Are you thinking of becoming a plumber? Before embarking on that exciting career path, here are some important things to know about certifications needed and where to apply, apprenticeships, licences and training requirements.



Firstly a Certificate III in Plumbing is required to be able to apply for a plumbing and drainage licence. There is also an entry-level course to obtain a Certificate II in Plumbing, which will give you useful foundation skills and an advantage in gaining a plumbing apprenticeship.

The Certificate III in Plumbing can be achieved as part of your apprenticeship or at a trade institution. It usually takes around two years to complete plumbing training at a trade institution; however, it can take between two and five years to complete an apprenticeship, depending on the program.

There are also a range of tickets or licences you can undetake once you are fully qualified plumber. The most common one which is given as an introduction within your apprenticeship is gas plumbing. There are a few different types of gas certificates you can complete depending on the work you wish to undertake. A good way to get an idea on what certificate you need when it comes to gas fitting is to do some work experience with a certified gas fitting company in your local area. They will be able to show you what type of daily tasks you are expected to undertake, as well as advise on correct licencing once you are ready to be certified.

There are many online resources to help you find the right place of study, but here are a few reliable websites for information about the application and available courses: 


In addition to this, a Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services may be required if you are looking to become an advanced specialist, an experienced plumbing services operator responsible for project design and supervision, or a plumbing business manager. Once completed, you would then be eligible to apply for an advanced licence as a Plumbing and Drainage Contractor / Nominee Supervisor.

Please visit this website for more information and application: 



There are many places in which you can undertake a plumbing apprenticeship in Queensland and it is up to you to find the right employer. A very useful place to visit is the Queensland Government website for detailed information on your options, apprenticeships and the best avenues for seeking employment. Please visit for further information.


About Apprenticeships


  • An apprenticeship can be part-time, full-time or school-based, where some of the training can be completed while you are still in high school.
  • An apprenticeship combines work with structured training.
  • If you choose to be employed as an apprentice, your employer will work with a training organisation and yourself to set a suitable training plan.
  • An apprenticeship can be undertaken by existing employees.
  • Apprenticeships require the apprentice and the employer to enter into a legally binding contract which states that you must work and train together for an agreed length of time.
  • Training options must be negotiated and outlined in the training plan. Some aspects of training may be open to negotiation and include selection, content and sequencing of competency units, timing; location, mode of delivery and trainer or facilitator.



Full or Part-time Apprenticeships

  • Full-time apprentices have on-going employment and work and train for around 38 hours per week.
  • Part-time apprentices are required to regularly work and train for no less than 15 hours per week.
  • The nominal term of a part-time apprenticeship is usually double that of a full-time apprenticeship.
  • Existing employees can choose to be employed as an apprentice on a part-time or full-time basis.


School-based Apprenticeships

  • School-based apprentices usually undertake an apprenticeship as part of their year 10, 11 and 12 high school studies.
  • The nominal term of a school-based apprenticeship is usually double that of a full-time apprenticeship.
  • A school-based apprentice’s employment and/or training plan must impact on their school timetable for the apprenticeship to be considered school-based.



Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) is responsible for the regulation of all aspects regarding compliance, disciplinary functions and plumbing licensing in Queensland. Plumbing and drainage are the two different plumbing categories.

The three plumbing license classes are as follows:

  • Provisional Plumbers Licence – You can apply for this license once you have completed a plumbing apprenticeship.
  • Occupational / Open Licence – You can apply for this licence once you have completed a minimum of one year in the job on a provisional license.
  • Plumbing and Drainage Contractor / Nominee Supervisor – You can apply for this licence once you have completed the Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services and are able to meet the associated financial requirements.


Training Requirements


In order to meet the QBCC requirements for applying for a Queensland Plumbing or Drainage Licence you must have already completed:

  • Certificate III in Plumbing (CPC32413) or Certificate III in Plumbing (Mechanical Services), including a sanitary stream.
  • Certificate III in Plumbing (CPC32513).
  • Certificate IV in Plumbing Services (CPC40912) may also be required if you are eligible to apply for the Plumbing and Drainage Contractor / Nominee Supervisor licence. This consists of the following units of competency:
  • Carry Out Work-Based Risk Control Processes (CPCPM4011A).
  • Design and Size Sanitary Plumbing Systems (CPCPSN4011B).
  • Design and Size Sanitary Drainage Systems (CPCPDR4011B).
  • Design and Size Heated or Cold Water Services and Systems (CPCPWT4011B).
  • Design and Size Domestic Treatment Plant Disposal Systems (CPCPDR4013B).
  • Estimate and Cost Work (CPCPCM4012A).
  • Establish Legal Risk Management Requirements Of Small Business (BSBSMB401).

Please visit the QBCC website for licence application and further information on licences: