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OSP Occupational Profile

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NOC Code: NOC Code: 7251 Occupation: Plumbers
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
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. 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.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3 4
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3 4
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading
  • Read short text entries on forms, such as work orders and logbooks. (1)
  • Read workplace safety materials, e.g. read Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to understand the chemical composition of products and possible hazards. (2)
  • Read bulletins and notices, e.g. read bulletins to learn about changes to operating procedures and read notices to learn about product recalls. (2)
  • Read a variety of installation procedures, e.g. read manufacturers' instructions when installing new plumbing fixtures. (2)
  • Read a variety of manuals to learn how to install, repair and maintain plumbing fixtures and systems. (3)
  • Read occupational health and safety standards, e.g. read rules to learn how to work safely in confined spaces. (3)
  • Read magazine and website articles to stay current on industry trends and broaden your knowledge of plumbing techniques and materials. (3)
  • Read the Canadian Plumbing Code to learn the regulations that govern the design, construction, extension, alteration, renewal or repair of plumbing systems. (4)
  • Read trade textbooks, e.g. read textbooks to understand the acceptable use of materials and science related to plumbing, such as the properties of water, metals and alloys. (4)
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Writing
  • Write reminders and short notes to customers and co-workers, e.g. write short notes to inform supervisors about repairs in progress and tasks to be completed. (1)
  • Write short comments in forms and logbooks, e.g. write comments in order forms to specify part requirements. (1)
  • Write reports to describe events leading up to workplace accidents, e.g. write about injuries and events when completing reports for workers' compensation boards. (2)
  • Describe project details on estimate sheets and work orders, e.g. explain the plumbing tasks to be performed on job estimates (2)
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Document Use
  • Observe hazard and safety icons, e.g. scan icons affixed to products, such as flux-core solders, to learn about their toxic properties. (1)
  • Enter and locate data, such as dates and identification numbers, in labels and tags. (1)
  • Study a variety of assembly drawings, e.g. study assembly drawings to learn how to install fixtures and appliances. (2)
  • Complete a variety of checklists and forms, e.g. complete hazard assessment forms and purchase orders by checking boxes and entering data, such as dates, times and quantities. (2)
  • Locate data in a variety of complex tables, e.g. locate data, such as dimensions, classifications, tolerances, coefficients, identification numbers and quantities, in specification tables. (3)
  • Interpret a variety of construction drawings, e.g. scan construction drawings to learn how plumbing, electrical, carpentry and mechanical installations are to coordinate. (4)
  • Interpret a variety of complex schematic drawings, e.g. scan schematics to locate circuits, flows and capacities when planning for complex plumbing installations of piping. (4)
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Digital Technology
  • Use calculators and personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as calculating material requirements. (1)
  • Use communication software to exchange email with customers, suppliers and co-workers. (2)
  • Use databases to enter and retrieve project information. (2)
  • Use databases to retrieve and print scale and assembly diagrams. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by apprenticeship trainers, associations, unions, suppliers and employers. (2)
  • Use Internet browsers and search engines to access technical service bulletins, plumbing codes, specifications and troubleshooting guides. (2)
  • Use online plumbing software to streamline your scheduling, dispatching and routing activities. (2)
  • Use computer-assisted design (CAD) software to access, modify and print technical drawings. (2)
  • Use billing and accounting software to input and track sales, produce invoices and estimates and print reports, such as income and expense statements. (2)
  • Use word processing software to write letters to customers and prepare job estimates and invoices. (2)
  • Use spreadsheet software to tally costs for job estimates and invoices. (2)
  • Use project management software for complex equipment installations to schedule lead times and the completion of project milestones. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Speak with suppliers to learn about products, prices and delivery schedules. (1)
  • Talk to customers to respond to questions and complaints, gather information about needed repairs, explain plumbing procedures and discuss the results of inspections and repairs. (2)
  • Discuss specifications, timelines, procedures, expectations and other work-related matters with co-workers and other tradespeople, e.g. speak with forepersons about job assignments and with other tradespeople to co-ordinate activities and schedules. (2)
  • Talk to building inspectors, engineers and architects, e.g. speak with Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) representatives about system certification requirements. (2)
