Plumber, Gasfitter and Drainlayer
Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
5d ago

Pay for plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers depends on experience.

  • Apprentice / trainee plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers usually start on the training or adult minimum wage. This increases as they progress through their apprenticeship, gain skills and unit standards, and take on more responsibility.
  • Newly licensed plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers usually earn $25 an hour.
  • Licensed and experienced plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers can earn between $28 and $38 an hour.
  • People specialising as drainlayers typically earn a little less than plumbers and gasfitters.

    Source : Careers Directorate Tertiary Education Commission research, 2017.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers may do some or all of the following :

  • measure, cut and shape pipes
  • install, join and seal pipes and fittings
  • install and maintain hot water and heating systems such as hot water tanks, central heating, gas heaters and heat pumps
  • lay or repair drains, and get consents from local councils to do the work
  • install and repair roofing pipes and spouting
  • replace or repair damaged or blocked water, sewerage and gas pipes
  • install fixtures such as gas stoves, toilets, basins, septic tanks and air-conditioning systems
  • run their own business.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers need to have :

  • knowledge of plumbing and drainage materials and methods
  • skill in interpreting designs, plans and instructions
  • knowledge of building and safety regulations
  • knowledge of the Building Code in relation to plumbing, gasfitting and drainage
  • soldering and welding skills
  • some knowledge of electrical systems.
  • Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers who are self-employed also need business skills.

    Working conditions

    Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers :

  • usually work regular business hours, but may be required to work evenings and weekends, or be on call
  • work in homes, offices, commercial and industrial buildings, schools, hospitals, and on building sites and farms
  • may work outdoors in all weathers, and in conditions that can be dirty, messy, smelly, cold, wet, hot or confined
  • travel locally to job sites.
  • Entry requirements

    To become a plumber, gasfitter or drainlayer, you need to :

  • complete an apprenticeship and gain a New Zealand Certificate (Level 4) in plumbing and gasfitting or drainlaying
  • be registered with the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board.
  • A driver's licence is also useful.

    The Skills Organisation oversees plumber, gasfitter and drainlayer apprenticeships. ATT and Masterlink employ, train and place apprentices.

    Secondary education

    NCEA Level 2 in English, maths, physics, design and visual communication, and construction and mechanical technologies is useful.

    Year 11 and 12 students can learn more about the construction industry and gain relevant skills by doing a National Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trades (Levels 1 and 2) through the BConstructive programme.

    Year 11 to 13 students can also gain industry experience through programmes such as Gateway.

    These programmes may help you gain an apprenticeship, but do not reduce the amount of time it takes to complete it.

    Personal requirements

    Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers need to be :

  • patient and accurate, with an eye for detail
  • safety-conscious
  • skilled in using and caring for equipment
  • good communicators
  • organised, able to follow instructions and skilled at problem-solving
  • able to work independently or in a team.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers includes :

  • work as a drainlayer's assistant
  • work in the building or heating and ventilation industries
  • welding and sheet metal work
  • work as a boiler maker.
  • Physical requirements

    Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers need to be fit, healthy and reasonably strong, as some lifting is involved. They need to be comfortable working at heights or in small confined spaces.


    Plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers must be registered with the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board and hold a practising licence.

    Interested in exploring this job further?

    Careers New Zealand is working with the New Zealand Institute of Building (NZIOB) to investigate the demand for a matchmaking scheme to help secondary school students easily explore jobs in the construction sector.

    To help us understand the demand for this proposed scheme, please take part in a two-minute survey.

    Add to favorites
    Remove from favorites
    My Email
    By clicking on "Continue", I give neuvoo consent to process my data and to send me email alerts, as detailed in neuvoo's Privacy Policy . I may withdraw my consent or unsubscribe at any time.
    Application form