Construction Sampler

Program Description

What is this program about?

This dual credit Construction Sampler is designed to offer students a hands-on opportunity in gaining basic understanding of four common construction trades:

  • Carpentry
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Construction Craft Worker

The approach supports safe workplace practices, student skill development and encourages design, planning, production and evaluation of various construction sampler techniques and projects. To provide students with tangible skills and assist their understanding of the trade, all trades covered within the Construction Sampler will build skill sets toward a common project. For example, a bathroom or kitchen unit framed to scale by the Carpentry trade with Plumbing and Electrical components installed over the course of the semester. Students will gain an understanding and appreciation for trades that are in their everyday lives.

The Construction Sampler is a one semester program (16 credits) offered in the Fall and Spring at the Trades and Technology Centre at the NorKam Secondary School Campus.  All students from School District No.73 are eligible for the program. Students outside of NorKam\’s catchment area will return to their home school at the end of the one semester program.

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What do students earn if they take this program?
  • Students will earn 16 credits after successful completion of the program which will be applied to their Dogwood Diploma as four individual, grade 12 elective  courses and
  • Twelve credits from Thompson Rivers University which can be applied towards a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of General Studies degree.


Benefits to Students

Why should students take this program?

The Construction Sampler is a unique opportunity to sample, test, and experience four trades in a short amount of time. Taking the Sampler will allow you to:

  • Make informed choices for yourself and your future. Before investing time and money or making assumptions about the trades,  you will know:
    • If you like the trade and if it’s for you;
    • What the trade is about – skills, expectations, job requirements, rigor and future training opportunities;
  • Experience the program through 20% theory and 80% hands-on work;
  • Be taught by a Red Seal Instructor who has experience in the trade, will help guide you through the trade, and will provide you with real-life experience inside the classroom and on site;
  • Obtain advanced credit from TRU while still in high school;
  • Maintain your home school status in order to play sports for and graduate from your home school.

If you are open to learning new skills, open to new ideas, or know trades are in your future, the Construction Sampler is for you.  The Sampler is risk free and an opportunity to invest in your education practically!

Construction Sampler Courses


In this 120 hour course, direct exposure to the Foundation training content with a 20% focus on theory and an 80% focus on practical  content, students will have a broad overview of the practices and skill sets needed for the Carpentry trade. Units of study in the Carpentry course will include:

  • Shop and Personal Safety Practices
  • Use of Hand Tools
  • Use of Portable Power Tools
  • Use of Shop Equipment
  • Use of Leveling Instruments
  • Selection of Wood Frame Systems and Materials
  • Building Floors and Support Systems
  • Building Walls and Partitions
  • Building Gable Roofs with Ceiling Joists.

What do carpenters do?

  • Carpenters build and repair a vast array of structures made of wood, wood-substitutes, and other materials
  • Carpenters assemble and erect forms for concrete, wood, and metal frame construction
  • Carpenters use plans and instruments to prepare for excavating and shoring
  • On smaller projects, carpenters direct concrete placement, and install exterior and interior finish materials such as siding, doors, windows and cabinets




The 120 hour course will be used to deliver units in: Safe Work Practices, Tools and Equipment, Use of Soldering Tools, Preparing and Assembling Plumbing Components (installing pipe and fittings) and  Installing Plumbing Equipment.

What do plumbers do?
  • Plumbers install, alter, and repair the systems that keep our water and waste disposal systems running
  • Provide many of the basic amenities we rely on day-to-day
  • Read and interpret blueprints and project specifications
  • Select the type, size of pipe required for a project, and measure, shape, and join pipes according to the appropriate specifications
  • Occasionally alter structures to accommodate the pipes
  • Plumbers test for leaks, once pipes are in place
  • They maintain pipes to prevent or repair leaks, after installation
  • Plumbers also braze and solder
  • Plumbers use a variety of materials and construction techniques, including copper, steel, and (increasingly) plastic pipe. They also work with large cast iron and concrete pipes
  • Plumbers sometimes make use of other related skill sets, such as a familiarity with basic welding and electrical work and a limited amount of gas fitting work




The 120 hour Electrical course will introduce students to the Foundation program offered at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) which follows sections of the ITA Level 1 curriculum. This curriculum is used as a framework for the content covered in the Electrical Sampler. Students will cover units in:

  • Safe Work Practices (Personal and Shop)
  • Applying Circuit Concepts, Installing Low Voltage Distribution Systems
  • Installing Electrical Equipment
  • Installing Control Circuits and Devices

This experiential hands-on program will excite students, yet be realistic in the expectations of the trade.

What do Electricians do?

  • Electricians work in a wide variety of buildings and settings including: lighting, climate control systems, communication equipment and thousands of other specific tools and devices
  • Work involves assembling, installing, commissioning, testing, maintaining, servicing and operating electrical systems and equipment
  • Three main settings Electricians work are in Construction, Industrial and Institutional
  • Electricians also need a good understanding of the many applications of electricity, and must ensure that building codes and other safety requirements are followed.

Construction Craft Worker

In this 120 hour course students will complete the ITA program for the new Red Seal Trade called the Construction Craft Worker. This new trade was introduced in direct response to the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry’s demand for skilled tradespeople in BC’s north, specifically Construction Trades Helpers and Labourers as described in the press release 20 Aug 2014.

What do Construction Craft Workers do?

  • installs utility piping
  • places concrete
  • constructs roads
  • performs selective demolition
  • performs underground work
  • assists skilled tradespersons such as Carpenters, Bricklayers and Cement Finishers in construction activities
  • helps Heavy Equipment Operators secure special attachments to equipment
  • guide operators in moving equipment and perform laboring activities at construction sites.

Who employs Construction Craft Workers?

Construction Craft Workers work in various industrial sectors. They may be employed by a wide variety of general contractors, municipalities, and oil and gas companies.


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