Plumbing & Water Supply

2022 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.

Plumbing & Water Supply Degrees Shrinking in Popularity

#309 Most Popular Major
230 Degrees Awarded
-1.3% Increase in Graduates

Plumbing & Water Supply was the 309th most popular major in the 2019-2020 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 230 degrees in this year alone. This 3 less than the prior year, a decrease of 1.3%.

The United States has 45 different schools where you can get a degree in plumbing and water supply. Our 2022 Best Plumbing & Water Supply Schools ranking analyzes 13 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for plumbing and water supply students. Explore this or one of our many other custom plumbing rankings further below.

What Are The Requirements For 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

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional plumbing certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Types of Plumbing & Water Supply Degrees

There are many different plumbing degree levels. Plumbing & Water Supply programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest plumbing degree you can get. How long it takes to complete some common plumbing degree levels is shown below.

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

An associate degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to plumbing, with approximately 3.2% 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%

See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in plumbing and water supply have received.


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

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Plumbing Graduate

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%

Plumbing Degree Salary Potential

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 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 52 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.

Study Areas in Plumbing & Water Supply

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

Plumbing Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
Pipefitting/Pipefitter & Sprinkler Fitter 141
Plumbing Technology/Plumber 86
Well Drilling/Driller 3

View All Plumbing Concentrations >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Electrical & Power Transmission Installers 3,178
Building Management & Inspection 1,586
Construction 556
Carpentry 533
Masonry 50

View All Plumbing Related Majors >


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