Plumbers

(NOC 7251)

in All Trades and Transportation

Plumbers install, repair and maintain pipes, fixtures and other plumbing equipment used for water distribution and waste water disposal in residential, commercial and industrial buildings. They are employed in maintenance departments of factories, plants and similar establishments, by plumbing contractors, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Limited

Read more

  • Estimate decline employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 10 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3400 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “limited”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average when compared with other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. However, jobseekers may face some competition for those positions. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline moderately over the next few years, which will likely limit the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Plumbers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common.

The median employment income for 56% of Plumbers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $49,611. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$14.00

Minimum

$26.00

Median

$36.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,925

Minimum

$44,190

Median

$80,400

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$20.35

Median

$34.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Plumbers install, repair and maintain pipes, fixtures and other plumbing equipment used for water distribution and waste water disposal in residential, commercial and industrial buildings. They are employed in maintenance departments of factories, plants and similar establishments, by plumbing contractors, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Plumbers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Read blueprints, drawings and specifications to determine layout of plumbing system, water supply network and waste and drainage systems.
  • Install, repair and maintain domestic, commercial or industrial plumbing fixtures and systems.
  • Locate and mark positions for pipe connections, passage holes and fixtures in walls and floors.
  • Cut opening in walls and floors to accommodate pipe and pipe fittings.
  • Measure, cut, bend and thread pipes using hand and power tools or machines.
  • Join pipes using couplings, clamps, screws, bolts, cement or soldering, brazing and welding equipment.
  • Test pipes for leaks using air and water pressure gauges.
  • May prepare cost estimates.

Sample job titles

  • apprentice plumber
  • maintenance and repair plumber
  • plumber
  • plumber - pipefitting
  • plumber apprentice
  • plumbing installer
  • plumbing mechanic
  • residential construction plumber

Skills

This work requires a methodical approach, mechanical aptitude, and an ability to plan ahead. You must be agile, coordinated, and capable of working in cramped and awkward conditions. Patience and the ability to follow instructions are important. You should also be able to cooperate and work well with others on large projects.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school is usually required.
  • Completion of a four- to five-year apprenticeship program or a combination of over five years of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses in plumbing is usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
  • Trade certification is compulsory in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified plumbers upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.

Other considerations

The wage rate for apprentices is usually a percentage of the journeyperson rate, increasing upon completion of each stage of the apprenticeship program. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

970

employed in 2016

93.4%

employed full-time

19.6%

self employed

1.7%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
98.3%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
39.8

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

88.8%

employed full-time

12.7%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

41.4%

Halifax

18.1%

Northern

17.2%

Annapolis Valley

12.1%

Southern

11.6%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

82.4%

Construction

4.5%

Public Administration

4.5%

Educational Services

1.5%

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate & Leasing

1.0%

Utilities

What is the age of Employment?

28.9%

35-44

25.6%

25-34

16.5%

55-64

15.7%

45-54

7.4%

15-24

6.6%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

34.1%

45-54

33.0%

35-44

18.7%

55-64

13.2%

25-34

Top levels of education

50.5%

Trades certificate

$52,176 median annual income
38.0%

College certificate or diploma

$51,915 median annual income
6.5%

High school

$37,230 median annual income
2.3%

Bachelor's degree

$84,637 median annual income
1.9%

Less than high school

$30,205 median annual income

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.4%

Trades certificate

$40,890 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$28,089 median annual income
22.6%

College certificate or diploma

$39,023 median annual income
18.2%

Less than high school

$25,753 median annual income
2.7%

Bachelor's degree

$36,972 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

PO Box 220

Halifax, NS B3J 2M4

(866) 679-6722

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Pipefitting/pipefitter and sprinkler fitter

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class includes any program that prepares individuals to design, install, and test industrial and commercial piping systems and automatic fire and exposure protection systems. These programs include courses in water systems, steam systems, heating and cooling systems, lubricating systems, piping materials, installation tools operation and maintenance, valve installation and repair, technical mathematics, blueprint interpretation, and applicable codes and standards.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Apprenticeship Training

Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

UA 56 Pipe Trades Career College Inc.

40 Neptune Crescent

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4R8

(902) 442-0120

Plumbing technology/plumber

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class includes any program that prepares individuals to practice as licensed plumbers by applying technical knowledge and skills to lay out, assemble, install, and maintain piping fixtures and systems for steam, natural gas, oil, hot water, heating, cooling, drainage, lubricating, in home and business environments. These programs include courses in source determination, water distribution, waster removal, pressure adjustment, basic physics, technical mathematics, blueprint reading, pipe installation, pumps, welding and soldering, plumbing inspection, and applicable codes and standards.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Apprenticeship Training

Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Plumber

Certificate of Qualification (Mandatory): This job is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Certification is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717

Contacts

Construction Association of Nova Scotia
260 Brownlow Avenue, Unit 3
Dartmouth, NS B3B 1V9
Tel: (902) 468-2267
Fax: (902) 468-2470
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
Tel: (800) 494-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717
BuildForce Canada
220 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 1150
Ottawa, ON K1P 5Z9
Tel: (613) 569-5552
Fax: (613) 569-1220
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
10 Ragged Lake Blvd. Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3S 1C2
Tel: (902) 832-4761
Fax: (902) 832-4763
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Job postings

plumber

Journeyman/woman plumber

Red Seal Plumber

PLUMBER APPRENTICE

Journeyman Plumber and Sprinkler Apprentice

Plumber - Pipefitting

Apprentice Plumber

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