What to expect from a career as a Plumber

Plumbing services are always in high demand, and licensed plumbers can expect excellent compensation for their efforts. Plumbing programs at Ontario colleges teach techniques and theory for residential commercial and industrial applications, while also giving students opportunity to test their skills in hands-on lab work.

If you’re interested in a career as a plumber, here’s what you need to know.

Plumbing Courses

Ontario college plumbing programs are generally offered in two ways. The first is a preparatory overview of the plumbing field, offering classes in plumbing theory and practice to prepare students for a plumbing apprenticeship. These programs are generally one-year certificate programs and could include courses such as plumbing tools and piping methods, trade documentation, welding skills and safety techniques.

The second option is for those who are already apprentices (those who have received an Offer of Training Letter from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities). Over the two or three semesters of an apprenticeship program, students will learn much of the same theory as those in the first category, but they will also be working in the field.

Note: To become a licensed plumber you must complete an apprenticeship. Part of the apprenticeship will include in-class training, so completion of one of the two types of programs will be mandatory.

General Plumbing Program Requirements

Overview plumbing programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, including a grade 12 English credit. Physical stamina and self-discipline are seen as assets.

Apprenticeship programs require that students be registered by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. Some programs may require that students have a minimum of one year’s experience in the trade.

Plumbing Jobs and Salaries

Residential plumbing, commercial plumbing and industrial plumbing are all common career paths for licensed professionals. Plumbing contractors often find opportunities to work with plumbing companies in construction and development, while home plumbers may work independently to build up steady clientele.

Entry-level or apprenticing plumbers could see starting salaries as low as $25,000 per year, but with experience and certification, average salaries are closer to $50,000. Union plumbers will see higher salaries, with a peak of about $70,000 per year.

Ontario Colleges Offering Plumbing Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of plumbing programs at Ontario colleges.

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