Find a Fulfilling Career

Looking for a rewarding career path? With lots of jobs, room for growth and great pay, the mechanical contracting industry is welcoming recruits from all backgrounds.

If you have a trade under your belt you have work for the rest of your life.



A Career in the Mechanical Trades

Why is this a Rewarding Career Path?

The mechanical contracting industry offers clear career progression from apprentice, to journeyperson, foreperson, supervisor, and beyond. This is an industry that rewards people for the work that they do. If you work hard, show up and do the job, show drive and determination, and a desire to grow and take on more responsibility, you will be seen and you can take the steps to grow your career are far as you can imagine.

This is an affordable and accessible way to get educated and earn a trade. From day one you are earning an income and upon receipt of your certification, you will be earning a viable and competitive income. Earning a trade will make you self-sufficient and will never hold you back.

The industry is booming and the demand for qualified skilled trades professionals has never been higher. Working on a job site offers you a community. Many trades have to work together towards a common goal to drive the completion of a project. Camaraderie and mentorship are at the foundation of this industry from your apprenticeship to your career progression, you are part of a team.

Who Belongs in the Trades?

There are a variety of roles in the mechanical trades. From deeply technical roles like Boilermakers, to those that require finesse like Welding, there is something for everyone. But there are certainly some elements of this industry which attracts a certain kind of person.

The mechanical trades offer a great career to those who enjoy working with their hands, who take pride in seeing a structure come to life in front of their eyes, who enjoy putting things together, and understand the inner workings of systems and structures.

Everything you work on in the skilled trades is held to a certain set of standards and building codes, it requires technical knowledge, tactical ability, and a strong work ethic to do. If you take great pride in your work and are rewarded by seeing a job through from start to finish, this is an excellent industry for you.

Working in the skilled trades you will always be part of a team, it is a collaborative process between your co-workers and other trades on a job site.

How do you get Started?

Whether you are in high school and trying to figure out what to do when you graduate or someone interested in changing their career, the process to get into the trades is similar.

1. It starts with deciding which trade you want to pursue. You may have an idea of a trade you are interested in, you can explore the trades listed below.

2. Once you've chosen a trade to pursue you need to get an apprenticeship. We've also provided a full guide on apprenticeships below.

3. In order to become certified, you will need to complete a certain number of hours on the job as an apprentice and also complete four years of course training before you can take your certification exam and become a full journeyperson. Learn more about training programs below.

Explore the Mechanical Trades

BoilermakerRed Seal Trade

More Details

Boilermakers fabricate, construct, install, repair, and maintain boilers, boiler systems, vessels, tanks, towers, and other structures intended to hold hot gas or liquid. Boilermakers primarily work with steel, iron, copper, and fibreglass materials. This field requires vast technical knowledge and the tactical skills to work with large structures in industrial and commercial settings.

Boilermaker Programs:


BCIT, OUC, PVC, UA Local 170
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A gasfitter installs, tests, maintains, and repairs propane and natural gas lines, appliances, equipment, and accessories. A Gasfitter (Class A) works on equipment in residential and commercial premises while a Gasfitter (Class B) works in various sectors and with fuels including manufactured gas, liquified petroleum gas, digester gas, landfill gas, or biogas.

Gasfitter Programs:

Instrumentation & Control TechnicianRed Seal Trade

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Instrumentation and control technicians install, repair, maintain, and calibrate control instruments including indicators, recording devices, control loops and computers. These instruments may be pneumatic, hydraulic, electronic, electrical, mechanical, nuclear, optical or chemical.

Instrumentation and Control Technician Programs:

Insulator - Heat and FrostRed Seal Trade

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Insulators apply different kinds of insulating materials to mechanical systems such as plastics, tanks, vessels, and HVAC systems to prevent the passage of heat, cold, vapour, moisture, sound, or fire. They also spray insulating materials and install fireproofing and fire stop systems. They typically work in commercial or industrial settings such as gas plants, refineries, hospitals, schools, and convention centres.

Insulator – Heat and Frost Programs:

PlumberRed Seal Trade

BCIT, Camosun, KPU, NLC, NIC, OUC, PVC, UA Local 170
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Plumbers install, repair and maintain plumbing systems such as water, hydronic, drainage, waste and vent, low pressure steam, chemical and irrigation. They also install specialized systems such as medical gas, process piping, compressed air, water conditioners, fuel piping, sewage and water treatment, and storage and flow equipment. Plumbers interpret drawings, refer to layouts of existing services, and review applicable codes and specifications to determine work details and procedures. They locate and mark positions for fixtures, pipe connections and sleeves, and cut openings to accommodate pipe and fittings.

Plumber Programs:

Refrigeration & Air Conditioning MechanicRed Seal Trade

BCIT, Camosun, OUC, UA Local 516
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Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics install, maintain and service residential, commercial, industrial and institutional heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration units and systems. They also connect to air delivery systems, install and service hydronic and secondary refrigerant systems and associated controls.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic Programs:

Sheet Metal WorkerRed Seal Trade

BCIT, Camosun, KPU, NIC, OUC
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Sheet Metal Workers lay out, fabricate, assemble, weld, install, and service the following: ducting, spouting, fittings cabinets, gutters, copings, flashings, supporting devices, wall systems, building envelope, ornamental work and integral equipment associated with the blowpipe, air pollution, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, roofing, restaurant, kitchen, marine installations and hospital equipment.

Sheet Metal Worker Programs:

Steamfitter/PipefitterRed Seal Trade

BCIT, Camosun, KPU, PVC, UA Local 170
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Steamfitter/Pipefitters manage the fabrication, assembling, maintenance, and repair of piping systems carrying water, steam, fluids, gases, or chemicals in systems such as HVAC, lubricating, and process piping systems.

Steamfitting/Pipefitting Programs:

Sprinkler FitterRed Seal Trade

BCIT, PVC, UA Local 170
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Sprinkler Fitters install, repair, inspect, and maintain fire protection systems. This includes wet, dry, water mist, foam, deluge, carbon dioxide, antifreeze, and a variety of other fire protection systems.

Sprinkler Fitter Programs:

WelderRed Seal

BCIT, Camosun, KPU, NLC, NIC, UA Local 170
More Details

Welders specialize in fusing materials together, typically metals or plastic polymers, using an open flame. Welding requires a strong level of finesse, dexterity, and attention to detail.

Welding Programs:

Explore More About Our Trades


A trade apprenticeship is a unique training process that combines both education and on site training.

Skilled Trades Training

Learn about the program providers in British Columbia who offer training for skilled trades.

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With lots of jobs, room for growth and great pay, the mechanical contracting industry is welcoming recruits from all backgrounds.

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