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Apprenticeship

Gas Utility Operator

Gas utility operators install and service gas utility pipeline systems that transport natural gas from its source to points of use such as building meter sets.

Also Known As

Natural Gas Utility Operator

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Gas Maintenance Workers (7442.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Waterworks and Gas Maintenance Workers (H532) 
  • 2011 NOC: Waterworks and gas maintenance workers (7442) 
  • 2016 NOC: Waterworks and gas maintenance workers (7442) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Gas Maintenance Workers

2006 NOC: 7442.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
METHODICAL

Interest in copying information to check and lubricate gas pipeline valves and to maintain work records

OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to investigate reports of gas leaks to determine the exact location and extent of leaks

innovative

Interest in speaking with supervisor to provide information on underground gas distribution lines; and in observing excavation work to ensure that underground gas facilities are protected

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Gas utility systems include:

  • Gas transmission distribution systems under various levels of pressure
  • Gas mains and services
  • Pressure controllers and regulators
  • Gas meter and measuring

Duties and responsibilities vary from one job to another but, in general, gas utility operators:

  • Interpret prints and specifications to determine the location, size and materials required to install gas mains
  • Install and maintain cathodic protection to prevent corrosion in steel and aluminum pipes
  • Locate underground gas systems and conduct routine surveys of gas mains and distribution lines to detect and locate escaping gas
  • Carry out routine gas system maintenance functions
  • Operate and maintain regulating, measuring and odourizing facilities
  • Provide information to the public and industry about underground gas distribution lines
  • Observe excavation work to ensure that underground gas facilities are protected
  • Investigate reports of gas leaks to determine the exact location and extent of leaks
  • Use equipment to expose gas lines and repair damaged pipes
  • Use laptop computers to keep records of work performed and the location and condition of pipelines
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Gas utility operators’ work is physically demanding, both indoors and outdoors. Operators generally work a 40-hour work week but overtime may be required to deal with emergencies or meet construction deadlines. On some jobs, gas utility operators need to rotate on-call shifts.

Working with explosive gases and power tools can be dangerous. To avoid injury, gas utility operators must follow safety codes and regulations and, during emergency situations, follow the specified procedures.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Gas utility operators need:

  • Mechanical ability
  • Manual dexterity
  • Strength and stamina
  • The intellectual ability to succeed in the formal training
  • The ability to communicate with customers
  • The ability to get along with customers and fellow workers

They should enjoy being physically active and working with little direction or supervision.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education Designated Occupation

Gas utility operator is a designated trade in Alberta. Training and certification are not required, but trainees can apply to Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training for a Journeyperson Certificate. It is recommended that applicants have English Language Arts 10-1, Pure Math 10 and Science 10, or equivalents.

To register, trainees must find a suitable employer who is willing to hire a trainee. Most employers prefer to hire applicants who have a high school diploma or related training or experience (in gasfitting for example). Prospective gas utility operators may be hired first as labourers and, if their work is satisfactory, offered trainee positions when they become available.

To qualify for a journeyperson certificate for gas utility operator based on training requires a minimum of 24 months training that includes at least 3,400 hours work experience.

Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for admission, credit, or certification. Credits may reduce the hours required.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Designated Occupations
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Gas Utility Operator

Gas utility operators install and service gas utility pipeline systems that transport natural gas from its source to points of use such as building meter sets. For more information, see the Designated Trades Profile section of Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

In Alberta, government-legislated certification is available for gas utility operators.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Gas Utility Operator.

Additional Information

Certified tradespeople who want to build their business skills may obtain an Achievement in Business Competencies (Blue Seal) Certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Gas utility operators are employed by gas utility and distribution companies and firms that contract services to those companies.

Experienced operators may advance to supervisory positions but further advancement opportunities are limited.

Gas utility operators are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7442: Waterworks and Gas Maintenance Workers. In Alberta, 81% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Trends and events affecting overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 7442: Waterworks and gas maintenance workers occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.3% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Experienced gas utility operators earn from $20 to $40 an hour plus benefits (2019 estimates).

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Waterworks and gas maintenance workers

2016 NOC: 7442
Average Wage
$32.91
Per Hour
Average Salary
$70,373.00
Per Year
Average Hours
42.3
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.9
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 7442 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.00 $38.00 $27.24 $27.00
Overall $21.00 $40.94 $32.91 $35.00
Top $26.00 $53.85 $38.80 $36.04

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Construction
Utilities
Public Administration
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
42%
42%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
31%
31%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
0%
0%
Vacancy Rate
0%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.alberta.ca

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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