While there are many active plumbers in New South Wales, there most certainly isn’t any shortage of plumbing work in Australia’s most populated state. The NSW building and construction industry – both the public and the private sectors – remains very active and in need of talented and well-trained licensed plumbers.
What does this mean for aspiring plumbers and school leavers such as yourself who are considering a career as a licensed plumber in NSW? Well, it means that there’s never been a better time than right now to obtain your plumbing licence in NSW and get stuck into your career as a professional plumber in NSW.
If you are eyeing off a future in the plumbing industry as a licensed plumber, here’s the lowdown on NSW plumbing licences and how to obtain yours.
How to become a plumber in NSW?
Plumbing systems are intricate feats of design and engineering that are essential infrastructure in cities, towns, and regional centres throughout NSW. Today, plumbing is so much more evolved than it once was. Plumbing services now include everything from mechanical services to fire protection, gas services, mechanical services, and sanitation services, to name a few.
What that means is that studying to become a licensed plumber today is a little different and a little more formalised than it once was. It also means that if you’re ambitious and want to complete a plumber course in NSW, obtain a plumbing license, and become a licensed plumber, there’s nothing stopping you from doing just that.
If you plan on performing any kind of commercial, residential, or industrial draining, plumbing, or gasfitting work in New South Wales, you’ll first need to obtain a plumbing licence issued by New South Wales Fair Trading. There are many registered training organisations in NSW that offer a range of plumbing courses for aspiring plumbers. Enrolling in one is the first step on the road to becoming a licensed and qualified plumber.
How NSW plumbing licences work?
As outlined on the NSW Fair Trading website, you will need a plumbing licence before you can do any plumbing, draining, or gasfitting (including LP gasfitting) work in NSW. This is a required regardless of the cost of the job at hand and regardless of whether the work is in the residential, commercial, or industrial sector.
Importantly, you also need to be licensed in every plumbing, drainage and gasfitting category in which you intend to work in. You can apply to become licensed in multiple categories at the same, but you also have the freedom to do so at a later date.
So, deciding what types of plumbing work you want to do will help you plot out your plumbing training plan. Whatever type of plumber you decide to become, plumbers’ insurance is a must once you complete your training.
There are four types of plumbing licences available in NSW, each of which comes with its own rules and permissions.
A contractor licence can be issued to individuals, companies, and partnerships for one, three, or five years. It permits the holder to contract and advertise to do the types of work described on their licence card.
Qualified supervisor certificate
A qualified supervisor certificate (available for one, three, or five years) allows the holder to supervise and do the work described on their certificate. Qualified supervisor certificates are only issued to individuals, and this qualification does not permit you to contract for work.
Endorsed contractor licence
An endorsed contractor licence is issued to individuals who apply for a contractor licence and who also hold the qualifications and experience needed to be a qualified supervisor.
A tradesperson certificate permits the holder to do plumbing, drainage and gasfitting work with minimum supervision. Individuals who hold a tradesperson certificate are not authorised to sign off on plumbing jobs.
All work they do must be overseen and signed off by someone who holds a valid contractor licence or a qualified supervisor certificate. This qualification is only issued to individuals, and only in select categories of plumbing, draining and gasfitting work.
What types of plumbing jobs can you accept?
As per Fair Trading NSW, licensed plumbers in NSW can only do the types of work described on their licence card. However, you can obtain and add additional classes to your active plumbing licence, so long as you have completed the required academic and work experience requirements. These additional classes include, to name a few:
- Water plumbing.
- Roof plumbing.
- LP gasfitting.
Recommended reading: 5 Types of Plumbing Services
You need to be licensed in every plumbing category you intend to work in, so deciding what types of plumbing work you want to do will help you plot out your plumbing training plan. You can apply to become licened in multiple categories at the same, but you also have the freedom to do so at a later date.
As outlined on the NSW Fair Trading website, you will need a plumbing licence before you can do any plumbing, draining or gasfitting (including LP gasfitting) work in the state of NSW. This is a mandatory requirement regardless of the cost of the job at hand and regardless of whether the work is in the residential, commercial, or industrial sector.
To become a licensed plumber in NSW you need to complete a four-year plumbing apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed plumber. At the conclusion of your four-year plumbing apprenticeship, you will have completed a Certificate III in Plumbing from a nationally accredited training institute.
However, to become a fully licensed plumber and qualify to run your own plumbing business, you also need to complete the Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services (Operations stream) plumber course. Let’s take a closer look at these two qualifications to help you choose which one is the best fit for the plumbing career that you’re plotting for yourself.
What is the Certificate III in Plumbing?
If you want to become a plumber, the Certificate III in Plumbing gives you the skill set to become a trade qualified plumber or gasfitter. Finishing this apprenticeship course and you will be a registered plumber.
What is the Certificate IV in Plumbing And Services?
The Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services helps plumbers and gas fitters expand their specialist skills in order to build their own plumbing business, or move into plumbing management roles.
As you edge closer to completing your formal plumbing qualifications while establishing yourself as a licensed plumber in NSW, why not look ahead and learn more about insurance* for plumbers or gas fitting insurance? Because when it comes to business insurance, nobody wants a policy that doesn’t hold water. Let BizCover do the grunt work for you. Give us a tinkle on 1300 920 864 to see how we can help protect your licensed plumbing business.
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