15 Best Plumbing Schools in California in 2024 | How to Apply

Are you in search of the best plumbing schools in California? Search no more; we’ve got you covered.

This article fully reviews the best plumbing schools in California, including the requirements, cost & how to apply to these schools.

Plumbers do much more than unclog toilets; they are skilled, technical tradespeople who design and install heating, water, and gas systems and troubleshoot dangerous problems.

Simply put, our civilization couldn’t function without plumbing, and plumbers are in high demand and essential workers everywhere in the world.

Plumbers are significant members of our society. To guard us against disasters in our homes and businesses, we’d like professionals who know how to do the job right.

Most states agree on this and need all plumbers to have specific training and education. In California, learning the trade will take a minimum of four years to obtain a license.

Plumbing degree programs are at the lower end of the recognition scale. The university is ranked 309th out of 368 majors examined each year, which may make it more difficult for you to find a school that is a good fit for you.

Plumbers in California must undergo extensive training, beginning with an apprenticeship and progressing to journeyman and then master plumber. The Contractors State License Board regulates this process in California (CSLB). You must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or a passing grade on the General Educational Development (GED) exam.

Because the program you select can significantly impact your future, we’ve created several rankings, including the Best Plumbing Schools in California list, to help you choose the best school.

See Also: 13 Best Plumbing Trade Schools In The USA

Is Plumbing a Good Career Path in California?

Plumbers learn transferable skills that are always in demand and earn an honest wage. If you become a plumber, you’ll always have job security and the freedom to live and work wherever you want. You’ll even be able to start your own profitable business if you wish.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of plumber jobs in the United States will grow by 5% between 2020 and 2030. The typical annual salary for plumbers in California is just over $63,000, which is 8% above the national average.

One of the best aspects of becoming a plumber in California is that you can earn. At the same time, you learn, which suggests that, unlike traditional educational programs, you’ll almost certainly graduate with little or no student debt. You can pay through training programs because most plumbing internships and apprenticeships get paid.

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Are there Plumbing Schools in California?

  • Los Angeles Trade Technical College
  • City College of San Francisco
  • Bakersfield College
  • Diablo Valley College
  • Foothill College
  • PHCC Vocational School
  • San Diego City College
  • College of San Mateo
  • College of the Sequoias
  • DeHart Technical School
  • Los Angeles City College
  • Sutech School of Vocational and Technical Training
  • Glendale Community College
  • El Camino College
  • College of the Canyons
  • Pasadena City College
  • East Los Angeles Occupational Center
  • Los Angeles Southwest Community College
  • Cal Apprenticeship College

How to Become a Licensed Plumber in California?

In California, you must be a licensed contractor to legally perform plumbing work on projects worth more than $500 in labor and materials. However, if a registered contractor directly supervises you, you do not need a license to begin working and learning. The state does not issue apprenticeship or journeyman licenses.

To become a licensed plumber in California, an applicant must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma, and have four years of documented journeyman experience on jobs worth $500 or less. In addition, the applicant must pass the Trade and Law Business Exams and submit an application and fees to the California Contractors State License Board.

The California Contractors’ State License Board grants the licenses.

How to Renew Your Plumbing License in California

Every two years, your California plumbing license will expire. The CSLB will send you a renewal application about two months before your license expires. You can also find your license expiration date on your pocket card or use the CSLB’s California plumber license lookup tool.

Renewal fees are $450 for sole owners and $700 for non-sole owners.

How Much Do Plumbers Make in California?

Plumbers and pipefitters in California earn an average yearly salary of $62,390 and an hourly wage of $34.62, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2021). The typical income range is between $93,090 and $93,090. Top plumbers in California earn more than $120,000 per year.

Many factors influence your earning potential as a plumber, including your experience, licensing level, the type of properties you specialize in, the company size, location, and, most importantly, the amount of effort you are willing to put into this career.

How Long is Plumbing School in California?

In California, becoming a licensed plumber takes at least four years. That is the bare minimum for meeting the work experience requirement.

The length will also be determined by how long you complete the apprenticeship program and pass the state-mandated exam.

Most states agree on this and require all plumbers to have a certain level of training and education.

15 Best Plumbing Schools in California

After thorough research, rankings, reviews, and value offers, we have curated a list of the best plumbing schools in California from the best MOOC platforms online.

Below is a list of the best plumbing schools in California.

#1. Los Angeles Trade Technical College

Through its degree and certificate programs, Los Angeles Trade Technical College prepares adults for careers in the plumbing industry. The curriculum includes the knowledge and skills required to service residential, commercial, and industrial projects. 