  • Provide detailed step-by-step instructions to apprentices, customers and other tradespeople, e.g. explain to apprentices the steps to install water heaters. (3)
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Money Math
  • Receive cash, debit and credit card payments and make change. (1)
  • Approve payment for invoices submitted by suppliers, verifying the accuracy of the charges for parts ordered and received. (2)
  • Calculate amounts for estimates and invoices. Multiply hours worked by labour rates and add amounts for materials, supplies and applicable taxes. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Schedule the completion of complex plumbing projects by considering project tasks, lead times and the availability of labour and parts. (2)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Take a variety of measurements using basic tools, e.g. measure the lengths and diameters of pipes using tape measures. (1)
  • Calculate material requirements, e.g. calculate the amount of material, such as valves, connectors and piping, needed to complete projects. (2)
  • Use formulae, e.g. use formulae to calculate the total falls on drain lines. (2)
  • Calculate loads, e.g. calculate the total hydraulic loads on sanitary drainage systems using Canadian Plumbing Code conversion factors and variables, such as fixture units. (3)
  • Calculate rolling offsets to design, fabricate and install piping around obstacles. (4)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare measurements to specifications, e.g. compare pressure gauge readings to required manufacturers' standards. (1)
  • Calculate averages from sets of readings to determine if humidity, temperature and water pressure are within levels recommended by manufacturers. (2)
  • Analyze multiple pressure readings to evaluate plumbing system functions and troubleshoot faults, e.g. compare measurements of pressure to calculated or predicted values at various points in a system to identify the location of leaks. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the material requirements for projects. Consider project scopes and the materials needed for similar jobs in the past. (2)
  • Estimate the length of time it will take to complete projects. Consider projects and the availability of materials and labour. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Plumbers plan their work in conjunction with forepersons, supervisors and other tradespeople on the job. Time pressures may become intense and interruptions from others result in frequent stops and starts. They reprioritize their tasks to accommodate emergencies and make adjustments to project timelines. Job task planning and organizing differs according to the work context. In the case of residential service appointments, there may be 10 to 15 service calls in one shift. Planning and organizing must take into account the distance between customer locations and the urgency of specific calls. When working on new construction projects, job task planning and organizing is geared towards fitting smoothly into a schedule that involves other trades coming before and after them. Plumbers work both independently and in co-operation with other tradespeople on job sites. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Decide order of tasks and your priorities, e.g. decide the order in which to install fixtures and test systems. (2)
  • Choose tools, methods and products for plumbing installations and repairs, e.g. consider project scopes and the availability of materials and labour. (2)
  • Select materials and suppliers, e.g. decide which brand and type of materials to use by considering specifications, warranties, costs and ease of use. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Miss deadlines when tasks extend beyond time estimates for completion. Consult with your supervisors and customers to reschedule work and work overtime as required. (1)
  • Encounter delays due to equipment breakdowns and shortages of materials. Inform others about the delays and perform other work until repairs are completed and needed materials arrive. (1)
  • Clarify installation procedures by referring to the Canadian Plumbing Code and job specification books and by talking to mechanical engineers, suppliers and manufacturers. (2)
  • Face disruptions of work schedules, timelines and budgets when project designs are found to be faulty and when specifications change after projects have already started. Assist in the development of new designs and perform other work until the project starts. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Locate information on plumbing products and fixtures by conducting Internet research and by reading catalogues issued by suppliers. (2)
  • Refer to trade, provincial and national code books to ensure installations and repairs are compliant with industry standards for plumbing and heating systems. (2)
  • Refer to schematics and speak with general contractors to locate system components, such as gas flow shut-off valves. (2)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the safety of work sites. Consider the hazards of working from heights and in confined spaces. (2)
  • Evaluate the preparedness of job sites for plumbing installations. Consider the adequacy of access to work areas and protection from inclement weather. (2)
  • Assess the quality of plumbing installations and repairs. Take measurements, observe the appearance joints and check for signs of leaks. (3)
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