There are many reasons why you might want to become a plumber in Ontario. Perhaps you’re interested in a challenging and hands-on career or looking for a trade that will allow you to be your boss. Whatever your reason, if you’re thinking about becoming a plumber, there are a few things you should know.
There are two main types of plumbing careers in Ontario: residential and commercial. Residential plumbers typically work in people’s homes, while commercial plumbers work in larger businesses and hospitals and schools. There is also a growing market for environmentally friendly plumbing, which focuses on using energy-efficient fixtures and recycled materials.
UNDERSTAND YOUR PLUMBER CAREER OPTIONS
Plumbers do much more than just clean pipes and install faucets. If you become a plumber, you will have several options for specialization. The obvious areas include residential, commercial and industrial work.
The types of tasks and problems you will solve in each area are different. For instance, if you choose to work in the industrial area, you will be servicing large boilers, sewer lines, elevator stations and industrial-grade fixtures.
If you decide to focus on residential plumbing, you’ll spend most of your time fixing clogged pipes, water heaters, appliances and other smaller plumbing problems.
Also, residential plumbing tends to be more “personal” and involves more time spent face-to-face with customers. Whereas commercial and industrial work does not have this element of customer service.
Where else do plumbers work? Other career options include:
- Working for a property management company as a full-time plumber
- Working in one of the best Etobicoke plumbing company
- Working as a pipefitter laying pipes underground for drainage, sewer, water or gas systems
- Working as a pipefitter installing low- and high-pressure pipes for commercial hydroelectric plants, factories, or central air conditioning and heating systems.
Where do you see yourself? The path you choose may require special training, so it’s important to define your goals from day one.
LOOK AT DEMAND FOR PLUMBERS IN YOUR AREA
It is always a good idea to check the demand for the profession you consider. This will give you an idea of how competitive the field is and how difficult it is to find your first job.
According to the latest data, in Ontario, career prospects for plumbers are fairly stable. The Government of Canada’s job bank has given the profession a 2 out of 3-star rating for demand, considered average.
The audit predicts “moderate” job growth and says retirement will create opportunities for new plumbers.
Bottom line: jobs for plumbers are out there, but you’ll have to fight to get into good company. Quality plumber training is the key to gaining a competitive edge.
Wondering how much money you’ll make?
According to the Job Bank, the average salary for a plumber in Ontario is about $28 an hour, or $59,000 a year.
At a higher level, a plumber‘s salary is as high as $44 per hour, or about $99,000/year.
Click to see all of the plumber‘s salary information here.
REVIEW PLUMBER TRAINING & ONTARIO CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
So, after you’ve thought about career paths as a plumber explored job prospects and salaries, it’s time to look into training. Plumbing is a regulated profession in Ontario, which means you need a certificate of qualification (C of Q) to legally work in this field.
To get certified, you must complete the training:
- 720 hours of school training as a plumber
- 8,280 hours of on-the-job experience as an apprentice
- Pass the plumber‘s certificate exam administered by the Ontario College of Trades
The entire process takes about 5 years. Once you have completed your training and apprenticeship and passed the certification exam, you can apply for certification and register as a journeyman in the profession.
The good news is that you will earn a wage as an apprentice plumber, meaning you will earn while you learn.
SELECT A PRE-APPRENTICESHIP PLUMBER PROGRAM
A good pre-training program for plumbers will give you a valuable foundation in plumbing theory and practical skills. This training will give you an advantage in competing for apprenticeships with local companies.
Many employers prefer to hire apprentices who have completed a college training program, so they don’t have to teach them plumbing basics.
Ontario offers several schools and plumbing apprenticeships programs to help students learn the basics and prepare for on-the-job training.
A quality program will cover important skills such as:
- Plumbing rules and regulations in the Ontario Building Code
- How to install and repair common plumbing fixtures
- How to use hand and power tools and work with plumbing materials
- How to read architectural and engineering drawings, blueprints and specifications
- Plumbing safety
Look for a plumbing school with strong partnerships with local unions and professional associations (such as Merit Ontario and the CLAC union).
Ask how they help plumbing students get internships after training and other career support services.
You want to find a program that gives you a competitive edge, so take the time to ask questions, read reviews, and meet with an admissions counsellor (more on that later).
MEET WITH AN ADVISOR TO EXPLORE TRAINING GRANTS, FINANCIAL AID
Most college students worry about how to pay for their education, and professional students are no exception. Tuition is expensive, and you want to avoid debt.
Fortunately, the federal and Ontario governments offer several special grants to help craft students pay for tuition. These include:
- Tuition Incentive Grant ($1,000 to $2,000 for first- or second-year students)
- Completion Grant ($2,000 cash grant for those who complete their studies and receive a certificate)
- Women’s Incentive Grant ($3,000 – $6,000 to cover the cost of vocational training).
The best way to find out about funding and see if you qualify is to meet with an admissions advisor at the vocational school of your choice.
This is also a great opportunity to tour the campus, see the classrooms, and see if the college is right for you.
The advisor will tell you about application requirements, class schedules, career options, funding, and more – don’t skip this step.
After meeting with an advisor and learning all the information, you’ll be fully prepared to start your plumbing apprenticeship with complete confidence.