7 Best Online Plumber Programs (Complete Guide)

Americans rely on the problem-solving abilities and unique skill set of plumbers and pipefitters who work in residential and commercial settings to repair and maintain aging buildings, HVAC systems, and irrigation systems.

Today’s plumbers impact our communities by keeping our aging buildings, ensuring we all have a clean and safe water supply, providing emergency services for busted pipes, and clogged drains, and even stopping gas leaks!

If you’re thinking about becoming a plumber and want to start your plumbing education online – this is the guide for you!

Below, we talk about the role of today’s plumbers in the workforce and provide an overview of some of the best online plumbing programs in the US.

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Plumber Job Duties

A day in the life of a plumber can be rewarding and challenging as they carry out the required duties of the job.

Licensed plumbers may complete any or all of the following job duties in their efforts to design, install, repair, and maintain commercial and residential plumbing systems.

While their job duties and requirements may differ depending on their education and chosen plumbing niche, the following are typical job duties of journeyman plumbers:

  • Plumbers inspect plumbing systems in homes, offices, and commercial environments to identify, diagnose, and repair plumbing-related issues.
  • They complete plumbing installations, repairs, and maintenance for residential and commercial clients by providing cost-effective and realistic solutions.
  • Plumbers estimate service and labor costs and provide quotes directly to customers.
  • Plumbers without an apprentice order and pick up plumbing materials and supplies.
  • Work with hand and power tools to complete plumbing tasks.
  • Adhere to plumbing codes, regulations, and safety standards set forth by the International Plumbing Code.
  • Many Plumbers work on call to troubleshoot and resolve plumbing emergencies.
  • Plumbers stay updated on the latest industry trends and advancements to remain compliant.
  • Licensed and certified plumbers participate in training and professional development programs to maintain their credentials.

Best Online Plumber Training Programs

Today’s online plumber training programs make it easy for students to get plumbing education from the comfort of home and other internet-connected spaces.

Plumbers who begin their training online gain a fundamental understanding of the history of plumbing, the everyday tools used by plumbers, and time-tested techniques for installing, repairing, and maintaining residential and commercial plumbing systems.

The plumber programs listed below offer options for plumbers to earn a diploma, certificate, or certification online.

While most states will require plumbers to have extensive on-the-job training and education, the programs below lay the foundation for the road to becoming a plumber.

How to Become a Plumber Step-by-Step

  1. Complete 8th Grade Education, High School Diploma or GED
  2. Complete Plumber Training and Education Online or in Person
  3. Complete a USDOL approved Apprenticeship Program for on-the-job training
  4. Take a National Plumbing Certification Exam
  5. Get a Plumbing License in your state

Now that you understand the basics and how to get started, let’s take a deep dive into some of America’s best online plumber programs!

#1. Penn Foster

About the Program

Penn Foster is one of America’s leading online education providers offering an online Plumber Career Diploma.

Their online diploma program is self-paced, entirely online, and teaches students the basic skills needed by plumbing and pipefitter technicians.

Plumbing students prepare for certification and licensure in this online plumber training course that typically takes eight to twelve months to complete.

Students learn the basics of plumbing installation, service, and maintenance according to the International Plumbing Code standards.

Courses Offered

  • International Plumbing Code
  • Reading Piping Prints
  • Codes, Regulations, and Standards
  • Installation, Testing, and Maintenance
  • Plumbing Fixtures

Contact Information

Address: 925 Oak Street, Scranton, Pennsylvania – 18515

Website: Link

Phone: 800-471-3232

Program Cost: $964.00+

*This program offers payment plans.

#2. Ashworth CollegeAshworth College

About the Program

Students seeking a Career Diploma in Plumbing can take classes via Ashworth College’s Online Plumbing Program offered in partnership with Penn Foster’s online career school.

They offer a self-paced program that teaches students plumbing basics for installation, repair, and service. Students learn about important aspects of indoor and outdoor plumbing systems, HVAC systems, and irrigation systems for residential and commercial plumbing.

