Alberta & UA SteamFitter – PipeFitter Designation

Alberta Journeyman shall mean:

  • Any individual who earned their trade qualification in Canada in a jurisdiction with less than a four (4) year apprenticeship program. (Prior to 2008 Alberta Apprenticeship training is recognized as being a four (4) year program.)
  • Any individual whose trade qualifications were earned outside Canada, except for UA trained American Travel Card members.

UA Journeyman shall mean:

  • Any UA Local 488 member who was registered as a Journeyman Steamfitter – Pipefitter prior to  May 1, 2011; or,
  • Anyone who is qualified to the Alberta Steamfitter – Pipefitter Journeyman designation identified above and who has successfully completed the additional requirements stipulated by the UA Local Union 488 Joint Education Trust Fund Trustees or their designate; or,
  • Anyone who has obtained the Alberta Steamfitter – Pipefitter Journeyman designation identified above, through either apprenticeship or challenge and who is already classified as a Journeyman in another trade represented by UA Local Union 488.

Any dispute, appeal, determination, or decisions regarding these designations shall be adjudicated by the sole discretion of the UA Local Union 488 Joint Education Trust Fund Trustees by whatever process they deem appropriate and their findings shall be final.

To qualify as a UA Steamfitter – Pipefitter Journeyman, individuals must qualify as Alberta Steamfitter – Pipefitter Journeyman and complete an additional 1350 hours worked of ‘on the job training’ and attain a minimum of 200 hours of training courses at the Alberta Pipe Trades College as stipulated below:

Participants in the UA Journeyman program will pick their courses from the following chart.  All courses will be grouped.  You will need to take 40 hours from Group 1,  120 from Group 2 and 40 hours from Group 3.

Group One  (minimum of 40 Hours)

EPRI Rigging 40 Hours
Practical Rigging 40 Hours


Group Two  (minimum of 120 Hours)

Industrial  Templating and Fabrication 40 Hours
Instrument Fitter 40 Hours
Practical Pipefitting 80 Hours
NAUSC Controlled Bolting 40 Hours
UA Foreman 40 Hours


Group Three  (minimum of 40 Hours)

Basic Pipefitting 16 Hours
Introduction to Polyfusion 8 Hours
Introduction to Steam Tracing, Tube Bending & Raceway 8 Hours
Isometrics and Industrial Drawings – 1 12 Hours
Isometrics and Industrial Drawings – 2 12 Hours
ISPEC – Planning & Estimating 32 Hours
LSE (Leadership for Safety Excellence) 16 Hours
St. John Standard First Aid 16 Hours
UA Job Steward 24 Hours


Effective January 1, 2015 – each course ($50+) you successfully complete towards the UA Journeyman program will be reimbursed one for one, instead of when all the courses are complete.  We are making the change so no one is out of pocket.

*The EPT Trustees may adjust the curriculum at any time with three (3) months notification


    • Bruce Marsden November 30, 2014 at 8:22 am Reply

      I am a Calgary 496 member, can I take this program?

      • Leanna December 11, 2014 at 12:31 pm Reply

        The UA Journeyman Steamfitter designation is a program that has been put into place for the Alberta Journey Steamfitters of Local 488 for them to update their skills.
        Any of the courses that are listed can be taken by other UA Local members.
        so, in other words Bruce, you can take these courses. I just require your UA membership number and payment for the course, as long as there is a seat available.

    • Jerry Lague July 13, 2015 at 5:43 pm Reply

      so because I took the three year program I have to take some of your courses because you don’t think I’m skilled enough?

    • William Fluete September 4, 2015 at 7:18 pm Reply

      how many hours is the practical rigging course there is a typo

    • Maureen November 3, 2015 at 3:55 pm Reply

      I am an instrumentation technician completing period 4. Local 488 member. Only a few courses applies to my trade. How does this apply to me?

    • Moe Al January 22, 2016 at 12:07 pm Reply

      I am a instrument tech but not a UA member. Can I take instrument fitter course.

      • Leanna February 11, 2016 at 10:05 am Reply

        unfortunately you are not able to take any of the “Professional Development” courses that we have listed.

