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Plumbing Trade Schools and Vocational Schools in the U.S.

Plumbing trade and vocational schools educate and train individuals to meet industry requirements. Alternately, trade unions and affiliated organizations offer apprenticeship programs that give potential plumbers well-rounded work-study experiences.

Plumbers receive much of their training through coursework as well as hands-on experience. They normally obtain their training through apprenticeship programs or through vocational schools with local contractor affiliations.

10 Schools with Plumbing Trade Programs

Several schools offer plumbing trade programs that prepare students to work in the field.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees offered In-State Tuition (2015-2016)*
City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA 2-year, Public Certificate $1,598
St. Petersburg College Clearwater, FL 4-year, Public Certificate $3,352
Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL 4-year, Public Associate's $2,830
Palm Beach Community College Lake Worth, FL 2-year, Private Certificate $2,444
Hillsborough Community College Tampa, FL 2-year, Private Certificate $2,506
Macomb Community College Warren, MI 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $4,945
Foothill College Los Altos Hills, CA 2-year, Private Certificate, Associate's $1,551
San Diego City College San Diego, CA 2-year, Public Associate's $1,142

Source: *NCES College Navigator

School Selection Criteria

Plumbing associations, such as the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association, sponsor many apprenticeship programs and are good sources of information when choosing plumbing schools.

Consider the following also when looking for plumbing trade schools:

  • Class content should include codes and regulations, blueprint reading, math, physics, chemistry and safety, plumbing system design, and installation and maintenance.
  • Plumbing trade and vocational programs should offer classroom instruction along with on-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities.
  • An advantage of certificate programs is their shorter length and lower costs.
  • Associate's degree programs may provide more options, such as learning pipe fitting.

Many schools prepare plumbers for the field through coursework and hands-on experience. When selecting a school, prospective students should check if course offerings prepare them for apprenticeships.

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