Featured Career of the Week: Plumber

Being a plumber in Canada in 2018 is not what many assume. Like most trades, or any career for that matter — the life of a plumber varies widely depending on level of experience, type of work involved and location. It is an extremely diverse and complex job, with years of training involved.

Plumbers are extremely important. One of the pros of being a plumber is that you get to be the person that fixes immediate problems that others simply can’t. Quality workmanship as a plumber means that a building or water system functions as it should, and the direct health and safety of building occupants is in your hands.

Plumbers typically categorize their work between commercial and residential plumbing. Once again, the job varies widely and depending on the site. However, you will certainly be doing more than unclogging sewers, lavatories and water installations.

As a Plumber, you will be in charge of diagnosing issues (using pressure systems to locate issues), keeping track of inventory, recommending plans for building inspections/plan approval and maintaining all physical components of a building structures water internal water systems and piping. There are too many specific components of the job to list here, but suffice it to say there are a lot of components to the job.

There is a lot to know, and the industry is constantly evolving — this requires that you have to be a quick learner and be able to adapt and change. Being a plumber means that you are required to evolve and adapt as the industry changes.


Your hands will get dirty, and you will be working long hours, sometimes on evenings and weekends. You will sometimes be the hero, especially in residential jobs. Sometimes you will be working long hours, in dirty work and chaotic circumstances.

To be successful in this career, you must be able to solve complex problems, work irregular hours in physically demanding work. The work changes, and no two jobs are exactly the same. The pay is good, and in today’s booming construction sector, plumbers will always be in demand!

Pay scale

Like any trade, pay rate fluctuates with experience. One of the nice things about becoming a plumber is that you can earn a decent living while learning the skill. Journeyman Plumbers typically earn between $30 and $59 an hour, or $54,000 — $74,000 annually. However, it is not uncommon for experienced plumbers to earn +$100,000 annually under the right circumstances.

Education requirements

Becoming a journeyman Plumber requires a high school diploma or equivalent, then an apprenticeship program of about 9000 hours, or about 4.5 years. Apprenticeship programs involve mostly on the job training, but also requires classroom work.

Here are some recources and programs to get you started!

Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating

Ontario Plumbing Inspectors Association Inc.

ontariocolleges.ca is a good source for courses and education material.

Camosun College

Trades Training BC

Academy Canada

Good luck! And checkout workintrades.ca to find your next career in plumbing and other skilled trades!