With COVID-19 running rampant, many post-secondary students are enrolling in online classes. These fully online classes keep students safe and allow them to get their education while being in lockdown. Even in the years before COVD, however, online courses were beginning to gain traction thanks to their convenience and reduced cost.
There is a large number of programs that are now offered online through various institutions, including English, technology, administration, science, and languages. Since the start of COVID, however, certain trade programs have made the switch to online delivery, too.
Plumbing is one of them.
If you’re looking to try your hand at taking an online plumbing course, you first need to enroll in a program. But which one? Here are a few.
The plumbing training program at Penn Foster prepares students for a fulfilling career as a plumber. All classes are delivered virtually, with informative videos, goal-setting and progress-tracking tools, mobile-friendly coursework and assignments, and virtual simulations that have been designed for student success.
The program consists of eight classes and covers all the basics including reading blueprints, installing plumbing and piping fixtures, and codes, regulations, and standards that are essential for plumbers to know.
Penn Foster offers three payment plans for online plumbing students, with $929 being the maximum amount paid for the course. Certain payment plans come with savings and each plan covers career services and student support in addition to textbooks, coursework, and lectures.
The 4-month plumbing program at Ashworth College allows students to learn at their own pace and from the comfort of their homes. It is taught by industry professionals who are passionate about their job and eager to share their knowledge.
Students will learn how to work with valves, pipes, and fittings. They also learn how to install and repair hot water heaters, appliances, faucets, and much more in addition to safety procedures, standards, and plumbing technology.
There are two payment options offered to students, with one offering affordable monthly payments of $49. Although the program is months long, students can take up to 1-year to complete it.
The Plumbing Academy is based out of Massachusetts. Founded and operated by Norm and Eric, this virtual plumbing and gas-fitting school is a great place to kick start a career in either field.
The program is organized by way of tiers, with each tier serving as a higher level of learning and building off the one before. There are 5 tiers to complete.
Each tier consists of online “LIVE” class sessions with Norm, as well as a specified number of hands-on hours under a Master plumber.
Students can pay 1,400 per tier in full or opt to only pay half at a time. They are required to sign a contract and an agreement of enrollment prior to starting the first tier.
In addition, students are required to have a webcam and a reliable laptop with a microphone and working speakers.
The plumbing course from Alpha Tradesmen Academy operates a bit differently than traditional online courses. Instead of students having to pay tuition for each period of time spent enrolled, they have to pay for yearly access to the lessons, materials, and tests. This cost is estimated at $995.
Students start by learning the history of plumbing, then moving into tools and equipment, types of tubing, water fittings, basic appliances, and principles of electricity and wiring. Each lesson is accompanied by videos, and interactive materials, as well as demonstrations.
At the end of each lesson, students must take and pass a test with 100% in order to move on. These tests can be taken as many times as necessary for the student to earn a 100% score. Once lessons have been mastered, students receive a badge that helps potential employers to see what a student has and hasn’t been trained in.
The courses and lessons can be completed on mobile devices, as well as on laptops and desktops, giving students easy access to their courses.
The plumbing online program is based out of New Hampshire. The course partners with PHCC to provide students with online access to their course materials. In addition to the virtual classes, students of the program must attend four required mentoring sessions per year in Raymond, NH. During these sessions students can work with mentors to iron out problems, clear up confusion, and hone their skills.
There are four levels to complete, with each requiring a textbook that costs $100 and tuition that ranges from $1,479 to $1,779. During their time in the program, students learn about the basics, safety, math concepts, how to read trade sketches and blueprints, electrical concepts, repair techniques, and much more.
NexTech Academy headquarters in Minnesota and has students enrolling from all around the country. When students first get started with the online plumbing program, they learn about the principles of plumbing before moving into training in drainage systems, water lines, vents, and fixture installation.
The course covers everything students need to know about septic systems, solar and hydronic heating systems, private wells, and plumbing system design, preparing them for a successful career in plumbing.
All courses are broken down into simple modules that combine reading, quizzes, videos, interactive lessons, and practice demonstrations. With these courses, students are also required to shadow a professional plumber to gain the hands-on and real-world trade experience that is so critical to student success.
Training is completed within 18-24 months and there is no enrollment fee, only a monthly subscription fee that is to be paid by the student’s employer.
Through online courses at Winn’s, aspiring plumbers can learn the basic skills they need to be successful. The plumbing course consists of the first 4 levels of plumbing apprenticeship training, with each level being broken down into sub-levels for easier learning.
Each level costs $900 and builds upon the knowledge learned in the level before it. Courses are delivered through videos, reading, and exams and the entire course is self-paced, allowing students to complete it on their own time.
Upon completion, students receive a certificate of completion. Through Winn’s, students can also enroll in an apprenticeship program that prepares them for their careers. This apprenticeship takes up to 4 years and offers over 144 hours of training per year with over 6,000 hours of on-the-job experience.
Alison is a web portal that caters to anyone and everyone who wants to learn something new. Here, you can find everything from art classes to trades classes and, of course, plumbing classes.
These classes are free to access and register for. There are a number of different courses offered through Alison and each one offers new and valuable information. This includes information on fixtures and plumbing pipes, plumbing drawings and tools, and an understanding of drainage systems, heating systems, and water distribution systems.
The courses each offer either a certificate or a diploma. Diplomas can be delivered digitally or physically — they can even be framed. Physical diplomas need to be paid for out of pocket before being mailed to graduates.
Udemy is a web portal much like Alison. However, this web portal offers both paid and free classes. The paid classes are highly affordable, not costing much more than $30 maximum.
Udemy offers a number of plumbing-related courses including water supply design, practical plumbing, sanitary systems, and plumbing design. Each of the courses comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and is taught by industry professionals in a manner that is easy to follow and even easier to remember later on.
While plumbing is a complex trade to master, finding the right online course for you doesn’t have to be. There are some truly amazing online certification, diploma, and general knowledge plumbing programs out there.
You can choose from taking a fully accredited program at Ashworth College or Penn Foster, a self-paced program from Winn’s, or a program with its own setup and delivery such as the ones offered at Granite State Trade School or Plumbing Academy Inc.
You might also choose to just dabble in the idea of plumbing by signing up for a paid course from Udemy or a free course from Alison, both of which portals are flexible and easy to navigate.
Regardless of which method of learning you choose, these programs are guaranteed to get you on the right track. You’ll expand your knowledge of plumbing basics as well as the complexities of repairs, electrical, and water-heating systems. Though a few of the programs, you’ll also get hands-on experience through apprenticeships and on-site workshops, not to mention a salary.
So, what are you waiting for? Take your pick of the courses we’ve mentioned above and get started on your career path! Just remember to enjoy the learning process as much as you enjoy the career you get as a result.
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