Plumbing Courses – Overview
Welcome to ePlumbingCourses! Congratulations on your decision to start your career as a plumber.
- Use the menu at the top of every page to explore different topics about plumbing careers.
Plumbing courses cater to a variety of interests. Free plumbing courses are generally available on websites like You Tube or on business websites like Home Depot or of plumbing supply companies. These will typically be short how-to videos to help the novice perform a simple task or to help pros and novices install a piece of equipment. In contrast, plumbing schools charge a fee for much more in-depth plumbing courses geared towards professionals or apprentice plumbers. Whatever your need, there are classes out there for you.
If you are pursuing a career in plumbing through a plumbing apprentice program, you will almost certainly be required to take plumbing courses at a school as part of your apprenticeship. As you move through your career, investing in additional plumbing training can expand your job opportunities and help you advance to higher levels. The more you know and the more current your experience and training, the more valuable you will be. As a motivated professional plumber, training will be an important and ongoing part of your career.
Plumbing Courses – All About Schools
Plumbing Schools, Degrees, Class Topics
Plumbing courses for professionals will cover the information most important to the plumbing trade. These plumbing classes are taught in programs commonly called “Plumbing Technology” programs. Plumbing Technology programs are available at technical schools, community colleges, and in online “distance learning” schools.
A Certificate program will be shorter (1 year, typically) and more focused on the basics, whereas an Associates degree program will be longer (2 years) and include the basics plus more theory and a wider variety of topics to give a broader education in plumbing. These same schools will usually allow non-professionals to take individual classes or even may offer a “lite” type of certificate program for the more committed among you.
Topic areas will include many of the following plumbing courses, depending on the specific program you enroll in:
- Safety regulations and best practices
- Plumbing code
- Plumbing theory
- Backflow principles
- Types of piping and connecting materials
- System installation and connections for water, waste, drainage and gas systems
- Heating systems
- Residential and/or industrial fixture and appliance installation
- Reading and creating plans and blueprints
- Estimating project materials and costs
Cost to Get a Plumbing Degree
The cost of a plumbing certificate or degree varies greatly depending on the program and type of school. If you are in a Plumbing Apprenticeship program, your employer may pay most or all of the cost of your plumbing courses and degree program. So if you haven’t yet looked into an Plumbing Apprentice program, do so!
At the low end, a Certificate in plumbing can be earned for less than $1,000 at online schools in self-study programs. At the high end, an Associates degree can cost over $20,000 in a full-time, 2-year program. Between these two extremes there is a wide range of possible program costs.
One major factor in determining the cost is whether you qualify for in-state (i.e. resident) or out-of-state tuition. In-state tuition can be much lower than out-of-state tuition for the exact same program at the exact same school. Therefore, when considering a school, evaluate your residency situation for that school and for other schools. Depending on your personal situation and flexibility, you may be able to move into the state where your preferred school is located so you can meet the in-state tuition and get the lower tuition price.
Completion Rate & Accreditation
While cost may be an important factor in selecting a plumbing school, don’t let it be the only factor. When evaluating a program, ask the school what the completion rate is for their plumbing program. The completion rate (also called: completion percent) tells you what proportion of all students who started the program go on to actually complete the program. If it’s low compared to other similar programs at the same type of school, this could be a red flag warning you to avoid their program.
In addition, make sure you understand whether or not a school is accredited and by which agencies. Not all schools are accredited, and just because a school is accredited does not mean it is better than a school that is not accredited. Yes, this is tricky to understand.
This brief video from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) does a nice job explaining Accreditation:
If a school is accredited, this (usually) means it has successfully passed a formal evaluation process that was done by a group of professional educators at an accreditation agency. However, many accreditation agencies do not review technical programs, so if a school is not accredited, it may simply be because its program isn’t of the type that the agencies would review.
To make things even more confusing, not all accreditation agencies are created equal, and one could even go so far as to say that some accreditation agencies are not legitimate. Definitely do your research, decide if accreditation is important to you, and if so, make sure the program you are interested in meets the accreditation standard that you desire. If you skip this step, you may find out after you’ve completed school that your degree is not valued by many potential employers, making it effectively worthless despite the fees you paid to get it!
- How to become a plumber, including job descriptions & plumbing apprenticeships
- How much is a typical plumber salary
- State specific plumbing license requirements
Congratulations on your diligence in looking for plumbing courses. Good plumbing training is an important foundation for your career.