    • varsan January 26, 2016 at 12:30 pm Reply

      hi i like to join apprenticeship program i have journeyman welder ticket so how can i join it
      i dont have employer

      • Leanna February 11, 2016 at 10:03 am Reply

        To obtain your Steamfitter ticket you will either have to start an Apprenticeship or write the Qualification Exam with the Alberta Apprenticeship Board.
        to find out more information in regards to the Qualification Exam, please call 1-800-248-4823

    • Budimir February 22, 2016 at 1:43 pm Reply

      So, is this mean, we have to take 200hrs training and 1350 work hrs after we got journeyman ticket to get JOURNEYMAN RATE ???

      • Leanna March 15, 2016 at 2:23 pm Reply

        to get the UA Journeyman rate you will need to complete the work and course hours.

    • Lee March 10, 2016 at 8:13 pm Reply

      I’m journeyman and B Pressure welder.
      but I’m not a UA member.
      Can I join UA488 Steamfitter apprenticeship program?

      • Leanna March 15, 2016 at 2:32 pm Reply

        There is no UA488 Steamfitter apprenticeship program, only the Alberta Steamfitter apprenticeship through the Alberta Apprenticeship program.
        As a Journeyman Welder you are able to apply for the Steamfitter Qualification Red Seal Exam through the Alberta Apprenticeship Board as long as you have the required Steamfitter work hours and months.
        click on the tradesecrets website for Steamfitter and scroll down to “Qualification Certificate Program” for more information.

    • Mark R Tardi March 29, 2016 at 12:49 pm Reply

      I would like to challenge the pipefitter/steamfitter red seal ticket. I am currently a red seal plumber/gas fitter and have worked as a pipefitter for the past five years. Can you please send me the information I need to register for this exam. I have sufficient hours accumulated in the pipe trade and need only take the next step in acquiring the pipefitter/steamfitter red seal ticket. Please send me the form I need to register or information to achieve this goal. Thank you very much! Mark tardi

      • Leanna March 29, 2016 at 2:17 pm Reply

        Good afternoon Mark,
        To register for the Steamfitter Red Seal Exam you will need to fill out the”Qualification Application with the Alberta Apprenticeship. The Union does not conduct any exams for the Red Seal.
        go to the following website for the application

        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.
        The Steamfitter-Pipefitter Qualification Certificate Program is participating in a pilot project that creates an alternate route for the verification of trade competencies, called the Trade Competency Verification (TCV) Pilot. See the TCV Fact Sheet for details and the Steamfitter-Pipefitter TCV Sample Book.
        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.

        Once you have submitted your application to the Apprenticeship Office and it has been reviewed and verified, they will notify you with the date of your exam.

    • Howie MacWilliam April 9, 2016 at 6:09 pm Reply

      Why was this not outlined when I started my apprenticeship. Nothing was ever mentioned of these courses and extra hours needed until I was in my final year of school. Is this not misrepresentation? The 4 year apprenticeship was cut down to 3 years yet according to all of our instructors it was simply condensed. Nothing was taken out. This seems like nothing but a money grab to me. Are these courses available in Fort McMurray? Or do I need to take 5 weeks off work, pay for all these courses, and put myself up in a hotel for 5 weeks?

      • Leanna April 11, 2016 at 1:24 pm Reply

        If you had been up to date with your reading the 488 Pipeline Newsletter or attended member meetings you will know that this was not put into effect until 2011. And since you started your apprenticeship November 2009, how were we suppose to let you know?
        As for a money grab,… as i stated earlier, if you attended meetings or read the Newsletter you will know that “upon successful completion of ANY course $50+ from the courses listed, you will be reimbursed the FULL amount.”
        Presently there are no courses set up in Fort McMurray. As for taking 5 weeks off work, no these can be completed within 4 weeks if timed right, or you can take 1 course a month. Check the dates available for the required courses.

    • Kris Powell April 20, 2016 at 10:02 am Reply

      I believe the main component that was removed to make it a 3 year apprenticeship is the gasfitting, along with condensing some other stuff. in every other province, after completing the 4 year steam apprenticeship one would also have the option to write a test with the local authority to get a gasfitter b ticket. now, correct me if I’m wrong, but an “Alberta steamfitter” should be able to go and get his or her gasfitter b ticket after the fact and bridge that gap to become a “UA steamfitter”. personally I think it’s insulting that the UA gets to decide what we are worth based upon the length of the apprenticeship we did. the length of the apprenticeship has nothing to do with the quality of the tradesmen that said apprentichip produces.

