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Plumbers install, repair, and maintain plumbing fixtures and systems such as water, hydronic, drainage, waste and vent (DWV), low pressure steam, chemical and irrigation. They also install specialized systems such as medical gas, process piping, compressed air, water conditioners, fuel piping, sewage and water treatment, and storage flow equipment.

Fall 2021 delivery mode: in person

  • This program will be delivered in person for the fall semester.
  • We have put measures in place for your safety and well-being, ensuring that all safety protocols are addressed. Please see the BCIT COVID-19 page for details on the procedures that have been implemented.

Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.

Plumbers interpret drawings, refer to layouts of existing services, and review applicable codes and specifications to determine work details and procedures. They locate and mark positions of fixture, pipe connections and sleeves, and cut openings to accommodate pipe and fittings. The Plumber program contains 4 levels that cover the in-school technical portion of the apprenticeship training. All levels of training use applied learning in conjunction with practical exercises.

Apprentices who have:

  • completed the required work-place hours (as signed off by the sponsoring employer),
  • successfully completed the in-school technical training and,
  • passed the interprovincial exam

are eligible to receive a Certificate of Apprenticeship and a Certificate of Qualification with an interprovincial red seal endorsement.

Apprentice Level 1 Start Date Workplace hours required In-school hours required
Prior to April 1, 2019 5620 hours 780 hours (in 4 levels of training)
On or after April 1, 2019 6300 hours 900 hours (in 4 levels of training)

Apprentices who successfully complete the highest level of technical training and have received their British Columbia Certificate of Qualification in this trade may apply to receive a BCIT Diploma of Trades Training.

Note: Due to changes in the time-in-trade and technical-training requirements for the Gasfitter – Class B apprenticeship, plumber and steam fitter apprentices beginning their technical training after March 31, 2019 will no longer be eligible to write their Gasfitter – Class B Certificate of Qualification during their plumber or steam fitter apprenticeship. In the new system Plumbers and Steamfitter/Pipefitters are given credit for 1500 of the required 3000 Gasfitter – Class B work-place hours and Level 1 of the Gasfitter – Class B technical, in-school, training. Plumbers and Steamfitters/Pipefitters are required to complete Gasfitter Class B Level 2 and 1500 hours of work experience in the Gasfitter Class B trade in order to be eligible to write the Gasfitter – Class B Certificate of Qualification with Technical Safety BC.

For more information view our career video and check out our Part-time studies page.

Check the Apprenticeship Training Schedules to see available training dates.

Harmonized plumber apprenticeship

The Industry Training Authority is working with the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship to improve mobility of workers during their apprenticeship across Canada. To achieve this, training outcomes for each level of technical training in a given apprenticeship are being harmonized so that apprentices can easily transfer between jurisdictions during their apprenticeship training. This may also result in changes to the number of work-place hours and in-school hours apprentices are required to complete.

The transition from the current system to the Harmonized system will take place in stages between April 1, 2019 and April 1, 2022.

New Plumber Apprentices starting the program after April 1, 2019 will be required to complete their levels in the harmonized program.

Harmonized apprentice levels will be regularly scheduled as follows:

  • Level 1 intakes offered after April 1, 2019
  • Level 2 intakes offered after April 1, 2020
  • Level 3 intakes offered after April 1, 2021
  • Level 4 intakes offered after April 1, 2022

Current Plumber Apprentices will have the following options to complete their training:

Option 1: complete the current program

Apprentices that began their training prior to April 1, 2019 are encouraged to complete each level of their training in their current stream as follows:

  • Level 1 before March 31, 2019
  • Level 2 before March 31, 2020
  • Level 3 before March 31, 2021
  • Level 4 before March 31, 2022

If you try to register and the level is unavailable please ask the Apprentice Services Customer Service Representative to add your contact information to the interests list to be notified when additional intakes become available.

Option 2: transition from the current stream to the harmonized stream

Current apprentices that need to transition to the new program will need to complete GAP training in order to enter the new program. Additional training is required to address the gaps in program content as follows:

  • Transition from current Level 1 to Harmonized level 2 AFTER April 1, 2020 – 30 hours of GAP training will be required.

Our Mission Statement: To uphold high educational standards through applied technology and practical skills within an ever-changing industry.

Entrance Requirements

Costs & Supplies

On the BCIT Bookstore web page you can find a list of the text books required for all of our Apprenticeship levels.


Each year in the program is a building block to the next. Here is what you can expect in each of the four years of your apprenticeship.

First year

Theory consists of:

  • Math skill development
  • Science of gases and thermal expansion
  • Valve types and applications
  • WCB Regulations and job site safety
  • BC Plumbing Code Introduction

In the practical portion of first year, you will perform:

  • Proper soldering and brazing techniques
  • Oxygen and acetylene cutting
  • Welding
  • Safe rigging procedures
  • Installation of a hot water tank

NOTE: In addition to supplying your own personal protective equipment you will also need a number of books and classroom supplies.

