Pipe Trade

Foundation Program
Also available as:
  • Full Time
LENGTH: 6 months or less
CAMPUS: Mackenzie - Prince George - Vanderhoof
FEES: Estimated at $5,068
START DATE: Fall 2021 - Fall 2021
  • Alternate Delivery
Accepting Applications
Still accepting applications for Fall 2021
  • Overview
  • Courses
  • Location & Dates
  • Entry Requirements
  • Fees


The Pipe Trades Foundation program prepares you for three different trades:

  • Plumber
  • Steamfitter/Pipefitter
  • Sprinkler System Installer

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.

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


Governing bodies

Pipe Trade Courses

This 25-week program prepares students for entry-level employment in four piping trades: Plumber, Steamfitter/Pipefitter, Gasfitter, and Sprinkler System Installer. The program is a mix of both hands-on and classroom training and allows students to gain experience in four similar trades in one program. Upon successful completion of the Piping Foundation Program you will receive credit with ITA for Level 1 of all four trades allowing you to seek an apprenticeship in the trade that best fits your career goals and interests.

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 2021 Mackenzie Alternate Delivery 25 weeks
Fall 2021 Prince George Alternate Delivery 25 weeks
Fall 2021 Vanderhoof Alternate Delivery 25 weeks

Entry Requirements

Successful completion of the following:

  • English 10 or English 030 or Communications 11 or equivalent with a grade of “C” or higher.
  • Common Grade 10 Math or Apprenticeship and Workplace Math 11 or Trades Math 041 or Math 030 or an equivalent course with a grade of “C” or higher.

Note: Students who do not meet the above requirements and think they may be admissible as a mature student should consult a CNC advisor.

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

Selection process

Students are encouraged to submit a resumé and handwritten statement indicating reasons for wishing to enter the program as well as complete a test of mechanical reasoning skills, and the College English/Math Achievement Test (EMAT). These items are included in the selection criteria listed below and will be awarded points.

If the program is over-subscribed, students will be selected based on the selection criteria listed below:

  1. The letter grade for English 10, English 030 or Communications 11 or equivalent will contribute its actual points to the selection process: e.g., “A” = 4.0, “B+” = 3.33, etc.
  2. The letter grade for Foundations of Math 10 or Apprenticeship and Workplace Math 11 or Principles of Math 10 or Applications of Math 10 or Math 030 or Trades Math 041 or an equivalent course will contribute its actual points to the selection process, e.g., “A” = 4.00, “B+” = 3.33, etc
  3. Credit in Physics 11 or equivalent with a grade of “C” or better will be awarded 4 points.
  4. Completing the Student Readiness Assessment (SRA) may give a possible 7 points to the selection process as follows:

    a) The Mechanical Reasoning portion of the SRA will be awarded a maximum of 5 points.

    71 - 76% = 1 point
    77- 83% = 2 points
    84 - 89% = 3 points
    90 - 96% = 4 points
    97 - 100% = 5 points
  5. The English portion of the Student Readiness Assessment will be awarded 1 point.
  6. The Math portion of the Student Readiness Assessment will be awarded 1 point.
  7. Credit in one or more trades related courses at the Grade 12 level with a grade of “B” or higher, successful completion of any entry level trades training program or documented experience of one year in a trade will be awarded 3 points.
  8.  Credit in any of the following: English 11, Principles of Math 11 or equivalent, or Trades Math 042 with a “C” grade or higher will be awarded 3 points.
  9. The submission of a resumé and personal handwritten statement indicating the reasons to enter this program will be awarded a maximum of 3 points.

Maximum points available = 28

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.

    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.