15 Best Plumbing Schools in New Jersey | 2023

Choosing which plumbing trade schools to attend can be difficult when so many options exist. 

You can now access schools in your immediate area as online education opportunities expand. Even some ‘big name’ universities are beginning to offer online courses. 

There are also several plumbing trade schools with programs you might be interested in.

The Academic Ground created this ranking of the Best Plumbing Schools in New Jersey to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

Plumbing is one of those technical skills that are always in demand. While demand fluctuates, it is always present. 

The demand for skilled plumbers in New Jersey is growing, and you must have the necessary training to be considered for open positions.

This post will look at the best plumbing schools in New Jersey and provide you with some considerations as you make your decision. 

We also review the state’s license regulations and everything you need to know to be a successful plumber in New Jersey.

Keep reading!

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Are There Plumbing Schools In New Jersey?

There are many plumbing schools in New Jersey. Some of these plumbing schools are:

  • Adult and Continuing Education-BCTS
  •  Hohokus School of Trade and Technical Sciences
  •  Camden County College
  •  Eastwick Education – Plumber Apprenticeship Diploma Program
  •  U.A. Local 9
  •  Atlantic County Vocational School District – Adult Education
  •  Passaic County Technical Institute – Adult Division
  •  Master Plumbers Educational
  •  Ocean County Vocational Technical School
  •  Essex County Schools of Technology District.
  •  National Career Institute
  •  Monmouth County Vocational School District 
  •  Plumbers Local 24
  •  Somerset County Vocational & Technical Schools
  •  Mercer County Technical School District

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How Does One Become A Plumber In New Jersey?

A little more effort is required to advance from journeyman to master plumber. To begin, you must have four years of experience as an apprentice and one year of experience as a journeyman. 

These working hours must be communicated to the state board.

If you have a bachelor’s degree in engineering and one full year of work experience, you can skip the apprenticeship hours with board approval.

You must also pass three exams: trade, practical application, and business and law. Each exam has its own set of proctors and fees that must be paid before it can be taken. 

Finally, you must be at least 21 years old, have state board testing clearance, and have a $3,000 bond insurance policy for plumbing.

If you have received clearance, obtained bond insurance, and passed the tests, you will be licensed as a master plumber. 

You can establish your own business and hire journeymen or apprentice plumbers to work alongside or for you.

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What Are The Best Plumbing Schools In New Jersey?

The state’s best plumbing trade schools are highlighted and reviewed below. Each one is compared and evaluated for you. We’ve also divided them by region so you can find the best school in your area.

1. Adult and Continuing Education-BCTS

Bergen County Technical Schools District was established in 1951 to meet the county’s growing demand for vocational education. 

Bergen County Vocational-Technical High School opened in 1952 as the state’s first full-time facility, offering students training in plumbing, carpentry, masonry, and electrical work.

The mission of Bergen County Technical High School is to provide a comprehensive education that develops students as individuals while also preparing them for life-long learning and a career as active members of a global community.

In the 2022 rankings, Adult & Continuing Education-BCTS has been named the best school for plumbing and water supply students in New Jersey. 

Bergen Career Institute is a public school with a small student population in Hackensack, New Jersey.

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2. Hohokus School of Trade and Technical Sciences

HoHoKus School of Trades and Technical Sciences keeps class sizes manageable to maintain a clear line of communication and guidance between students and instructors.

The programs are frequently completed in as little as six months, allowing you to receive quality training and begin working in your desired career as soon as possible.

Hohokus School of Trade and Technical Sciences placed second out of the two New Jersey institutions included in this year’s rating. 

Also, Hohokus School of Trade and Technical Sciences is a private for-profit institution in Paterson’s central suburb with a tiny student population.

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3. Camden County College

Camden County College’s continuing education program is one of the best plumbing trade schools in New Jersey. 

The Blackwood campus provides a wide range of continuing education courses that all meet licensing requirements.

The hydro technology course is designed to educate students on modern and practical procedures while providing ample lab and hands-on experience to prepare them for certification. There is also an ICS plumbing inspector course available.

The best part is that all courses can be applied to the 60-credit associate degree in technical studies.

All registered apprentices who complete the required on-the-job and classroom training are eligible for a Certificate of Completion from the U.S. Apprenticeship Office, Department of Labor. Registered apprentices who complete the apprenticeship career-related classroom instruction may earn up to 30 college credits toward Camden County College’s 60-credit curriculum.

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4. Eastwick Education – Plumber Apprenticeship Diploma Program

Eastwick Education Center in Paterson provides one of the best courses for apprenticeship advancement. 

Graduates of the program are eligible to enroll in the NHPHCC’s apprenticeship program as second-year apprentices.

There is also an aerial lift and OSHA 10 certification. If you want to become an apprentice and work your way up to becoming a journeyman plumber, this is the course for you. 

