How to Become a Plumber in South Africa

Becoming a plumber is a great career choice. There are two routes you can take to become a qualified and certified plumber in South Africa. One route is to seek an employer that offers a plumbing apprentice program, or you can enroll in one of the many reputable plumbing training centers’ in the country.

Route 1: Plumbing Apprentice – 3 Years

Minimum requirements: Grade 9 with mathematics. Candidate must be 16 years and older.

The Institute of Plumbers SA (IOPSA) offers a direct route to their member companies that offer apprentice programs. To find a reputable company in your province, click here. Once you have been signed up, you need to find a reputable training provider for the Occupational Qualification – Plumber. Your apprentice provider may prefer a specific training institution and direct you to register there or you can apply to your preferred training provider. It is important to find a training provider nearest to where you live and work. To find a training provider near you, click here. 

You then need to register as a plumbing apprentice with Construction Education Training Authority (CETA). Your chosen training institution will assist you with this registration.

You will be required to carry out your apprentice training program for three years. 30% of your training will be theoretical which is done at your chosen training institution. 70% of your training is practical which is done on the job with your employer.

Route 2: Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL)

Minimum requirements: 3 years plumbing experience plus 19 years and older.

If you qualify you must register for ARPL with an ARPL Ready Training Provider, private college or a public TVET college. Click here to find a certified ARPL training institution near you.

You will need to compile a Proof of Evidence (POE) file and submit it to your chosen ARPL training institution for evaluation. Your will need to submit the following documents as Proof of Evidence:

  1. Qualification Documents – download here
  2. External Assessment Specifications Occupational Document – download here
  3. Curriculum Document – download here

 Once your proof of evidence has been evaluated by your chosen ARPL training provider, you will be assessed to see if you are trade test ready or require additional training. If your training provider confirms that you are trade test ready, they will provide you with a serial number for your trade test.

The trade test is done at the trade test center over two days. You will be required to pass all allocated practical tasks in order to become a Qualified Plumber. Once qualified you must register as a qualified plumber with the Plumbing Industry Registration Board.

Pic credit: Shutterstock

A career in plumbing offers an equal opportunity for all. The industry includes both male and female plumbers who perform equally well in the field. If you want to know more about Plumbing as a career, click here

Good luck, Green Building Africa wishes you all the best! Good plumbers save water and energy for their clients.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

Plumbers have no comebacks when they fit hansgrohe tap and shower mixers with EcoSmart technology.

Hansgrohe Tap Mixer



  1. Good morning
    I am trying to find out some information for my son who is interested in an apprenticeship in HVAC or Plumbing.
    Can you kindly assist me with the requiremenrs needed for these apprenticeships as well as learning facilities in Capetown(Stellenbosch) area where he can register or a company inthis area that offers either of these 2 training.
    With thanks

  2. Masufi Mamoshidi on

    Hi, I am interested in plumbing . I passed my metric in 2006 and I don’t have maths , I obtained introduction to samtract,she rep. I would like to enroll the course.
    Currently I’m in Johannesburg.

    • Green Building Africa - Net Carbon Zero Buildings and Cities on

      Hi Brendan, we are a digital news publication. PLease use links in article to find out more about a career in plumbing. Good Luck, a plumbing trade qualification is in high demand in the market place.

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