I was born/grew up in: Holland Landing, Ontario, Canada
I now live in: Bradford, Ontario, Canada
I completed my training/education at: Humber College (plumbing), Mohawk College (cross connection specialist), George Brown College (Gas Fitter 1)
Describe what you do at work.
My company specializes in a wide range of plumbing, heating and ventilation, and gas fitting commercial projects. As a result I am not limited to the same exact tasks on a daily basis. My training in each individual field allows me to participate in different aspects of our company services daily.
The skills I will use will depend on the type of job I am doing. Often I use blueprint reading & measurement skills based on the matching code book requirements. The main tools I use are: torches, various standard/specialty power tools, drain cameras and snakes, pipe cleaning equipment, etc.
Because I am the front line maintenance, I need to be able to locate the central issue quickly. Then I have to determine the cause and decide on a solution for repair. I base my decision making on my training and experience. Depending on the project involved, I work with my colleagues to either assist in job completion or training for beginner and/or intermediate level apprentices.
My STEM training improved my theoretical skills. However I personally have found my practical skills from my co-op and apprenticeship experience provided me with more substantial learning.
When I was a student I enjoyed:
How does your job affect people’s lives?
Without my job services, regular home and commercial maintenance would be non-existent. When I am able to fix a plumbing or gas issue for key commercial institutions such as hospitals, retirement homes, and city infrastructures, I am giving a benefit to the community as a whole. My career allows me to train young apprentices to expose them to the benefits of the trades.
What motivates you in your career?
When I am able to find a solution for an ongoing issue and expand my skill set, I am motivated to continue to grow as a tradesperson. The most interesting and enjoyable aspect of my career is the fact that every day is different than the next. No two jobs are exactly the same. I get a lot of satisfaction of knowing that my training has paid off when I am able to help repair an emergency issue in a commercial building or institution. And the financial reimbursement in turn, also helps make this job rewarding.
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
Describe your career path to this career.
After graduating high school I enrolled in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) Co-op placement. I was exposed to the different aspects of the trades from a young age from my parents/family friends and knew it would be a good fit for me.
I completed a five year apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship programs give you hands-on training and experience working in a real workplace. Apprenticeship training lets you learn the necessary skills while working with qualified trades person. Some training takes place in the classroom but the majority of the training occurs in the actual workplace. When I finished my apprenticeship I did a final plumbing exam. Over the next three years I did additional course work at night school to give me a full Gas Technician 1 licensing.
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy a wide range of physical activities including power sports, sports and general physical training.
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
I would encourage students to start their training as soon as possible to ensure that they are making the most out of the benefits in the trades.