What to study after completing a plumbing apprenticeship


This post has been written in collaboration with Careers Australia

One thing I have learned since becoming an adult is you never stop learning. Which sounds like a silly statement to make, but I was naïve to think once I finished my Diploma in Marketing and various other certificates in Public Relations and Advertising when I was 18, I wouldn’t need to study anymore.

Four years later I started my plumbing apprenticeship to complete my certificate III in Plumbing and Drainage and in the last year of my apprenticeship I also studied a Diploma in Fashion Styling via correspondence.

Once a plumbing apprentice finishes their apprenticeship and the extra study required to get their open license, it’s always beneficial to do a business course as most plumbers will want to start their own plumbing business and they have little clue about running their own company.

Even if a plumber chooses to be a sub-contractor, they will still need to run themselves like a business.

With my experience, running a plumbing business is 30% what you know about plumbing and 70% business administration which sadly isn’t learned on the construction site nor through apprenticeship training.

The best courses to enroll after completing a plumbing apprenticeship would be Business Management and Marketing.  These vocational courses will outline the basics of business administration and how to attract and maintain customers to your business.

It’s never been easier to study something new when Careers Australia offers over 70 courses in a variety of fields. There is always something new to study which can help you be marketable and valuable in the workplace.

Apprentices can often think finishing their apprenticeship is the last step, but in many ways it’s only the first step toward achieving a successful career as a plumber.

Other courses to think about when you’ve finished your plumbing apprenticeship are studying other trade courses like Building and Construction or Carpentary. Don’t underestimate the power these courses can give your skill base and business. How marketable could you be to builders and other clients if you could replace two tradies with one – installing cabinetry for a kitchen or bathroom and plumbing it in too.

I’ve always advised you need to zone in on your niche as a plumber and focus on your target market to be a success. Sure there are large plumbing businesses that target a number of different niches and markets but if you plan to run a small business or be a one-man-show, one niche maybe all that you can handle and properly manage with limited overheads.

These days I’ve been learning more about blogging and social media. I have no doubt that new courses will evolve on how to blog and manage social media which is a branch off the marketing stream. Most of what I have learned has come from buying E books, doing online courses, going to Problogger or pretty much winging it on my own. It would have been good  to have had a course available 3 years ago that could have helped me with some basic blogging principles.

What courses have you studied over the years and if you’re an apprentice or a tradey, what courses have you studied to advance your career?

This post has been written in accordance with my disclosure policy.