Pipe Trade

Foundation Program
Also available as:
  • Full Time
LENGTH: 6 months or less
CAMPUS: Burns Lake - Prince George
FEES: Estimated at $5,068
START DATE: Fall 2023 - Spring 2025
  • In Class
Application Status

Applications still open.

Program dates:

Aug 26 2024 - Jan 31 2025

  • Overview
  • Courses
  • Location & Dates
  • Entry Requirements
  • Fees


Are you interested in earning a career with diverse opportunities in the trades industry? Enroll in this Pipe Trades foundation program. Upon completion of this program, you will be prepared to work in three different trades:

  • Plumber
  • Steamfitter/Pipefitter
  • Sprinkler System Installer


Piping tradespeople go on to work in a variety of settings, from installing sprinkler systems in new/renovated buildings to working on large oil and gas pipelines.

With the planned expansion of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry in Northern BC it is expected that the region will see an increased demand for skilled workers in the piping trades.

  • Plumbers often work in residential, commercial, and industrial settings installing, repairing, or maintaining plumbing systems. They may also be employed by hospitals, school districts, post secondary institutions, and municipalities.
  • Steamfitter/Pipefitters may work for pipeline construction contractors, thermal or steam generating plants, utility companies, pulp mills, oil refineries, chemical plants, or manufacturers.
  • Sprinkler System Installers fabricate, install, test, maintain and repair water, foam, carbon dioxide, and dry chemical sprinkler systems in buildings for fire protection purposes. They may install systems in residential buildings, commercial buildings, institutional buildings such as hospitals and schools, and in manufacturing plants.

Experienced plumbers, steamfitter/pipefitters, and sprinkler system installers may working supervisory or management positions, run their own company, or work in trades education.

What you will learn

During this hands-on program you will learn a variety of skills and theory. Topics include:

  • Tools and equipment
  • Building codes, regulations, and standards
  • Preparing and assembling piping components
  • Trade related science and math
  • Safe work practices

Become an Apprentice

This foundation program will provide entry level practical skills and academic knowledge to prepare you to begin the apprenticeship pathway as either a plumber, steamfitter/pipefitter, or a sprinkler system installer. You do not need an employer sponsor to participate. In fact, one of the main reasons to complete a foundation program is to gain experience and familiarity with the trade, giving you a competitive advantage to finding an employer to hire you as their apprentice.

Upon successful completion of the foundation program, you will receive credit with the BC Industry Training Authority (ITA) for Level 1 technical training in all three trades (plumber, steamfitter/pipefitter, and sprinkler system installer). Once you are officially registered as an apprentice with ITA, you will then be able to complete the work based training hours (on the job training) and higher levels of apprenticeship training for your chosen trade.

Apprenticeship programs provide a unique approach to post-secondary education, combining classroom based learning (known as technical training) with on the job training. This enables you to “earn while you learn,” significantly reducing the need for student debt and building your career NOW instead of waiting until you’ve completed your education.


Governing bodies

Pipe Trade Courses

This program prepares the student for entry into the apprenticeship program for either Plumber, Pipe Fitter/Steam Fitter, or Sprinkler Fitter. To work in BC, a pipe trade worker must be either certified in a trade or registered in a four-year apprenticeship program leading to certification.

Pipe Trades Foundation: Program Outline


Locations & Dates

CNC programs have varying lengths and start dates to meet your needs, and are offered across multiple campuses where possible. Don’t see the campus you’re looking for? Check back with us soon as this page is updated throughout the school year.

Fall 2023 Prince George In Class 25 weeks
Fall 2024 Prince George In Class 21 weeks
Spring 2025 Burns Lake In Class 6 months or less

Entry Requirements

Successful completion of the following:

  • English Language Arts 10 (minimum “C”) or equivalent 
  • Workplace Mathematics 10 (minimum “C”) or equivalent

Need help meeting these requirements? Check out our Academic Upgrading options.

Limited admission

If there is room in the program, you will be accepted once you have met all the admission requirements. This is called “first qualified, first accepted”. If you qualify after the program is full, you will be put on a wait list.

Invest in your future

The estimated cost for this program is $5,162.

  • Tuition: $4,180
  • Student fees: $688
  • Tool Deposit: $200 (Refundable)    
  • These costs are an estimate and do not include books. Student fees vary by campus. Check the fee schedule for more details.

    Books for this program can be purchased from the bookstore.

    Paying for college

    We're here to help. You can apply for scholarships and bursaries through CNC. We can also help you find loans and other funding. Visit Financial aid to find out how. 

    Salaries and employment

    Looking for a job? Check the student employment opportunities or trades training job board.