Students will learn how to read blueprints and layouts, estimate jobs, install piping systems and fixtures, repair supply and wastewater systems, and various other skills.

Introduction to Plumbing, Fundamentals of Plumbing, Basic Plumbing Principles, Working Drawings and Layout, Plumbing Math and Procedures, Plumbing Code, and other required courses are available. 

Graduates can use their knowledge and technical skills to build a plumbing system, use plumbing tools, perform standard trade calculations, and construct a credible plumbing system using current plumbing codes, industry rules, regulations, and legal standards.

The program necessitates a full-time commitment of at least 24 hours per week, in addition to offsite work.

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#2. Los Angeles City College

LACCExtension offers Foundations of Plumbing courses from Los Angeles City College online. Students will learn fundamental, job-ready skills that will enable them to begin working in the plumbing and piping industries. 

Plumbing safety and safety materials will be covered, as well as the function of components required for constructing standard piping and water supply systems, the application and installation of plumbing fixtures, the identification of piping materials and fixtures used in Plumbing, and essential math functions, calculations, and code interpretation. The program is delivered online, allowing students to study independently. The admission policy is open enrollment.

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#3. City College of San Francisco

The Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry U.A. Local 38’s Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee manages the Plumbing program, with City College serving as the Lead Education Agency for San Francisco.

The State Division of Apprenticeship Standards has approved the Plumbing program to provide training in Plumbing, steam fitting (pipe fitting), heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration service. Apprentices will get payment while receiving on-the-job training during the apprenticeship. Apprentices must attend related and supplemental instruction classes twice a week.

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#4. Diablo Valley College

The Plumbing program at Diablo Valley College is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a hands-on residential, commercial, or industrial plumbing career. After completing the program, you will have the skills and knowledge required for success in the industry. 

The DVC Plumbing Program offers an Associate of Science degree in plumbing, a Certificate of Achievement in Plumbing, and a Certificate of Achievement in Plumbing.

DVC offers a five-year apprenticeship program in plumbing in collaboration with the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union Local 159 and the Plumbers, Steamfitters, and Refrigeration (HVACR) Union Local 342. Apprentices get paid while they learn and can frequently progress into full-time positions once the program is completed.

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#5. Foothill College

The apprenticeship program, which consists of coursework, lab work, and on-the-job training, teaches students about the assessment, installation, maintenance, and repair of various types of pipe systems; effective and safe tool use; material applications, related mathematics, and science; and storage. 

Students will learn how to read blueprints, apply layout and installation, estimate and repair supply and wastewater systems, and so on. 

The Associate of Science in Plumbing Technology degree expands on the Certificate of Achievement in Plumbing Technology by including general education and elective course requirements.

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#6. PHCC Vocational School

The PHCC Educational Foundation provides online plumbing apprentice courses for apprentices who prefer not to receive their apprenticeship instruction in a classroom setting. The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship, recognizes this program as a viable option for apprentice training. Each course is the equivalent of a school year.

The Foundation’s PHCC Academy courses, developed by industry experts, provide a consistent experience for companies training many apprentices over time. PHCC training is delivered through an easy-to-use, professional, education-focused Learning Management System (LMS).

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#7. San Diego City College

San Diego City College’s plumbing program includes theory and hands-on training to prepare students for entry-level jobs in the plumbing industry. All course modules introduce plumbing, intermediate and advanced plumbing, construction specialties, and plumbing code. 

Students will participate in an apprenticeship that will encourage the practical application of classroom concepts. They must be a trade apprentice who registers with the state. 

They will learn safety standards, how to read and interpret IAPMO uniform codes and residential drawings, how to identify plumbing lines and components, how to install DWV piping components and systems, how to locate buried lines, how to install and maintain waste pressure booster systems, and much more.

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#8. College of the Canyons

Students curious about learning plumbing basics can enroll in the College of the Canyons Plumbing Technology Program. The program will prepare you for an entry-level position requiring you to understand building codes and other fundamentals, trades math, applications, and print reading.

It culminates in either a Certificate of Accomplishment or a Certificate of Specialization upon completing the required 18 units. They will also assist you in finding the proper plumbing association or union for your needs and location.

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#9. El Camino College

The plumbing program at El Camino College investigates the layout and fabrication techniques required to construct residential water and waste plumbing systems. 

