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Full-time Apprenticeship 4160appr

The Plumber Apprenticeship Program at BCIT, Consider It!

Note: To be eligible for apprenticeship training you must be registered as an apprentice. Go to the BCIT Apprenticeship website for more information.

Apprentices beginning Level 1 after April 1, 2019 will be required to complete their levels in the harmonized program. Please see the Harmonized Plumber Apprentice section below for further information.

Fall 2020 Delivery Mode: BLENDED

  • This program will be delivered for the fall semester as a combination of online and on-campus learning.
  • Faculty will notify students of when their attendance on campus will be required.
  • We are putting measures in place for your safety and well-being, ensuring that all safety protocols are addressed. Please see BCIT COVID-19 Return to Operations for details on the mandatory 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 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. 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 Work-place 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.

Program Entry


There are two ways of beginning your new career as a plumber apprentice:

  1. Take our Piping Foundation program. By working through a series of practical projects and assignments and theory assignments you'll build a solid foundation of knowledge and skills to make you more employable in an entry-level position. By successfully completing the program, you will also receive credit for the in-school portion of Level 1 of our Plumber Apprenticeship training.
  2. Find employment under a plumber who will register you with the Industry Training Authority (ITA). In this option, you are indentured to a company as an apprentice plumber, learning basic skills while you are employed. The advantage here is that you earn while you learn.

Entrance requirements

You must be an active apprentice registered with the Industry Training Authority to register for apprenticeship training at BCIT.

Recommended for success

High school graduation or equivalent, including:

Apprentices with medical or physical difficulties should contact Accessibility Services to arrange an interview with the Institute’s rehabilitation specialist.

International applicants

BCIT welcomes apprentice training requests from Canadian citizens and permanent residents only. View programs that accept international students

Scheduled intakes

Multiple start dates each year.

Please refer to the Apprenticeship Training Schedule for availability of upcoming intakes.

Register for apprentice training

Consult the training schedule to find a date that is suitable to both you and your employer. Please schedule each level of your technical training at least eight months apart to benefit most from your training.

Complete an Apprentice Training Request Form [PDF]* and submit by fax, mail or in person with a $200 commitment fee for each level that you choose. You may also register by phone at 604-456-8100

  • Apprentice Training Requests which do not include the $200 commitment fee per level will not be processed or held. There will be no follow up correspondence from BCIT.
  • The $200 commitment fee is non-refundable and non-transferable to future intakes.
  • Your commitment fee is applied to your tuition.

Apprentices must complete each level of apprentice training in sequential order. For example, apprentices must complete Level 1 before continuing on to Level 2.

*Apprentice Training Request Forms are scheduled on a first come, first served basis.

Disclosure of personal information and privacy notice

BCIT Apprentice Services reserves the right to communicate with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and your active employer sponsor about your registration, progress, and related academic information. BCIT also shares apprentice registration information with Work BC. If you have questions about the protection of your personal information, you may contact the BCIT Information Access and Privacy Office.

View our full Admissions and Registration Privacy Notice


Within two business days of submitting your apprentice training request, BCIT will send a message to your personal and myBCIT e-mail addresses. All correspondence regarding your training request will be posted to your online myCommunication account at We'll send you an e-mail when a new message is posted. It's important to watch for these e-mails or regularly check your account online.

You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your training request within four weeks.

Costs & Supplies

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

Tuition fees

Please see the Full-Time Studies Tuition & Fees page for full-time tuition fees.

Books and supplies

Apprentices are expected to supply their own CSA approved steel-toed boots, hard hats and safety glasses. Cost of books/supplies to be determined.

Students are required to supply their own coveralls. A supply of coveralls are available through the BCIT Bookstore. Please check the uniform authorization voucher [PDF] to determine the type of coveralls required for your program.

Financial assistance

Income support for apprentices is provided by Human Resource Development Canada (HRDC) through regular Employment Insurance (EI) eligibility. For questions regarding Employment Insurance or Personal Support Payments, please visit the income support overview for current BCIT apprentices.


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

Class hours

0730-1400, Monday through Friday

Please refer to the Apprenticeship Training Schedule for class hours and availability of upcoming intakes.

Note: The harmonized matrix below will take effect in April, 2019. Students starting the program before this date will follow an alternative matrix.

Program matrix

Level 1 (7 weeks) Credits
  APLB 1GAP Plumber Apprentice Level 1 Final Grade - Harmonized Trade 14.0
Level 2 (8 weeks) Credits
  APLB 2GAP Plumber Apprentice Level 2 Final Grade - Harmonized Trade 16.0
Level 3 (7 weeks) Credits
  APLB 3GAP Plumber Apprentice Level 3 Final Grade - Harmonized Traded 14.0
Level 4 (8 weeks) Credits
  APLB 4GAP Plumber Apprentice Level 4 Final Grade - Harmonized Trade 16.0
Total Credits: 60.0

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

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:

Program length

Current Stream: The total amount of in-school training for a plumber apprenticeship is 780 hours. There are four levels of training. The first three levels are six weeks in length and the fourth level is eight weeks.

