Apprenticeship

Important Work.
Huge Demand.
No College Debt.
Fast-Track Licensing.
National Credentials.
Unlimited Potential.
 

THIS...is plumbing apprenticeship!

 
Important Work
 
Don’t let any stereotypes fool you, plumbing is important!  Think about your life without clean drinking water, effective waste disposal, or medical gases available in the hospital.  You would be living in a third-world, poverty-stricken country, all because a single profession is missing—Plumbing!  Yes, plumbing is a profession, with national standards, state licensing, and continually evolving technologies.
 
Huge Demand
 
According to the Department of Labor, there are more than 6 million jobs available in the US.  With high growth in the Texas economy, the shortage is profound, especially in the construction trades responsible for building our state and country.  Social media, job listings, and discussions with business owners all confirm a single fact—Texas needs licensed plumbers and is willing to pay for them, now!
 
No College Debt
 
The number of young people attending 4 years of college, stacking up tens of thousands in debt (or more), then finding no job available to them is reaching epidemic proportions!  With a plumbing apprenticeship, you earn while you learn.  There is a cost, as there is with anything worth having, but our programs are structured to keep the cost as affordable as possible.
 
Fast-Track Licensing
 
As a regulated profession, it normally takes a minimum of 4 years after high-school to become a Journeyman Plumber, then another 4 years to become a Master Plumber in Texas.  However, participants in our Department of Labor approved program can shorten that cycle in several ways:
  • Reduce the required experience for licensing by 1,000 hours
  • Receive exemption from the usual 48 hours of required courses
  • Reduce the period from Journeyman to Master by 3 years
  • Reduce the apprenticeship program based on prior experience or training
National Credentials

Our company, instructors, and training materials are accredited by the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER).  The completion of each module is recorded in their national registry, allowing for a nationally recognized transcript of all education completed.  Plus, our program is approved by the US Department of Labor and completion earns a certificate issued by the Office of Apprenticeship.  Together, these represent the gold standard in construction industry education.
 
Unlimited Potential
 
The US Department of Labor reports that 9 out of 10 Americans completing an apprenticeship program find a job immediately and the average starting salary is $60,000.  Compare that to the odds facing America’s 13 million college students.  If you want to aim even higher, a Master plumber in Texas can take an additional 3-day course and be ready to open their own company anywhere in the state.
 



How long does it take?

 
The apprenticeship program takes up to 4 years, with 144 hours of training (classroom & self-study) each year and at least 6,375 hours of employment (on-the-job-learning).  However, credit may be given for previous plumbing experience and/or plumbing training, reducing these requirements by up to 50%.
 
How much will I make?
 
Our Department of Labor program requires a plumbing apprentice to make at least 55% of what a journeyman plumber earns in your specific market, increasing to 85% by the end of the program.  Local employers can pay more and usually do because of the high demand for plumbers.  Your value can rise quickly with the added advantage of this formal plumbing education.

What is the program like?

Our program utilizes a hybrid model to engage every possible learning style & incorporate flexibility while pursuing the end goal of competency in every topic (see outline at the bottom of this page).  The program components include:
  • Self-study between meetings, which includes reading each module & interacting with online content (practice questions, interactive graphics)
  • Live instruction to emphasize the key concepts, answer questions, and apply the material to everyday practice
  • Brief quizzes covering the material of each module (retaken if necessary to ensure understanding)
  • Hands-on tasks related to each module, demonstrating competency that can be applied in the field
  • Employer supervised experience throughout the program, documented quarterly

Where & when are courses scheduled?

 
Our program operates on a cohort model, which means the entire group moves through the program together across an entire year, perhaps even throughout several years of the program.  Participation takes discipline and commitment!  As described above, a significant amount of self-study is required between gatherings.  As a result, our cohorts only physically meet together 6 Saturdays per year for an INTENSIVE day each time, usually at area plumbing shops participating in the program.  During those gatherings, the instructor will review the main points of the material covered, answer any questions, and demonstrate anything required.  Participants will then take a brief quiz covering the material of each module and complete hands-on tasks to demonstrate competency.

