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Sprinkler Systems Installer

Duties

Sprinkler systems installers fabricate, install, test, maintain, inspect and repair sprinkler systems on commercial and industrial sites.

To install wet and dry pipe sprinkler systems, carbon dioxide, chemical and foam extinguishing systems, stand pipe and hose systems and fire pump systems, installers:

  • support the safe execution of work,
  • read and interpret engineered drawings and specifications to determine layout requirements,
  • select the type and size of pipe required and arrange the piping to provide fire protection,
  • install clamps, brackets and hangers to support the piping system and sprinkler and fire protection equipment,
  • join and connect pipes and piping sections to related piping systems, tanks, mains, pumps, compressors and control equipment using various pipe joining methods,
  • test systems for leaks using air or water pressure,
  • inspect, maintain and repair piping, fixtures and controls including hydrant, pump and sprinkler head connections, and
  • may prepare cost estimates for clients.

For more information regarding tasks and activities, please review the Trade Regulation.

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Working Conditions

Sprinkler systems installers work primarily indoors, often in temporarily heated or unheated spaces. They work a standard 40-hour week but are occasionally required to work overtime to meet deadlines.

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Skills and Abilities

The work is most rewarding for those who enjoy working with little direction or supervision in a field that demands precise work.

To be successful in their trade, sprinkler systems installers must have:

  • strength and stamina,
  • manual dexterity,
  • the ability to work at heights,
  • the ability to use proper lifting techniques to lift items weighing in excess of 25 kilograms,
  • the ability to do exacting work, and
  • the ability to communicate and coordinate with other trades.

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Employment and Advancement

Sprinkler systems installers are employed in the construction and maintenance industry. Employment prospects change with seasonal and economic climates

Journeyperson wage rates vary, but generally range from $39 to $49 an hour, plus benefits.

Experienced sprinkler systems installers may advance to supervisory positions or start their own businesses.

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Working in Alberta

To work as a sprinkler systems installer in Alberta, a person must:

  • be a registered apprentice, an Alberta-certified journeyperson, hold a valid recognized credential , OR
  • work for an employer who is satisfied that the worker has the skills and knowledge expected of a certified journeyperson, OR
  • be self-employed.

Individuals possessing a valid recognized credential in Alberta are eligible to receive a Blue Seal business credential after completing the necessary requirements.

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Apprenticeship Training

The term of apprenticeship for a sprinkler systems installer is 4 years (four 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1600 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training in each of the first three years, and a minimum of 1800 hours of on-the-job training in the fourth year.

  • An applicant who previously completed courses of study or work experience related to the sprinkler systems installer 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 toll-free at any 1-800-248-4823.
  • 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 online Prior Learning Assessment Application.  For more information, see the online Prior Learning Assessment 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 Sprinkler Systems Installer in Alberta and be issued an Alberta Journeyman Certificate, a person must:

Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates and may select apprentices from among their current employees.

For holders of an existing trade certificate, it can serve as your entrance requirement equivalency when registering in an additional trade.

  • 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 sprinkler systems installers earn at least 45 percent of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 60 percent in the second, 70 percent in the third, and 80 percent in the fourth year.
  • complete all program requirements as identified in the course outline
  • enroll in technical training
    - select an educational institution that offers training for sprinkler systems installer apprentices, and a time to attend training
    - determine requirements for enrolling at the selected institution, and forward completed enrolment form to the selected institution
  • review books and materials required for training
  • successfully complete all required exams

Apprentices may attempt the Interprovincial Exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training and, if successful, be granted a Red Seal.

When apprentices attend technical training, they are required to pay the applicable tuition fee and purchase course supplies.

Student loans, grants, scholarships and other financial assistance may be available. For more information see Financial Assistance, visit an Apprenticeship and Industry Training office or call toll-free to 1-800-248-4823.

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Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program

A sprinkler systems installer who holds a valid trade certificate from Alberta or from another Canadian province or territory may apply to write the Interprovincial Exam and, if successful, be granted a Red Seal under the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program. The Red Seal is recognized throughout most of Canada.

To prepare for the exam see the Exam Counselling Sheets and review available resource materials.

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Qualification Certificate Program

For a Qualification Certificate based on a 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.

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Equivalency Program

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.

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