Plumbing pathways in the Territory

Unlike other (traditional) trades, Plumbing has often been a very underestimated profession which may be due to some of the more unappealing tasks involved.

Repairing pipes, drains, guttering, drainage, gasfitting and let’s not forget the clogged toilets and sewerage!

Despite these unpleasant duties, according to National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), between 2015 to 2018, 750 learners were enrolled across Plumbing services qualifications in the Northern Territory (NT). A surprisingly large number considering the time involved in becoming a specialised Plumber, Drainer, Gasfitter and/ or Roof Plumber.

While there are other nationally recognised pathways, the Certificate III in Plumbing, Certificate III in Roof Plumbing and Certificate IV in Plumbing Services are all delivered locally in the Northern Territory as entry into the Plumbing sector.

To gain recognition and progress as a ‘Journeyman’, ‘Advanced Tradesman’, ‘Certifying Plumber’ and/ or ‘Gasfitter’ in the NT, each of the following stages will need to be completed and considered.

 Journeyman in the NT:

Completion of a relevant qualification and associated hours (depending on the industry stream chosen)
Must currently be employed in the plumbing sector

A registered Journeyman may carry out plumbing/ draining work under the general direction of an Advanced Tradesman, as well as supervise apprentices, however is unable to contract for plumbing/ draining work in his own right.

Advanced Tradesman in the NT:

Two years post-trade work experience in plumbing/ draining while holding an unconditional Journeyman registration
Ensure completion of specialised units of competency in drainage, sanitary and water streams, as well as core competencies

An Advanced Tradesman may carry out plumbing/ draining work in their own right and is able to direct and supervise apprentices, journeymen and trades assistants, however are unable to certify work.

Certifying Plumber in the NT:

Must be registered with the NT Building Practitioners Board

A Certifying Plumber is able to carry out plumbing/ draining work in their own right, is able to direct and supervise apprentices, journeymen and trades assistants, as well as certify work.

Gasfitter in the NT:

There are four specialised licensing categories for a gasfitter, General gasfitter, Gasfitter type B – appliance, Provisional gasfitter and Auto gasfitter. Each category requires:

Specific practical experience

Completion of sector-specific qualifications and/ or units of competency
Must be recognised and approved by NT Worksafe

A Provisional Gasfitter must work under the direct supervision of someone who holds their General Gasfitters Licence.

If you are wanting more information about apprenticeship pathways into this sector, please go to Australian Apprenticeships Support Network NT or contact Industry Skills Advisory Council NT (ISACNT).



Australian Apprenticeship Support Network NT
Charles Darwin University
National Centre for Vocational Education Research
NT Building Practitioners Board
NT Plumbers and Drainers Licencing Board