Plumber Apprenticeship


Plumbers install, alter and repair the systems that keep our water and waste disposal systems running, and that provide many of the basic amenities we rely on day-to-day. They read and interpret blueprints and project specifications. Plumbers also select the type and size of pipe required for a project and measure, shape and join pipes according to the appropriate specifications. They sometimes alter structures to accommodate the pipes. Plumber is a nationally designated trade under the Red Seal program.

Once pipes are in place, plumbers test for leaks. After installation, they maintain pipes to prevent or repair leaks. Some Plumbers also braze and weld metal. A Plumber's specialization is based on his or her knowledge of the substance being carried. For example, the handling of water is very different from steam, or chemicals, or natural gas. Also, residential plumbing is distinct from industrial or commercial work.

Plumbers often work in the construction industry, laying new pipe for buildings or doing extensive renovations to large buildings. Residential Plumbers install and repair plumbing fixtures, such as bathtubs, showers, sinks, and toilets, and appliances such as dishwashers and water heaters.

In this 4 year apprenticeship, the apprentice works in industry and attends school each year. Level 1-3 are each a 6 week block and level 4 is an 8 week block.  Both the on the job training and school training prepare the apprentice to earn the Certificate of Qualification as a Journeyperson.

Admission Requirements 

  • You must be a registered apprentice within BC.
  •  Persons wishing to become apprentices must be employed with a business that employs a qualified journeyperson plumber. The Industry Training Authority (ITA) sets up a registration for apprenticeship between the apprentice, the employer and the ITA.

Program Outline

Level 1 (6 weeks)

  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Safety
  • Tools
  • Pipes, Valves and Fittings
  • Rigging
  • Cutting, Soldering and Brazing
  • Drafting and Blueprint Reading

Level 2 (6 weeks)

  • Hot Water Heating Systems
  • Piping Drawings and Specifications
  • Rough-in and Finishing
  • Drainage and Venting Systems
  • Compressed Air and Medical Gas
  • Leveling Instruments and Tools

Level 3 (6 weeks)

  • Drainage and Venting Systems
  • Potable Water Systems
  • Rural Water Systems
  • Piping Drawings and Specifications
  • Gasfitting

Level 4 (8 weeks)

  • Install and Light Gas Appliances
  • Hot Water Heating Systems
  • Gasfitting
  • Electrical CCTS and Gas Controls
  • Rural Sewage
  • Drainage and Venting Systems

Program Fees

  • For tuition information visit Apprenticeship Tuition Fees.
  • Students must supply approved safety boots and coveralls.
  • Income support for apprentices attending technician-training courses is provided by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) through regular employment insurance eligibility.
  • For financial and other useful documents visit Important Documents

Employment Opportunities

The Plumber apprentice will write the Red Seal Examination on the last day of the level 4 technical training.  Successful completion grants the apprentice with the Certificate of Qualification as a Red Seal Plumber. The Red Seal Endorsement is recognized across Canada.

Red Seal certified workers can work anywhere in Canada where their trade is designated. Labour mobility is essential for the Canadian workforce. For skilled tradespeople, the Red Seal is the recognized passport to mobility in trades across Canada.

How to Apply

Applications can be completed online here or over the phone. There is no application fee.

Click here to view the apprenticeship schedule

Program Contact

Apprenticeship Office

(250) 762-5445 (Local 4733)
Toll Free: 1-800-621-3038