Plumbers are highly skilled, licensed craft persons who perform the design, layout and installation of water supply, sanitary drainage and hydronic heating systems. Learning activities for students include installation practices, the science of the trade, blueprint reading, code compliance, cost profiles and business practices for both plumbing and pipefitting. Students are taught to use a variety of hand and power tools, culminating in the extensive participation in the community-based work projects, the student house building program and/or the Cooperative education program (when eligible and available). Graduating students receive hours accumulated through the program towards Massachusetts licensing requirements.
Upon graduation, students are employable as:
Technical, Apprentice and Higher Education Majors
- Civil Engineering Technology
- Water/Wastewater Engineers
- Supervisors for mechanical and plumbing contractors
- Construction Management
- Building Inspectors
- Independent Plumber and Business Owner
- Length of Apprenticeship: Five (5) years
- Apprentices must attend 550 hours of classroom hours of training
- Apprentices must complete 8,500 on-the-job hours to be eligible to sit for the Journeyman Plumbers Exam.
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Must have a high school diploma or G.E.D. certificate
- Valid Driver’s License and Social Security Card
Apprenticeship programs generally provide the most comprehensive training available for these jobs. They are administered either by union locals and their affiliated companies or by nonunion contractor organizations. Organizations that sponsor apprenticeships include: the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada; local employers of either the Mechanical Contractors Association of America or the National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors; a union associated with a member of the National Fire Sprinkler Association; the Associated Builders and Contractors; the National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors; the American Fire Sprinkler Association, or the Home Builders Institute of the National Association of Home Builders.
Connections to Work and Higher Education
Industry Affiliations: SKILLS USA
Industry Certifications Available in High School
- OSHA 10 hour Construction, Safety & Health
- Hot Work Safety Certification
- Plumbers Apprentice/License Hours – 1700 hours of practical and 330 hours of code class
- Corzan FlowGuard Gold Pipe & Fitting Certification
- VIEGA National Certificate: ProPress and PEX Training
Grade 9 Exploratory – Course #PLX
Freshman students will explore topics including safe use of tools and equipment during an introduction to plastic pipe and fittings, copper pipe and fittings and cast iron pipe and fittings. Drain waste and vent systems along with the water distribution systems will also be reviewed.
Grade 9 Shop – Course #PLXF-16
The freshman course is designed to introduce and orient the student to the plumbing field by performing tasks that a person would experience in the Plumbing field. Students also participate in an introduction to the concepts covered in the 10 hour of OSHA certification examination.
Grade 10 Shop – Course #PL2
Sophomore student’s instruction begins with shop safety instructions and lessons in the proper use of tools. Topics to follow include introduction to plumbing blueprints; installing and testing drainage waste and vent piping; installation and testing of water supply piping and installing water heaters and fuel gas systems.
Grade 10 Related – Course #PL2R
The purpose of this course is to prepare students for attainment of a license in the plumbing field. Students will study plumbing theory including science, safety, mathematics, and plumbing code compliance.
Grade 11 Shop – Course #PL3
Junior students will continue to master safety protocols and procedure while being introduced to residential hydronic heating. Eligible students may participate in off-site projects including the house building program (when available). Students may also be assigned to various shop projects and maintenance projects within the building.
Grade 11 Related – Course #PL3R
Junior students will learn various methods of installation used in today’s industry. Students will assemble drainage, water, and gas supply systems as prescribed by the Massachusetts State Code.
Grade 12 Shop – Course #PL4
Senior students will continue to learn advanced shop safety and proper use of tools. Students will continue progression to advanced areas of the plumbing and heating industry. The offsite Cooperative Education Program may be available to eligible students.
Grade 12 Related – Course #PL4R
Senior students will learn how to sketch and read mechanical drawings and design plumbing systems applying all of the competencies learned in tenth and eleventh grades. Grade 12 students will also complete requirements consistent with the Junior/Senior Project.