Plumbing & Piping Foundation

Develop expertise in plumbing, steamfitting, sprinkler fitting and gasfitting as you work toward your Interprovincial (Red Seal) designation. You will learn theory and complete practical exercises on topics ranging from work site safety to advanced trade-related skills. As a graduate, you will qualify for employment as an apprentice plumber, steamfitter/pipefitter, sprinkler system installer or domestic/commercial gasfitter, along with opportunities in related fields.

 This program is currently not available to international applicants.
Where: Comox Valley
Starts: January
Length: 24 weeks
 Apply Now

We’ve detected that you are using Internet Explorer. EducationPlannerBC (BC’s post-secondary online application system) supports the Chrome, Firefox, Edge or Safari browser.

Not only do you get to learn so much about the trade in class, but you get hundreds of hours of hands-on work with the tools and equipment that is used in the field. Our teacher, Rob Hughes, was very patient with us and really helped us throughout the course. All in all, it was a great learning experience.

Zach Doehler, Plumbing & Piping Foundation student

close button

Share this gallery:

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.

Admission Requirements

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


International Language Requirements

International students must meet NIC international admission requirements.

Consider NIC’s Academic English Language program if you need to gain the skills to speak and understand English in the college environment.

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

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 plumbing and pipefitting info sheet provides information on placement testing available for this program. Contact assessment services for more information.

Nick Charette

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

Program Highlights

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

Students are responsible for having the following basic supplies:

 Personal Protection Equipment

  • Steel-toed boots or shoes
  • Safety Glasses – CSA-approved
  • Gloves
  • Coveralls
  • Work wear
  • Hard hat

Classroom Supplies

  • tape measure (25-foot imperial and eight-metre metric)
  • metric conversion calculator, EL520-WBBK or EL-520X recommended
  • pencils, hi-liter, binder and notepaper
  • drafting equipment: available at the NIC bookstore:
    • set square – 30/60/90 degree, Staedtler 964 10-60
    • 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


In addition, NIC is pleased to make shop tools available to students in exchange for a $200 refundable tool deposit, which is not included in your tuition. It will be returned at the end of the term if all tools and tags are returned in an acceptable condition. Tools will not be distributed without proof of payment from the Registration office.

Tuition & Costs Estimate

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 our tuition page.

Domestic Fees

Tuition $2,355
NISU Fees $110
Lab Fees $95
Books $1,225
Learner Resource $125
Health and Dental $275
Total $4,185

Students are automatically enrolled in the mandatory Health and Dental Benefit plan ($275).

This program is tuition refund Category 1.