Plumbing and Piping Trades Foundation

Learn the necessary skills to find employment in the industry as an apprentice plumber, steamfitter/pipefitter or sprinkler system installer. Courses include aspects of residential, commercial and industrial piping systems with a focus on developing practical skills.

Share this program

  Email   Print
A male student wearing a helmet and safety goggles works on plumbing and piping equipment.


  • Kelowna
  • Vernon
  • Penticton
  • Salmon Arm
View training schedule
  • Full program offered
  • Partial program offered



Delivery options


Tuition and fees

2024-25: $4,111.02 (Kelowna, Penticton, Salmon Arm) $4,160.77 (Vernon)

  • Fees include all mandatory fees: Activity fee, Health & Dental, Student Association fee, Education Technology fee, Development fee.

  • All amounts are approximate and are subject to change.

  • Detailed domestic tuition and fees information

Program details

If you have any questions about how a course or program is delivered, you can check the , email the Department Chair or email the Trades & Apprenticeship office:

Apprenticeship: apprenticeship@okanagan.bc.ca
Foundation and General Interest: trades@okanagan.bc.ca

This 25-week (750 hour) program takes a student with little or no previous experience in the piping trades and supplies them with the necessary skills to seek employment in industry as an apprentice Plumber, Steamfitter/Pipefitter or Sprinkler System Installer. The program exposes the students to aspects of residential, commercial and industrial piping systems in these trades with a focus on developing practical skills. The curriculum follows SkilledTradesBC guidelines for the first-year in-class components of apprenticeship training for Plumber, Steamfitter/Pipefitter and Sprinkler System Installer, which includes installation, repair and maintenance procedures in compliance with the applicable codes and standards. Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive Level 1 technical training credit toward an apprenticeship in the aforementioned three trades. This gives the successful students the opportunity to experience a number of trades without having to commit to one in particular and, upon completion, have the choice to pursue one or more career paths.

There are a number of physical activities involved in training for a skilled trade, please review the physical activities of the program and the recommended student characteristics as listed below. Okanagan College strives to make all learning experiences as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience disability related academic barriers (including mental health, chronic or temporary medical conditions), please contact Accessibility Services at your campus so that you can privately discuss options.

Physical activities of the trade:

  • Lift and carry tools, equipment, supplies and materials weighing up to approximately 30 pounds
  • Lift, carry, hold and operate hand, air and power tools from below grade to above shoulders
  • Stand on concrete, dirt, rock, asphalt, wood, etc. for extended periods of time
  • Bend, stoop, kneel, crawl to perform piping tasks
  • Learn and work in both indoor and outdoor venues, through all seasonal challenges
  • Push/pull and carry pipe, tubing and construction materials
  • Climb extension ladders, and work on scaffolding at heights
  • Work in open trenches and other confining environments

Recommended student characteristics:

  • Good general health and respiratory condition
  • Capable of doing physical work
  • Physical strength and stamina compatible with the handling of heavy equipment and materials
  • Ability to tolerate noise and vibration
  • Good balance and coordination to walk on uneven ground for up to 8 hours per day.
  • Good manual dexterity
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Satisfactory eyesight, line, form and depth perception
  • Able to work in confined spaces such as crawl spaces, stair wells, around furnaces and plumbing fixtures.

Textbooks and supplies required for students in the Plumbing and Piping Trades program (total $680.92):

  • 7850000538 Plumbing and Piping Foundation Pkg. - $76.79
  • National Plumbing Code 2020 - $55.49
  • Pipe Trades Handbook - $28.79
  • NFPA 13D Standard for Installing Sprinkler Systems - $129.29
  • Perform Safety Function Level 1 Harmonized Binder - $65.49
  • Use Tools & Equipment Level 1 Harmonized Binder - $117.49
  • Perform Routine Trade Activities & Apply Electrical Concepts Level 1 Harmonized Binder - $103.29
  • Prepare Piping & Components Level 1 Harmonized Binder - $104.29

5% GST is not included in price. Price is subject to change.

Other required supplies
  • Architect's Metric Scale Ruler
  • 30/60/90 Triangle
  • Compass Set
  • Scientific calculator: EL-520XBWH - required
    • Cell phones are prohibited in classroom & shop and may not be considered a substitute for a calculator
  • Notepad (pocket), Pencil, Lumber Crayon, Marker, and Pen
  • CSA Approved Footwear (mandatory)
  • Hard Hat (mandatory, blue colour is preferred)
  • Safety Eyewear (mandatory)
  • Lock for locker

Government-issued picture ID is required to write the provincial and national exams: driver's licence, photo ID or valid passport. Student ID cards are not acceptable.