Courses Offered

  • Safety, Tools, and Fixtures
  • Preparing to Install Plumbing Systems
  • Sewer, HVAC, Recreational, and Irrigation Systems
  • Professional Plumbing
  • How to Install Appliances

Contact Information

Address: 5051 Peachtree Corners Circle, Suite 200, Norcross, Georgia – 30092

Website: Link

Phone: 1-800-857-5412

Program Cost: $799.00 – $1,089.00

*This program offers monthly payment plans starting at $59.00 per month.

#3. California State University – ChicoCalifornia State University - Chico

About the Program

If you’re looking for comprehensive plumbing education online, consider the Foundations of Plumbing program California State University Chico offers in partnership with Ed2Go.

They offer a 100% online plumber training course that teaches students the fundamentals of plumbing tools, systems, and techniques that prepare them for plumbing apprenticeships, certification, and licensure.

Students who take CSU’s plumbing course will learn how to complete plumbing repairs and installation in confined spaces according to codes, regulations, and standards.

Courses Offered

  • Plumbing History, Codes, and Principles
  • Basic Math for Plumbing
  • Water Supply, Water Sources, Waste Disposal, Sewage Disposal
  • Piping Materials
  • Plumbing Fixtures
  • Tools of the Plumbing Trade
  • Joining Methods for DWV and Pressure Piping

Contact Information

Address: 400 West First Street, Chico, California – 95929

Website: Link

Phone: 530-898-4020

Program Cost: $2,245.00

*This program offers payment plans starting at $109.00 a month.

#4. National Center for Construction Education and ResearchNational Center for Construction Education and Research

About the Program

The National Center for Construction Education and Research is a nationally recognized certification agency for plumbers.

They offer online plumbing education programs that teach prospective plumbers the skills needed to work in the field.

The NCCER plumbing program has four levels, and it prepares plumbers for apprenticeship programs and teaches them the fundamental skills required to complete certification.

Students can purchase digital coursework, supplies, and materials online from the NCCER and Pearson Education.

Courses Offered

  • Tools of the Plumbing Trade
  • Introduction to Plumbing Math
  • Introduction to Plumbing Drawings
  • Plastic Pipe and Fittings
  • Copper Tuber and Fittings
  • Reading Commercial Drawings

Contact Information

Address: 13614 Progress Boulevard, Alachua, Florida- 32615

Website: Link

Phone: 386-518-6500

Program Cost: Please contact the NCCER for current program pricing.

#5. Southwest Wisconsin Technical CollegeSouthwest Wisconsin Technical College

About the Program

The Plumbing Apprenticeship program at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College teaches students comprehensive plumbing skills to prepare them for a career as certified or licensed plumbers.

Students who take courses at SWTC will learn how to repair and maintain plumbing systems and read blueprints, along with the International Plumbing Code.

They will also learn plumbing math, assembling pipe sections, pipe tubings, and fittings, and securing hand steel supports from ceiling joists.

Courses Offered

  • Water Distribution I and II
  • Sanitary Drains I and II
  • Private On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems
  • Vents and Venting Systems
  • Green Plumbing Applications
  • Isometric Interpretation and Drawing
  • Plumbing Applications
  • Plumbing Service and Repair

Contact Information

Address: 1800 Bronson Boulevard, Fennimore, Wisconsin – 53809

Website: Link

Phone: 608-822-3262

Program Cost: Starting at $2,560.00 for in-state students

#6. Southwest Technical CollegeSouthwest Technical College

About the Program

Southwest Technical College in Cedar City offers its four-year Plumbing Apprenticeship Program, providing students with 720 hours of plumbing and apprenticeship instruction.

Their program accepts a limited amount of new students each fall.

This program accepts students who have a minimum eighth-grade education.

*There are no mandatory entry requirements like proof of a high school diploma for students not seeking financial aid.

Courses Offered

  • Plumbing Apprentice I
  • Plumbing Apprentice II
  • Green Plumbing
  • Solar Hot Water
  • OSHA Safety Training

Contact Information

Address: 510 West 800 South, Cedar City, Iowa –

Website: Link

Phone: 435-586-2899

Program Cost: $654.00 – includes books, fees, and supplies

#7. Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors AssociationPlumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association

About the Program

The PHCC offers online Plumbing Apprenticeship training via its PHCC Academy.

