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Oil and Solid Fuel Heating Mechanics

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NOC:7331
Occupation:Oil and Solid Fuel Heating Mechanics
Category:Trades and Transportation

About the job

Nature of work:

Oil and solid fuel heating mechanics install and maintain oil, coal and wood heating systems in residential and commercial buildings. Oil heat systems technicians install, repair, and service oil burning and oil combination burning equipment and appliances. They are employed by heating systems installation and service companies.

Job duties:
Oil and solid fuel heating mechanics perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Read and interpret drawings or specifications to determine work to be performed.
  • Lay out oil burner heating system components and assemble components using hand and power tools.
  • Install oil burner components such as thermostats, motors, piping and safety devices, and connect to fuel supply, ventilation and electrical system.
  • Test installed unit and adjust controls for proper functioning.
  • Troubleshoot and repair malfunctioning oil burners, and their components and controls.
  • Install, maintain and repair coal and wood heating systems.
  • Perform scheduled maintenance service on oil and solid fuel heating systems.
Sample job titles:
  • furnace installer and repairer (except gas)
  • heating mechanic
  • heating systems installer
  • heating systems technician
  • oil burner installer and repairer
  • oil burner mechanic
  • oil burner technician
  • oil heat system technician
  • solid fuel heating installer
  • wood-burning appliance installer
Skills:

This work requires an understanding of the principles of electricity and a mechanical aptitude. You should be able to follow instructions and perform detailed work. Patience and the ability to be methodical are required when testing motors and equipment. Analytical skills are required to determine what is causing equipment to malfunction and decide on the necessary repairs. A background in high school mathematics and the sciences is helpful. You should also have good motor coordination, physical strength, and stamina.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of a three- to four-year apprenticeship program or a combination of over four years of work experience in the trade and some college or industry courses in heating systems installation and repair is usually required for trade certification.
  • Oil heat system technician trade certification is compulsory in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified oil heat system technicians upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.
Other considerations:

Workers may be self-employed and provide services as needed to their clients. Therefore, earnings may vary throughout the year and depend upon the person's ability to attract and retain customers. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline significantly over the next few years, which will limit the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Oil and Solid Fuel Heating Mechanics most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 68% of Oil and Solid Fuel Heating Mechanics who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $43,549. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Oil and Solid Fuel Heating Mechanics315decline sharplyN/AModerate
Minimum: $13.00
Median: $21.70
Maximum: $30.00
Minimum: $9,524
Median: $39,759
Maximum: $71,599
Occupations in Trades and Transportation57,925Decline slightly3,400High
Minimum: $13.00
Median: $20.35
Maximum: $34.00
Minimum: $7,580
Median: $37,269
Maximum: $79,787
Oil and Solid Fuel Heating MechanicsCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
Percent employed full-time95%89%
Percent self-employed20%13%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentOil and Solid Fuel Heating MechanicsCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern10%x12%$30,581
Northern22%x16%$33,660
Cape Breton14%x13%$32,974
Halifax45%$41,30747%$41,209
Annapolis Valley9%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeOil and Solid Fuel Heating MechanicsCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
15-24N/Ax
25-349%13%
35-4439%33%
45-5426%34%
55-6422%19%
65+9%x
Median Age4947
GenderOil and Solid Fuel Heating MechanicsCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
Female3%5%
Male97%95%
EducationOil and Solid Fuel Heating MechanicsCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school2.7%$26,44818.2%$25,753
High school9.3%$36,74825.5%$28,089
Trades certificate57.3%$40,92929.4%$40,890
College certificate or diploma28.0%$41,49322.6%$39,023
University certificate or diploma2.7%x1.0%$35,969
Bachelor's degreeN/Ax2.7%$36,972
University advanced certificate or diplomaN/Ax0.2%$41,705
Master's degreeN/Ax0.3%x
DoctorateN/Ax0.0%$36,029
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.0%$3,714
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
Oil Heat System Technician
Certificate of Qualification (Mandatory):This job is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Certification is required to work in this job.
Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717
apprenticeship@novascotia.ca
Useful contacts:
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717
Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada - Atlantic
PO Box 9410, Station A
Halifax, NS B3K 5S3
Tel: (902) 425-2445
Fax: (902) 425-2441

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
cumberland.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
akerley.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
pictou.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
shelburne.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Heating, air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration maintenance technology/technician (HAC, HACR, HVAC, HVACR)
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair, install, service and maintain the operating condition of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. These programs include courses in diagnostic techniques, the use of testing equipment and the principles of mechanics, electricity, and electronics as they relate to the repair of heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems.
See all institutions providing this program+
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
cumberland.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
akerley.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Apprenticeship Training
Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute
80 Mawiomi Place
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5
(902) 491-1100
waterfront.info@nscc.ca
Additional resources: