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Oil Heat Systems Technician

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

A woman in overalls kneels down to adjust a piece of equipment.
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, including 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 get skills through a series of classroom sessions and have the opportunity to apply your knowledge through lab work and an industry work term.

Work experience

  • Work placement is a mandatory credit course, providing 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 meets the changing demands of the heating services sector and helps you develop industry relevant skills.
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. To prepare for employment, you participate in safety awareness courses.

Other info

  • A minimum of a Class 5 driver's licence is required for employment.
  • You must be bondable to gain 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.

2023-24 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2023

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Akerley Campus Dartmouth Full time In person Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. 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.


Tuition amounts are for the 2022-23 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional. 2023-24 tuition will be announced in the late Spring.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

This program is not offered at regular NSCC tuition.

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

  • Graduates have careers in sales, service and installation.
  • Learn more about labour market information. Visit Career Options

Future study options

  • To become certified in the Oil Heat System Technician trade, 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 is a first step towards certification in the Oil Heat System Technician trade. You're required to be a registered apprentice with the NSAA to legally work in the Oil Heat System Technician trade in Nova Scotia.
  • Certification with a Red Seal - Oil Heat System Technician is a compulsory certified trade in Nova Scotia. Graduates who complete an apprenticeship program in this trade are eligible to write the inter-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.

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.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

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 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1020 - Safety Basics – Restricted Spaces
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with working in restricted spaces. The definition and potential hazards of restricted spaces are discussed The course material is infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Safety Basics – 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 - Safety Basics – Working at Heights
The student is introduced to hazards and responsibilities concerned with working at heights in the workplace. Guardrails, travel restraints, roof work, fall arrest components will be 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 1023 - Safety Basics – Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces students to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the student 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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