    • Terry MacDonald May 15, 2016 at 12:27 am Reply

      I did the 3 year steamfitter Apprenticship but I also have a red seal welding ticket I got in 2010. What would I be classed as?

      • Stacey July 8, 2016 at 11:23 am Reply

        If you are a Journeyman in another trade, as soon as you become a Journeyman Steamfitter you are automatically considered a UA Journey Steamfitter.

    • David June 9, 2016 at 9:23 am Reply

      I am an Alberta journeyman and just wrote and passed ICCS certification exam! Do I get any credit towards my UA designation at all?? This is a government certification and another ticket and in my opinion I should get some credit towards my UA rate…

      • Leanna August 23, 2016 at 12:32 pm Reply

        Which option did you apply with the Alberta Apprenticeship & Industry Training to write your ICCS Exam?
        1) Occupational Certification – based on Recognized Credential
        or 2) Occupational Certification – based on Work Experience

        If you went with option #1, then you would have taken the LSE course (16hrs) and if you have taken the UA Foreman course (40hrs) then you would have completed 56 hours towards the UA Journeyman Designation.
        40 hours-2 and 16 hours-Group 3.
        Which now means you only have to complete 40 hours- Group 1, 80 hours- Group 2, and 24 hours- Group 3.

        To register for these courses, please checkout the new 2016/2017 Course dates under “PROGRAMS – Courses”

    • Tom lance August 22, 2016 at 1:19 pm Reply

      I am an American journeymen steamfitter, was interested in working in Alberta would I have to take classes or would I get journeyman wages?

      • Leanna August 23, 2016 at 12:35 pm Reply

        Hi Tom,
        In answer to your question, I would need to see the issue date on your Journeyman Ticket.
        you can email a copy to

    • Chopard November 23, 2016 at 9:39 pm Reply

      Hi ,
      I have a pipefitter red seal ticket under qualification Program . I’m not a ua member , if I get my membership I have to take any courses to be a UA journeymen ? If yes what’s the process I have to follow .

      • Leanna December 5, 2016 at 3:02 pm Reply

        Do you have a Journeyman ticket in Plumber, Sprinklerfitter or Welder prior to obtaining your Qualification ticket for Steamfitter? If so then i would just require a copy of That Journeyman ticket. If no other J ticket then Yes you will have to complete the UA Designation process and complete the courses once you become a member.

    • Adrian Martin November 28, 2016 at 6:19 am Reply

      I just finish my steamfitter apprenticeship
      And pass my IP i gonna get the full
      Wage right away or do i need to take all
      The courses at the all to get my full wage?
      I am a member of local 488.

      • Leanna December 5, 2016 at 3:14 pm Reply

        you will be getting the AB Steamfitter rate until you have completed the courses and hours for UA J-Steamfitter status.

    • Deom December 3, 2016 at 11:31 am Reply

      Do I have to be a Local 488 member to take the 4 week Red Seal Prep course? If so how do I do that and at what cost?

      • Leanna December 5, 2016 at 3:17 pm Reply

        Yes you do have to be a Union member to take the 4 week Steamfitter Equivalency course.
        steps to take: apply with the Union, check jobs available in the Dispatch, obtain a job slip and work for a minimum 90 days to 6 months depending on Initiation/Heritage Date

    • Wil Bisson January 26, 2017 at 7:42 pm Reply

      Hi,Leanna;I have a Red Seal Steamfutter Pipefitter ticket as well as a Red Seal Sprinkler ticket as well as a Red Seal Mechanic ticket does that Qualify me as a full UA Steamfitter Pipefitter Thank’ Wil Bisson UA Member

      • Leanna March 28, 2017 at 10:19 am Reply

        Yes Wil, you are a UA Journeyman Steamfitter

    • Daniel Glenn January 26, 2017 at 9:54 pm Reply

      I have 12+ years in as a steamfitter 10 years of it as a member but my year don’t count for UA journeyman don’t have the money to take the time off hall has never support me as an apprentice trying to get my ticket 3 years of sub 2jobs I never been paid for as an apprentice as a redseal journeyman steamfitter or a Alberta steamfitter as the hall likes to call it even though i have my interprovincial getting to the point the hall fail me as an apprentice and as a journey men ijust what to leave the UA even though i was a proud member their is no UA anymore

      • Leanna March 28, 2017 at 10:49 am Reply

        If that is how you feel, then there really isn’t anything for me to do.
        I did see that your Apprenticeship started in October 2006 and you did not achieve your Journeyman ticket till 2014, 8 years after starting, by doing the Qualification Exam with AIT.
        If you feel that the Hall has Failed you, why did you take the 4 week Steamfitter Equivalency course the Hall has available to their members to prepare for the Qualification Exam?