How much does it cost?

 
The cost of your program depends on where it is held and how many participants we expect to enroll (each cohort has a minimum number required).  However, our goal is for the cost to be only a few dollars per day (or less), usually $1,200 annually over 4 years.  Participants who have at least two years of  broad experience may apply to begin in Year 3 (Level 3), in which case the cost is usually $1,500 annually over 2 years (we still provide the written materials from all 4 years/levels).

What if I already work in plumbing?

 
That’s great!  If your employer agrees, we can evaluate your experience and grant credit for up to 50% of the program.  In that case, you would begin in Level 3 (Year 3) rather than sit through material you already know and you are on the super fast-track to certification.
 
What if I don’t already work in plumbing?
 
Not to worry.  That’s basically the point of an apprenticeship program.  We will help match you with an employer in your area who wants to (or already does) participate in the program.  In fact, you must become employed full-time in the plumbing industry to participate in the apprenticeship process.
 
What if I am still in high-school?
 
Full apprenticeship registration requires you to be at least 16 and have a high-school diploma or GED.  However, high-school students can begin this journey as a pre-apprentice in two ways, both of which would allow us to grant advanced placement in the program upon graduation:

        1.  Put us in contact with your high-school if they might be willing to host a program.
        2.  Pre-register with us and attend all the same training without the employment requirement.

What if I don't live in Texas?
 
Anyone can participate in our programs, but only Texas residents are eligible for the various grants to help reduce the costs.  We are exploring programs in other states, but many require another approval process, so we are initially focusing exclusively within Texas.

Is the program recognized by Texas?

Our program is approved by the US Department of Labor, which is then automatically recognized by the State of Texas.  This can be seen in the following Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiner's rules:
  • For exemption from the usual training requirements while enrolled in the program, see TSBPE Rule 363.5(e)(2) for the Journeyman Exam, 363.6(d)(2) for the Tradesman Exam.
  • For reduction in the required hours of experience resulting from completion of the program, see Rule 363.4(a)(2)(B) for the Master exam, 363.5(c)(1) for the Journeyman exam, 363.6(b)(1) for the Tradesman exam.

The references above specifically include any plumbing program approved by the US Department of Labor.  Our approval from the US Department of Labor is also on file with Executive Director of the TSBPE.

How do I get started?

We will be happy to send details about the program nearest your location.  Simply register for one of the cohorts at the bottom of this page (no payment is due and this does NOT commit you to the program, it simply registers your interest so we can send you the full program details).  If you have general questions, email Apprenticeship@WinnsCE.com.



What if I'm an employer or school?

Contact us via email (Apprenticeship@WinnsCE.com).

Employers interested in hiring registered apprentices or enrolling their current employees are critical to this partnership and we welcome your participation.

Here are the major details you should know:

  • 4-year program which may be shortened up to 50% based on previous experience
  • 144 hours of training each year, including classroom & self-study
  • Utilizing NCCER Plumbing curriculum, Levels 1-4
  • Available to current staff as well as a source for new, motivated prospects
  • Participants must work full-time in plumbing throughout (approx 2,000 hours yearly)
  • Cohorts will be formed across the state as interest in each region dictates
  • Employers decide how much (if any) of the cost they share with apprentices
  • Cost will depend on the number of participants, location & participation
  • A student (at least 16) may register for the classroom portions as a pre-apprentice

Our program, including the pre-apprentice aspects, represent a tremendous opportunity for high-school, community & junior colleges to usher more students toward jobs in high demand right now.  Through our meetings with the Texas Workforce Commission, we have ensured its alignment with the Texas 60X30 education goal:  60 percent of young Texans having a degree or certificate by the year 2030.