Their 144 credit hour online plumber apprentice program meets US Department of Labor Standards for apprenticeship training.

This comprehensive training program teaches students plumbing history, fundamentals, and practical methods for implementation.

PHCC Academy also assists students with completing on-the-job training requirements with local employers on their route to certification or state licensure.

Courses Offered

  • Plumbing History, Codes, and Principles
  • Basic Math for Plumbing
  • Water Supply, Water Sources, Waste Disposal, and Sewage Disposal
  • Joining Methods for DWN and Pressure Piping
  • Valves
  • Building Plans, Drawings, and Scale Rulers
  • First Aid and Safety

Contact Information

Address: 180 South Washington Street, Falls Church, Virginia – 22046

Website: Link

Phone: 703-237-8100

Program Cost: $800-$1000.00 + materials and supplies

What Courses Are in an Online Plumber Program?

While the names of the courses offered in an online plumber program will vary, the following courses are common in most programs:

  1. Plumbing History
  2. Plumbing Codes
  3. Plumbing Tools
  4. Basic Math for Plumbers
  5. HVAC Systems
  6. Customer Service
  7. Piping, Materials, and Fixtures
  8. Sump Pumps, Sewage Pumps, and Sewage Ejectors
  9. Pipefitting Techniques

Can You Earn Plumber Certification Completely Online?

While prospective journeyman plumbers can complete some plumber training online, earning certification requires all plumbing students to earn at least four years of hands-on training through apprenticeship programs and working for plumbing employers.

The Master Plumber Credential is the highest plumber certification available in most states.

Local plumbing licensing boards and state authorities typically issue this highly sought-after credential.

There are also a number of nationally recognized agencies that certify plumbers.

Each state and certification agency has its own set of requirements.

For example, the National Inspection Testing and Certification is one nationally recognized agency that certifies US plumbers’ job competency and skills for up to five years at a time.

Plumbers seeking certification from the NITC must pass their certification exam with a score of 75 or better to receive their credential.

The NITC and other US plumber certification agencies typically require plumbers to have the following minimum requirements to sit for national certification exams:

  • Four years of hands-on experience in the plumbing industry
  • Four-year apprenticeship program
  • Four-year proof of experience from an employer
  • Periodic retesting to maintain credentials is required.

Check with your local plumber licensing and certification agency to learn more about state-specific requirements for becoming a licensed or certified plumber in your state.

Do US Plumbers need a license?

Prospective plumbers should know that most US states require plumbers to carry a license, and each state has its licensing requirements.

Only a handful of US states don’t require plumbers to have a license to begin working as a journeyman plumber without supervision.

It is important for prospective plumbing students to contact your state license issuing agency to learn about plumber licensing requirements in your state before enrolling in a program.

How Long Does it Take to Earn Plumber Certification Online?

Completing your plumber education online can take a few months to four years.

Most online plumbing certification courses teach plumbers the foundational and practical knowledge required to find apprenticeships where they complete the on-the-job training needed to qualify for certification with their local authority.

The programs above offer self-paced online options that allow plumber students to complete their training programs at their own pace.

Taking self-paced training classes makes it easier for students with full-time jobs and family obligations to complete their plumber training at their convenience.

How Much Does an Online Plumber Certification Cost?

Online plumber certification can cost a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Program costs include the cost of tuition, supplies, exam fees, and materials.

Certification students should be prepared to pay additional costs to complete national certification tests with agencies like OSHA and the NITC.

Don’t let the cost of an online plumbing program keep you from achieving your goals!

Many plumbing certification programs above offer payment options like monthly payment plans or scholarships.

Some schools even offer financial aid to help students cover the costs of their program and material fees.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what it takes to become a plumber and where to find the best programs online, are you ready to begin your plumbing journey?

If so, contact one of the plumbing programs listed above to learn more about enrollment and plumbing program start dates.

Talk to a program director to learn if you qualify for scholarships, financial aid, or reduced tuition options.

Your future as a skilled plumber begins now!

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