Gasfitters size, install, test, adjust and service natural gas and propane equipment ranging from residential furnaces to industrial boilers. Gasfitter (A) certification is required to work on appliances exceeding 400,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs).
Gasfitters employed by utility companies repair and extend gas mains, and install, repair and service pipes and fittings between mains and buildings. Those employed by propane distributors install and service propane vaporizers, temporary heating equipment, propane metering and dispensing equipment, and propane pumping equipment. Gasfitters employed by mechanical and service companies install and maintain piping and appliances in residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
Following codes, regulations and accepted safety practices, gasfitters:
- determine the size and type of pipe, equipment, appliances and devices to use
- test, identify and select the correct piping and related materials
- measure, cut, thread and assemble pipe using tools such as pipe cutters, pipe threading machines and pipe vices
- install vents and flues, and connect gas-consuming appliances such as ranges, dryers, barbecues, furnaces, boilers, space heaters, radiant and forced air heaters
- test and replace defective equipment or components
- start-up and adjust new or repaired equipment
- prepare reports
Gasfitters may also:
- install and repair underground gas mains and distribution pipes
- respond to calls about escaping gas
- assist in the investigation of gas fires and explosions
- convert motor vehicles or appliances to use other fuels (e.g., propane or natural gas)
- install and service propane and natural gas filling stations
For more information regarding tasks and activities, please review the Trade Regulation.
Gasfitters work both indoors and outdoors at physically demanding tasks. They work a 40-hour week with overtime sometimes required for emergencies or to meet construction deadlines.
There may be some risk of injury involved in working with explosive gases and power tools. Safety training is mandatory.
The work is most rewarding for those who enjoy working with little direction or supervision. People in this field also enjoy variety in a job as well as security.
To be successful in this trade, gasfitters need:
- the ability to work with little supervision
- the skill to diagnose problems
- the ability to use proper lifting techniques for items weighing up to -and more than- 25 kilograms
- mechanical, electrical and electronic aptitude
- manual dexterity
- the ability to deal courteously with customers
Gasfitters are employed in the construction, manufacturing and utilities industries. Employment prospects change with seasonal and economic climates.
Experienced gasfitters may advance to supervisory positions such as foreman, maintenance manager or service manager, or start their own contracting businesses.
To work as a Gasfitter (A) in Alberta, a person must be a registered apprentice, an Alberta-certified journeyperson, or hold a valid recognized credential.
Individuals possessing a valid recognized credential in Alberta are eligible to receive a Blue Seal business credential after completing the necessary requirements.
The term of apprenticeship for a gasfitter (A) is 3 years (three 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1500 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training each year.
- An applicant who previously completed courses of study or work experience related to the Gasfitter (A) trade or holds a related journeyperson certificate and has the employer's recommendation, may qualify for credit that could reduce the term of apprenticeship. Inquiries about credit for previously completed courses of study or work experience can be directed to an apprentice representative at any Apprenticeship and Industry Training Office.
- A person who has previous training or work experience in the trade and wants to determine their level of skill and knowledge for entry or advanced standing in an apprenticeship program may complete the Prior Learning Assessment Online Application. For more information, see the Prior Learning Assessment Online Guide.
- A high school student can become an apprentice and gain credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time under the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).
To learn the skills required of a Gasfitter (A) in Alberta and be issued an Alberta Journeyman Certificate, a person must:
- satisfy the entrance requirements or pass the entrance exam (see Entrance Level Competencies, Exam Counselling Sheet, Entrance Exam Study Guide, and Entrance Exam Support Materials List), or Gasfitter (B) trade certificate
- find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice
Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates and may select apprentices from among their current employees.
- complete the online Apprenticeship Application and Contract
- pay the non-refundable application fee as part of the application process
- complete the required on-the-job training
- during on-the-job training, apprentice gasfitters (A) earn at least 50 percent of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 60 percent in the second, and 80 percent in the third year.
- complete all of the program requirements as identified in the course outline
- enroll in technical training
- select an educational institution that offers training for Gasfitter (A) apprentices, and a time to attend training
- determine requirements for enrolling at the selected institution, and forward completed enrollment form to the selected institution
- review books and materials required for training
- successfully complete all required exams
When apprentices attend technical training, they are required to pay the applicable tuition fee and purchase course supplies.
Program materials under development.
For a Qualification Certificate based on a or recognized credential or work experience in order to prepare for the exam(s) please refer to the Exam Counselling Sheets and review available resource materials.
Time spent on supervisory or foreman duties, counter work, heading the tool crib, or on training course is NOT counted as 'hands-on' work experience.
A person who holds a valid recognized credential, does not require an Alberta Equivalency document to work in the trade in Alberta.
However, some employers may require Alberta documentation as proof that the holder is allowed to work in the trade or that the holder's credential is recognized.
More information regarding the Equivalency Program can be found here.