Harmonized Stream: The total amount of in-school training for plumber apprenticeship is 900 hours. There are four levels of traning. Levels 1 and 3 are 7 weeks; Levels 2 and 4 are 8 weeks.

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.

The new system requires that plumbers and steam fitters complete an additional 10 week second level of technical training and an additional 1500 hours of work experience in gasfitting before they are eligible to write the Gasfitter – Class B Certificate of Qualification.


A minimum grade of 70 per cent is required.

Program location

Burnaby Campus
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, BC

Graduating & Jobs

Graduate employment outcomes

The BCIT student outcomes reports present summary findings from the annual survey of former students administered by BC Stats one to two years after graduation. These reports combine the last three years of available results for the 2017-2019 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2016-2018 graduates and for Degree 2015-2017 graduates. The reports are organized into three-page summaries containing information on graduates' labour market experiences and opinions regarding their education. More detailed information can be accessed at the BC Student Outcomes website.

To view these results, you may need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.


BCIT offers a Diploma of Trades Training for apprentices who have successfully completed their technical training at BCIT and have been granted a British Columbia Trades Qualification (IP/TQ). In trades where there is no requirement to complete a Trades Qualification (TQ), a Certificate of Apprenticeship is acceptable. Please see the BCIT apprenticeship training section of the website for more information.

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

Ron Stewart
Ron Stewart, Department Head
Plumbing I.P., "A" Gas Certification
T: 604-432-8420
Mick Bryant
Mick Bryant, Faculty
Plumbing I.P., "A" Gas Certification
T: 604-431-4937
Steve Gilles
Steve Gilles, Faculty
Plumbing I.P., "B" Gas Certification
T: 604-456-1225
Rick Lindberg

Rick Lindberg, Faculty
Steamfitting I.P., "B" Gas Certification
T: 604-456-1225
Eric MacKay
Eric MacKay, Support Staff
T: 604-432-8962
Mark Overgaard
Mark Overgaard, Faculty
Plumbing I.P., "B" Gas Certification
T: 604-431-4900
Dale Pfaff
Dale Pfaff, Faculty
M.Ed., C.I.P.E., Plumbing I.P.,
Sprinklerfitting I.P., "A" Gas Certification
T: 604-451-7116
Lyle Reid
Lyle Reid, Faculty
Plumbing I.P., "A" Gas Certification
T: 604-456-1226
Raj Samra

Raj Samra, Faculty
Plumbing I.P., "B" Gas Certification
T: 604-431-4978
Rob Stiener
Rob Steiner, Faculty
Plumbing I.P., "B" Gas Certification
T: 604-431-4959
Brian Sweet
Brian Sweet, Faculty
Plumbing I.P., "A" Gas Certification
T: 604-451-7164
Ryan Thomas
Ryan Thomas, Faculty
Plumbing I.P., "B" Gas Certification
T: 604-451-6711
Richard Yoo
Richard Yoo, Faculty
Plumbing I.P., "B" Gas Certification
T: 604-431-4967

Program 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

Ron Stewart, Department Head
T: 604-432-8420

BCIT Apprentice Services

For more information on this or other apprenticeship programs, tuition fees and when programs are offered, please contact BCIT Apprentice Services at:

Office Location: Building SW1, First Floor
Burnaby campus
Phone: 604-456-8100
1-800-667-0676 (BC)
Fax: 604-435-1197
On the web:

BCIT Apprentice Services can assist apprentices with their registration, tuition fee payments, and other details.

Anyone interested in registering as an apprentice can contact the Industry Training Authority (ITA) at 778-328-8700 or 1-866-660-6011 (BC). BCIT's Apprentice Services can also assist individuals interested in entering apprentice training.

Questions or comments?

Please ensure you have reviewed the detailed information on this site, using the navigation to the right, before submitting the form below.

As well, if you meet any of the following criteria, please follow the links for more information, instead of sending the form:

The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.


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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

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"We hire BCIT grads because they're qualified, skilled and properly trained. BCIT continuously enhances its program to keep ahead of the changing needs of our industry. We're proud to be associated with this program."

Trevor Hildebrand
President, Phase Mechanical


"Plumbing is a diversified and continuously changing field. BCIT's shop is very well equipped with the latest technology, while excellent instructors provide the instruction. I received the skills I needed to open up my own business as a plumber and gas fitter. I recommend BCIT's Plumbing program."

Jeff Small
President, Benchmark Mech. Ltd.,
BCIT Plumbing Graduate


KLM Mechanical Systems Ltd. has been using BCIT to help us hire new plumbing apprentices for approximately ten years. When we are looking to hire new apprentices, we always start at the BCIT Piping Foundation program. They have always been a great partner in staffing for our Company.

Jim MacGregor
Field Superintendent,
KLM Mechanical Systems Ltd.

Apprentice to CEO

Exciting NEW COURSE developed especially for apprenticeship trades students.