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There are about six schools in Massachusetts that offer training in plumbing for adult postsecondary students. Most programs are offered at vocational technical high schools. Adult students typically complete training in the evening hours, and the programs can be completed under twelve months. Most programs offer training that meets the plumbing tier 1-5 requirements for licensure. The Massachusetts Board of State Examiners of Plumbers and Gas Fitters regulates licensure for apprentice, journeyman and master plumbers.
Assabet Valley Regional Technical School
Located in the suburban town of Marlborough, this technical high school offers a postgraduate program in plumbing for adults. Training is offered alongside high school students and runs for 10 months. Training provided is designed to equip students with skills needed to meet the Massachusetts plumbing and fuel gas code requirements. Students complete 1,000 hours of training that deals with residential and commercial heating, water and gas systems. Topics covered include fixture and appliance installation, boiler installation, hydronic heating systems and Victaulic piping systems.
Bay Path Regional Vocational High School
This Charlton school is a member of the Southern Worcester County Regional Vocational School District. Students interested in learning plumbing can complete training through the Baypath Adult Evening School division. To gain admission, students must submit proof of a high school diploma and an apprentice license. Students complete plumbing tier 1-5 coursework, which meets the requirements to become a licensed plumber in the state. Each tier consists of 110 contact hours and runs for 30 weeks. The school also offers classes for plumbers to meet the 12 continuing education units required to maintain licensure.
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
Founded in 1908, this Boston school in one of the oldest colleges in the New England region that offers career programs in engineering and industrial technology. The school also boasts a 90% employment rate for graduates. Through the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC&R) Department, students may complete plumbing for tiers I-IV coursework that leads to a certificate. Students complete 110 hours of training per tier in two 5-month sessions. Training provided in this program is based on the 5-tier code requirement for plumbing mandated by the state. Students who complete this program also meet the state's continuing education requirement.
Motoring Technical Training Institute (MTTI)
MTTI is a small school located in Seekonk with about 250 students. Through the building and property trades technician program, students can complete training that includes basic plumbing installation and repair. The program runs for 27 weeks and includes 825 hours of training. Students are required to complete an internship at a building trades company to gain experience. The program includes a tool bonus package where students are reimbursed for industry tools.
Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical School (Shawsheen Institute)
The Shawsheen Institute for adults is located at the Shawsheen Valley Technical High School campus in Billerica. Adult learners at this school can complete a plumbing tier 4 course. The course is designed for plumbers who wish to meet the requirements for the state journeyman license. Students complete 110 hours of training that focuses on theoretical classroom instruction.
Southeastern Technical Institute
Students at this South Easton school can enroll in a plumbing apprenticeship or master plumber program to prepare for state licensure. The plumbing apprenticeship is designed for students seeking to obtain a journeyman plumbing license. To gain admission, students must already be working in the field as an apprentice. The program consists of plumbing tier 1-4 training, which includes 132 contact hours for each tier. For the master plumber program, students must be licensed as a journeyman plumber. Students in this program complete the plumbing tier 5 course, which includes 110 hours of classroom training and 22 hours of course review and testing. Continuing education courses for plumbers are also available.
To become a licensed apprentice, applicants must complete a 300-hour vocational training program or a 550-hour plumbing tier program. The requirements for the journeyman licensure exam include the completion of at least 300 hours of plumbing and gas fitting theory coursework and 5,100 hours of work experience as a licensed apprentice under the supervision of a master plumber. For the master plumber exam, applicants must complete 110 hours of tier 5 plumbing coursework and 1,700 hours of work experience as a licensed journeyman. To maintain licensure, journeyman and master plumbers must complete 12 hours of continuing education training every two years.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Plumbing Programs Offered||Program Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Assabet Valley Regional Technical School||Less than 2-year, public; large suburb||Postsecondary Graduate Plumbing Program||$2,800 in-district, $16,787 out-of-district (tuition only)*|
|Bay Path Regional Vocational High School (Member of the Southern Worcester County Regional Vocational School District)||Less than 2-year, public; fringe rural||Massachusetts Plumbing Education Program||$6,495*|
|Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Plumbing Coding for Tiers I-IV Certificate||$4,800*|
|Motoring Technical Training Institute||Less than 2-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Building and Property Trades Technician Diploma||$14,050*|
|Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical School||< 2-year, public; large suburb||Registered Plumbers License Tier 4 and Tier 5 Courses||$795 per course*|
|Southeastern Technical Institute||Less than 2-year, public; large suburb|| Continuing Education for Plumbers Class,
Plumbing Apprenticeship Program,
Journeyman Plumber Program
Master Plumber Program
|$3,400 for plumbing apprenticeship program*|
Source: *School websites