Quick facts about plumbers:
- There are a reported 92,300 plumbers in Australia.
- Plumbers are highly in demand in Australia.
- All plumbers in Australia must be licensed to carry out work in their chosen state.
What do plumbers do?
An Australian plumber is a professional tradesperson who is specialised in the planning, installation, maintenance and repair of water, sewage and drainage systems. There are many branches of plumbing, including residential and commercial, roof, gas fitting, drainage, sanitation, water supply and fire protection, all of which require specialised training and certification.
Where did the word plumber come from? Back in the Roman Empire, lead (translated to plumbum in Latin) was used in drainage and bathing systems. Those who worked on these systems were known as Plumbarius, AKA lead experts. Trust us, this question does come up in trivia, so keep it handy in your repertoire!
What jobs can a plumber help with?
The work a plumber can do will depend on their specialisation. However, a general plumber can:
- Install plumbing, pipes and fixtures, including bathtubs, taps and toilets.
- Repair plumbing, pipes and fixtures, including leaking taps.
- Clear blockages from drains, toilets and other systems.
- Test pipes for leakages using air pressure and other types of gauges.
- Attend to emergency jobs, such as burst pipes.
- Install or replace hot water systems.
How much does a plumber charge per hour?
Before every job, your local plumber will provide you with an estimate or quote to complete the job. Depending on the job, they may work from a hourly rate of a flat-rate fee, and a call-out fee may be added.
The average plumber in Australia charges anywhere from $69 to $88 per hour. While a flat fee will average at around $120 to $280+ for a standard service. You’ll need to take into account any fixtures your job will require, such as new pipes, hot water systems, etc, and any specialised machinery they may need to complete the task.
It’s recommended you collect at least three quotes and compare prices and reputation of each plumber prior to booking in your job. You should also ask if they are licensed and insured, and only use someone who is.
What can impact the cost of a plumbing job?
The time the plumber is required.
Like any industry, an emergency plumbing service will normally incur an additional fee or cost more. The plumber will normally put a temporary fix in place and come back in regular trading hours if they need to source supplies to complete the job.
The type of plumbing job.
Do you need a plumber to fix a leaking tap or toilet? Or are you looking for a quote for a new bathroom installation? What you need done will obviously impact the price of the plumber as they made need specialised equipment, the job may take more or less time, it may need multiple tradesmen, etc.
The cost of fixtures.
Even something as seemingly simple as having a new tap installed can vary in price. The fixtures you choose will influence the end cost of your plumbing job, so if you’re on a specific budget, make the plumber aware before booking them in.
The extent of the damage or work required.
In some cases, a plumbing job may be far worse than it seems to the untrained eye. Plumbers will often use camera snakes to inspect deep within drains for this exact reason, so they can see exactly what the cause of a blockage or location of a leak. Tree roots are a more common plumbing issue than you’d think, especially old ones with deep rooting systems.
Many people forget additional trades may be required to complete plumbing work. For example, you may need tiles replaced, a new shower screen or funds to re-landscape a garden that’s had to be torn up for underground work. Take this into account when budgeting for work or emergency funds.
Do plumbers make good money?
How much a plumber earns will depend on their skills, specialisation and their location. According to PayScale:
Apprentice plumbers earn: $30,333 – $51,074
General plumbers earn: $30,121 – $78,952
Master plumbers earn: $41,898 – $98,591
What hours do plumbers work?
The hours a plumber works will depend on the company they work for. Many will offer 24/7 plumbing services and have someone on-call or have standard office hours with no availability outside of them.
Standard office hours begin at around 7:30am to 9:00am and anytime between 4:00pm and 6:00pm.
What qualifications does a plumber need in Australia?
Australia has very strict building guidelines. For this reason, all plumbing work (outside of tightening a tap or basic tasks) will require a licensed plumber.
Most people wanting to become a plumber will complete a 4-year apprenticeship to acquire their Certificate III in Plumbing. They will also need to hold licensing to practice in the state they want to work in.
Further training is available to further their skills or become specialised in a particular area.
Who is the best plumber near me?
The best way to find the best plumber near you is to receive recommendations from their past clients and to check out their reviews online. As mentioned above, you should also be qualifying that they are licensed and insured to carry out plumbing work in your state.
You can find reviews for plumbers in your area on Localsearch. Simply add your location to the search bar below, select the plumber you need and we’ll take you to a list of service providers near you.
- 5 essential plumbing tools every homeowner should have.
- When to call an emergency plumber.
- Common plumbing issues in old homes.
- DIY tips for unclogging a blocked sink.
- Keep your toilet unclogged.
Feature image credit: Sasikan Ulevik on Unsplash