Not only will you gain valuable hands-on experience, but the certification programs are among the country’s best.

Every program at Eastwick has been designed to meet a specific job market demand and is supported by a comprehensive set of industry certifications and affiliations.

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5. U.A. Local 9

Because of the highly skilled workforce, the Plumbers and Pipefitters of Local 9 are vital to many companies throughout central New Jersey. 

They now have over 2,500 members and are still growing. They are always looking for the best and brightest the community offers.

You could do it right the first time if you’re going to be a plumber. The U.A. Local 9 union offers a more comprehensive apprenticeship program than any trade school or college.

You will be given a 5-year curriculum that includes all the resources you will need for a successful apprenticeship, including free classroom lectures. 

You can also apply to any New Jersey college for an associate’s degree with up to 32 free college course credit hours.

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6. Atlantic County Vocational School District – Adult Education

The Atlantic County Institute of Technology’s (ACIT) mission is to prepare students for careers in technology and encourage students to pursue careers in the business world programs or additional education via a rigorous specialized curriculum, Inspiring community partnerships and field-based experiences.

Students will become lifelong learners and socially responsible adults who will serve society with empathy, skill, and vision.

If you are currently employed as a plumber or in the plumbing trade, you can enroll in adult education classes at Atlantic County Vocational Apprenticeship Program. Your employee must sponsor paperwork, and applications must be accepted at any time.

However, even though the classes are less rigorous, they all count toward apprenticeship hours. 

Everything from theory to customer service to invoicing and pipe threading will be covered in your training. You can do all of this without becoming the class’s oldest student.

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7. Passaic County Technical Institute – Adult Division

Adults who want to learn a trade or supplement the skills and technical knowledge they use in their current jobs can benefit from Career and Continuing Education Courses. Serious “hobbyists” are also welcome. 

Career and Continuing Education Program students learn by doing. Classes are held in fully equipped shops and classrooms at the Passaic County Technical-Vocational Schools, which use modern tools, equipment, and techniques.

You’ll need classroom and lab time to get the most out of an apprenticeship. Both are available at Passaic County Technical Institute for a meager cost. 

The first course, which includes Level 1 and Level 2, is under $500.

Levels 3 and 4 of the second course are all-inclusive and cost less than $500. You can also take classes on your own time, despite limited spots. The institution prioritizes small class sizes to maximize the learning experience.

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8. Master Plumbers Educational

Master Plumbers Educational is a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about plumbing, from beginner to master. 

For entry-level applicants, the courses available will provide you with theory, customer service, and hands-on experience.

Exam prep seminars, OSHA 10, and master plumber continuing education requirement classes are available. 

The classes are small, the instructors are detail-oriented, and the entire program is designed to get you started and keep you going forward.

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9. Ocean County Vocational Technical School

OCVTS offers two years (900 hours) of teaching on plumbing, pipefitters, steamfitters & fire suppression systems for apprentices as evening classes to match up with the four years of your apprenticeship.

Students will gain hands-on experience assembling, maintaining, and repairing water, gas, and other piping systems found in homes, businesses, and industries. 

The course will prepare students for the various skill sets required to work in the residential, commercial, and/or industrial plumbing fields. 

Students will learn how to prepare cost estimates, read blueprints, adhere to state and local building codes, and install, inspect, maintain, and troubleshoot piping systems. 

Also, qualified students may be able to job shadow or participate in other cooperative education opportunities with local plumbers. 

Students who complete this two-year program may be granted advanced standing in the OCVTS Adult Education Division Apprenticeship Program.

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10. Essex County Schools of Technology District

The apprentice plumber learns how to install, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair residential and commercial plumbing systems. 

The Apprenticeship Training Program in New Jersey combines on-the-job training with related classroom instruction. 

Furthermore, the United States Department of Labor, the Office of Apprenticeship, and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development approved apprenticeship programs and related instruction. 

The apprenticeship lasts four years, after which the apprentice can expect to be qualified for journeyman status. Plumbing instruction is available through the program. The program requires at least 144 hours of classroom instruction per year. 

The Bureau of Veterans Training has approved the training program, recognized for its efficiency in preparing qualified apprentices. Participants must be employed in the relevant trade and be sponsored by their employer.

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11. National Career Institute

National Career Institute provides a 320-hour Plumber’s Assistant educational program. The Plumber Assistant/Building Maintenance program teaches students basic plumbing theory and hands-on experience. 

This course should prepare the student to work as an assistant in the plumbing industry, with knowledge of equipment and methods that will allow them to advance to journeyman status. 

Pipe cutting and joining, hangers and supports, safety valves, water heaters, potable water, venting, and drains. The building maintenance component is intended to prepare students for careers in the building trades. 

Additionally, basic building repairs such as spackling, sheet rocking, electrical, plumbing, asphalt, security/safety blueprint reading, wood studs, framing, painting, and roof patching will be performed by the student.

