To enroll in a plumbing associate's degree program, students must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Most programs do not require students to submit SAT or ACT scores, though placement exams such as the ASSET or COMPASS may be required before enrollment. A 2-year Associate of Applied Science in Plumbing Technology program prepares students for careers as plumbers and pipe-fitters. A co-op experience may be included to provide hands-on training. Through an associate's degree program, students gain valuable experience that can eventually lead to plumbing licensure, after gaining extensive experience, and entry-level employment with plumbing and construction contractors, as well as private businesses and government agencies.
Associate of Applied Science in Plumbing
Plumbing associate's degree programs allow students to gain hands-on experience with plumbing, water distribution and piping systems. Courses teach students to read plumbing diagrams, assess potential plumbing problems and administer proper repairs. In addition to technical plumbing courses, many programs offer classes on operating a private plumbing company. Other courses may include:
- Plumbing technology processes
- Plumbing fixtures and appliances
- Pipefitting basics
- Reading plumbing blueprints
- Drainage and sanitation systems
Employment Outlook and Career Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), most plumbers worked for plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractors, while others were self-employed and worked on a contractual or short-term basis. Opportunities in plumbing, pipe-fitting and steamfitting were expected to increase by 12% from 2014-2024, which was faster than the occupational average over the same time span. The median yearly wage for plumbers, pipe-fitters and steamfitters was $50,620 in 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Most states require plumbers be licensed, although requirements vary from state to state. In most cases, plumbers must have 2-5 years of supervised work experience before being eligible for licensure. Plumbers must pass a comprehensive exam that ensures proficiency in plumbing technology, reading codes and appropriate plumbing installation methods.
Students interested in a career in plumbing can earn an associate's degree to gain the skills needed, including plumbing technology processes, pipefitting basics, reading plumbing blueprints, and more. In addition to the courses needed, students in this program will also complete hands-on training and possibly complete courses in operating their own private plumbing company.