How To Become A Plumber

Thursday, 1 April, 2021 - 10:34
Sakinah Samuels
How To Become A Plumber

Thinking of becoming a plumber? Here's what you need to know. A plumber's job is to usually install and repair pipes that supply water and gas and carry waste away from, homes and businesses.


Becoming a plumber is a riveting career choice and offers many opportunities in South Africa. 

Here's all you need to know about becoming a plumber.

What does a Plumber do?

A plumber installs and repairs pipes that supply water and gas to, as well as carry waste away from, homes and businesses. They also install plumbing fixtures such as bathtubs, showers, sinks, toilets and appliances (including dishwashers and washing machines).

What are the working conditions of a Plumber?

Plumbers work in factories, homes, businesses, and other places where there are pipes and related systems. Plumbers lift heavy materials, climb ladders, and work in tight spaces. Some plumbers travel to worksites every day.

What are the duties and tasks of a Plumber?

  • Installing, repairing, and maintaining pipes, valves, fittings, drainage systems, and fixtures in homes and businesses;
  • Collaborating with general contractors, electricians, and other construction professionals;
  • Following building plans and blueprints;
  • Responding to, diagnosing, and resolving plumbing emergencies; and
  • Performing routine inspections of plumbing and drainage systems.

What skills and abilities are required to become a Plumber?

  • Good communication skills to be able to speak with customers to gain an understanding of their plumbing problems;
  • Excellent problem solving skills;
  • Attention to detail and ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously;
  • Proficiency in basic mathematics and conversion of measurements; and
  • Must always be punctual.

Where can I study to become a Plumber?

TVET Colleges offer courses to become a plumber. Through these programmes, you can develop the skills you need and become qualified. 

Most plumbers learn their skills through apprenticeship programmes, where they get formal and practical on-the-job training. To fully qualify as a plumber, you need to take the industry Trade Test and then register with the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB). You will be able to train at an institution and get qualified.

You will need to get your National Certificate (Vocational) in Building and Construction: Plumbing. If you would like to qualify with a specialised NQF level 4 certificate that will enable you to find relevant employment once qualified, the National Certificate (Vocational) is for you.

Student will need to attain artisan status by successfully completing a trade test, after the prescribed work-based (on-site) experience accredited by the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA). Only the CETA has the authority to approve your work-based experience.

Visit the TVET Colleges website for more on South Africa's TVET Colleges.

Private institutions such as AIE offer plumbing and Unisa is one University which offers plumbing courses as well.

What should I do if I want to study Plumbing?

  • Contact your nearest TVET College or University to enquire about entrance requirements
  • Visit Plumbing training centres
  • Contact DHET Career Development Services for free career advice on 086 999 0123 or
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