Plumber Schools and Colleges with Program Options

There are several ways prospective plumbers can enter the plumbing industry. At one time, apprenticeships were the most common way of breaking into the field. However, many community colleges now offer certificate programs and associate's degrees in plumbing technology.

Degrees option for plumbers include a certificate in plumbing technology and an associate's degree in plumbing technology. Certificate programs can take up to a year to complete and introduce students to the basics of the profession, while an associate's degree takes two years and is much more comprehensive in scope.

10 Schools with Plumber Programs

These schools offer plumbing programs at varying levels, and some also offer internships and apprenticeships.

College Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition 2015-2016*
Red Rocks Community College Lakewood,CO 2-year, Public Certificate $3,429 in-state, $13,145 out-of-state
Miami Dade College Miami, FL 4-year, Public Certificate $2,834 in-state, $9,661 out-of-state
City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA 2-year, Public Certificate $1,598 in-state, $7,554 out-of-state
GateWay Community College New Haven, CT 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $4,032 in-state, $12,096 out-of-state
Macomb Community College Warren, Michigan 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,169 in-district, $4,945 in-state, $6,641 out-of-state
Wake Technical Community College Raleigh,NC 2-year, Public Certificate, Diploma $2,768 in-state, $8,912 out-of-state
Southern Maine Community College South Portland, ME 2-year, Public Associate's $3,694 in-state, $6,394 out-of-state
Lane Community College Eugene, OR 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $4,047 in-state, $9,213 out-of-state
Pima Community College Tucson, AZ 2-year, Public Associate's $1,974 in-state, $8,610 out-of-state
Kirkwood Community College Cedar Rapids, IA 2-year, Public Diploma $4,194 in-state, $5,034 out-of-state

School Selection Criteria

When making a decision about which school to choose, students might want to keep in mind this list of important considerations:

  • Students should look for a school that offers internship and apprenticeship programs.
  • Some building construction programs offer training in related areas, which may help to expand a student's portfolio.
  • Students who wish to get a jump start on entry-level work may look for diploma or certificate programs, while those seeking a more in-depth education can look for associate's degree programs.
  • Those who wish to find work in higher-level positions such as management or start their own business may look for programs that offer related business courses.

Certificate Program

Students enrolled in a plumbing technology certificate program learn how to repair, install and perform maintenance on plumbing systems. Students should consider programs that will train them to use a wide array of tools and read blueprints and other technical documents.

Courses in a plumbing technology certificate program include blueprint interpretation, mechanical systems, electric welding, building materials applications and HVAC automated design. Additionally, a student may be required to complete courses in algebra, trigonometry and English composition.

Associate of Applied Science Degree Program

Students who are interested in completing an associate's degree in plumbing technology should be aware that it is not unusual for community colleges to offer plumbing degree programs in combination with a closely related area, such as gas technology or heating. These programs are beneficial because they provide students with additional training that can potentially lead to more job opportunities.

Courses offered at the associate's degree level include pipefitting, basic electricity, drainage and waste design, pump system design and basic heating. Courses are often split between theory and practical exercise components. Students who want to gain additional experience in the field may consider an associate's degree program that offers internship opportunities with local businesses.

Apprenticeships

Some schools also offer apprenticeship opportunities. Students take plumbing technology courses while receiving on-the-job training from local contractors. Future plumbers might want to consider apprenticeship programs offered in conjunction with local trade unions or state labor departments because these programs give students an inside track to industry standards and trade regulations. Although apprenticeships take longer to complete (about five years), students receive the added benefit of getting paid to learn.

Plumbing programs typically provide students-with hands on training and may include apprenticeships in the field. Students may consider programs that have courses in related topics, and will help them expand their work portfolio or prepare them to run a business.


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