A study conducted in 2019 has revealed that there are approximately 1,950 plumbers in Manitoba. The state of Manitoba is the longitudinal centre of Canada.  With a population of 1.377 million people, it is the fifth-most populated province in the country. Manitoba has a dynamic and moderately strong economy. As of 2017, the gross state product of Manitoba was $71.019 billion CAD. The state is also known for its steady employment rate, high standard of living and stable economic growth. Although often overlooked, Manitoba is one of the best places to live in. As of 2020, the state also had job opportunities in some of the most in-demand jobs, some of which had higher salaries than the national average. Manitoba’s economy is also heavily centred on natural resources. There are more than 110,000 lakes in the state which cover approximately 15.6 percent of its surface area. In this context, this article will discuss the career prospects of a plumber and provide a detailed guide on how to become a plumber in Manitoba.

Flag of Manitoba


As mentioned above, there are approximately 1,950 plumbers engaged in the plumbing, pipe-fitting and steam-fitting industry in Manitoba. 86% of the plumbers are employed in the construction sector. 95% of plumbers are employed as full-time workers which is a much higher percentage as compare to other occupations. 15% plumbers in Manitoba re self-employed as compared to 10% in all professions. But some studies have suggested that job opportunities for plumbers in Manitoba might be limited for the next 3 years.

The average annual salary of a plumber in this state is $61,372 CAD. Plumbers earn around $32.50 CAD per hour. The average hourly wages for apprentice and journeymen plumbers in this state are $26.14 CAD and $35.41 CAD respectively. The capital city of Manitoba i.e., Winnipeg pays the highest salaries to plumbers in the state.


Plumbing is a very precise and skilful trade but plumbers must take care to protect their assets from unexpected disasters. In this regard, it might be suggested that plumbers and plumbing contractors get the following kinds of insurance coverage:

  • Commercial General Liability Insurance – to protect the business from any kind of liability that it might have to face while carrying out general operations.
  • Tools or Equipment Floater – to protect the plumbing equipment while at work.
  • Business Property Insurance
  • Installation coverage
  • Extended coverage: for storage and transit

Plumbers having hired employees could also consider getting Workers’ Compensation Insurance.

A plumber with different types of insurance policies is likely to get a job quicker than a plumber who is not insured. Employers look for plumbers who are licensed and responsible enough to get insurance coverages. This saves their costs.

A Commercial General Liability Insurance is a requirement for obtaining a plumbing license in Manitoba.


  • Must be 18 years of age
  • High School diploma or GED Certificate
  • College Degree or Vocational Courses and Certification (Voluntary but highly recommended)
  • Must have work experience as an apprentice plumber
  • Must pass the Licensing Tests

Provided below is a detailed guide on how to become a plumber in Manitoba.


Enrolling in a plumbing apprenticeship program is the first step to become a plumber. A number of local unions and private contractors offer such apprenticeship programs. These courses involve theoretical as well practical training to help prospective plumbers acquire real-world skills and learn how to work on real plumbing systems.

To become a licensed plumber in Manitoba it is mandatory to complete four years of training as an apprentice plumber. These apprenticeship programs usually involve 5 levels and 1,800 hours of training.

After the successful completion of this hands-on training and technical program under a senior licensed plumber, the next step is to take an exam for acquiring a license.

Plumbing tools


In most Canadian states, certification is often more important than licensing. In Manitoba, certain trades require appropriate certification for the tradesmen to carry out services. These trades are known as compulsory trades. However, as opposed to other construction trades, plumbing is not recognised as a compulsory trade. Trade certification is voluntary for plumbers in Manitoba. Plumbers need not be certified to carry out their services in this state. However, all plumbers must have basic educational qualifications. In order to practise the trade, plumbers must also be registered apprentices and have appropriate journey level experience.

On grounds of possession of appropriate skills, Red Seal certifies the highly skilled plumbers irrespective of the degree or value of the apprenticeship program that those students were a part of. This certification requires additional testing fees.

