How to Become a Plumber in British Columbia?


‘plumbing’ is derived from the Latin word’ plumbum,’ which refers to ‘lead.’ So, the New World Encyclopaedia defines ‘plumbing’ as a skilled trade that involves working with pipes, tubes, and fixtures made for the usage and distribution of water. Plumbers are needed in every part of the world. They install, repair, and replace water, sewerage, pumps, radiators, cooling, and heating systems. Plumbers are frequently called to repair boilers, kitchen piping, bathrooms, and toilet sinks in households.

How to Become a Plumber in British Columbia?

If you want to work as a plumber at BC, you must complete plumbing education from a technical college or trade school and gain experience as a trainee or apprentice.

Given below is an overview of the market demand, education, training, and other information regarding the profession of a plumber:

Demand for Professional Plumbers

Unlike in the past, it is not easy to find a plumber for repair or installation work nowadays. Today, there are more aged and retired plumbers than new and young ones. The trade school sector is dwindling with the decreasing number of skilled laborers. The reports produced by The Government Council of BC confirm similar facts.

According to the British Columbia Wage and Salary Survey of 2009, plumbers work 99.8% of the time. BC plumbers are employed full-time and earn an average hourly salary of $30. In other words, a regular plumber has an annual income of $60,000. This makes the profession worth the effort.

Plumbing Education

In 2009, the BC Apprenticeship Student Outcomes Survey of 2008 reported that 83% of the plumbers in BC had acquired education and training from academic institutes. Further, the number of certified professional plumbers escalated to 86% in 2009. Below is a list of trade institutes from which a majority of the plumbers in BC have acquired training and education:

  • Pacific Vocational College
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • Piping Industry Trade School
  • British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • North Island College
  • Camosun College
  • Okanagan College

In BC trade schools, plumbing ranks 3rd among the most preferred programs, following the electricity course and carpentry training.

Plumbing Apprenticeship

Working as a plumbing apprentice strengthens the knowledge obtained at trade school. In BC, aspiring plumbers must register in a mandatory program called ‘Apprenticeship Development.’ You are generally required to pay for the apprenticeship, sign a contractual agreement, and take straightforward, specific certified exams.

The ITA (Industry Training Authority), a government agency, is in alliance with a consortium of educational institutes (Trades Training BC) and provides youngsters with academic courses and career opportunities. Ashworth College and Vancouver Career College are popular specialized trade schools in BC. While Vancouver Career College is a vocational institute, Ashworth College offers distance learning programs. The latter extends a professional diploma in the trade of plumbing.

Ultimately, hard work and certification will undoubtedly lead to success in the plumbing profession.

The following list displays the contact information of the training authorities and institutes of BC:

  • Industry Training Authority (ITA) 1223-13351 Commerce Parkway Richmond, B.C. V6V 2X7 604-214-8700; www.itabc.ca
  • British Columbia Institute of Technology 3700 Willingdon Avenue Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2 Canada 604-456-8100 1-800-667-0676; http://www.bcit.ca/study/programs/4150appr#overview
  • Okanagan College 7000 College Way Vernon, BC V1B 2N5 Canada 250-545-7291 1-800-289-8993; http://www.okanagan.bc.ca/departments/Trades/Trades_Departments___Program_Information/Electro_Mechanical_Building_Trades/Plumbing.html
  • Piping Industry School Vancouver Lower Mainland 1658 Foster’s Way, Annacis Island, Delta, British Columbia, Canada, V3M 6S6. 604-540-1945 877-540-1945; www.piabschool.ca
  • Vancouver Career College Plumber Foundation 2-8392 Young Road Chilliwack, BC V2P 4N9 Canada? (604) 795-9911? (800)820-3549; http://www.trade-schools.ca/vancouver-career-college/plumbing.asp
Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is an experienced economist and financial analyst from Utah. He has been in finance for nearly two decades, having worked as a senior analyst for Wells Fargo Bank for 19 years. After leaving Wells Fargo Bank in 2014, Daniel began a career as a finance consultant, advising companies and individuals on economic policy, labor relations, and financial management. At Nimblefreelancer.com, Daniel writes about personal finance topics, value estimation, budgeting strategies, retirement planning, and portfolio diversification. Read more on Daniel Smith's biography page. Contact Daniel: daniel@nimblefreelancer.com

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