Plumbing Jobs and Apprenticeships
Plumbing is a trade that typically requires you to undertake an apprenticeship, after which most plumbers tend to specialize in a particular field and undertake specific jobs. Plumbers are generally required to be licensed and registered to operate in any geographical area. Furthermore they also need to be certified to carry out specific plumbing tasks. Plumbers are normally governed by a national or regional code, with provisions for health and safety criteria as well as standards for materials and products. They are also required to hold public liability insurance for the duration of any job they are carrying out.
There are a range of plumbing fields or jobs which plumbers tend to specialize in, including:
New homes - roughing in all the piping and fixtures for a new home is a crucial aspect of any new build. This includes the logical layout and planning of the fixtures, piping and positioning of all the appliances
Commercial - installation of piping, fixtures and fire protection equipment in commercial and industrial facilities requires dedicated equipment and expertise
Drains - installation and maintenance of storm water and sewage drains is a specialised task. This includes the cleaning and clearing of drains which requires dedicated equipment. Tree roots and storm water debris are often at fault in this case
Home renovations – the boom in home renovation and trend toward more luxuriously appointed homes has meant plumbers have been kept busy installing new, sophisticated appliances and high-end fixtures including spa baths, bidets and dishwashers
Repairs and general maintenance – rubber seals, washers and PVC piping are all durable but eventually liable to fail. Appliance repair and maintenance is another regular source of work for plumbers
Accessories – ecologically minded products such as solar hot water systems, rainwater tanks and grey water systems have given rise to green plumbers, who are trained in this sector
An apprenticeship is a structured, ‘hands on’ vocational training program typically undertaken by individuals wishing to enter a trade, such as plumbing. There are theory and practical elements to the course and apprentices are often paid a wage during the course of the apprenticeship. Most apprenticeships run over a number of years, with the option for full time or part-time apprenticeship. There are also often contractual obligations between an employee and an apprentice, which are far more secure than a traineeship. The other benefit of this form of training program include the practical experience gained while studying.