Plumbing Zone - Professional Plumbers Forum banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Brothers!

I like the forum, a lot of good info here. I just signed up and I guess I will take this opportunity to ask for some advice.

I'm a first year Steamfitting apprentice (27 yrs. old) working out of the United Association Local 46 Union Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

I have been working with mostly plumbers and have been doing more soldering than fitting pipe. A lot of the guys I have worked with have said that I should be doing a plumbing apprenticeship rather than a steamfitting one because " a plumber can do steamfitting work, but a steamfitter cannot do plumbing as the code is way more in depth" etc. etc.

Here in Toronto, plumbers, steamfitters, and welders work out of one union hall. I think in New York the trades have a more "black and white" jurisdiction on the work they do.

I don't know if anyone here is out of UA Local 46 but if anyone can give me their own perspective on this it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanx.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
so you are a licensed plumber that has worked as a "pipefitter"? We have a few travel cards from 488 and they have listed themselves as a "pipefitter" but I haven't seen too many people dispatched as pipefitters........

So what would you do in my shoes? I think what helped me get into the UA was due to the fact I picked "steamfitting" as my trade.

I guess there aren't too many steamfitters so that is why. Anyway, the JTAC (training committee) isn't too keen on apprentices skipping over to another trade especially since there are way too many plumbers as compared to steamfitters.

Basically, I want to challenge the C of Q in both trades and everyone says that challenging the plumbing C of Q after you are a Steamfitter Journeyman is way too difficult. It is a lot easier to become a plumber journeyman and then challenge the Steamfitting C of Q, not to mention the side work you can do as a plumber.....

confused.
 

·
Plumbing and Gas SCO
Joined
·
1,437 Posts
We just went to a 3 year apprenticeship for Steam Fitters in Alberta. It is still 4 years for plumbing. Plumbing has alot of codes that need to be crammed into your head as well as technical experience. Plumbing is without a doubt harder than Steamfitting, many apprentices here go with Steamfitting because the Industrial rate is more than Commercial. ( a couple bucks per hour ) There was a ton of work for Steamfitters when the Oil dollar was high but many expansions are being shelved for now until the oil prices improve.
There will soon be alot of Steamfitters at the hall looking for work, the plumbers who were working as pipefitters will just go back to plumbing.

I had the same choice to make as you once upon a time, I chose plumbing. I believe I chose the best path.

Every area has different needs, what works here may not work there.

Take your time with the decision, it will affect your career path for a long time. Good luck.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,808 Posts
Welcome to PZ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We just went to a 3 year apprenticeship for Steam Fitters in Alberta. It is still 4 years for plumbing. Plumbing has alot of codes that need to be crammed into your head as well as technical experience. Plumbing is without a doubt harder than Steamfitting, many apprentices here go with Steamfitting because the Industrial rate is more than Commercial. ( a couple bucks per hour ) There was a ton of work for Steamfitters when the Oil dollar was high but many expansions are being shelved for now until the oil prices improve.
There will soon be alot of Steamfitters at the hall looking for work, the plumbers who were working as pipefitters will just go back to plumbing.

I had the same choice to make as you once upon a time, I chose plumbing. I believe I chose the best path.

Every area has different needs, what works here may not work there.

Take your time with the decision, it will affect your career path for a long time. Good luck.
Well that's what I am saying. I don't want to be out of a job. I have no family in the UA, I got in simply on my test/interview scores and a lot of luck. Here in Ontario, Plumbing and Steamfitting are both 5 year apprenticeships, (1800 hours per "year").

The three areas we have are ICI-36 hours a week, High Rise-39 hours/wk, and Low Rise-44 hours/wk. I am in ICI, both Steam & Plumb make the same.

The main reason I wanted to switch to plumbing was that it would be a heck of a lot easier to get my steamfitting license afterwards. I guess it isn't impossible to do it the other way around

I guess I should stick with what the Director of Training told me during a meeting with him when I voiced my concerns "a good steamfitter will always have work".

Hey UAPLUMBER, are you currently working in Alberta? You said that for years you have worked through Local 488.......Have you worked in the States? Is it more prosperous to work in the US(a Q to my fellow Americans)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Don't get it.:confused1:

I think the Leafs will win within 5 years:thumbup:

Yes, I'm 27 and I gave up a well paying career to begin my apprenticeship and basically start all over.....is that a problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Don't get it.:confused1:

I think the Leafs will win within 5 years:thumbup:

Yes, I'm 27 and I gave up a well paying career to begin my apprenticeship and basically start all over.....is that a problem?
Just kidding dude,I know people who have started over in their 40 s.the joke was with the leafs.your friend 24 stanley cups.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No prob......

Lord Stanley will be here by the time a journeyman......at that point Toronto will be in ruins, cars overturned, windows smashed, and people hanging off of light standards.......it will be fun:devil2:

They Leafs sucked the other night, leading twice, and still lost ;)
 

·
new nickname:Quaker State
Joined
·
1,204 Posts
Welcome aboard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
need some advice

I am a brother from local 853, i want to get into the Local 46, and they say no way the unemployment is threw the roof,
The question thta bothers me is that why would i have to start at the aptittude testand interveiws to see if im worthy of gaining an apprenticeship when i have completed my red sealed sprinklers fitters ticket and have been in the trade for 11 years. I mean i work alondside plumbers all day. i have the IPC and read it all the tim eat home. I really want in, Sprinklers is a great job, but the is not much room for diversity, and ever since this reccession, There is NOOOOO work and plumber and steam fitters are able to go to the Fort Mcmoney and being a Red seald sprinkler fitter, I am not wanted on the oil sands.
I got into the wrong trade. Somebody have some advice for a fellow pipe worker out on his luck.
Thanks 46
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top