A plumber by the name of Bob I was apprenticed under last year told me this story about these houses he was called in to plumb up here in Vancouver BC some years back. A man of east indian heritage was general contracting his and his brothers homes (right next door to each other). He calls in Bob, shows him around and says to Bob "I want you to give me a quote for you to install toilets, fixtures, etc.
So Bob takes a parouse around the two houses and there are drywallers, painters, and finishing carpenters, etc, all busy as a bee. But to no avail, there was NO ROUGH IN. Nothing. So the guy who called in Bob to plumb both houses somehow magically thinks that you install fixtures and you flush your toilet and it magically just washes all your problems away.
I absolutely love those type of challenges. Not only working through the details but getting my hands dirty along with it. Its one reason why I don't have my own business, I don't want to be called away on mundane and routine management tasks while the best get to have all the fun.
I would loved to have seen your sponsers face when he was walking through that house.
How many years do you guys serve in Vancouver before you qualify to test for your journeyman license? Is it a territory wide program or just in the city?
By the way, welcome to the site. It is always good to have insight from all levels and areas of the trade. Some of us get a tad grumpy once and awhile but we never bite.
Whats your favorite task so far?
Canada has a code development program where various experts accross the industry meet once every 5 years and develop/improve the next edition of the Canadian Plumbing code. Then it is up to the individual provinces to adopt the code. I believe the past codes have been adopted by various provinces with a few amendments to it to suit each province's environmental circumstances. But I'm told the next edition of the code will be so good that very few of the amendments will be required by each province before adoption of the new edition (this is what I've heard anyways). So when we write our red-seal test to become a journeyman, at least in BC, you are writing your inter-provincial red seal which means you qualify as a journeyman accross Canada. However I believe if I went and worked in Alberta or another province I'd still have to learn some of the local quirks but it'd probably be pretty similar because of the standardization of the code development process accross Canada.
It only takes 4 years of work expiereince (I think something like 1500 hours each work expierience per year) and 4 school terms (1 - 6 weeks, 2 - 6 weeks, 3 - 6 weeks, and 4th year - 8 weeks) to get your red seal. In your 4th year of school you do 6 weeks of gas code and the other 2 weeks are red seal exam prep. All plumbers get their interprovincal red seal and their gas fitter level "B" ticket (provided they pass of course). Level B in Canada basically covers the more common gas fitting type work found in most houses/residential/most of commercial construction. Level A in Canada which is very technical and needs to be done through monthes of night school is more industrial type stuff where your mistakes blow up city blocks. This is how we do things in Canada at least as far as I know. I am going for my 2nd year of school in a week. I've been in the field for a year solid and I took my level one through a 30 week pre-apprenticeship course. I love the trade. When I'm on the job site I see various other trades but I don't envy any of their jobs becuase I am doing the trade I love the most. I love good, high quality tools, and I do my research usually fairly thoroughly (as you can see from my questions concerning Milwaukee tools) before buying.
As far as my favourite task, I don't know what to say. I'm not too picky. I've done a few small side jobs namiy replacing taps and things like that and while I am in new construction because that is where the boom is right now in VAncouver (as it is down where you are I believe becuse of low interest rates, etc.) I think I would like to get into renovations and the like in the future. I enjoy working with people, meeting people, and doing the rewarding type of finish work that looks good. I also like the feeling of fixing something for someone. However like I said, I'm not too picky, and my bottom line is I like doing quality work that is done right and won't require any coming back to fix it. That is one of my biggest pet peeves personally is shotty work.
As for the story, All Bob could do was shake his head, laugh out loud hard, and have a story to tell everyone in the future for a damn good laugh!
Anyways thanks for the welcome and I look forward to soaking up the excellent perspectives, and expierience you guys have to offer on this board.
It sounds like Canada seems to have it together pretty good regarding their licensing procedures.
You have picked a good trade. Regardless what happens with the economy, people will need potable water and a way to get rid of it. Even when the economy tanks, and it will, Plumbers usually have fewer layoffs than the other trades.
Work hard and work honest, get a good reputation for yourself and whether you hang out a shingle or run work for others you should always stay busy.
plumber, i'll second that.