There could be several reasons why you want to start a plumbing business in Australia. Maybe you are a US expat or you have been in Australia for a while, and now you want to start a business.
The plumbing business is in constant demand in Australia with over 29,000 operating businesses and 70,533 industry employees. Successful plumbers in Australia are highly skilled and operate with the necessary licenses obtainable in their respective fields. To begin a career or own a plumbing company in Australia is not the same as elsewhere even in the United States.
In Australia, each state manages its own licensing. The country governs the plumbing industry at the state level, not the national level as observed in the US. Before you trade in the industry, you must identify with the plumbing regulatory body in charge of the state you intend to operate from.
Below are the regulatory bodies issuing plumbing licenses in each state:
- The Department of Infrastructure and Planning in Queensland
- Fair Trading in New South Wales
- Plumbers Licensing Board or Office of Energy in Western Australia
- Workplace Standards in Tasmania
- Plumbing Industry Commission in Victoria
- Office of Consumer and Business Affairs in South Australia
- Plumbers and Drainers Licensing Board or WorkSafe in Northern Territory
- Planning and Land Authority in the Australian Capital Territory
What Are the Basic Requirements for Starting a Plumbing Business in Australia?
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Plumbers willing to take up the trade as a career must have completed the 4 years apprenticeship program under a licensed professional, and obtained certificate III in Plumbing. Certification IV is also available for those who want to go the extra mile in the industry.
Those who intend to do more specialized plumbing services like mechanical service or gas fitting engineering also need to obtain the required qualifications for that discipline. Possessing these certifications is a rule in Australia to trade legally and to operate independently as a master in the trade.
What is the Average Earning of a Qualified Plumber in Australia?
Several factors can affect the earnings of a plumber. An understanding of these factors can help you maximize your business profits.
Your experience, business location, quality of work, and the type of service you render are the key factors that can affect your earnings as a plumber. However, the average income of a standard plumber is between $70 and $100 per hour. If a plumber works for 6 hours per day, he is likely to take home $420 – $600 per day.
A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Set Up a Plumbing Business in Australia
Follow these easy steps to start your plumbing business in Australia:
1. Create a plumbing business plan
A plumbing business plan will help you identify everything you need and intend to achieve in the business. There are enough businesses in the mix already, so to become successful as well, you need to plan.
The business plan is a document that elucidates all the aspects of your plumbing startup. It captures the market, competitors, plumbing specifications, financing options, pricing, and the like. Every serious-minded entrepreneur would prioritize their business plan. This is because it is a key factor in sourcing funds from angel investors ready to fund your business.
2. Decide on the business structure
You have to register your plumbing business as a sole trader if you intend to work for yourself. The sole trader structure involves a low start-up cost. You can upscale sole proprietorship in the future to either a partnership or LLC structure.
The partnership structure involves working with one or two other plumbers or non-plumbers. You all would come together to share resources, skill sets, and startup capital. The next business structure you might want to consider is a limited liability company (LLC).
The LLC structure is best suitable for plumbers who receive huge contracts and aim to do bigger stuff in the future. In addition, settling as a company reduces the financial risk involved and opens the business to better opportunities.
3. Choose your business location
Choosing a business location is an important decision you must make. The location of your plumbing business can affect your earnings in Australia. Hence, you want to choose an area with a large population for your business. Cities like Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane can do the numbers trick for your business.
4. Obtain the necessary licenses
Plumbing is a highly licensed enterprise in Australia. Each state regulates its own licensing. There is the contractor license which you also need to establish your business. Some states require only a trade certificate to obtain a contractor license but other states require much more. You may want to speak with a business registration attorney in Australia before proceeding.
5. Register your business in Australia
At this stage, you are making your business official. You need to register your business name with The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) with strict business name compliance.
Upon fulfilling the required legal documents, you can proceed to obtain your Australian Company Number (ACN) or Australian Business Number (ABC) depending on your business structure. Trademark registration and filing of other necessary paperwork are also fulfilled at this juncture.
6. Acquire your plumbing tools
Depending on the specification of your plumbing business, you may need to start with the essentials like power and hand tools. These hand tools include plungers, drain snakes, saws, drills, press fitters, etc. Don’t forget your diagnostic tools, consumables, and your office materials as you approach your launch date.
7. Purchase your plumbing insurance policy
Just as plumbing in Australia observes strict licensing and certification, so is the insurance policy too. Starting your plumbing business without undertaking any insurance coverage is not advisable. An adequate plumbing insurance policy covers unforeseen circumstances and challenges you might encounter in the business.
Some of the prevailing challenges you would need insurance coverage for in your plumbing business are:
- Bodily injuries
- Fire outbreak
- Property damage
- Theft and accidents
There are several insurance options you can combine to safeguard your business. They will help to protect your business against damage or loss while you concentrate on improving and meeting the daily demands of your clients.
8. Promote and market your plumbing business
Promotion is important for your plumbing business to rise in Australia. Getting contracts can be very competitive. But once you have settled your online and offline marketing strategies, you stand a chance of getting recognition.
The best SEO strategy for plumbers is to create well-optimized articles that answer the top questions that people are looking for on search engines. This will help to increase the visibility of your plumbing business when your target audience goes on search engines looking for local plumbers near them. You may need to learn search engine optimization to understand how it works.
Trends and New Technologies for Smart Plumbing Business Owners
There are new trends and technologies surrounding water management, conditioning, treatment systems, and intelligent customer experience and smart plumbers are beginning to lay hold on them. The Internet of Things, machine learning, virtual reality, and blockchain technology are increasingly popular methods to tackle plumbing issues and the challenges plumbers face in the business.
Acquiring systems that improve installation, detect leakages and perform adequate monitoring will help plumbing business owners provide effective and efficient plumbing services and satisfy customers. These innovative technologies aid work by saving time, energy, and money and generally simplify the job process of plumbers.
Do you have any challenges boggling your mind about starting your own successful plumbing business? Share with us in the comments section and we can help you find a solution to it.