Curriculum Outline By Year

Year/Level One:
  • Introduction to the Plumbing Profession
  • Plumbing & General Construction Safety
  • Tools of the Plumbing Trade
  • Introduction to Plumbing Math
  • Introduction to Plumbing Drawings
  • Plastic Pipe & Fittings
  • Copper Tube & Fittings
  • Cast-Iron Pipe & Fittings
  • Carbon Steel Pipe & Fittings
  • Introduction to Plumbing Fixtures
  • Introduction to Drain, Waste & Vent (DWV) Systems
  • Introduction to Water Distribution Systems

Year/Level Two:
  • Plumbing Math Two
  • Reading Commercial Drawings
  • Structural Penetrations, Insulation, and Fire Stopping
  • Installing and Testing DWV Piping
  • Installing Roof, Floor, and Area Drains
  • Installing and Testing Water Supply Piping
  • Type of Valves
  • Installing Fixtures and Valves
  • Installing Water Heaters
  • Basic Electricity
  • Fuel Gas and Fuel Oil Systems

Year/Level Three: 
  • Applied Math
  • Sizing Water Supply Piping
  • Potable Water Treatment
  • Backflow Preventers
  • Types of Venting
  • Sizing DWV and Storm Systems
  • Sewage Pumps and Sump Pumps
  • Corrosive-Resistant Waste Piping
  • Compressed Air

Year/Level Four:
  • Business Principles for Plumbers
  • Introductory Skills for the Crew Leader
  • Water Pressure Booster and Recirculation
  • Indirect and Special Waste
  • Hydronic and Solar Heating Systems
  • Plumbing and Related Codes
  • Servicing Piping Systems, Fixtures, and Appliances
  • Private Water Supply Well Systems
  • Private Waste Disposal Systems
  • Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs
  • Plumbing for Mobile Homes and Travel Trailers


Apprenticeship In The News



US Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship, Program 2017-TX-369, Registered 07/25/2017

Displaying products 1 - 10 of 10 results
Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 1, Houston (2019)
Course Number: 190101-PA-GC-SPR-LV1
Price: No Cost to Apply
View Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 1, Houston (2019)
US Dept of Labor Registered
Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 1, San Antonio/Austin (2019)
Course Number: 190101-PA-CT-NBF-LV1
Price: No Cost to Apply
View Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 1, San Antonio/Austin (2019)
US Dept of Labor Registered
Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 1, Dallas/Ft Worth (2019)
Course Number: 190101-PA-NT-IRV-LV1
Price: No Cost to Apply
View Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 1, Dallas/Ft Worth (2019)
US Dept of Labor Registered
Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 1, Midland/Odessa (2019)
Course Number: 190101-PA-WT-MDL-LV1
Price: No Cost to Apply
View Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 1, Midland/Odessa (2019)
US Dept of Labor Registered
Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 2, Tyler (2019)
Course Number: 190101-PA-ET-TYR-LV2
Price: No Cost to Apply
View Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 2, Tyler (2019)
US Dept of Labor Registered
Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 4, Tyler (2019)
Course Number: 190101-PA-ET-TYR-LV4
Price: No Cost to Apply
View Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 4, Tyler (2019)
US Dept of Labor Registered
Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 3, San Antonio/Austin (2019)
Course Number: 190101-PA-CT-NBF-LV3
Price: No Cost to Apply
View Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 3, San Antonio/Austin (2019)
US Dept of Labor Registered
Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 3, Midland/Odessa (2019)
Course Number: 190101-PA-WT-MDL-LV3
Price: No Cost to Apply
View Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 3, Midland/Odessa (2019)
US Dept of Labor Registered
Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 3, Dallas/Ft Worth (2019)
Course Number: 190101-PA-NT-IRV-LV3
Price: No Cost to Apply
View Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 3, Dallas/Ft Worth (2019)
US Dept of Labor Registered
Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 3, Houston (2019)
Course Number: 190101-PA-GC-SPR-LV3
Price: No Cost to Apply
View Plumbing Apprenticeship, Level 3, Houston (2019)
US Dept of Labor Registered