Plumbers install water, gas and waste disposal systems in homes, factories and other buildings.

When installing new systems or modernising old ones, plumbers take measurements and make drawings to show where pipes will connect with outside lines and where fixtures will be placed. They then measure, bend, cut and thread pipes according to the drawings. Pipes are joined by bolting, brazing, gluing, screwing or soldering them together.

In some cases, plumbers also repair roof gutters. When doing repair or maintenance work, plumbers must locate the cause of problems and replace broken or worn out valves and clear pipes and waste traps. Qualified plumbers may own their own businesses and employ and supervise other plumbers.

Plumbers may work at considerable heights on the upper floors of office buildings under construction, or in old, dark and damp basements in need of drain repairs. The actual setting depends on the type of work, the type of employer and the skill and experience of the plumber. Overtime and night emergency work are sometimes required.


  • plumbing and pipe-fitting contractors engaged in constructing new buildings

  • plumbing contractors who do repair, alteration or modernisation work

  • government departments

  • public utilities

  • shipbuilding or aircraft construction companies

  • self-employment, with enough experience, can practise this trade on a private basis or start own business

Getting Started

  • learn to do small repair jobs around your home

  • try to obtain holiday or part-time work in a hardware store to become familiar with the tools and equipment used by plumbers

  • try to obtain holiday or part time work as a plumber’s helper

  • consult the Registrar of Manpower Training concerning learnership programmes that may be available in your area.


Africa Institutional Management Services (AIMS), Boland TVET College, Coastal KZN TVET College, College of Cape Town , Eastcape Midlands TVET College, Ekurhuleni West TVET College, False Bay College, Lovedale Public TVET College, Motheo TVET College, Muhabura Integrated Polytechnic College, Namibia College of Open Learning (NAMCOL), Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT), New Era College, Okakarara Vocational Training Centre, Rundu Vocational Training Centre, Tshwane North TVET College, Valombola Vocational Training Centre (VVTC), Vuselela TVET College, Windhoek Vocational Training Centre, YMCA Comprehensive Institute, Zambezi Vocational Training Centre


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