A certificate, an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in construction can supplement an aspiring plumbing inspector's lack of prior work experience and is preferred by some employers. Programs are typically available at community colleges and vocational schools, though some training may be available through trade organizations.
Schools with Construction Technology Programs
These schools offer certificate and associate's degree programs in construction technology.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered*||Tuition and Fees 2015-2016**|
|Hillsborough Community College||Tampa, FL||2-year, Public||Associate's||$2,506 in-state, $9,111 out-of-state|
|Red Rocks Community College||Lakewood, CO||2-year, Public||Certificate||$3,429 in-state, $13,145 out-of-state|
|State Fair Community College||Sedalia, MO||2-year, Public||Associate's||$2,640 in-district, $3,600 in-state, $5,040 out-of-state|
|Austin Community College||Austin, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,550 in-district, $9,210 in-state, $11,340 out-of-state|
|Broward College||Fort Lauderdale, FL||4-year, Public||Associate's||$2,753 in-state, $8,875 out-of-state|
|San Jose Community College||San Jose, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$1,338 in-state, $7,010 out-of-state|
|Tallahassee Community College||Tallahassee, FL||2-year, Public||Associate's||$2,026 in-state, $8,062 out-of-state|
|Orange Coast College||Costa Mesa, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate||$1,184 in-state, $6,584 out-of-state|
|Mesa Community College||Mesa, AZ||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,046 in-state, $7,830 out-of-state|
Sources: *School websites, **National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Summary of considerations:
- Curriculum should include broad education in the overall construction process and construction management courses or programs as well as plumbing courses.
- Distance education opportunities and evening classes are often available to accommodate those working full time.
- Students should look for programs that prepare them for certification through an organization such as the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials or the International Code Council.
Certificate in Construction Inspection
Certificate programs in construction inspection can take as little as one semester to complete. It's possible to find certificate programs that focus exclusively on plumbing. These include education in plumbing materials, plans and codes.
Associate's Degree in Construction Technology
Coursework in plumbing inspection, codes and planning are commonly included in an associate's degree program in construction technology. Many of these courses are transferable to a bachelor's degree program.
Bachelor's Degree in Construction Management
A bachelor's degree program in construction management includes courses specific to plumbing inspection and codes, as well as other building codes. Management programs often also include estimating, scheduling and planning courses that could lead to advancement in the industry.
Aspiring plumbing inspectors should look for construction technology programs for a broad education in construction as well as plumbing courses, which should prepare them for certification. Students may also consider programs that offer distance learning or flexible schedules.