Explore your options

Train to be a plumber, gasfitter or drainlayer at Unitec and it’s like working on real-life plumbing and gasfitting jobs. You won’t be let loose straightaway – you’ll be supervised by our experienced tutors who have lots of years in the industry and lots of patience.

You’ll carry out tasks using the proper equipment in our Plumbing and Gasfitting Training and Assessment Centre, and in the specialist gas labs with commercial and domestic appliances. Then there’s the hydraulics lab with a glass piping system to demonstrate the flow of wastewater systems - the only one of its kind in Australasia.

And if you’re already working in the industry and need to get qualified, Unitec offers a range of short courses to prepare you for the New Zealand Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board certifying exams.

Programmes and study path

Start with a programme that suits your qualifications and/or experience, then progress to a level that achieves your goals.
PROGRAMMELEVELDURATIONCAREER OPTIONS
Certificate in Applied Technology (Plumbing and Gasfitting)4Full-time for one yearApprentice plumber and gasfitter
National Certificate in Drainlaying4Part-time evening classes for 48 weeksCertifying drainlayer, Licensed drainlayer
National Certificates in Plumbing and GasfittingLevel 4, 219 credits Plumbing
Level 4, 171 credits Gasfitting
1.0 EFTS for the first three years and 0.5 EFTS for the last year which is 6 months long
Three block courses of two weeks per year for 3 years
Two block courses of two weeks per year for 1 year
Certifying plumber and gasfitter, Licensed plumber and gasfitter

Short courses

Start with a programme that suits your qualifications and/or experience, then progress to a level that achieves your goals.
Short coursesDURATION 
Associated Tradesperson (Plumber, Gasfitter and Plumber/Gasfitter)23 daysThis short course covers the theory and practical requirements, including practical assessment, as set out by the Electricity Regulations and is designed for registered plumbers and gasfitters who...
Backflow Testers for Non-License Holders3 daysFollowing several requests from territorial authorities, valve manufacturers, plumbers and others within the plumbing industry, this intensive 40-hour Backflow Prevention course has been developed to address the...
Backflow Survey RecertificationThis short course is offered to people who have: Successfully completed the 3 day Backflow Survey short course mentioned above, and Undertaken a minimum of 10 surveys over a three-year period...
Drainlaying Certifying Refresher CourseThis two day refresher course is designed for people intending to sit the Certifying examinations set by the New Zealand Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board.
Licensing Refresher (Drainlaying)This two day refresher course is designed for people intending to sit their Registered Exams held by the New Zealand Plumbers, Gasfitters & Drainlayers Board.
Licensing Refresher (Gasfitting)This two day refresher course is designed for people intending to sit their Registered Exams held by the New Zealand Plumbers, Gasfitters & Drainlayers Board.
Licensing Refresher (Plumbing)This two day refresher course is designed for people intending to sit their Registered Exams held by the New Zealand Plumbers, Gasfitters & Drainlayers Board.
Backflow Testers RecertificationThis short course is offered to people who have successfully completed the 4 day Backflow Cross-connection short course mentioned above and is designed to give you a through...
Craftsman B8 monthsIf you are a NZ resident registered plumber and/or gasfitter with two year's work experience and want to increase your level of responsibility within your employment, we recommend you...
Craftsman B Refresher - PlumbingThis two day refresher course is designed for people intending to sit the Certifying examinations set by the New Zealand Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board.
Craftsman C Refresher - GasThis two day refresher course is designed for people intending to sit the Certifying examinations set by the New Zealand Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board.
Backflow Survey2 daysThis advanced course is available to NZ residents employed in the plumbing or water reticulation industry, and is designed to provide the professional skills required to become a ...
Backflow Testers3 daysFollowing several requests from territorial authorities, valve manufacturers, plumbers and others within the plumbing industry, this intensive 40-hour Backflow Prevention course has been developed to address the...

Industry connections

Unitec has strong ties with the plumbing and gasfitting industries. There are lots of industry experts on our advisory committee who make sure that what you learn is exactly what you’ll need for your career. Unitec is the only tertiary provider in Auckland that offers both theory and practical courses in drainlaying that lead you to become a registered drainlayer. The National Certificate in Drainlaying follows the syllabus required by the NZ Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board.

Apprenticeships

How do I get into an apprenticeship?

To become a qualified plumber or gasfitter you need to complete four years of theory and practical work experience while you work as an apprentice. If you’re just starting out in the industry, you could take the Certificate in Applied Technology (Plumbing and Gasfitting) to learn the theory before you start your apprenticeship. Most employers in the plumbing and gasfitting industries prefer apprentices to have studied before they start work.

Can I get cross-credits towards my apprenticeship?

Yes, you can cross-credit what you've learnt in the Certificate in Applied Technology (Plumbing and Gasfitting) towards a selection of National Certificate in Plumbing and Gasfitting unit standards. You'll earn one year's credit towards your apprenticeship. After two more years of part-time study and work experience, you can apply to the NZQA for registration.

What if I'm already working in the industry?

If you're already in an apprenticeship, you can keep earning while you study the National Certificate in Plumbing and Gasfitting. You'll need to come to three two-week training courses a year at Unitec, and do the practical components in your workplace. Once you've completed all unit standards and registration examinations, you can apply to the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board for registration.

Māori and Pacific scholarships

If you are Māori or Pacific, aged 18 to 34, and you want to train as a plumber, gasfitter or drainlayer, Unitec has a scholarship for you. We have 70 Māori and Pacific Trades Scholarships up for grabs which cover your tuition fees for selected Certificate in Applied Technology programmes. You will need to cover any additional course costs.

Find out more about the Māori and Pacific Trades Scholarships.