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12. Monmouth County Vocational School District 

Monmouth County Vocational School District offers a four-year evening plumber apprenticeship program divided into four 156-hour programs.

This plumbing program prepares students to work as licensed plumbers by teaching them how to lay out, assemble, install, and maintain plumbing fixtures and systems for natural gas, hot water, heating, drainage, and industrial processing systems in residential and commercial settings. 

Also, source determination, water distribution, waste removal, isometric drawing, fundamental physics, technical mathematics, blueprint reading, pipe installation and soldering, plumbing inspection, and applicable codes and standards are all covered in the program.

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13. Plumbers Local 24

Apprenticeship programs are available through Plumbers Local 24 in West Caldwell.

The parent union of Local # 24 in New Jersey, the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada, has a long and proud history dating back more than 100 years.

Plumbing entails the installation and repair of various piping systems and equipment. Most plumbing work is done in the residential and commercial building construction sectors. 

A plumber practices all the mental and physical skills acquired through a daily structured learning process during the five-year apprenticeship period, from layout (or even design) preparation to the final fixture and equipment installation.

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14. Somerset County Vocational & Technical Schools

A four-year plumbing program is available at Somerset County Vocational & Technical Schools.

The Plumbing Technology Program instructs students in various areas, such as fresh and wastewater plumbing, natural gas, and HVAC. 

Also, students will learn how to work safely in residential and industrial environments. Through the school’s Cooperative Education Program, successful students will also have the opportunity to gain real-world experience.

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15. Mercer County Technical School District

The Mercer County Technical School District provides apprenticeship training programs approved by the federal and state governments. 

Some programs may be able to fulfill Veterans’ Education requirements. An apprentice must complete at least 156 hours of job-related training per year of apprenticeship. 

To qualify for program completion, students must complete all units of a program (usually 16 units).

This program consists of sixteen 39-hour units delivered two nights per week. This is a theory-based program with no hands-on experience meant to supplement the student’s on-the-job training. 

In addition, this program covers basic rigging, water heaters, drainage systems, waste systems, ventilation systems, heating systems, and pumping systems, as well as some tool use. 

First aid and CPR training are also included for an additional fee (via private arrangement). To prepare students for the State Master Plumber Exam, there will be a focus and discussion on the various codes related to the course content.

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How Long Are Plumbing Schools In New Jersey?

Your apprenticeship will last four years, during which time you will learn the fundamentals of the plumbing trade from your master plumber. 

After this time, you can apply to become a journeyman plumber. After one year of experience as a journeyman plumber, you can apply to become a master plumber.

The U.S. Labor Department must approve an apprenticeship program in New Jersey. Choosing a program is similar to applying for any other job. 

As an apprentice plumber, you work for the master plumber. Several local unions have formalized their programs. 

You can apply for these jobs on the union’s website. Wear professional clothing to your interview, whether you are using it for a union program or an independent master plumber. 

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How Much Are Plumbing Schools In New Jersey?

Tuition and fees differ from school to school and region to region. The type of school will also influence it, the number of classes and the course length. 

Longer courses and degree-granting universities will cost more than single classes or certificate programs.

Inside the state, you can expect to pay between $200 and $800 for a single class, continuing education, and 4- to 6-week programs. Ordinary courses will cost between $2,000 and $6,000.

However, if you are pursuing a degree or attending a college or university for your education, your fees will be higher. Most degree-granting courses will cost around $25,000 for in-state residents.

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How Much Do Plumbers Make In New Jersey?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of plumbing jobs in the United States is expected to grow by 14 percent by 2028, much faster than average job growth.

In New Jersey, the median hourly wage for a plumber is more than $32, with an annual salary of nearly $68,000. 

This is significantly more than the national average for this field, which is slightly more than $55,000 annually.

Conclusion

Choosing the best plumbing trade schools can help you get a good start in your plumbing career. 

While it may appear to be a simple task, choosing the right school can be more complex than it seems.

This article has given you the information and tools you need to make the best decision. Your education should meet and exceed your expectations while also assisting you in starting your new career.

FAQs

Are all plumbers in New Jersey also gas fitters?

No. Plumbers are a subset of gasfitters, also known as pipefitters. This necessitates more education and expertise and a broader range of pipelines, high-pressure pipes, hazardous chemical handling, and other specialized tasks.

Will my New Jersey plumber’s license work in any other states?

No. Reciprocity is available for out-of-state and New Jersey plumbers working outside the state. This is a one-time agreement to work in another state while maintaining your current credentials.

How can I renew my plumbing apprentice license in New Jersey?

You only need to renew your master plumber’s license once in New Jersey. There is no renewal process because the state only requires registration rather than a journeyman or apprentice license. Master plumbers, on the other hand, must renew their license every two years for $150 and maintain a minimum of 5 credit hours of continuing education credits during that time.

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