  • Imperial/Metric Tape Measure (1" wide is suggested, minimum length 16')
  • Hacksaw and 18 teeth/inch blade (pack of 10 - min 2)
  • Claw Hammer (16 oz. min. suggested)
  • Poly tubing Scissor-type Cutter, Ridgid BK125S or equivalent
  • Copper Tubing Cutter, Lenox #21011 or Ridgid #15 or equivalent
  • 9" Torpedo Level
  • Pipe Wrench, 14" aluminum
  • Pipe Wrench, 14" steel
  • (2) Adjustable Wrenches, 12" and 8" length
  • Set Channel-lock Pliers, 12" or 16" length
  • Aviation Tin Snips - yellow
  • Nut Driver, 5/16"
  • Combination Tri-square
  • 3-Way Torch Striker
  • 1 Screwdriver Power-Thru 5/16"x6"
  • 1 Screwdriver Red #2 Robertson 4"
  • 1 Screwdriver #2 Phillips 4"
  • 1 De-burning Tool - Rapid Burr

ɫɫɫƬ may purchase a set of good quality tools from the Plumbing Department for $678.00 in the first week of class or source their own from local suppliers such as KMS Tools or Acklands-Grainger. We strongly advise, when purchasing tools, that you select the best quality that you can afford. Professional-quality tools will make your job easier and safer, with an expectation of longer tool life.

Optional tools
  • Combination open/box end wrench set, 3/8" to 3/4"
  • Telescoping basin wrench
  • Gloves
  • Coveralls for shop
  • Knee pads
  • Chisel - ¾" Wood

Applicants who have not satisfied the Math admission requirement within the last seven years, and/or do not meet the English admission requirement, must write the TEA Math and/or English test. Both of the assessments are online, multiple-choice and timed. Applicants are allotted 1 hour to complete each section (2 hours for both). A practice assessment and study resources are offered to all applicants who register to write the TEA.  Calculators are not allowed while completing the Math section; applicants who are observed to use a calculator of any sort will receive a grade of zero.  Applicants who do not achieve the minimum passing requirement on their initial attempt, are offered a second attempt at no additional cost after a two-week study period. 

Please ensure you write the assessment, and any required re-writes, prior to the deadline for admissions requirements provided by the Registrar’s office. For more information or to register for the Trades Entrance Assessment, click here. Further questions can be directed to the Trades and Apprenticeship office at trades@okanagan.bc.ca.

Please note: Applicants who successfully completed the ABLE test at Okanagan College within the two years prior to application for admission shall have their results accepted as equivalent to the Trades Entrance Assessment. 

The textbook list above was current at the time it was posted and may be used for initial planning purposes. Please check back with the bookstore 2 weeks before your program starts under Current Book List for a final, updated list of book titles and prices, and to order!

Textbooks available online only at . If you have any questions, call 250-862-5638 or email campusstores@okanagan.bc.ca.

It takes approximately two to three business days to fill the online orders, please be sure to purchase the necessary items prior to the 1st day of class.


Admission requirements

  • B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent, or 19 years of age and out of secondary school for a minimum of one year as of the first day of classes.
  • English 10 with minimum 50% or.
  • Math requirement:
    • A minimum of 50% in any of:
      • Apprenticeship and Workplace Mathematics Grade 10
      • Workplace Mathematics 10
      • Foundations of Mathematics and Pre-Calculus Grade 10
      • Mathematics 10
      • Adult Basic Education MATH 071 and MATH 072
      • The Trades Entrance Assessment (TEA) Mathematics test. Test scores are only good for two {2) years.
        • Applicants who have not satisfied the Math requirement within the last seven (7) years must write the TEA Mathematics test and must receive a minimum of 50%.

Program outline

PPTF 101 - Use Safe Work Practices
PPTF 102 - Use Tools and Equipment
PPTF 103 - Organize Work
PPTF 104 - Install and Service Piping Systems
PPTF 105 - Technical Exam
  • Graduates must complete the 5 courses with an overall average of 70% calculated on a weighted percentage, based on time allocation. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will receive an OC Certificate of Completion.
Additional information

View the official Calendar details and policies
Learn more about the department
View the Tuition and fees page


Join an info session or become a student for a day.


Have your questions answered by an advisor or recruiter. 


Take the next step and enrol in a program or course at OC.