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Plumbing and Heating Technology Associate's Degree

Plumbing and heating can take you through an associate degree program and earn you an opportunity for a new career. This article shows you the welding and electric classes that are found in an associate's program, as well as career options in the field once you earn your degree.

What Is a Plumbing and Heating Technology Associate's Degree?

A plumbing and heating technology associate's degree program will provide you with training on commercial, residential and public building pipe systems for water, waste, gas and other substances. You will also receive training on systems that facilitate a climate-managed environment. Some plumbing and heating technology degree programs are available under a single curriculum. However, others provide a degree program in one concentration with an opportunity to receive a certificate in the other concentration in an accelerated time frame.

Training AreasWater systems, gas systems, public buildings, residential areas
Common CoursesBlueprint reading, basic electricity, construction safety, HVAC controls
Median Salary (2018)$53,910 (Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters), $47,610 (Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers)
Job Growth (2014-2024)*16% for plumbers, 15% for HVAC mechanics

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

Your coursework in plumbing may include subjects such as drainage, waste and vent design, plumbing fixture, appliance and appurtenance, pipe fitting and portable water piping design. Your training on heating technologies may include topics involving HVAC controls, hydronic heating systems and advanced HVAC system service. You may also take courses that correlate with both plumbing and heating, such as blueprint reading and drafting, gas technology, welding, basic electricity and construction safety.

Ultimately, you may learn a variety of skills, including installing and servicing piping, plumbing fixtures and their corresponding connections. You may also learn how to install, repair and maintain boilers, heat pumps and oil-fired appliances. Because of the hands-on requirements, online programs are not available in the field.

What Is My Job Outlook With This Degree?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that you may work for a variety of industries, such as building equipment contractors, commercial and industrial machinery and equipment, repair and maintenance, nonresidential building construction and the government.

The BLS also reports that the employment rate for plumbers is projected to increase by 16% between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). The employment rate for heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics is expected to grow 15% during the same time period. The May 2018 annual median salary for plumbers was $53,910 and $47,610 for heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics.