Leaving school and looking for a career opportunity?

The plumbing services industry employs more than 65,000 people and is a significant contributor to the Australian economy, but like many industry sectors it has also been impacted by COVID-19. The good news is that as the country readjusts and moves towards some semblance of ‘normality’ in the months ahead, the sector will bounce back.

Driven by Australian economic growth forecasts, confidence is underpinned by the need to have continued growth in the building construction market too. There is forecasted investment in civil, commercial and institutional projects and developments, including infrastructure, offices, retail stores, schools, hospitals, and airports. Plus there are a number of projects across the country which were announced during the pandemic and are ready to start.

The reality is that the way ahead is changing but the sector can adapt and diversify, and businesses can look for new channel opportunities and offer specialised services. For example, targeting non-building infrastructure projects and environmental initiatives such as solar hot water systems. As such, working within the plumbing sector and embarking on a career in it should be seen as a sensible and opportunistic direction to take.

TAFE Courses will be commencing in July, so where is the best place to start if you’re interested?

First off, every state has different requirements for plumbing apprenticeships and the rules and regulations about becoming a licensed plumber vary between each state too.

Outside of structured study, becoming an apprentice plumber will be varied day to day, and the role you have will also vary depending on who you’re working with and what the project needs are. Speaking to some of the plumbers who come into our branches they say that technically it doesn’t matter what subjects you studied at school – you can’t learn common sense – if you can think on your feet, have good attention to detail, good problem-solving skills and a willingness to listen, then the foundation blocks are already in place. 

In reality, in a competitive job market and given that plumbing apprenticeships can be hard to find, you are going to benefit and gain an advantage if you can also offer a good understanding of science and technology, along with maths and English.

As with any career choice, once you’re in it there will be aspects you’ll love and elements you’ll dislike, but career-wise it’s a very adaptable option. We employ a number of staff at our head office and branches who started out life as plumbers but now prefer to be on the other side of the counter, handling materials and tools, and helping, assisting and advising the plumbers who are our customers.   

At the end of the day, what a prospective employer will want to see is your enthusiasm and commitment to the career choice you make. 

For more information, have a look at the following links – there will be many more, but these are a good start, and you’ll note I’ve included ADF too. If being on the tools isn’t for you but you’re interested in a career within a Plumbing Suppliers business – sales, logistics, inventory management, warehouse operations – please feel free to contact me direct.

Good luck. 

Karl Penn, General Manager, Eagles The Plumbing Shop. kpenn@eaglesplumbingshop.com.au