Plumbing technology courses are typically offered at 2-year technical colleges or as part of apprenticeship programs. Students can work toward an associate's degree, diploma or certificate in this field. Courses usually require both classroom hours and hands-on experience.
Some topics covered in plumbing technology classes include pipe fitting, drainage, sanitary systems and plumbing codes. Students also learn about the design and installation of heating systems.
Common concepts that plumbing students might encounter include:
- Basic electricity
- Gray water technologies
- Rainwater harvesting
- Biofuel and solar technologies
- Potable water systems
- Water-intensive appliances
List of Plumbing Technology Classes
Fundamentals of Plumbing and Construction
As an introductory course to plumbing technology, this class focuses on understanding general concepts of the construction industry. Students study the role of plumbing in construction. Skills are developed in plumbing fundamentals such as basic drainage system structures, water supply and code requirements. This course is delivered in a lecture-style format with opportunities for applied skill development to be used further into a plumbing technology program.
Drainage and Sanitary Systems Course
A drainage and sanitary systems course covers plumbing codes and concepts in waste management. Skills are developed in pipe ventilation, sump pumps, life stations and sewage systems. Students learn how to calculate the needs of specific sewage disposal systems. If they have not developed skills in a previous class, students may be taught specifics in sewage system drawings, angles and offsets. Application of skills learned in this course may be demonstrated during a plumbing apprenticeship later in a student's schooling.
A blueprints course for plumbing technology is typically taught at an advanced level. Students develop specific skills in computing blueprint measurements. Time is also spent on understanding blueprint layout and language. Near the completion of this course, students will be tested on blueprint codes, symbols and marks as they relate not only to plumbing systems, but general construction structures as well.
Heating, Gas and Water Systems Course
Another advanced course in plumbing technology, this course covers indoor and outdoor heating and gas piping systems. Specific topics of study include water supply systems, water pressure, medial gas piping, corrosive piping and water softeners. Students may also learn about hot tub and swimming pool installation in addition to solar heating concepts and natural gas structures.
Pipe Fitting and Assembly Course
Pipe fitting is a skill that may be used in various instances from sewer mains to floor drains. In a pipe fitting and assembly course, students learn methods in joining pipes, installing roof drains and general pipe cutting techniques. Other areas of skill development may include trenching, hydrostatic testing, pneumatic testing and pipe threading. Students in a pipe fitting course learn through a lecture and applied learning format.
Plumbing Codes Course
It is critical that plumbers have knowledge of codes and regulations specific to the state in which they will practice. A plumbing codes course covers any national requirements and codes along with state-specific plumbing codes and regulations. Topics may include material regulations, fixtures, special codes and processes in passing specific code tests. This is a lecture-style course that may be taken at the mid-point of a plumbing technology student's program career.