If you have experience as a plumber, Qualify Me! can get you qualified in no time.

Attaining your plumbing licence in NSW isn’t quite as easy as you have been led to believe. Citizens who for whatever reason dropped out of TAFE or did not complete their apprenticeship seem a little confused about the process.

On the other hand, migrants, even if you have all your qualifications and licensed overseas – yep even if you’re a plumber from the UK, there are a few hurdles you’ll have to go through.

In this article, we’re going to cover the various stages of attaining your plumbing licence in New South Wales, Australia as per the Department of Fair Trading’s licensing requirements. Hopefully, you’ll soon be on your merry way to your plumbing contractor licence.

Types of Plumbing Licences

In NSW there are two levels of plumbing licences. They are:

  1. Tradesperson certificate: this licence allows you to work for a licensed plumbing company. You cannot sign off or work on your own; let alone start your own plumbing company.
  2. Contractor Licence: this licence allows you to work as a contractor and start out on your own. You may also consider attaining a company licence and in turn personally applying for a qualified supervisor licence. Either way, you can go out there, market yourself and take on jobs. It’s important to note that you can only work within the plumbing work that you are licensed to do. See plumbing streams below.

Required Qualifications

In order to attain your Tradesperson Certificate, you will require a Certificate III in Plumbing Services. The streams you complete when you complete your qualification are the ones that will show up on your licence. Qualify Me!’s course advisors will walk you through the streams and make sure you choose the right ones.

To attain your plumbing contractor licence you require certain units to be completed from the Certificate IV in Plumbing Services qualification. These qualifications need to line up with DFT’s list of units for each stream. Again, a Qualify Me! course advisor will walk you through the process.

Plumbing Streams

There are a number of streams that fall under the plumbing licence. You will need to satisfy both experienced and academic requirements for each stream in order to have them added to your licence. The streams available are:

  • Water plumbing
  • Water plumbing – fire protection systems; fire sprinkler systems; urban irrigation
  • Draining work
  • Gasfitting work
  • LP gasfitting work (for restricted LP gasfitting work)
  • Advanced LP gasfitting work (for unrestricted LP gasfitting work)
  • Roof Plumbing

Who do I need to see?

Depending on your current situation, there may be a couple of places you need to visit in order to get your full licence. These include:

  • State Training Services (for your Craft Certificate)
  • Qualify Me! (to help you attain required qualifications)
  • Office of Fair Trading (to apply for and pick up your licence)

State Training Services/ VTT

If you started/completed your apprenticeship but never received your Craft Certificate it is definitely worthwhile calling State Training Services (STS) on 13 28 11. These guys will be happy to help you find your craft certificate and send it out to you. This is not a mandatory requirement for Fair Trading licensing and may not be required.

It is a best practice that you do apply for a Craft Certificate, and at Qualify Me! we will encourage applicants to do so. If you have not started your apprenticeship in NSW, the Vocational Training Tribunal may assess photos and paperwork that you submit to them proving that you have relevant experience and are experienced in the trade to the standard required for a craftsman.

Qualify Me!

As an education facilitator, our service extends to recognise your skills and prior learning qualifying you with well-reputed RTOs in the industry. This way you can be certain you won’t have any headaches throughout your licensing process. To attain your Certificate III in Plumbing Services Qualify Me! will help you compile a portfolio of evidence of your previous experience as a plumber, including photos, videos, and references from your licensed supervisor(s). You will then have a competency conversation with one of our friendly assessors.

For your Certificate IV in Plumbing Services, you will need to complete a number of modules related to the streams you would like to work in. Get in touch with Qualify Me course advisors and be ready to become one of the certified plumbers in Australia.

Office of Fair Trading

Once you have received the required qualifications, if you are using an ABN you can attend your local Service NSW office and apply for hand in your individual licence application form. For company licensing you will need to hand in a company licence application form and a Nominated Supervisor Form. Fair Trading requires contractors to show their experience on a referee statement proving that they have more than 2 years of industry experience in all streams of plumbing that you are applying for.

Fair Trading will generally require you to have worked as a bona fide employee under a qualified licensed supervisor for the duration of your experience.

What if I’m a qualified plumber from overseas & want to get a plumbing license in NSW, Australia

Even if you are fully qualified overseas, your papers and experience are pretty much useless as far as licensing in NSW is concerned. You will not be able to apply for a licence directly.

However, from an academic perspective, your papers and experience are very useful! Qualify Me! for example, can assess your overseas plumbing qualifications, and your local experience and recognise your prior learning, skills, and experience. Once assessed you will be trained in whatever gaps you may have, upskilled with Australian standards and regulations, and awarded the relevant qualification you require for your licence.

An example of common training for blokes from the UK is oxy-acetylene welding and cutting – you guys simply don’t do it over there!

For further information, please give us a call at 1800 765 295 or submit the website contact form

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