- Could you work with precision tools?
- Do you like machines?
- Can you work independently?
- Do you enjoy interacting with people?
- Are you looking for on-the-job variety?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then a career as a Gasfitter could be right for you.
Gasfitters install, inspect, repair and maintain gas lines and gas equipment such as meters, regulators, heating units and appliances in residential, commercial and industrial establishments.
They are employed by gas utility companies and gas servicing companies.
As a Gasfitter, your duties may include the following:
- Installing, repairing and maintaining gas meters, regulators, gas lines and gas appliances
- Testing and replacing defective equipment
- Attending to gas-escape calls and assisting in the investigation of gas fires and explosions
- Advising clients on safety features and maintenance of gas units
- Converting cars or appliances to use natural gas fuels
- Preparing work reports
- Reading and interpreting drawings and blueprints
There are two types of gasfitters. Their jobs are very similar, with one main difference:
- Gasfitter 1st Class: works on all equipment
- Gasfitter 2nd Class: works on equipment with less than 400,000 BTUs (British thermal units)
The standard work week for gasfitters is 40 hours (8 hours a day, 5 days a week). As with many careers in construction, there are peak periods that will require you to work overtime. The number of additional hours you work each week depends on the construction sector and region you work in, and will vary from one job to the next. You may also have to be available on short notice to respond to emergencies.
Gasfitters may work indoors or outdoors. You will often work independently, but will interact with customers on most maintenance and repair jobs.
As with all careers in the construction industry, safety is the top priority. Gasfitters are trained to work safely and wear special equipment to protect against injury.
Training and Certification
Apprenticeship involves both classroom studies and on-the-job training under the supervision of a certified Gasfitter, called a journeyperson.
As an apprentice, you earn while you learn and are paid by the hour for your on-site placements. Wages start at about 50% of a journeyperson’s hourly rate and increase during your apprenticeship until you reach the full rate.
Entering an apprenticeship program
Requirements for gasfitter apprenticeship programs vary across Canada. To enter a gasfitter 1st Class apprenticeship program in most provinces and territories, you must have a Grade 9 education or equivalent and pass an entrance exam, or have gasfitter 2nd Class certification. To enter a gasfitter 2nd Class apprenticeship program you must be a certified Plumber or Steamfitter/Pipefitter.
Some provinces and territories offer secondary school apprenticeship programs that allow high school students to work towards a career as a Gasfitter.
Gasfitter apprenticeship programs vary across Canada. Gasfitter 1st Class apprenticeship programs generally involve three 12-month periods, including at least 4,500 hours of on-the-job training, three eight-week blocks of technical training and a final certificate exam. Gasfitter 2nd Class apprenticeship programs generally involve two 12-month periods, including at least 3,000 hours of on-the-job training, and two eight-week blocks of technical training.
Related work experience or completion of a gasfitter program at a college or technical institute can reduce the time required to complete your apprenticeship.
Certification is required in Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia and the Yukon. Where certification is not available, it may be possible to study as an apprentice through your local labour organization. Check out our Related links to find out who to contact. Certification tells employers and other workers that you are a skilled professional. It also helps you get jobs.
To be certified as a Gasfitter, you usually need to complete a three-year apprenticeship program. Once you successfully complete the required on-the-job training, technical training and exams, you are awarded a journeyperson certificate.
You may be eligible for certification in some provinces and territories if you have several years of on-the-job experience and have completed a high school, college or industry program in gasfitting.
In addition to certification, a provincial gasfitting licence is usually required.
To keep their skills current, Gasfitters must keep up with new technologies by reading and speaking with others in the field.
Anticipated In-Demand Regions
- British Columbia
- Ontario - Northern Region