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New Zealand Certificate in Plumbing

If you want to become a registered Plumber, this certificate is for you. In this programme you’ll study part time while working as an apprentice towards your industry registration, with Unitec and your employer.

249 (2.075 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
February, April, July, or October
4 years part-time

Programme overview

Undertake this certificate and through classroom learning and practical sessions you’ll gain the knowledge, skills and experience required to gain registration as a Plumber. 

The Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlyers Board advise that you should take this programme in conjunction with the New Zealand Certificate in Drainlaying. As plumbing apprentices are now required to also complete both the plumbing and drainlaying apprenticeship qualifications - this is the new New Zealand industry standard. When you apply for this programme, we'll contact you about working towards both qualifications.


  • Take this programme in conjunction with other apprenticeship programmes including the New Zealand Certificate in Drainlaying (recommended) and the New Zealand Certificate in Gasfitting
  • Successful completion of this programme will help you gain your full registration to be a Tradesman Plumber
  • On-campus training is set up in block courses to minimise work disruption
  • This programme is a managed apprenticeship, this means we'll assist in your success and visit you on-site
  • This programme is a managed apprenticeship, this means we'll assist in your success with on-site visits
  • Much of our teaching material utilises familiar industry product with leading manufacturers and merchants
  • Workshop learning takes place in our new trades building, purpose built for trades training 
  • Learn from our experienced qualified academic trades staff 

Qualification pathway

To become registered and gain your qualification you will need to:

  1. Successfully complete this New Zealand Certificate in Plumbing programme of study - Note: the Plumbing Gasfitting and Drainlaying Board (PGDB) also recommend you complete the New Zealand Certificate in Drainlaying for your drainlayers registration (the new industry standard is for apprentices to study drainlaying in conjuction with plumbing)
  2. And pass the PGDB exam
  3. Then apply for your tradesman license and registration. See the PGDB site for more details about the exam, licensing, and registration. 
  4. Once you have your registration, you may then graduate and receive your New Zealand Certificate in Plumbing qualification.

Completion of the New Zealand Certificate in Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying (Level 3) is an advantage as it will help you prepare for study in this field but it is not a requirement. Additionally, some credits gained from the Level 3 programme will contribute to this Level 4 programme.


Find out about plumbing, drainlaying and/or gasfitting apprenticeships at Unitec.

Admission requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:

1.    Be employed in the workplace as an apprentice/trainee Plumber and complete the Trainee Acknowledgement Form; AND

2.    Be able to hold a current drainlaying limited trainee certificate or licence as issued under the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Act (2006); AND

3.    If English is not your first language, you need one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University Entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

Don’t meet the requirements? We also accept:

  • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for discretionary admission

For more information, download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

Courses Credits Aim
Water Supply Systems (CIBC4149) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to select, install, commission and maintain water supply systems.