Plumbing Trade Schools and Vocational Schools in the U.S.
Plumbers install, repair and maintain residential and commercial plumbing systems. Plumbing trade and vocational schools educate and train individuals to meet industry requirements. Alternately, trade unions and affiliated organizations offer apprenticeship programs that give potential plumbers well-rounded work-study experiences.
How to Select a Plumbing Trade School
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), plumbers normally obtain their training through apprenticeship programs or through vocation schools with local contractor affiliations. Plumbing associations, such as the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association, sponsor many apprenticeship programs and are good sources of information when choosing plumbing schools.
Plumbing trade and vocational programs should offer classroom instruction along with on-the-job training. Some topics covered plumbing programs include codes and regulations, blueprint reading, math, physics, chemistry and safety. Plumbing system design, installation and maintenance are also covered.
Apprenticeship programs provide plumbers with first-hand experience in installing all types of fixtures and systems related to piping. Apprentices learn the tools and materials used in the trade, as well as the different types and grades of pipe. An apprenticeship normally lasts 4-5 years.
An applicant must be 18 or older and possess a high-school diploma for entry into a plumbing trade or vocational school program. A physical exam and drug test may also be required for admission. Credit may be given to individuals with previous armed forces plumbing training. Any background in plumbing, woodworking or other related high school coursework can help prepare candidates for plumbing programs.
Upon graduation, students may be issued plumber technician's certificates depending on school and state practices. Many schools offer opportunities to become employed while still attending school. Internships and job placement assistance are also available at several plumbing trade and vocational schools.
Trade Schools and Vocational Schools in the U.S. by Student Enrollment
|College/University||Student Population||Institution Type|
|City College of San Francisco||34,868||2-year, Public|
|St. Petersburg College||26,659||4-year, Public|
|Florida Community College at Jacksonville||25,903||4-year, Public|
|Palm Beach Community College||25,122||2-year, Public|
|Hillsborough Community College||24,037||2-year, Public|
|Macomb Community College||22,985||2-year, Public|
|Rio Hondo College||20,609||2-year, Public|
|Foothill College||19,485||2-year, Public|
|Bakersville College||19,287||2-year, Public|
|San Diego City College||18,637||2-year, Public|
|Los Angeles Trade Technical College||17,487||2-year, Public|
|Indian River State College||15,366||4-year, Public|
|Kirkwood Community College||15,241||2-year, Public|
|Daytona State College||15,030||4-year, Public|
|Santa Fe College||14,796||2-year, Public|
|Wake Technical Community College||14,747||2-year, Public|
|Jefferson Community and Technical College||14,409||2-year, Public|
|Seminole Community College||14,049||2-year, Public|
|College of the Sequoias||13,449||2-year, Public|
|Chabot College||13,398||2-year, Public|
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