Students select the proper sized pipes, fittings, fixtures, and accessories and install and test various institutions and systems using appropriate methods and procedures. Other topics covered include plumbing diagnosis, troubleshooting, and clearing stoppages.

El Camino College provides a completion certificate in the plumbing arts. It teaches students basic plumbing principles and standard rules, codes, laws, and regulations.

It is a quick way to start with your local plumber’s union or association.

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#10. Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College’s plumbing program is committed to helping students develop their skills, knowledge, and skills. This course intends to enhance problem-solving abilities while also providing hands-on experience. Students pursuing entry-level and advanced-level skills will be prepared to enter the workforce or continue their education at a four-year university. 

Each program prepares students for industry and leadership opportunities through cutting-edge technology: engaged faculty and staff foster critical thinking and innovation by combining lectures and hands-on experiences.

Bakersfield College offers a natural selection of foundational plumbing education options. You’ll earn an Associate’s Degree, a Certificate of Achievement, or transferable credits. It covers all the basics while providing you with other necessary education credits.

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#11. Cal Apprenticeship College

Cal Apprenticeship programs are available to prospective plumbers after they contact their local plumbing and pipefitting organization, association, or union. They demonstrate everything from the fixture and material selection to plumbing extensions, alterations, and removal. It’s a demanding but comprehensive program.

The program includes a five-year apprenticeship with 9,000 hours of on-the-job training and 1,080 hours of classroom instruction. Once completed, you become a trade unionist and are eligible for numerous benefits, like dental, medical, and vision coverage.

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#12. Pasadena City College

Pasadena City College offers a range of plumbing certifications and degrees. While none of those is a direct path to becoming a plumber, they all supply introductory courses that provide a general overview of the trade. These classes are transferable and accredited.

This program covers construction trade safety, customer service and communication skills, professionalism, problem-solving, residential water safety, green technologies, sales and marketing strategies, job readiness, and green technologies.

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#13. Sutech School of Vocational and Technical Training

A Sutech student must complete a 540-hour program over 17 weeks. This program will teach students the basics of commercial, industrial, and residential building repair and maintenance. Students will learn how to repair and maintain commercial, industrial, and residential plumbing in factories, office buildings, apartments, and homes. The proper use of hand tools and power tools is also stressed.

The college designed the plumbing program to teach students the fundamental skills and knowledge required to perform a plumber’s functions, including using structural plumbing tools.

Graduates of the program could also be eligible for entry-level jobs as plumbers in either a residential or commercial setting.

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#14. College of the Sequoias

The Foundations of Plumbing course at the School of the Sequoias will teach you the fundamental, job-ready skills required within the plumbing and piping industries. During this self-paced course, you’ll learn how to work on modern plumbing systems using in-depth course material created by industry experts and employers. By the end of the period, you’ll have acquired the specialized skills and technical knowledge required to begin a career in Plumbing.

The plumbing program teaches various plumbing systems and the code requirements based on the International Plumbing Code. The college designs CT 275 for those that want to work in construction inspection 

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#15. DeHart tech 

The plumbing program at DeHart tech provides students with everything they need to get started in the plumbing industry. The basics of power tools, distribution and disposal systems, calculations and blueprint reading, pipes, fittings, fixtures, and safety are all covered.

The school delivers the coursework in a hybrid format, which allows students to finish the theory online while also gaining hands-on experience on campus and with affiliate partners.

The school will assign an academic advisor to each student. Graduates will enjoy the school’s guarantee of job interviews with local industry partners.

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How Much Do Plumbing Schools Cost in California?

A plumber’s license in California costs $530, including the appliance fee ($200) and the license fee ($330).

Other costs will include tuition, E&O insurance, and plumbing equipment. Some companies may pay or reimburse you if they employ you. However, if you run your practice, you’ll want to account for these expenses.

Plumbing Schools in California FAQs

How long does it take to become a trained plumber?

An advanced apprenticeship in Plumbing and domestic heating is available, which may take up to four years.

In California, am I able to practice Plumbing without a license?

In California, you must be a licensed contractor to legally perform plumbing work on projects worth more than $500 in labor and materials. However, as long as a registered contractor supervises you, you do not need a license to begin working and learning in California.

Is Plumbing a viable profession?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects Plumber employment to grow by 14 percent by 2028 and job opportunities to be plentiful. That means plumbers are scarce and in high demand.


Whether you want to work for a large contractor or go alone, Plumbing is usually in demand. Due to the rigorous process of becoming a licensed plumber, the utilization pool is limited, but qualified applicants will have a neater time finding work.


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