Schools with Plumbing Technology Programs: How to Choose

Plumbing technology refers to the installation, maintenance and repair of residential, commercial and industrial water, gas and heat pipelines, fixtures and appliances. Many individuals that enter the field do so through apprenticeship programs; however, students may enroll in diploma, certificate and associate degree programs to fulfill the classroom instruction portion of an apprenticeship.

Plumbers typically enter the profession through apprenticeship opportunities, which incorporate on-the-job training with classroom instruction. Students may consider enrolling in diploma, certificate or associate degree programs designed to provide the classroom hours of an apprenticeship program.

10 Schools with Plumbing Technology Programs

These schools offer plumbing technology programs at varying levels, and many offer hands-on training and apprenticeships.

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees 2015-2016*
Kirkwood Community College Cedar Rapids, IA 2-year, Public Diploma $4,194 in-state, $5,034 out-of-state
Jefferson Community and Technical College Louisville, KY 2-year, Public Certificate, Diploma $3,704 in-state, $12,536 out-of-state
El Paso Community College El Paso, TX 2-year, Public Certificate $2,386 in-state, $4,042 out-of-state
Wake Technical Community College Raleigh, NC 2-year, Public Certificate, Diploma $2,768 in-state, $8,912 out-of-state
Houston Community College Houston, TX 2-year, Public Certificate $1,632 in-district, $3,360 in-state, $3,756 out-of-state
Washington County Community College Calais, ME 2-year, Public Certificate $3,630 in-state, $7,058 out-of-state
GateWay Community College Phoenix, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,046 in-state, $7,830 out-of-state
Los Angeles Trade Technical College Los Angeles, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,220 in-state, $7,016 out-of-state
Red Rocks Community College Lakewood, CO 2-year, Public Certificate $3,429 in-state, $13,145 out-of-state
Macomb Community College Warren, MI 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,169 in-district, $4,945 in-state, $6,641 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

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School Selection Criteria

Students should keep these considerations in mind when choosing a school:

  • Plumbers may specialize in one of five areas including pipe fitting, sprinkler fitting, pipe laying, steamfitting and residential plumbing.
  • Diploma and certificate programs are in one of the five areas of specialization, while associate's degree programs feature coursework in all areas.
  • Students should look for programs that offer up-to-date, on-campus laboratory training and off-campus professional opportunities for a comprehensive training program.
  • Plumbing offered in conjunction with a construction program may appeal to students interested in construction by including courses in plumbing estimating and industry codes alongside courses such as carpentry and electrical systems.

Diploma in Plumbing Technology

Diploma programs in plumbing technology may be completed in approximately one year. Due to the streamlined nature of these shorter programs, diploma programs may focus specifically on one area of plumbing, such as pipefitting.

Certificate in Plumbing Technology

Certificate programs in plumbing technology focus on a broader range of academic concepts correlating with plumbing, including HVACR technology and construction.

Associate Degree in Plumbing Technology

Associate degree programs in plumbing technology can be completed in two years, and graduates may transfer directly into bachelor's degree programs.

Many technical and community colleges offer plumbing technology programs through their construction technology departments. Students should consider a program's laboratory training and specializations, as well as the possibility of a joint program in construction.

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