Gas Fitter

How to Become a Plumber

FindItMore | Plumbers in New Zealand are in hot demand, especially as there is a nationwide shortage of plumbers, drain layers, and gas fitters. If you have been thinking about getting a trade behind you, then you will be pleased to know the whole country is cheering you on to do it. We need people like you to help contribute to New Zealand’s economy.

However, not knowing much about plumbing, or the process to become a plumber, can put a lot of people off. Below, we explain some of the most basic information you require to begin your trade and start your career on the right foot.

How Much Do Plumbers Earn?

Aside from having a passion for trades, most people also want to know whether it’s going to be a lucrative career path. Fortunately, it can be. According to CareersNZ, a plumber can earn between $17 and $41 on average, with experience determining the higher or lower figure.

An apprentice would earn a training wage or minimum wage, while a newly licensed plumber would earn around $25 per hour. Experienced plumbers can earn between $28 to $41, with business owners earning more – depending on their successes.

Will It Be Easy to Get a Job in Plumbing?

If you are a hard worker, have completed your two to four years of training, and are passionate about being a plumber, then your chances of getting a job are high. As previously mentioned, plumbers, gas fitters, and drain layers are in hot demand due to a worker shortage. You are coming on board at the right time.

What Do Plumbers Do?

Before you decide that plumbing is something you want to do, it helps if you know what’s involved. Prior knowledge can save a lot of heartbreak if it’s not your cup of tea.

Plumbers, gas fitters, and drain layers often cut and shape pipes, install, join, and seal fittings and pipes, and install hot water systems, heat pumps, heaters and more. More experienced plumbers can also lay and repair drains with consent from local councils.

The variety on offer in the plumbing world is astounding. One day you can be working on spouting and roofing pipes, and the next you can be installing a septic tank, toilet, or an air conditioning unit. What you do can depend on your qualifications, training, and experience.

How Do I Prepare for the Plumbing Industry from High School?

If you are getting to a time in your schooling life where you’re starting to think about careers, then it’s helpful to know what you need to do to prepare. To become a plumber, there are no specific options that can prepare you, but anything related to mechanics, construction, English, Math, and physics can be of assistance.

If you are in year 11 or 12, you can also complete a National Certificate in Building, Construction, and Allied Trades, or relevant experience through the Gateway program. Talk to your school career advisor about programs near you.

How Do I Become a Plumber in New Zealand?

Once you leave school and decide you’d love nothing more than to become a tradie, then there are a few entry requirements.

You need to complete an apprenticeship to get your Level 4 NZ Certificate in Plumbing and Gas fitting or drain laying. This certificate allows you to register with the Plumbers, Gas fitters, and Drain Layers Board.

You may also find it helpful to have your driver’s licence, and to have some useful experience behind you. Such examples of this could include working as an assistant for someone in the industry (like a drain layer), working in heating and ventilation, welding, or something involved in sheet metal work.

Why Is There a Shortage of Plumbers in New Zealand?

If you become a plumber who’s good at what you do, then there’s no reason why you will not find a job. A construction boom is underway, predicted to carry on until at least 2020, if not later. Christchurch repairs coupled with a lack of apprentices meaning there is a hard push for people to enter the workforce and gain a trade. That could be you.

What Does it Take to Join The World of Plumbers?

Once you become a plumber by working hard and training, then you should also have a set of attributes to help you become a success. Be patient, have an eye for detail, and always be accurate and safety-conscious with everything you do.

You should also look after your equipment, be an excellent communicator, and follow instructions with an ability to problem-solve. Finally, work as part of a team or on your own without any hassles.


Plumbers are hard-working individuals who are passionate about their job and are good at it. If you think this sounds like you, then there’s no better time than today to start your training. Get in touch with your local training provider and kick start your plumbing career.

Theresa Le Roux

My name is Theresa Le Roux, I am originally from Montreal, Canada but I have spent the last 5 years in beautiful New Zealand. I write SEO/Digital marketing/SMM articles for businesses that want a different perspective on subjects that are important to their content output. This can also help grow rankings in the process so it’s a win-win! I regularly contribute articles about the always changing world of SEO to Connect me via email

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