen your skills, build a reputation in roof plumbing, and take on higher paying and more challenging jobs.

3. Every day is different

One thing to love about working as a tradesperson is the variety of jobs and tasks to do every day. When working as a roof plumber, no two jobs will be the same, and you will flex your problem solving skills and creative thinking skills to complete each job.

4. Be your own boss

As a licensed roof plumber, you have the qualifications to work for yourself as a sole trader, or even run your own business with a team of roof plumbers. Nothing beats being your own boss, because it means you can do things your way. That said, being the boss also comes with added responsibility, and it requires strong business and leadership skills.

Completing a Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services (Operations) will equip you with the skills and confidence to work for yourself, running your own licensed roof plumbing business and managing your own team.

5. You will obtain a plumbing licence

Not only does Certificate IV in plumbing help you specialise in roof plumbing, but it also prepares you to get your roof licence.

Registrations, licences and qualifications are more important than ever in the building industry. And with your plumbing licence, you can tender for higher-paying jobs and complete them with confidence and skill.

Have you taken care of your plumber insurance?

Whether you refer to your business insurance as plumber insurance or roofer insurance, the important thing to remember is to keep it current. What this simply means is that your business insurance should align with the risks your roof plumbing business faces.

When reviewing or renewing your business insurance, a handy rule of thumb is if your business circumstances change, your business insurance may also need to change, otherwise you may find that your business is underinsured, as explained in this short video.

Roof plumbing FAQs

Is a roof plumber the same as a plumber?

A standard domestic plumber is a skilled plumbing generalist who is adept at fixing general plumbing issues related to taps, toilets, and kitchen sinks. However, when it comes to plumbing issues with bathrooms, laundries, kitchens, and hot water systems, these are best handled by roof plumbers with a roof licence.

This is because roof plumbers specialise in these types of plumbing jobs, including jobs involving roof fixtures, gutters, downpipes, spouts, roof flashing, rainwater tanks, and leaking roofs.

How long does it take to become a roof plumber?

Becoming a qualified roof plumber requires enrolling in and completing a four-year Vocational Education and Training (VET) course, during which you will complete a roof plumber apprenticeship. Completing this course will conclude your plumber apprenticeship, at which point you will obtain the nationally accredited Certificate III in Roof Plumbing qualification.

What is a plumbing certificate of compliance?

A plumbing certificate of compliance is recognition that a plumber’s work complies with all required plumbing standards, codes, and regulations. It is an important document because it recognises that the plumbing work completed complies with the prescribed plumbing standards.

Choose BizCover and enjoy business insurance simplified

Explore your plumbing business insurance options and discover just how fast, easy, and pain-free business insurance can be when you choose BizCover. Compare competitive business insurance quotes online or call us on 1300 920 868 and enjoy a better business insurance experience today.

*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2023 BizCover Pty Limited, all rights reserved. ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769.

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