Plumbers install, repair and maintain pipes, fixtures, and other plumbing equipment used for water distribution and wastewater disposal. Plumbers read blueprints, drawings and specifications to determine the layout of plumbing systems, water supply networks and waste water & drainage systems. 

Plumbers work in cooperation with other trades and labourers on most projects to ensure that specifications are met and that building codes and safety regulations are always followed. This work often involves mapping out positions and cutting passages for plumbing and associated fixtures through walls and floors. The ability to perform precise measurements and join pipes using proper materials and techniques are definitely the core of a plumber’s occupation.

  • Read blueprints, drawings and specifications to determine the layout of plumbing system, water supply networks and waste water drainage systems.
  • Locate, mark, and cut positions and pathways for pipe connections, passage holes and fixtures in walls and floors.
  • Measure, cut, bend and thread pipes using hand and power tools or machines.
  • Join pipes using couplings, clamps, screws, blots, cement or soldering, brazing and welding equipment.
  • Test pipes for leaks and troubleshoot potential problems using air and water pressure gauges.
  • You enjoy working cooperatively with other trades to achieve a finished product.
  • You are well versed on building codes and regulations and you have a keen interest in staying up to date. 
  • You have solid negotiation, communication, team building and technical skills.
  • You are passionate about water distribution and waste water disposal systems.


Careers in the BC shipbuilding & ship repair industry usually begin with an apprenticeship in a Red Seal trade or with a job directly at a shipyard. Many get their start in shipbuilding as a shipyard labourer prior to being accepted into an apprenticeship program.

Discuss possible career steps with your school counsellor, career counsellor, or a union hall representative and consider high school trades programs and post-secondary pre-apprenticeship programs as a great place to start learning about the trades. 

ACE-IT High School Program (Plumber)


Most apprenticeships require you to  have a high school diploma and  to complete a foundations certificate as a prerequisite prior to starting your apprenticeship. Check with available training providers to learn their specific eligibility requirements. 

There are different pathways you can take in order to become a plumber. In order to be eligible for industry certification as a plumber, you can complete a three to five-year apprenticeship program or you can apply a combination of over four years of practical work experience as a plumber, plus some high school, college or other industry courses.


Red Seal trade certification allows for movement between provinces.

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program


Employer sponsored apprentices are selected and sponsored through an application process. Union sponsored apprentices are selected and sponsored through their trade union and can be recruited by employers based on the needs of a shipyard.


Apprentices can receive up to $4,000 in grants to pay tuition, travel, tools, or other expenses. If you are considering an apprenticeship, visit the Red Seal program for information on how to get started.