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Plumbing & Piping Foundation

25 to 26-week certificate

Where: Comox Valley
Starts: September, January
  • Industry Training Authority (ITA) approved.
  • Gain skills in one of the most specialized and well-paying of the building trades.
  • Develop expertise, not only in plumbing, but also steamfitting, sprinkler fitting and gasfitting, enabling you to enter any of these trades upon completion.
  • Earn apprenticeship technical training credit toward Interprovincial (Red Seal) certification.

Career possibilities: As a graduate, you will qualify for employment as an apprentice plumber, steamfitter/pipefitter, sprinkler system installer or domestic/commercial gasfitter. Opportunities also exist in a number of related fields, from refrigeration and sheet metal to oil burner service.


  • Get noticed. The high percentage of practical training in NIC's program prepares you well for the workplace and, because of our respected instructional reputation, potential employers will recognize the strength of your credentials.
  • Training leaders. As the region’s leading provider of certified trades and apprenticeship training, NIC works closely with local employers to ensure that you will be ready for the workplace.
  • Great facilities, competitive price. At NIC, you will practice in one of the best-equipped trades training facilities (and LEED® Gold certified building) in the province and enjoy competitively low tuition fees, while getting a top quality education.
  • Industry recognized training. NIC is an Industry Training Authority (ITA) approved training provider for this entry-level program in the Interprovincial (Red Seal) trades of plumber/ steamfitter-pipefitter/ sprinkler system installer.


During the Plumbing and Piping Foundation program, you will complete many theoretical and practical exercises, from work site safety through advanced trade-related skills. Classroom theory, with a combination of practical exercises, will enable you to reach the skill level needed to work in one of the trade areas mentioned.

Upon graduation, you will be well-prepared for employment in the plumber, steamfitter/pipefitter, sprinkler system installer or domestic/commercial gas fitter trades. On successful completion of this program and upon entering into an apprenticeship, you will be eligible to receive technical training credit for Level 1 and 375 work-based hours credit toward your apprenticeship in any of these trades.

Career Opportunities

In recent years, graduates have found employment in several different related trades areas, including refrigeration, plumbing, sheet metal, oil burner service, gas fitting, and fire sprinklers. Recent enhancements to the program reflect current requirements of level one piping trades and will provide you with the initial experience required by the majority of employers.

Supply List

You are required toacquire the following basic supplies and tools:

  • steel-toed boots or shoes
  • safety glasses, CSA-approved
  • gloves
  • coveralls
  • hard hat
  • tape measure (25 foot imperial and eight metre metric)
  • metric conversion calculator recommend: EL520-WBBK or EL-520X
  • pencils, hi-liter, binder and notepaper
  • drafting equipment: available at the NIC bookstore:
    - set square – 30/60/90 degree, Staedtler 964 16-60
    - set square – 45/45/90 degree, Staedtler 964 14-45
    - scale ruler, imperial, architects, Staedtler 987 18-31
    - scale ruler, metric, Staedtler 987 18-SI
    - drawing compass, 559-02
    - good quality white eraser
    - mechanical pencils: .3mm in 6H lead; .5mm in 2H and 4H lead; .9mm in 2H lead
  • text books and learning guides for the level – details provided at NIC bookstore 

Admission Requirements

  1. Successful completion of the North Island College Piping Trades Assessment with a minimum of 70%. For more information, check the Plumbing Assessment Study Information.
  2. High school graduation is preferred provided the applicant meets or exceeds the stated prerequisites.


Upgrade with us to meet prerequisites

Upgrade your English, math and science courses for entry into the program of your choice. Succeed with the help of NIC’s supportive instructors. Courses are flexible and start several times a year so you can learn at your own pace. We offer daytime and evening options. Learn more

International Language Requirements

For international language requirements click here.

To Be Successful

  • You are encouraged to contact the instructor for an in-person or telephone interview. The purpose of the interview is to provide advice, answer questions about the program and discuss various career fields and choices.
  • Many employers require Grade 12 completion as an employment standard. If you do not meet this requirement we encourage you to contact an educational advisor to discuss upgrading or Grade 12 completion options offered at NIC. In addition to the stated prerequisites secondary school equivalent courses in math, science, physics and drafting are considered an asset.
  • The most important key to success is the desire to become a quality trades person. The traditional values of hard work, reliability, positive attitude and the desire to do quality work are essential to succeed in the program.
  • Trades programs require good hand-eye coordination, good binocular vision, strong abilities in spatial and mechanical reasoning along with good math and communication skills.
  • There is also an expectation of physical activities such as lifting, working on ladders and scaffolding or in confined spaces and under various weather conditions.
  • You will be required to stay focused for prolonged periods.
  • The math pre-test link is a review exercise and can be used as an indicator of your current math skills. Should you find you need further support please contact our student services department about upgrading classes.

Program Requirements

* Note: Based on availability of placements with industry, Trades Foundation students may have an opportunity to participate in an optional Work Experience: WXT-100 Work Experience – Trades Foundation.

Completion Requirements

To pass the program you are required to attain a minimum of 70% in each course.

Tuition & Costs Estimate for
Fall 2017, Winter, Spring & Summer 2018

Costs indicated are estimates for a 100% course load per year, unless otherwise noted. Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies, NIC appointed uniforms, or field trips not included in these estimates.

While we do our best to share accurate and timely fee information, changes may occur. For more information, visit tuition page.

Domestic Fees

Year 1
Tuition $2,265
NISU Fees $110
Lab Fees $90
Books $1,225
Learner Resource $120
Health and Dental $275
Total $4,085

International Fees

Year 1
Tuition $10,600
NISU Fees $110
Lab Fees $90
Books $1,225
Learner Resource $120
Health and Dental $275
Total $12,420
Additional Costs for International Students include the $100 Application fee (required) and the $250 Accommodation Application Fee (optional).

Nick Charette

Nick Charette
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4051 | Location TTB - 115
Campbell River Campus 250-923-9700

Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4006 | Location TTB - 115

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