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A Look at the Road to Becoming a Registered Plumber

It may be physically demanding and not for the squeamish, but plumbing is a great route to career independence especially in the current building boom with the high demand for plumbers. 

For budding plumbers, the basic qualification is a certificate of registration. A milestone in a plumbing career, this requires a three to four year combination of on-the-job experience under an apprenticeship scheme and part-time completion of National Certificates (Level 4).

Bruce Macmillan, director of an Auckland plumbing firm, says little beats the peace of mind that comes from having a trade. When a plumber has finished a job they can stand back and be proud of their work.

In New Zealand, plumbers must be registered with the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drain layers Board and hold a practising licence. The Board acts as a regulator for the industry, ensuring that tradespeople are competent to carry out their work. A registered plumber is either at the first ‘licensed’ level, or the more senior ‘certifying’ class. Plumbers registered in the certifying class have advanced skills and can be self-employed and responsible for supervising others. 

At Secondary School, NCEA Level 2 in English, maths, science, technical drawing and/or workshop technology is useful. Year 11 and 12 students can also learn more about the construction industry and gain relevant skills by doing a National Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trades.

The qualities it takes to be a good plumber include patience, good communication skills, a methodical nature, someone who pays attention to detail and isn't afraid of hard work. The team at Papamoa-based Eco Plumber Gas are all New Zealand qualified, registered Tauranga plumbers and gasfitters.