Plumbers (NOC 7251)

Last updated: 2 September 2020

If you are interested in working as a Plumber in Canada, you will be pleased to know that the job outlook for your occupation in Canada is extremely positive.

You can use this overview of the Canadian employment prospects in your field to start planning your immigration and settlement in Canada.

Why your employment prospects in Canada are excellent:

  • Employment in this occupational field is related to residential and commercial construction, as well as building maintenance.
  • Growth in the construction industry has a direct impact on this occupation.
  • Jobs in the plumbing trades are determined primarily by the existing stock of piping that must be maintained and the amount of new construction and renovation work.
  • Technological advances in plumbing are creating the need for higher skills. Increasingly, computer-controlled equipment is being utilized on the job.
  • Licensed plumbers who also hold a gas fitter's certificate will have better job prospects.

Some areas of Canada where your occupation is in demand:

While there is a shortage of plumbers across Canada, the following cities and provinces listed below have a particularly high demand for this occupation.

British Columbia:

  • Over the last few years low interest rates and a growing economy resulted in a rapid increase in construction activity in B.C. Residential construction and renovations in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, southern Vancouver Island and Okanagan regions continue to be a source of plumbing work in the province.
  • Commercial, institutional and industrial construction activity will also continue to be an important source of employment for plumbers in B.C.
  • The majority of plumbers (62%) work in the Lower Mainland – Southwest region.
  • Projected new jobs between 2010 and 2015 for plumbers is 1,190, while new jobs created due to retirement over the same period is estimated at 810.

Vancouver Island, British Columbia

  • Due to the construction boom on the Island plumbers are particularly in demand.
  • Projected shortages for this occupation as baby boomers retire.

Saskatchewan:

Regina Area, Saskatchewan

  • Employment prospects are considered to be good for plumbers in the Regina Area as it has been experiencing steady construction growth.

Saskatoon and Rural West Region, Saskatchewan

  • Employment prospects are considered to be good for plumber in this local area.
  • The Saskatoon and Rural West Region has seen a surge of building activity within all four construction sectors including new home building and renovation, industrial, commercial, and civil engineering.
  • The Construction Sector Council states that employment growth in construction will continue to accelerate in Saskatchewan as major construction projects move forward and government fiscal stimulus increases institutional building prospects.

South-West Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan

  • Employment prospects for plumbers are good in this area.
  • There are approximately 180 individuals in this occupational group. Nearly 42% of these individuals are above the age of 45. A significant portion of the workforce is expected to retire shortly, creating opportunities for job seekers.
  • In addition, new and existing infrastructure projects such as facility upgrades, and new building construction will help to maintain a steady demand for plumbers in the next few years.

Manitoba:

  • Employment prospects for plumbers in the 2009 - 2013 period are expected to be good.
  • There were 1,585 plumbers employed in Manitoba in 2009.
  • Private and public investment including infrastructure funding, low interest rates and renovation tax incentives are factors behind the positive outlook for continued growth in commercial and residential construction and renovation in Manitoba.
  • Plumbers will be highly sought over in the next five years for a number of major construction projects such as the Wuswatim Dam and the water treatment plants throughout the province.
  • The majority of plumbers work in Construction (78%), followed by Public Administration (4%) and Wholesale Trade (3%).

Northern Manitoba

  • Employment opportunities for plumbers in Northern Manitoba are good.
  • New housing construction is needed in Thompson to meet the needs of its growing population.
  • Increase in the population in many First Nations communities has led to an ongoing need for the construction of new houses on reserves.
  • Employment opportunities are better for those with a journeyman certificate.

Southern Manitoba

  • Employment prospects for this occupation are considered to be good.
  • Recent infrastructure grants under the Canada-Manitoba Building Fund will increase employment prospects for plumbers in this region.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

  • Prospects for plumbers are considered to be good as local infrastructure and construction projects planned for 2010 should increase employment.

Nova Scotia:

South Shore (Lunenburg & Queens Counties), Nova Scotia

  • Employment potential is good locally as there continues to be opportunities for skilled workers in the residential, renovation and industrial sectors.
  • Some employers have reported difficulty hiring enough workers for some projects which has caused delays.
  • Potential employers include: Eric White Construction Ltd., Homework Construction Ltd, Conrads Pro Plumbing & Heating Ltd, Chester Electrical Plumbing & Heating, New Germany Plumbing and Heating, Summer Plumbing Supply, Loring’s Plumbing and Heating, and South Shore Plumbing & Heating.

Southwest Nova Scotia (Yarmouth, Shelburne & Digby Counties), Nova Scotia

  • Employment prospects are considered to be good for plumbers in this local area.
  • Employers have reported difficulty hiring enough workers on projects in the residential, renovation and industrial sectors.
  • Potential employers include: Acadian Plumbing, Heating and Electrical Limited, Harlow Construction Ltd, Douell Construction, Bellscape Construction Ltd., Wyatt’s Plumbing Ltd., Vintage Construction, Steve’s Plumbing Plus and Tri-Country Construction Ltd.

Ontario:

Niagara Area

  • Employment opportunities in the Niagara Area for plumbers are good.
  • With the high growth of the Niagara tourist industry, housing and related business are experiencing considerable growth as well creating excellent opportunities for plumbers.

Prince Edward Island:

  • Plumbers are in short supply in PEI, making employment prospects very good.
  • Approximately 215 plumbers are employed in P.E.I.
  • The shortage of plumbers in PEI has resulted in some employers being unable to bid on all the projects they would like to.
  • In addition, more job creation is expected to result from retirements. More than 30 percent of the plumbers employed in P.E.I. were 50 years of age or older in 2006.
  • Self employment is also an option for those looking to establish their own business, 10 percent of plumbers are self-employed in the Province.
  • Maintenance, renovation, and repair of existing commercial buildings and residential systems will be a continuing source of employment.

Duties for Plumbers

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.

Description of Main 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.

Example job titles for Plumbers:

  • apprentice plumber
  • journeyman/woman plumber
  • maintenance and repair plumber
  • maintenance and repair plumber, (non-construction)
  • maintenance plumber
  • marine plumber
  • plumber
  • plumber – pipefitting
  • plumber apprentice
  • plumber, (non-construction) maintenance and repair
  • plumber, maintenance and repair
  • plumber, residential construction
  • plumber-gas fitter – military
  • plumbing installer
  • plumbing mechanic
  • radiator plumber
  • residential construction plumber

Find out about salary ranges for Plumbers in different Canadian cities with our Canada Salary Calculator.

You can start looking for a job in Canada by using our Canada Job Search Tool.