Career Profile: Plumber
In these days when Do-It-Yourself household tasks are highly encouraged, you or even your parents probably think there are some jobs that have become extinct. Do you remember the last time your parents called in a professional handyman to replace a door knob or fix a lighting fixture in your room? Your mom probably just went to buy a replacement and then your dad grabbed his tools and fixed it himself. They did not really need skills or training for it. All they probably did was go into YouTube.com and they know exactly what to do.
While it’s good to rely on someone’s own skills and resourcefulness to fix something in the house, it’s still better to leave the job to the professionals. This is so when something goes wrong, they are trained to respond and find a solution. Suppose your mom and dad tried to fix the leaking toilet in your bathroom and they end up flooding the whole place? You have to realize that when it comes to some tasks especially when it is something as complex as plumbing, it’s best to have the job done by professional plumbers than risk making things worse.
This is why plumbers are more in demand than ever especially since Canada is moving towards building more infrastructure to accommodate the growing population. Plumbers, contrary to popular belief, are more in demand than ever.
So What Is a Plumber?
The plumbing trade is one of the most popular in Canada which comes with a worthwhile pay-off. Most people associate plumbers as those who come in and fix water systems, but they are involved even when residential and commercial structures are being built. They are the ones who install plumbing systems from scratch so they have to be extremely good in reading and interpreting blueprints and designs and adept in working with fittings, pipes, fixtures, and other equipment used for water distribution. Once the building process is done, they are responsible for the plumbing systems’ maintenance and repair.
According to PayScale.com, the average earning per hour of a plumber in Canada ranges from $18 to $25 or about $37,000 or $52,000. Once a plumber has experience tucked under their belt, they can expect their rate to go as high as $26 to $59 per hour or $54,000 or $74,000 per year.
Plumbers also can receive additional compensation for overtime should the need arise, such as if deadlines are tight.
Plumbers are not required to have a formal education but completion at a technical school or an apprenticeship is a big advantage. They must be up to date and well-versed in plumbing codes and standards per each province and ensure that the installation, repair, and maintenance processes are aligned with those codes and standards.
It also will be to their benefit if plumbers acquire a Red Seal. When plumbers have the Red Seal endorsement, it means that they have completed their training and have become certified plumbers, they can work in the same trade anywhere in Canada without having to obtain further examination.
Pros and Cons
Due to the nature of their job, plumbers gain the advantage of maintaining their physical health. They also develop their flexibility and adaptability since they have to work at different locations most of the time. Since they also deal with a variety of people, from residential homeowners to top-notch building owners and architects, they learn how to enhance their communication skills.
Of course, sometimes plumbers have to deal with those who are outright rude, like a homeowner who is trying to bargain without understanding what the work really takes or an engineer who is rushing to meet a deadline for structure completion. Needless to say, plumbers have to have a lot of patience and understanding and must maintain a positive attitude to continue on despite these challenges.
Another challenge is that some of them may have to work under hazardous conditions such as construction sites which lead to exposure to harmful substances such as asbestos, lead, sulfur dioxide, and others or biohazards like raw sewage. In this regard, they should always ensure health and safety procedures are followed and be aware of any change in their physical health so they can report it and get the medical attention needed.
Plumbers continue to be in high demand in Canada, particularly in Fort McMurray in Alberta wherein an estimated 2,400 buildings are in need of reconstruction due to the wildfire which occurred in May 2016. In December last year, in fact, the Alberta government stated that it was planning to spend up to $1 million for Fort McMurray’s first-ever formal plumbing training apprenticeship program.
Now that you’ve read more information about a plumber career in Canada, it does sound promising, right?
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