dcsimg

Yukon WorkFutures

Plumbers

NOC 7251 / RANK 38

Photo
ARCHBOULD.COM

What They Do

Plumbers install and repair plumbing equipment used for water distribution and wastewater disposal.

A Day in the Life

Thumbnail

Listen to A Day in the Life

Main Duties

Plumbers may do some or all of the following tasks:

  • Use plans to install pipes properly, and read and interpret blueprints and project specifications
  • Select the type and size of pipe required for a project
  • Join pipes according to the project specifications including using: glue, clamps, bolts, screws, cement and caulking
  • Modify structures to accommodate pipes
  • Test systems for leaks
  • Maintain pipes to prevent or repair leaks
  • Lay out systems to distribute water throughout buildings
  • Lay out systems to carry waste water into the sewage system
  • Prepare cost estimates for clients
  • Perform light welding activities, if necessary
  • Install appliances, such as dishwashers, toilets, bathtubs and water heaters
  • Unclog drains
  • Install underground piping systems, such as sump pumps.

Working Conditions

Plumbers enjoy the advantage of being able to work mainly indoors during the long Yukon winter. These trades often require working in cramped areas, however, and may require working in extremely cold weather thawing or repairing burst water or sewage pipes.

How Do I Get There

Yukon Advanced Education Branch supervises a plumber apprenticeship program. A minimum education level of Grade 10 is required, although a higher level of education and strong mathematics and English skills through academic-stream courses are recommended.

Apprenticeships for plumbers last four years, including several in-class theory sessions that must be taken at institutions outside Yukon. After completing an apprenticeship, apprentices must pass either Yukon tradespersons qualification examinations or interprovincial standards examinations to receive a certificate of qualification. The plumber trade has an interprovincial Red Seal endorsement, which is recognized across most of Canada.

Advanced Education also oversees the Yukon Tradesperson Qualification Program, available for people who have gained the required trade experience, but have not been able to access certification through a formal apprenticeship program. It is also a way for people who hold trades certification from other jurisdictions in Canada or other countries to gain Yukon certification.

Plumbers must be good with machines, have flexible hands, an ability to read and understand complex instructions to do careful and exacting work. They must be very good with numbers and have sufficient physical strength and stamina to lift heavy materials and stand for long periods. They need to be comfortable with a wide range of power hand-tools, power machines, torches and welding equipment. Working conditions are often cramped and uncomfortable.

Generalists tend to be more employable in Yukon than overly specialized tradespeople. For example, plumbing contractors also work in the heating trade, installing and servicing furnaces. Workers can advance to supervisory positions with experience or, more commonly, establish their own contracting businesses.