Plumbing And Pipe Fitting

Plumbers and pipe fitters install and repair pipe systems that carry water, steam, air, and other fluids or gases. The goal of this program is to train students and provide them with the entry level skills needed to enter the plumbing and pipe fitting industry. Freshman and sophomores are trained in the shop environment. Juniors and seniors do more actual hands-on work in the field, as well as in the shop.

Freshmen

Our exploratory program offers our students a variety of projects which the students work on to provide an insight into what the plumbing and pipefitting trade entails.

Upon entering our program as a four year choice, our students begin a comprehensive program of safety, hand tool use and trade math skills. Students progress through our competency-based program designed to take students from a beginner-based level to a more advanced skill.

Freshman year consists of pipe frame building, stationary piping and advances into power pipe threading equipment.

Sophomores

Our second year students move into different types of materials and basic plumbing skills. Second year students move into copper and its uses, pex tubing and fittings, and design and installation of potable water systems and hanging and pitching pipe.

Juniors

Our junior students progress into the safety and use with more advanced power tools. Students start to learn about drainage systems through the drawing and identification of different types of materials and fittings. Students learn the basics of drainage, waste and vent pipe sizing.

Juniors will also start to be exposed to the use of renewable energy. We have a solar thermal demo trailer built by our students for instructional purposes. Other third year projects include three-family water distribution, Victualic-rolled grooving, internal and external tankless piping for hot water systems. All projects and materials are taught according to the Massachusetts State Plumbing Code.

Juniors also attend 10 hours of OSHA safety training for construction. This is taught by four of our instructors certified in this area. They will receive their 10-hour card upon successful completion of this course.

Seniors

Students continue to progress in the sizing and installation of drainage, waste and vent systems. Bow vents, stack vents, wet vents and individual vents are covered and taught according to the Massachusetts State Plumbing Code. Students are taught the basics of fixture layout using manufacturer’s rough-in books. These books give the actual sizes of the fixtures and also where the water and drainage connections are to be roughed in.

Job Opportunities

New construction (residential, commercial, industrial)

Remodeling and renovation (residential, commercial, industrial)

Service work – the repair and replacement of plumbing systems already installed

Drain cleaning

Pipefitting

Steamfitting

Sprinkler fitting

Heating installations (residential, commercial)

Gasfitting

Process piping (installation and repair of specialty piping systems)

Drain laying

Sales

Places Of Employment

Plumbing contractors

Colleges and universities

Self-employment

Manufacturing facilities

Natural gas suppliers

Mechanical contractors

Hospitals

Cities and towns

Heating contractors

Fire protection companies

Liquid propane suppliers

Organized labor unions

Licensing Regulations

550 hours of related theory classroom instruction

8,500 hours (5 years field work)

Upon completion of these requirements under a master plumber, the apprentice can apply to take the journeyman license examination

Upon successful completion of the journeyman test, the person needs to work one year as a journeyman plumber before he or she can take the master plumber examination

Note: Under the new licensing requirements, the journeyman does not have to complete any additional classroom work

Journeyman Plumber – A person who works by him or herself in plumbing

A journeyman plumber cannot hire any apprentices

A journeyman plumber can operate a business only by him or herself

Master Plumber – This license is needed to hire additional journeymen and apprentices

In Massachusetts, you may have only one apprentice for every licensed plumber

A master license is needed to operate a corporation

Job Skills

Active listening

Reading comprehension

Dependability

Ability to work as part of a team

Blueprint reading

Mathematics

Complex problem solving

Attitude

Mechanical ability

Technical High School Education

A student completing a four year technical education in the plumbing and pipefitting technical area will receive three years of related theory (330 hours), and one year of field experience (up to 1,700 upon successful completion.

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bulletin 2700, there will be a 10% growth between 2006 and 2016.