    • George April 17, 2017 at 7:56 pm Reply

      I am a 496 TC, I completed a 2 year journeyman Gasfitter “B” apprenticeship in BC in 2007, “A” Gas in 2010. I hold UA foremans cert, UA CSA(2017) Med gas Cert, UA Shop Stewards Cert and completed the three year red seal steamfitter cert a year ago. What else is required to complete UA JM Qualification for 488? Who do I contact to complete this?

      • Leanna May 1, 2017 at 2:16 pm Reply

        with you having a Journeyman ticket prior to May 1, 2011 you are considered an automatic UA Journeyman Steamfitter.

    • Mark May 10, 2017 at 6:59 pm Reply

      Hi I’ve been a member since 2005 I’ve became a journeyman in December 2011 and Forman for the last 4 years do I have to do the course or is there a test I could write

      • Leanna May 12, 2017 at 10:03 am Reply

        from the “Steamfitter Designation” information sheet
        2) UA Journeyman shall mean:
        a)Any individual who was registered as a Journeyman Steam Fitter-Pipe Fitter prior to May 1st, 2011; or,

        there is no test for UA Journeyman Steamfitter. Just course hours and work hours.

    • Daniel Glenn May 17, 2017 at 6:43 am Reply

      Preparation for any exam is important

    • M.Mcgrath June 12, 2017 at 3:21 pm Reply

      Completed my UA designation Steamfitter ticket today and I just gotta say thanks to all the instructors and Leanna at the hall for all the help. Great courses and good things to say about the alberta to UA designation program..Thanks

    • Moy July 15, 2017 at 7:32 am Reply

      I will like to know how I can get into apprenticeship pipefitters.bimbo am new and looking for someone to sign me up. I have no employer.

      • Leanna July 24, 2017 at 2:31 pm Reply

        Local 488 Union does not sign anyone to start an apprenticeship. You will have to find a Contractor that is willing to take you on jobwise for them to sign your paperwork for an apprenticeship.
        Once you have your Apprenticeship Book, bring it into the office.

    • Christian Badibanga January 29, 2018 at 9:48 pm Reply

      Thanks Leanna For a good job you are doing
      Your explanations and patience

      God Bless you

      • Leanna January 30, 2018 at 11:27 am Reply

        Thank you so much Christian.
        Your comment means alot to me.

    • Shibu george April 3, 2018 at 9:58 am Reply

      I am working with union 488 3 years unfortunately i don’t know i am not a memmber right now..but my question is that i can attend red seal preparatipn course in the union .I heard this course is very good for my red seal exam and my any possibility i can attend this course.can you please give an answer
      Shibu george

    • Jesse Caron April 30, 2018 at 10:32 am Reply

      Hi I was wondering what the availability was for the two rigging courses Epri, and practical rigging.

      • Leanna June 15, 2018 at 10:29 am Reply

        Both classes are FULL for the month of June.
        there will be future dates for the Fall and will be posted as soon as the dates are approved.

    • Jeet Patel February 13, 2021 at 7:58 pm Reply

      Hi Dear,
      I am fresh graduate from high school. I am planning to go for steamfitter or Instrumentation Technician. Which one should you prefer to take? And which has more opportunity nowadays.

      Yours Sincerely,
      Jeet Patel

      • Glen March 23, 2021 at 9:08 am Reply

        Hello Jeet –

        Both trades have their pluses and minuses and are completely different in their daily work tasks. An “on the ball” instrument tech will rarely be out of work, a steamfitter, unless working directly for a large mill may be out of work from time to time.
        If you are very technical, like the small details of a job, good with wiring circuits etc – then the instrument job is for you.

        Hope this helps,

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