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Plumbing Job Skills

Plumbing Job Overview Today's plumbing jobs are more than just fitting and installing pipes and fixtures. Today's ...

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Plumbing Job Overview

Today's plumbing jobs are more than just fitting and installing pipes and fixtures. Today's plumbers use complex computer systems to design fire and irrigation systems, fuel delivery systems and systems to safely deliver compressed air and medical gasses. Some plumbers are employed by construction companies or large plumbing contractors; however, about one in five elect to be self-employed in business for themselves. For this reason, plumbers must master both the technical skills to perform their trade as well as the business and financial skills needed to run a small business. Some typical tasks a plumber might perform on a daily basis include:

  • Reading plans and drawings to determine the layout of water supply, venting and waste systems
  • Installing and repairing industrial, commercial and residential plumbing systems and fixtures
  • Diagnosing and correcting problems in plumbing systems and appliances
  • Soldering pipes and fittings together
  • Testing pipes and systems for leaks
  • Preparing plans and cost estimates for various projects and repairs
  • Ensuring compliance with building regulations and safety standards
  • Creating openings in walls and floors to accommodate the installation of fittings and pipes
  • Keeping accurate records about work performed, costs incurred, and expenditures

Given their unique training and skill set, some plumbers choose to pursue fire control systems jobs or other maintenance jobs.

Plumbing Job Education Requirements

The path to becoming a plumber in Canada requires at least four years of secondary education, with an emphasis in math. Following graduation, aspiring plumbers must find a union or employer willing to take on an apprentice. After 8,000+ hours (a little over four years) of combined on-the-job training and classroom education, plumbers must take and pass the Certification of Qualification examination and the Red Seal Plumbing exam. These qualifications enable a plumber to seek employment in any province or territory.

Plumbing Job Market

Plumbing jobs fell off sharply during the recent recession and have only slightly rebounded as trends in construction have improved. Growth is expected to increase slightly in the coming years; however, strict regulations governing entry into the plumbing profession continue to make it difficult to break into the field.

Plumbing Job Salary Information

The average annual salary for a plumber is C$45,000 to C$60,000. Hourly wages range from a low of C$12 per hour in Prince Edward Island to a high of C$39.60 in Edmonton - Alberta. Plumbers who advance to become plumbing contractors can make a significantly higher annual salary.

  1. Plumbing