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Learn More About Plumber Apprenticeship Harmonized

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an apprenticeship?
    An apprenticeship is a relationship between an employer and an employee where the employee (the apprentice) commits to learn the trade while working for the employer, and the employer commits to provide on the job training, time away from the workplace for the apprentice to attend technical training classes and to pay the apprentice a certain percentage of the journeyperson wage rate, which increases as the apprentice progresses through the training.
  2. What is a journeyperson?
    A journeyperson is a person who has received a Certification of Qualification in a trade. A journeyperson is then entitled to be referred to by the trade name (ie: carpenter, electrician, millwright, heavy duty mechanic, etc.)
  3. What training will I take?
    Apprenticeships normally consist of approximately 80 per cent on the job training and 20 per cent in-school technical training. While working on the job site you will learn the trade under the tutelage of a journeyperson, who is assigned responsibility for your training. You are also required to attend technical training classes. The classes are most commonly held in Colleges, and depending on the trade consist of six to 10 weeks of classroom training during each year of the apprenticeship.
  4. How long does an apprenticeship last?
    An apprenticeship lasts one to five years, depending on the trade, and the rate the apprentice progresses through the training. Most apprenticeships are four years.
  5. How much will I earn?
    The rate of pay depends on the rate being paid a journeyperson in the same trade with the same employer. Although it is dependent on the employer, the rates are often 50 per cent for the first six months and rising through 55 per cent, 60 per cent, 65 per cent, 70 per cent, 75 per cent, 80 per cent, 90 per cent at the end of each six month period. Rates vary by trade and by employer. 
  6. What certification will I receive upon completion of my apprenticeship?
    Once you have completed all levels of technical training and passed the Interprovincial (Red Seal) exam, you will obtain your Certificate of Qualification (C of Q) and Red Seal endorsement. Apprentices in many trades may also write the Interprovincial (Red Seal) exam. This certification is recognized across the country and enables Red-Seal qualified journeypersons to work on those trades across the country. In some trades in BC, the Red Seal exam is used as the C of Q exam.

To Be Successful

  • You will find greater ease and success in your training if your abilities in mathematics, reading and writing are at a sufficient level. NIC Assessment Services is available to provide math and English assessments year round. For students who do need to refresh their skills or upgrade in a few areas, those classes are available at NIC.
  • Students are encouraged to develop a workplace plan with their employer to make sure they are practicing all related trade skills listed in the handbook program outline.
  • School training periods can be very intense, especially because of the quantity of reading you will be required to do. Whenever possible, you are encouraged to complete reading in advance.

Supply List

Personal Protection Equipment

  • Coveralls or work wear
  • Steel Toe Boots (Shoes) - CSA-approved
  • Safety Glasses - CSA-approved
  • Hard Hat

Classroom Supplies

  • Sharp Electronic Calculator # EL-344R or equivalent.  Note: for the IP exam administered by the ITA, the ITA will provide candidates with the Sharp EL520WBBK for use during the exam. This will be the only calculator permitted in the exam.
  • HB pencils
  • Highlite marker
  • Plastic rule - 12”
  • Binder and note paper
  • Text books and Learning Guides for the Level
  • Drafting Equipment:
  • Staedtler 987-18-31 Imperial scale rule
  • Staedtler 987-19-SI Metric scale rule
  • Staedtler 964-08-60 Triangles 8” or larger
  • 9pc Student Math Set 550 60S