Red Seal Trades
Designation Year: 1958
Plumbers install, repair and maintain plumbing fixtures and systems such as water, hydronic, drain, waste and vent (DWV), low pressure steam, residential fire, chemical, and irrigation. They also install specialized systems such as medical gas, process piping, compressed air, water conditioners, fuel piping, sewage and water treatment, and storage and flow equipment. Plumbers interpret drawings, refer to layouts of existing services, and review applicable codes and specifications to determine work details and procedures. They locate and mark positions for fixtures, pipe connections and sleeves, and cut openings to accommodate pipe and fittings.
Plumbers may be employed by plumbing/mechanical contractors, service companies, and maintenance departments of manufacturing, commercial, health care and educational facilities. They may also be self-employed. Plumbers install piping and equipment in residential, commercial, institutional and industrial buildings and sites.
Plumbers use a variety of tools and equipment, such as power tools, welding and soldering/brazing equipment, and hoisting and lifting equipment to perform the tasks in their trade. To perform some tasks or use some equipment, specific certification may be required. Plumbers work with a variety of piping materials such as copper, steel, plastic, glass, cast iron, cement, fibreglass and specialty materials. Before assembling and fitting pipe sections, tubing and fittings, the pipes must be measured, cut and bent as required. Joining pipe may be done by various means, such as threading, using mechanical joints, welding, soldering/brazing and using fastening materials and compounds. Plumbers test and commission systems to ensure proper operation. They perform scheduled, unscheduled and emergency maintenance and repair.
Safety awareness is essential for plumbers. They may work indoors or outdoors and working conditions vary from one job to another. The work of plumbers can be physically demanding. Plumbers often need to lift and carry heavy materials and equipment. While performing their duties, plumbers are also required to do considerable standing, climbing and kneeling. They may work at heights and in confined spaces. Special precautions may have to be taken when working with fluids, gases, steam and hazardous elements. Plumbers need to assess the systems and the environment they have to work in to identify possible dangers.
Key attributes for people entering this trade are good mechanical, mathematical and spatial visualization skills. Plumbers also need good communication skills to communicate with co‑workers and clients. Analytical/problem solving skills are required to interpret building plans, inspect piping systems and diagnose system faults and/or malfunctions.
This analysis recognizes some similarities or overlaps with the work of gas fitters, steamfitters/pipefitters, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics and sprinkler system installers.
With experience, plumbers act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They may also move into other positions such as instructors, inspectors, estimators and project managers.
Please note that the abbreviations for the provinces use the Canada Post standard.
|National Occupational Analysis (NOA) (NOA that the current Exam is based on)||
|Cover page NOA|
|Exam Counselling Sheet|
|Local Trade Names|
|Essential Skills Profile|
|Interprovincial Program Guide (IPG)||(380 kb)|
|Cover page IPG|
|Job Market Information|
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