Gasfitters (NOC 7253) may also be called:
- gas servicer
- gas technician
Pipefitters (NOC 7252) may also be called:
- marine pipefitter
What Would I Do?
Gasfitters install, inspect, repair and maintain gas meters, regulators, gas lines and gas appliances and heating units. Pipefitters design, assemble, install, maintain, troubleshoot and repair pipes carrying water, chemicals and fuel in heating, cooling, lubricating and other process piping systems. Steamfitters are pipefitters who specialize in high-pressure liquid or gas piping; they install, repair, and replace heavy pipes that can withstand higher pressure, and carry substances such as steam.
Some main tasks for all fitters (Gasfitter / Pipefitter / Steamfitter):
- Read and interpret blueprints to determine the type and size of pipe to use
- Measure, cut, and assemble the pipes
- weld, braze, cement, solder and thread joints to join pipes and fabricate sections of piping system
- Install and secure the pipes, supports, valves and control systems; test for leaks and other problems
- install and maintain gas meters and regulators and gas lines between gas unit and gas meter
- install, maintain and service gas heating units and their components, such as burners, valves and automatic controls
- repair and service gas appliances
- attend to gas escape calls and help with the investigation of gas fires and explosions
Am I Suited For This Job?
As a pipefitter/steamfitter/gasfitter, you are physically fit, comfortable with heights, able to read blueprints, and have good hand-eye coordination and good stamina.
Gasfitters may work indoors or outdoors. You will often work independently, but will interact with customers on most maintenance and repair jobs.
Pipefitters/Steamfitters may work both indoors and outdoors. Outdoor work environments may be noisy and dirty, and workers may be exposed to adverse weather conditions. Some workers may be required to travel or temporarily relocate to remote locations while working on particular projects.
Gasfitters, pipefitters and steamfitters are often required to work at heights from scaffolds and ladders. They may also be required to carry heavy items, such as pipes, during their workday. Work may also be conducted in cramped and awkward spaces.
What Are The Wages And Benefits?
In British Columbia, the average annual salary for all fitters ranges from: $53,000 – $95,000. Annual income for pipefitters varies depending on their wages and the number of hours they work in a year. The amount of work available is largely determined by the economic situation of the area. In addition to their salaries, full-time pipefitters may also receive benefits such as paid vacations, medical and dental benefits, and pension plan contributions. Self-employed pipefitters must provide their own benefits.
In BC’s regions, Pipefitters and Steamfitters can expect to make:
Table from Job Bank Wage Report
Gasfitters can expect to make:
What Is The Job Outlook In BC?
The demand for workers in B.C. is driven largely by the construction industry. About one-half of new openings will result from new job growth. This industry has experienced rapid growth in its commercial, industrial and residential sectors, creating a demand for skilled workers.
In northern B.C., many steamfitters, pipefitters and gasfitters work in resource-based industries, such as forestry and mining, oil and gas. These resource industries have experienced strong economic growth as a result of rising global commodity prices.
Employment Outlook for Gas Fitters
Chart from WorkBC (NOC 7253)
Employment Outlook for Pipefitters
Chart from WorkBC (NOC 7252)
Source: WorkBC Career Profiles
How Do I Become a Steamfitter, Pipefitter or Gasfitter?
Steamfitters and pipefitters usually require graduation from secondary school. In addition, completion of a four-year apprenticeship** program is required to be eligible for trade certification. Trade certification is not required to work as a steamfitter or pipefitter in B.C., but workers with certification will likely have more employment opportunities.
**apprenticeship program OR four years of work experience and some college/industry courses in steamfitting/pipefitting
Gasfitters require Grade 10 or equivalent; secondary school graduation is preferred. In addition, all gas fitters must hold a Class A or Class B gas fitter certificate issued by the British Columbia Safety Authority
- Class A: installation and alteration of any gas system, no loads or limits
- Class B: installation and alteration of any gas system with limits
The Industry Training Authority (ITA BC) offers a two-year apprenticeship program for domestic and commercial gas fitters. Completion of the apprenticeship will result in a British Columbia Certificate of Apprenticeship and a Class B gas fitter licence.
Sources: WorkBC Career Profile NOC 7252, WorkBC Career-Profile NOC 7253, ITA BC Steamfitter / Pipefitter, ITA BC Gasfitter Class A, ITA BC Gasfitter Class B, Safety Authority Gas Licences, Safety Authority Gas Exams, Red Seal
How Do I Find A Job?
Where would I work?
Steamfitters and pipefitters work in:
- the maintenance departments of factories, plants and similar establishments or by pipefitting contractors
Gasfitters work in:
- gas utility companies and gas servicing companies
Finding Advertised Jobs
Jobs are advertised in a variety of sources including newspapers, magazines and online job sites.
You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings and careers section and also the online versions at:
Online Job Postings
- BC Construction JobStores
industrial, institutional and heavy construction jobs (free registration required)
- Mechanical Contractors Association of BC (MCABC)
(click on ‘Job Bank’)
Finding “Hidden Jobs”
Many job vacancies are not advertised. The resources below help you with finding jobs in this “hidden” job market.
Using Directories to Create a List of Potential Employers
You can use company directories to produce lists of employers who employ steamfitters, pipefitters and gasfitters in Vancouver, the Lower Mainland or throughout BC. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.
- Reference Canada
Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
In the top search box enter “gas fitters” or “steam fitters” and click LOOKUP.
Select the appropriate headings.
Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).
Networking, Volunteering and Temporary Agencies
Many positions are filled by people who have been recommended by someone they know. Networking, working as a volunteer or registering with a temporary employment agency are good ways of helping you find jobs and meet people in your industry.
Networking and the Hidden Job Market:
When looking for work, be sure to talk to friends, relatives and neighbours. They may know someone who is hiring! Working as a volunteer, attending events, and joining clubs and associations are good ways to gain “Canadian experience.” They are also good ways to meet people to learn about the local job market.
- Habitat for Humanity
Volunteer at Habitat ReStores or Habitat Construction Sites
For additional tips see:
Applying for a Job
In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your experience.
Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.
For more information see:
Where Can This Job Lead?
With experience, steamfitters and pipefitters can advance to supervisory positions or establish their own businesses. With experience and additional training, gas fitters can move into supervisory positions, including foreman, maintenance manager or service manager. Some may decide to be self-employed and start their own contracting businesses.
Where Can I Find More Information?
STEP is a no-fee employment program that helps immigrants get jobs in the construction industry