Second year

Theory consists of:

  • BC Building Code – Drainage and Venting Requirements
  • Fundamentals of hot water heating
  • Builders level
  • Blue print reading
  • Compressed air
  • Medical gases

In the practical portion of second year:

  • You’ll design and lay out a set of blue prints for a plumbing system of a three level residential home that meets the requirements of the B.C. Plumbing Code, then rough in a bathroom group that includes drainage, venting and water piping.
  • Install a hydronic heating system that includes two zones complete with three baseboard heaters. This system will be fully operational using a circulator, zone valves, baseboard heaters, thermostats and a fan control switch.
  • Builders levels will take you on a mini-tour of the BCIT campus while taking numerous elevation shots along the way.
  • You’ll perform a medical gas silver soldering project using an inert gas for purging.

Third year

Theory consists of:

  • BC Plumbing Code application
  • Water pipe sizing systems
  • Gasfitting
  • Specification Interpretation
  • Rural Water Systems
  • Fire protection
  • Cross Connection Control

The practical components of third year include:

  • Clocking gas meters
  • Burner adjustments
  • Testing and troubleshooting backflow prevention assemblies, which lead to “Tester” certification in cross connection control.

Fourth year

Theory consists of:

  • Combustion and ventilation air requirements
  • Atmospheric and power burners
  • Gas valves and regulators
  • Appliance venting and start-up procedures
  • Rural sewage systems
  • National Plumbing Code
  • Hydronic heating design and controls

The practical portion of fourth year includes:

  • Electrical circuit wiring and testing
  • Appliance light-up and trouble shooting (conducted in both the Gas and Electrical Labs)
  • Designing a set of gasfitting drawings for a single family home

Program Details

In BCIT’s Plumber Apprenticeship program you’ll learn a variety of trade-specific topics, enabling you to install, maintain and repair piping systems that carry a wide variety of fluids used in residential, commercial and industrial settings according to the BC Plumbing Code.

Training is instructor driven. Lectures, labs and tutorials are the primary course delivery methods.

Classroom activities take place in an atmosphere promoting class participation. In groups of up to 16 students, you’ll use interactive software programs developed by your instructors to enhance your training experience. You’ll complete practical projects in building NE-6 or one of the department’s numerous labs.

As a leader in trades training in the province, BCIT offers a variety of institute-driven support services that are at your disposal. For example:

Graduating & Jobs

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

If after reviewing the information on our web pages you still have questions regarding our program, please contact any one of us. It would be our pleasure to help you with additional information.

For a list of our current Program Advisory Committee (PAC) members please see below.

Faculty and staff

Photo of Mick Bryant Mick Bryant, Department Head
Plumbing IP, “A” Gas Certification
Tel: 604-431-4937
Photo of Steve Gilles Steve Gilles, Faculty
Plumbing IP, “B” Gas Certification
Tel: 604-456-1225
Photo of Rick Lindberg Rick Lindberg, Faculty
Steamfitting IP, “B” Gas Certification
Tel: 604-456-1225
Photo of Mark Overgaard Mark Overgaard, Faculty
Plumbing IP, “B” Gas Certification
Tel: 604-431-4900
Photo of Dale Pfaff Dale Pfaff, Faculty
MEd, CIPE, Plumbing IP,
Sprinklerfitting I.P., “A” Gas Certification
Tel: 604-451-7116
Photo of Lyle Reid Lyle Reid, Faculty
Plumbing IP, “A” Gas Certification
Tel: 604-456-1226
Photo of Raj Samra Raj Samra, Faculty
Plumbing IP, “B” Gas Certification
Tel: 604-431-4978
Photo of Rob Steiner Rob Steiner, Faculty
Plumbing IP, “B” Gas Certification
Tel: 604-431-4959
Photo of Ron Stewart Ron Stewart, Faculty
Plumbing IP, “A” Gas Certification
Tel: 604-432-8420
Photo of Brian Sweet Brian Sweet, Faculty
Plumbing IP, “A” Gas Certification
Tel: 604-451-7164
Photo of Ryan Thomas Ryan Thomas, Faculty
Plumbing IP, “B” Gas Certification
Tel: 604-451-6711
Photo of Richard Yoo Richard Yoo, Faculty
Plumbing IP, “B” Gas Certification
Tel: 604-431-4967

Advisory committee

  • Shaun Giesbrecht-Chair, President, Matrix Contracting Inc.
  • Jeff Blair, President, Barclay Sales Ltd. BC
  • Guido Borrelli, Distribution Service Agent, Fortis BC
  • Matt Griesedale-Lifton, Superintendent, Sentrax Mechanical Contracting
  • Rick Vanier, Senior Safety Officer, Technical Safety BC
  • Cory Williams, Industry Relations, Industry Relations Authority

Contact Us

Mick Bryant
Department Head
Tel: 604-431-4937

Questions or comments?


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