How to Become a Plumber in RI: Program and School Information

Jul 19, 2019

Essential Information

Individuals who want to learn how to become plumbers in Rhode Island can find plumbing courses at two schools in the state: the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and the New England Institute of Technology. Students could enroll in an apprenticeship program at CCRI or earn an associate's degree in the field through the latter option. Short overviews of both colleges' plumbing programs can be found below, as well as a school comparison table showing the individual school offerings and tuition costs.

Community College of Rhode Island

The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) offers classes on various topics at six campuses across the state, with a home campus located in Warwick. The school offers a plumbing apprenticeship program that's administered by CCRI's Center for Workforce and Community Education and held on CCRI's Flanagan (Lincoln, RI) campus. Rhode Island requires apprentices to complete 144 hours of classroom work annually over four years, as well as complete a minimum of 2,000 hours of on-the-job training. The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training's State Apprenticeship Council has approved CCRI's program.

The four plumbing classes should be taken in order and individually; however, registration of the appropriate course will depend on one's year of apprenticeship. The introductory plumbing course covers such matters as cast iron, plastic and copper pipe with their fittings; vent, drain and waste systems; faucets and fixtures; and the drawings and math used in plumbing. Mid-level courses examine various sorts of plumbing system installations. Students also learn about sump pumps, sewage pumps, backflow preventers, pressure boosters and building codes. In the final advanced course, students learn about topics such as buried sewer and water pipes, private water supply systems and swimming pools.

New England Institute of Technology

The New England Institute of Technology is a 4-year non-profit school found in East Greenwich that offers programs in technical fields, such as computers, communications, electronics and building technologies. The school combines classroom teaching with hands-on training in a workshop environment. The associate's program in plumbing and heating has been designed with the help of industry personnel and educators to equip graduates to be entry-level technicians. Students examine and practice the use of plumbing tools, piping and fittings, and students also learn how waste and sewage are handled and how water is delivered. The plumbing program goes on to teach the use of rain water harvesting and gray water technology.

Those who finish this program will know how to create piping projects using the required tools and materials, as well as install plumbing systems and fixtures that meet all code requirements. They also will know how to describe, order and buy piping, valves and fittings appropriate to the job.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Plumbing Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-19)
New England Institute of Technology 4-year, primarily associate's, private not-for-profit; large suburb Associate in Science in Plumbing and Heating $29,856*
Community College of Rhode Island 2-year, public; small city Plumbing Apprenticeship Program $1005 for the first year; other years may vary in cost**

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Community College of Rhode Island

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