 Plumbers who want to gain certification, can apply for a Challenge Certificate on grounds of skill and experience. In order to apply, plumbers must have 7.5 years of prior experience. This challenge will test their knowledge and provide certification on passing the exam.


There are several levels of high school and post-school training programs that plumbers seek today. These are vocational courses offered by trade schools provide technical as well as theoretical training to plumbers. A number of trade schools and community colleges offer these courses. These courses are recommended for plumbers who wish to enhance their qualifications and gain instant employment. These courses add substantial weight to a prospective plumber’s resume.

Plumbing schools offer training about the usage of tools
  • Louis Riel Arts and Technology Centre, Winnipeg – offers a plumbing program that is equivalent to Level One Apprenticeship Training from tool operations and plumbing code requirements. Plumbers learn about the installation of water conditioners, plumbing in residential as well as industrial sites and pipe fitting through theory and practical training. The total fee is $4,920 CAD.
  • Morden Collegiate Institute, Altona – offers a course on piping trades. It is a three-semester program that teaches students about piping, sanitary and venting systems and other aspects of the plumbing trade. By the end of the course, a student’s chances of gaining employment as an apprentice in the plumbing industry is enhanced.
  • Piping Industry Technical College, Winnipeg – is a local union in Manitoba that offers a joint training and apprenticeship program in plumbing.
  • RB Russell Vocational High School, Winnipeg – offers a plumbing and pipe trades program. This is a full-time, pre-apprenticeship program that lasts for two semesters. Students learn about plumbing, piping, venting and sanitary systems. The coursework for both the semester includes both classroom and lab training. Students also perform many weeks of on-the-job training at a plumbing or pipe trades company.
  • Assiniboine Community College, Brandon – offers a full-time apprentice training program on plumbing. There is another course that students might look into- a 9-month certificate course on piping trades. Students learn about plumbing, pipe-fitting, gas, furnaces, water and sewer systems, usage of equipment etc with special focus on plumbing in health and wastewater management, through hands-on training.
  • Red River College, Winnipeg – offers a 5-month certificate program on plumbing. Students acquire the skills and knowledge needed to install piping systems in residential and commercial settings. Students also learn about measuring, cutting pipes, reading blueprints and the course also lays extra emphasis on usage of tools in accordance with plumbing codes. This course may also provide opportunities for credit transfer for future enrolment in apprenticeship programs.
  • University College of North, The Pas – offers an apprenticeship training program in plumbing. This is an earn-while-you-learn program involving in-school/technical training.  By the end of this program, students take a certification test. On passing that test, the apprentice plumbers are awarded with appropriate certification as a journeyperson.
  • Manitoba Institute of Trade and Technology, Winnipeg – offers a number of certificate courses for construction labourers, electrical technicians and welders that interested students could look into.
  • Garden City Collegiate, Winnipeg – offers a program on plumbing and pipe trades that is open to all high school students. By the end of this course, students graduate from high school, receive 9 high school credits and a level-one apprenticeship certification in plumbing.

Most Canadian provinces are working to the best of their capacities to deal with the crisis that the raging pandemic has barraged at the world. Several provinces including Manitoba have declared a state of emergency. Covid-19 has impacted the construction industry in Canada in profound ways and the Government has restricted several construction activities during the lockdown. Plumbing services have however been declared as essential and must continue in Manitoba even during the pandemic. under this circumstance, plumbers must treat the health of customers as first priority and take adequate measures for safety.

The plumbing industry is dealing with two kinds of crises at the moment in addition to facing reluctance from clients to let them enter their homes. With factories in most countries shutting down completely, there has been a delay in the import of tools and equipment. As a result, the supply chain has been disrupted. Many people have been infected by the virus and have gone into complete isolation, creating a major shortage of staff.

This has pushed construction related projects to the edge of uncertainty but it is being expected that plumbers will be in huge demand once normalcy resumes across the world. There will be a need to fix existing systems and install more advanced appliances that are in line with the environmental needs of the new world that will emerge post-pandemic.

Plumbing industry has the responsibility of protecting the health of the citizens by ensuring a regular supply of clean drinking water

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