Oil and Solid Fuel Heating Mechanics

(NOC 7331)

in All Trades and Transportation

Oil and solid fuel heating mechanics install and maintain oil, coal, and wood heating systems in residential and commercial buildings. Oil heat system technicians install, repair, and service oil burning and oil combination burning equipment and appliances. They work for heating systems installation and service companies.

Job Outlook

average

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  • Estimate Decline employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 0 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 4040 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 8425 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Outlook: average, mostly balanced conditions in the labour market.
Size of the occupation: small, with infrequent job opportunities.

Demand: employment decline will lead to a loss of some positions. Several positions will become available due to retirements.

Unemployment: There are a moderate number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation.

Work hours: full-time, usually. Jobs are typically permanent positions.

Some of the workforce is self-employed. Having the option to “work for yourself” may appeal to some individuals.

Hourly Pay

$16.00

Minimum

$23.00

Median

$34.45

Maximum

Annual Pay

$9,524

Minimum

$39,759

Median

$71,599

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$24.00

Median

$37.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Oil and solid fuel heating mechanics install and maintain oil, coal, and wood heating systems in residential and commercial buildings. Oil heat system technicians install, repair, and service oil burning and oil combination burning equipment and appliances. They work for heating systems installation and service companies.

Job duties

Oil and solid fuel heating mechanics:

  • Read and interpret drawings or specifications to determine work to be performed.
  • Lay out oil burner heating system components and assemble components using hand and power tools.
  • Install oil burner components like thermostats, motors, piping, and safety devices, and connect to fuel supply, ventilation, and electrical system.
  • Test installed unit and adjust controls for proper functioning.
  • Troubleshoot and repair malfunctioning oil burners, and their components and controls.
  • Install, maintain, and repair coal and wood heating systems.
  • Complete scheduled maintenance service on oil and solid fuel heating systems.

Sample job titles

  • furnace installer and repairer (except gas)
  • heating mechanic
  • heating systems installer
  • heating systems technician
  • oil burner installer and repairer
  • oil burner mechanic
  • oil burner technician
  • oil heat system technician
  • solid fuel heating installer
  • wood-burning appliance installer

Skills

  • An understanding of electricity
  • mechanical aptitude
  • problem-solving skills
  • ability to follow instructions
  • ability to do detailed work
  • patience and methodical ability
  • analytical skills
  • mathematical skills
  • good motor control
  • physical strength and stamina
  • customer relations skills

Job requirements

  • High school or equivalent (usually).
  • Training through a 5,400-hour apprenticeship program with three apprenticeship levels: to become an apprentice you first need to have a job - enter an apprenticeship agreement either directly through an employer or after graduating from a college-level pre-apprenticeship program; learn on the job, mentored by a certified journeyperson who signs off on skills in a logbook.
  • Trade Qualifier option: 8,100 hours and other criteria.
  • Certification for oil heat system technicians is compulsory in Nova Scotia.
  • Write and score a minimum of 70% on the Red Seal exam for oil heat system technicians.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) allows for interprovincial mobility.

Other considerations

  • Service calls and emergency calls may take place days, evenings, or weekends.
  • Full-time and seasonal employment opportunities are available.
  • Technological changes and stringent new regulations have forced oil heat system technicians to upgrade their skills.
  • Increasingly complex and strict environmental laws are having a major impact on the occupation.
  • The mechanic must recognize potential hazards and react to dangerous situations.
  • A move to alternative fuel sources continues to impact the trade.
  • Experienced oil heat system technicians may advance to supervisory and management positions or move into self-employment.
  • Apprentices usually earn a percentage of the journeyperson (fully qualified) rate. This percentage increases as each level of the apprenticeship program is completed.
  • Everyone has fair access to participate and succeed in the apprenticeship system. Everyone who develops the necessary skills and abilities should be able to succeed in the trades and trade qualification system. Work environments in the province support women and equity-seeking communities.

By the numbers

Quick look

390

employed in 2016

92.4%

employed full-time

26.6%

self employed

0.0%
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100%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
49.3

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

self employed

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

median age

Where will I likely work?

44.9%

Halifax

$49,913 median annual income
21.8%

North Shore

$35,410 median annual income
14.1%

Cape Breton

$30,112 median annual income
10.3%

Southern

$36,900 median annual income
9.0%

Annapolis Valley

$37,492 median annual income

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

60.9%

Construction

12.5%

Retail trade

10.9%

Wholesale trade

9.4%

Other services (except public administration)

3.1%

Public administration

What is the age of Employment?

25.0%

45-54

25.0%

55-64

20.0%

35-44

15.0%

25-34

11.0%

65+

3.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

60.3%

Trade Certification

$46,580 median annual income
26.9%

College Diploma

$37,508 median annual income
9.0%

High school

$30,205 median annual income
2.6%

Less than high school

N/A
2.6%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Trade Certification

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

Apprenticeship - Oil Heat System Technician

Apprenticeship Program

Apprenticeship is a structured training program leading to certification in the skilled trades. An apprenticeship combines supervised on-the-job training and experience with theoretical technical training. You find a job in your trade first and then enter into an apprenticeship agreement. You work 5,400 hours mentored by a certified journeyperson and gain the required skills and knowledge. You also take some technical courses. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency administers the trades training and certification system.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation and Refrigeration Maintenance Technician (HAC, HACR, HVAC, HVACR) - Pre-apprenticeship College Program

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair, install, service and maintain the operating condition of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. They include courses in diagnostic techniques, the use of testing equipment and the principles of mechanics, electricity, and electronics as they relate to the repair of heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Trade Qualifier

Trades Program

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency also offers a path to trades certification outside of a formal apprenticeship agreement with a qualified journeyperson. This option includes a set amount of required hours of related experience in the trade, passing a certification exam, and other criteria. Contact the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency for more details.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Oil Heat System Technician

Compulsory Certification (Mandatory): This is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Individuals must hold a Certification of Qualification, be a registered apprentice, or hold a temporary work permit to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS

Contacts

Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada - Atlantic
Halifax, NS