8 Ways to earn money as a plumber
If you know your way around pipes, read this guide to start earning with your skills.Browse plumbing tasks
Those interested in starting a career in plumbing may have questions about how to become a plumber. Meanwhile, those who have been in the trade for a while may be curious about how they can boost their revenue. Ultimately, there are various ways to maximize your income as a plumber regardless of where you are in your career.
Here, we’ll discuss the basics of the plumbing trade—salary, demand, outlook—and outline some ideas on how to make more money as a plumber.
Is plumbing a good career in Australia?
You can make good money as a plumber—but just how much do plumbers earn? The average plumber’s salary is $80,000 annually, though it also depends on your experience level and where you practise.
However, are plumbers in demand? Plumbing is a perennial service, and demand is expected to grow significantly (8.6%) in the next few years, providing many opportunities in the trade.
How to register as a plumber
Contractors deemed suitable to carry out plumbing work in Australia are issued licences by the Plumbers Licensing Board. To become a licensed plumber, you will need to complete a Vocational Education and Training Institution (VET) course to secure a Certificate III in Plumbing. This course typically includes an apprenticeship for practical training.
You will also need a Construction Induction Card (White Card) that will permit you to work on construction sites. Additionally, you will need to contact your state or territory for the required licences and accreditation, as these vary. To conduct specialised work, you may need to complete further certification—such as a Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services.
Ways to earn more as a plumber
With the right tools and strategies, you can give your income as a plumber a significant boost. This also depends on where you are in your career. We’ll begin with some tips for those just starting, then discuss ways to maximise your revenue—including starting and growing your plumbing business.
1. Become a journeyperson
After an apprenticeship and obtaining your plumbing licence, the first step to earning more as a plumber is to become a journeyperson. While requirements may vary per state, generally, you need to have knowledge about basic maintenance, installation of different plumbing systems, and federal and state regulations.
As a journeyperson, you can expect to make an average of $52.44 per hour.
2. Choose a specialisation
As a plumber, there are a few areas you can choose to specialise in: commercial, service and repair, residential, water supply, sanitary and drainage, hot water systems, and emergencies. The field you choose can have a significant impact on the revenue you make.
For instance, commercial plumbing—which deals with businesses, high-rise buildings, and public spaces—provides many growth opportunities with sustained demand. Meanwhile, residential plumbing is directly affected by consumer home-buying behaviour. Residential plumbing is expected to grow as home-buying remains strong.
3. Upskill constantly
Regardless of your experience, consider it a must to keep studying your trade to provide high-quality services that set you apart from competitors.
Participate in training or self-study new techniques and skills. Try to be well-versed in technology that will help your trade. You may also look beyond plumbing to broaden your skillset. For instance, you can explore niches like construction management or water conservation to fill these specialised needs, or study people management to attain leadership roles within your company.
4. Be equipped with materials
Consider investing in quality tools and equipment to help you provide better services. Always ensure you have all the tools you need to finish a job to minimise downtime or time spent searching stores for materials. Not only will you be able to use your hours efficiently, but it will also earn you points with your clients.
5. Grow your client base
The best way to advertise your services is through testimonials of satisfied clients. Leverage the power of referrals and networking to grow your connections. Set up a loyalty system—for example, you can grant discounts on your services to clients who make successful referrals.
Also, you can advertise your services through traditional means like giving out flyers or putting up posters. Finally, ensure your business is easily visible to clients near you by creating a Google My Business page—you can urge your clients to post reviews.
6. Offer other discounts or promotions
There are various strategies you can adopt to promote your plumbing services—you just have to be creative. For example, you can give new customers a 10% discount. Or, while running a job, you can provide additional services like a water quality test or heat inspection free of charge. Not only will you make a good impression on your clients, but it will also set up opportunities to provide additional services.
7. Market your services online
You’ll want to be sure any potential clients can find you easily when they search online. In addition to a Google My Business page, consider establishing a presence on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and even YouTube, or advertising your services on sites like Airtasker. Build a website that accurately represents your plumbing business and all the services you offer.
These strategies will not only increase your leads, but they will also build awareness around your brand and lead you to more potential opportunities.
8. Add special products or services
Apart from providing full-service plumbing, look for services or products that could benefit your clients while setting you apart from other plumbing companies.
For instance, companies might offer leak detection or repair, but you’ll want to offer both services to provide the complete package. You might also want to throw in cleaning services for every repair job.
Additionally, stay up to date on products or technology that you can offer clients on top of your usual services. For example, while working on a residential job, tell your clients about a product that could solve their problems and help them cut costs.
Increasing your revenue as a plumber
Because of consistent and steady demand, plumbers make a decent income. And, whether you’re new in the trade or have several years under your belt, there are always ways to supplement what you currently make. It is possible to get rich as a plumber—consider the ideas we’ve listed above to get your plumbing service up and running.
Remember, to genuinely grow your plumbing services, it’s a must to focus on quality. Find ways to add value, build your network, and win more leads on Airtasker to be on your way to better income.
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Frequently asked questions
The field you choose can have a significant impact on the revenue you make. Here are some areas you can specialise in: commercial, service and repair, residential, water supply, sanitary and drainage, hot water systems, and emergencies.
Commercial plumbing provides many growth opportunities with sustained demand. Meanwhile, residential plumbing is directly affected by consumer home-buying behaviour. Residential plumbing is expected to grow as home-buying remains strong.
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