PGD Apprenticeships

Get qualified in Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying

Thinking about a career in Plumbing, Drainlaying or Gasfitting?

A career in the plumbing industry is a great move. This page looks at the what sorts of jobs you’ll be doing, where your career could go, and what kinds of skills will help you in the trade. In 2018 the industry decided that all plumbers should also be drainlayers

What do plumbers and drainlayers do?

Plumbers do a wide variety of jobs, you could be working on a farm one day or a high rise building the next.

On any given day you could be:

  • Installing hot water cylinders in a multi-million dollar house
  • Doing bathroom renovations, putting in sinks, toilets, showers, and baths
  • Installing pipework in hospitals or aged care facilities
  • Working in an industrial plant installing pipes
  • Installing metal roofing and spouting systems
  • Using a digger to dig trenches
  • Working in an industrial plant installing pipes
  • Installing environmental waste water systems.

Where can I go?

Once you complete your apprenticeship, you’ll be able to apply for the licences you need to get started.

Many plumbers, gasfitters, and drainlayers get some experience under their belt, then start looking at taking on project management or supervising teams.

After a few years, many people get their certifying licence and go on to start their own business, increasing both their freedom and income. They also pay it forward by taking on apprentices of their own.

Others move into roles in the wider industry, such as consulting or teaching. Your plumbing, gasfitting, or drainlaying qualification is also recognised in other countries, so you can take your trade around the world.


Is it for me?

There are some basic skills which will help you go far in your career as a plumber and drainlayer. You should be:

  • Responsible and well-organised
  • Happy working outdoors in any weather
  • Physically fit (the work involves climbing and lifting)
  • Able to present yourself professionally (you’ll be representing your employer and interacting with clients and other people, like members of the public).
  • Good at communicating with others
  • Flexible with working hours, as evening, weekend and on call is sometimes required
  • Comfortable working in places that may be dirty or confined

New trainees who enrol for their first block course from 2022 onwards will start the Version 3 course. Download Your Journey Map.


  • To enrol in the plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying (PGD) Apprenticeships programme you must be employed by a licensed plumbing company and engage with work related to the scope of the training programme.
  • Apprentices must have a certifying plumber, certifying gasfitter and certifying drainlayer supervising them throughout their apprenticeship.
  • Your employer will help you apply for a Trainee Limited Certificate through the Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlayers Board. This certificate needs to be renewed annually and must be kept current throughout your training with ICE.

Learning Structure

There are two main components to your apprenticeship training. The two forms of learning are designed to be done side-by-side:

  • On-job learning – This is made up of the practical skills you will learn at work under the direction of your boss or supervisor. Skills Org will provide you with booklets that have instructions for completing the on-job assessments listed in the NZ Certificate.
  • Off-job learning – This is the industry knowledge, theory and practical skills that ICE will teach you either at our premises or online. You will be required to complete both practical and theory assessments, and to complete some learning before attending block courses.

To complete your apprenticeship, you will need to sit and pass a tradesperson exam. Plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying all have their own tradesperson exams, so depending on which trades you are learning, you may sit up to three exams.

What does it cost?

One of the best things about being an apprentice is that you’re earning while you’re learning. That means you don’t need to fork out for large student loans or work multiple jobs.

Even more good news: Since the New Zealand government is right behind getting people into trades, they help subsidise your training.

This apprenticeship doesn’t have a fixed cost because it’s based around competency. You’ll pay a weekly amount until you complete your apprenticeship.

Please note: ICE makes every effort to ensure that the information provided on this website is accurate and up-to-date. However, the information given, including fees information and the availability and structure of courses, are regularly reviewed and no warranty or representation is given about the ongoing accuracy of such information. All fees may change without notice. ICE does not accept liability for any losses or damage that happen directly or indirectly from you relying on the information on this website.

VERSION 2 – for trainees enrolled before 2022

Version 2 courses have closed for new enrolments.  All trainees who started their first block course prior to 2022 will continue in this version through to completion. Your Journey Map download is here.

If you are interested in our programmes, contact us at

Enquire and Enrol: | 0508 4ICEXL (0508 442 395)

click here to contact us