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Plumbers install and maintain pipe fixtures and equipment that are essential for water and waste to flow either to or from us. Working together with many other trade professionals, including welders and gas technicians, plumbers are among the most important tradespeople involved in getting a building ready to be occupied.
A higher than average number of plumbers are self-employed (19 per cent in Canada), with others working on teams in residential, commercial, industrial and institutional settings. Plumbers not working for themselves may be hired by large-scale developers or property management companies, employed as pipelayers to work on drainage, sewer, water and underground gas systems, or as pipefitters to install low and high pressure pipes for commercial hydroelectric power plants, factories or residential HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) projects.
Aspiring plumbers must complete a combination of on-the-job and in-school training, with 8,820 hours of job training and 720 hours of in-school training. Together these programs can take five years to complete. The Red Seal Program sets the national standard for each trade across Canada. This trade is part of the Red Seal Program under the title Plumber.
On average, plumbers earn $54,880 in the year they become certified, according to Statistics Canada. Two years after certification, they earn an average of $66,000 per year. More experienced professionals, especially those who are self-employed, can earn significantly more.