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2021 Plumbing & Water Supply Degree Guide

Plumbers are responsible for a lot more than just fixing your leaky sink. They design, install and renovate systems that carry liquids or gasses. Most people think of plumbers as only dealing with water in residential and commercial locations, but they also deal with industrial settings where they may need to build a system that carries gas from one location to another. Other related positions include well driller, water blaster, and pipefitter.

Plumbers and related water service positions cut and fit the piping necessary to carry these liquids and gases without leaks. To be a successful plumber, you have to have on the job training as part of an apprenticeship and depending on your goals; you may also want to attend a vocational school. Vocational schools will focus on the skills needed to be successful. You will attend courses in mathematics, system design, building codes, and safety. Technical courses will train you on the specifics of cutting and fitting pipes together through mechanical or chemical welding.

A Recent Jump in Plumbing & Water Supply Degrees

#309 Most Popular Major
233 Degrees Awarded
16.3% Increase in Graduates

Plumbing & Water Supply was the 309th most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 233 degrees in this year alone. This is a difference of 38 over the prior year, a growth of 16.3%.

There are 19 schools offering degrees in plumbing and water supply in the United States. Explore this or one of our many other custom plumbing rankings further below.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Plumbing & Water Supply

Plumbers need to have a set of skills before they can go out and be successful. This includes physical ability, as dexterity and strength are important. Plumbers will need to be able to lift heavy equipment and materials while also being able to maneuver parts and pieces into precise locations.

They will also need to have good attention to detail, so any cuts and fittings are made correctly. Plumbers must also have good troubleshooting skills as not everything always goes as planned. They need to be able to come up with creative solutions to issues they may run into on the spot and troubleshoot issues they come across.

Plumbing Degree Program Entry Requirements

plumbing and water supply degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Specific plumbing careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Types of Plumbing & Water Supply Degrees

There are various different levels of plumbing degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a in plumbing and water supply to something that takes less time like a . Depending on the plumbing and water supply degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A high school diploma or equivalent is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to plumbing, with approximately 38.3% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for plumbing workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma 38.1%
Post-Secondary Certificate 27.1%
Less than a High School Diploma 19.7%
Some College Courses 11.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.7%

79.1% of plumbing workers have at least a high school diploma. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in plumbing and water supply have obtained.


This of course varies depending on which plumbing career you choose.

Plumbing Careers

Above Average Number of Jobs
$25.8k Average Starting Salary
14% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Plumbers can work for large plumbing and HVAC companies or they can strike out on their own and work independently. If you want to run your own business, it will be important for you to take basic business courses so you can properly provide estimates to clients, track inventory and track your finances.

Solid Growth Projected for Plumbing Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your plumbing degree? Plumbing & Water Supply careers are expected to grow 14.3% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to plumbing and water supply.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Construction Trades and Extraction Worker Supervisors 678,300 12.6%
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters 555,800 15.6%
Septic Tank Servicers and Sewer Pipe Cleaners 33,400 17.2%
Earth Drillers 23,500 19.9%
Rotary Drill Operators 20,800 24.6%

How Much Money Do Plumbing Grads Make?

Plumbing & Water Supply graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $25,781 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $17,000 to as high as $32,500. As you might expect, salaries for plumbing graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Plumbing Majors

Salaries for plumbing and water supply graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers plumbing grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Construction Trades and Extraction Worker Supervisors $70,540
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters $58,150
Rotary Drill Operators $56,740
Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters $52,780
Oil and Gas Derrick Operators $47,630

Getting Your Plumbing & Water Supply Degree

With over 43 different plumbing degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased plumbing school rankings to help you with this.

Plumbing & Water Supply is one of 6 different types of Construction Trades programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Electrical & Power Transmission Installers 3,125
Building Management & Inspection 1,411
Carpentry 544
Construction 436
Other Construction 99

View All Plumbing Related Majors >


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