A career as a plumber can be lucrative and rewarding. Yes, it sounds like a messy business, but it’s a necessary business and will always be in demand. Not only does working as a plumber pay quite well, it brings satisfaction to help families and businesses with this most necessary aspect of their lives. As all homes and other types of facilities have indoor plumbing, professionals are needed for new plumbing installations, plumbing repairs, as well as unstopping sewer lines.
Ranked #3 in Best Construction Jobs in a recent article by U.S. News and World Report Licensed, working as a plumber was also ranked #7 in Highest Paying jobs without a Degree as well as #11 for Best Paying Jobs without a College Degree. The same article also ranks working as a plumber in the #100 Best Jobs. Plumbers are in demand, are always essential workers, and job opportunities in this field are projected to grow by 14% between 2018 and 2028 which is over twice as much as average.
Learning a trade, such as plumbing, will provide you with job security, along with an honest living. Typically, trade certificate programs can be completed in as little as one year. If you are interested in starting your career right away, this is the path for you!
Methodology Used to Determine Our Picks for the Best Online Schools for Plumbing:
At OSC, we appreciate the unique qualities that each school’s plumbing program offers; therefore, the two programs below are listed randomly and in no particular order. The following qualifications were considered:
- 100% Online program availability,
- Comprehensive and complex plumbing program detailing technique, procedures, licensing requirements, etc.,
- Can be completed in a reasonable timeframe,
- Provides adequate financial aid opportunities,
- Delivered in a convenient and flexible course format conducive for training in the field of plumbing,
- Displays the proper credentials needed for an exceptional educational experience,
- Taught by experienced faculty, licensed in the field of plumbing and pipefitting.
To learn more, please see our Methodology page.
Penn Foster Career School
Online Plumbing Training Program
Program Standouts: Penn Foster Career School offers an exceptional online diploma program that can be earned in six months. Their program teaches potential plumbing experts on how to begin their careers, as well as how to establish your own business.
Campus Location: Scranton, PA
Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DECA)
Types of Aid: Offers low-cost programs with affordable tuition plans, offering 0% interest.
Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
Admission Requirements: Must be at least 17 to apply and have completed at least the 8th grade.
Coursework Sampling: Introduction to Building Trades, Plumbing and Pipefitting Tools, Modern Plumbing, and Math for Plumbing.
Degree Outcomes: Upon completion, graduates will know industry basics, plumbing codes and regulations, the uses of plumbing tools, how to read blueprints, perform service work, install new plumbing pipes and fixtures, and learn the proper procedure for measuring and estimating, plus much more.
Plumbing Classes ONLINE
Program Standouts: At Ashworth College, you can expect a top-notch quality plumbing program instructed by professionals in the field of plumbing. You’ll receive the knowledge and skills needed to shine in a career where you can continue to grow. They will provide a flexible and convenient study program designed to assist busy adults in learning a valued profession. This program takes four months to complete.
Campus Location: Norcross, GA
Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
Types of Aid: Affordable monthly payments, or if you choose you may pay your tuition in a lump sum to receive a significant discount.
Acceptance Rate: Open Entrance
Admission Requirements: To enroll, just complete the online application. You may begin your classes immediately.
Coursework Sampling: Introduction to Construction Technology, Safety, Tools and Fixtures, Technical Aspects of Plumbing and Preparing to Install Plumbing Systems.
Degree Outcomes: Proficient in basic plumbing concepts and basic materials, as well as construction safety. You will also learn about residential and commercial repairs, complex plumbing systems and about setting plumbing fixtures, and much more.
What are the responsibilities of a Plumber?
Plumbers have a wide array of essential responsibilities. Typically, they are tasked with troubleshooting and repairing water-related issues; however, there are times when Plumbers work with gas and steam lines as well. You will be responsible for reading blueprints, compiling job estimates, and adhering to all state plumbing codes and regulations. You will also install water pipes, set fixtures, and install and unstop sewer lines.
Are Plumbers in high demand?
Without a doubt, the need for plumbing professionals is on the rise. New construction projects and aging existing buildings require the plumber’s expertise in installing new plumbing, as well as performing minor and major repairs.
Can I earn a certificate/diploma in plumbing through an online program?
Several online programs offer Plumber/Pipefitter diplomas or certificates. They are offered online to accommodate those who need to work an existing job while earning their certificate. In addition, online diploma programs in plumbing are also excellent for the recent high school graduate that is not interested in obtaining a four-year college degree. Upon graduation, sometimes in as little as four months, you can go right to work to start earning a steady salary.
What kind of pay scale is available as a Plumber?
According to the BLS, the median salary for a Plumber, Pipefitter or Steamfitter was $55,160 annually, as of May 2019. Also, they report that the highest 10% earned upwards of $97,170 per year.
For beginners, your salary may be considerably less; however, with experience, you can expect regular pay raises. Also, you can expect full-time employment with occasional overtime for weekend and after-hours work, which is often required.
Do I need to work an internship or apprenticeship to be a Plumber/Pipefitter?
As with any trade, hands-on experience is always best. But is it required? Not necessarily, especially if you can gain employment as a Plumber’s Helper. In an ideal situation, you can gain valuable experience while getting paid if you are working with a Licensed Plumber. With experience under your belt, you will be expected to get a Plumbing License and be the Lead Plumber on the job carrying the load of responsibility.
What qualities do I need to be an excellent Plumber?
Plumbers are hired to serve the public; therefore, excellent customer service and communication skills are a must. Upon gaining knowledge, skills, and experience, certification or licensing will qualify you for a plethora of job opportunities. Plumbers are often mechanically minded, very coordinated, and excellent problem-solvers.
In addition, you must be in good physical shape as you will sometimes be required to crawl under houses and in tight places. Also, you must be safety aware at all times.
Is there a difference between Plumbers and Pipefitters?
Both professions indeed work in all types of piping materials; however, a Plumber usually specializes in low-pressure piping; those which carry water, gas, storm drainage, and sewer. A Pipefitter typically works in heavy-duty piping for industrial use. This sort of pipeline takes a high psi and requires welding skills.
Do I need a license to be a Plumber?
To be a helper, a plumbing license is not necessary. But to be a Lead Plumber, you should have an official plumbing License as mandated by the state in which you work. Depending on your state, you will need a certain number of work hours logged in or a specified number of years of experience before you will be eligible to take the licensure exam. Be sure to check with your state to verify the needed requirements.
Is it important to earn my diploma through an accredited online school?
It is absolutely imperative that you earn your certificate or diploma in plumbing through an accredited online program. Most distance learning programs are proud to display their credentials easily for everyone to see on their website. After all, accreditation means that they have met the requirements set forth to ensure a quality education. Most online degree/diploma programs are accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).