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Program delivery update

To ensure we can safely offer the high-quality learning you expect, we've changed how many of our programs are delivered. Please view this program's delivery option(s) under "locations & availability". Learn more about how programs will be offered

Oil Heat Systems Technician

Install, repair and maintain oil-fired domestic and light commercial appliance equipment, components and systems.

Program Image
Start Date:
Typical Length:
20 Weeks
College Certificate

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The heating services industry is changing and requires individuals with a variety of skills: knowledge of heating systems, electrical control systems, blueprint reading, piping and soldering.

This program prepares you to work with many aspects of oil-fired heating equipment. You learn new techniques, including design, assembly and installation of heating and ventilation systems, oil burner components (control devices and associated wiring) and fuel supply systems. You also learn to connect plumbing to mechanical and electrical systems. In this program, you learn through a series of classroom sessions and have an opportunity to apply your knowledge through lab work and a five-week industry work term.

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed at the end of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Choose NSCC

  • This program is a first step towards certification in the Oil Heat System Technician trade. To become certified, you must register as an apprentice with Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA). Once registered, you can transfer credit from this program towards your apprenticeship.
  • This program meets the changing demands of the heating services sector and helps you develop industry relevant skills.

Other info

  • This program is not offered at regular NSCC tuition.
  • Additional skills and abilities, including math, reading and workplace skills, are essential for your success in Trades and Technology programs. See the Trades and Technology Preparation Checklist (PDF 23KB).
  • A minimum of a Class 5 Drivers Licence is required for employment.
  • You must be bondable to gain employment.
  • Certification with a Red Seal – Oil Heat System Technician is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Graduates who complete an apprenticeship program in this trade are eligible to write the provincial certification exam, receive their certification and Red Seal. The Red Seal allows certified tradespersons to practise the trade in any province or territory in Canada – where the trade is designated – without having to write further examinations.
  • You require a Certificate of Qualification issued by the NSAA to legally work in the Oil Heat System Technician trade in Nova Scotia.
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. You participate in a number of introductory safety awareness courses to prepare for employment.
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official Criminal Record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

September 2020

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Akerley Campus/Online Dartmouth Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled), and on-campus learning.
Seats available

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.
  • Standard First Aid, CPR Level A


Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

This program prepares graduates for career opportunities in sales, service and installation.

Learn more about labour market information – visit Career Options.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

OILB 1001 - Safety, Fire Protection and Blueprint Reading
This course presents the legislation and practices necessary to perform safely and guard the safety of others. Learners will also be introduced to blueprints, their interpretation and use.

OILB 1002 - Tools and Equipment
This course introduces the learner to common tools that are particular to the trade, their characteristics, applications use and care. Material covered includes hand and power tools, safety practices in the use and care of equipment and tools used in the trade. Soldering and flaring tools are also introduced. This course also includes the use of mathematical calculations used in the trade.

OILB 1005 - Fuel Delivery Systems
This course covers the installation, set up and testing of fuel units. Fuel delivery pumps and fuel handling parts of high pressure atomizing oil burners are explained.

OILB 1006 - Combustion and Air Handling Devices
This course covers oil as a fuel, the principles of combustion, efficiency testing and air handling parts of oil burning equipment.

OILB 1008 - Introduction to Basic Electricity/Controls and Wiring
This course involves an introduction to basic electricity, controls, and wiring as they apply to oil heat systems. Learners will install and adjust thermostats as well as use electrical testing equipment.

OILB 1013 - Fuel Storage Tanks
This course is designed to provide the learner the knowledge and skills necessary for the planning and carrying out of oil tank installations. It covers regulations governing location and installation, parts, sizing and procedures for installation.

OILB 1017 - Communications
Learners will explore the types of communication and effective communication techniques. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of effective communication practices as they apply to the coaching/mentoring relationship between journeypersons and apprentices. Learners will also learn to apply effective job search techniques including cover letter and resume writing.

OILB 1018 - Introduction to Heating Systems and Planned Maintenance
This multifaceted course covers a variety of topics including an overview of the various components of warm air heating systems, the installation and operation of hot water boilers and hydronic systems, the sequence, operation, maintenance, disassembly and reassembly of oil-fired appliances, sheet metal skills, and customer service skills.

OILB 1100 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply skills and concepts appropriate for entry level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

SAFE 1020 - Introduction to Confined Space
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with confined spaces. The definition and associated hazards of confined space are discussed as well as methods of confined space rescue. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Introduction to Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1022 - Introduction to Fall Arrest and Protection
The learner is introduced to fall protection, fall prevention and fall arrest concepts and responsibilities at the workplace. Guardrails, travel restraints, roof work, fall arrest components will be discussed and the learner will be given the opportunity to demonstrate the use of selected equipment. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Introduction to Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces the learner to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the learner is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

WORK 1100 - Workplace Mentoring I
This unit of instruction is designed to assist learners in managing their learning as an apprentice in the workplace. Learners will study their own experiences with learning new skills and identify their own learning preferences as an aid to developing learning strategies.

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