Online Plumbing School Course Details

Penn Foster Career School’s online Plumbing training program consists of eight courses to help you gain the knowledge and skills relevant to becoming a plumber. Plumbing classes will cover how to read blueprints and select and install piping and plumbing fixtures, as well as the basic codes, regulations, and standards that plumbers encounter.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

To provide students with comprehensive and modern training to begin a career in plumbing. Students study how to read blueprints and select and install piping and plumbing fixtures, as well as the basic codes, regulations, and standards that plumbers encounter.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...
  • Recognize basics of the construction industry: the trades that compose it, tasks performed, skills needed, and its safe work practices.
  • Consider the skills for using plumbing tools and the legal requirements for meeting inspections.
  • Analyze the tools and skills used for the installation, maintenance, and repair of plumbing and heating systems.
  • Organize plumbing responsibilities into appropriate stages for optimal workflow and effective design, installation, and maintenance.
  • Solve real-world problems by calculating accurate pipe lengths.
  • Solve inefficient systems by installing, maintaining, and repairing plumbing fixtures.
  • Explain the fundamentals of drawings and blueprints and the assembly of piping and accessories.
  • Consider the International Plumbing Code and how its requirements apply to different plumbing tasks.
In this course, you’ll develop the necessary skills to ensure your success in the program. Starting Your Program is designed to help you make a smooth transition to Penn Foster, including studying how to use all the tools and resources that are available to you, get help when you need it, understand the Code of Conduct, and improve your study skills and time management. The goal is to help you become a confident, independent learner.


  • Identify skills needed to be a confident and independent online learner.
This course introduces you to the various domains of the construction industry: carpentry, HVAC, plumbing, roofing, drywall work, general maintenance, and so on. You’ll study the differences between construction and building trades and residential and commercial construction. The duties and tasks of the construction and building trades professional are also explained in this course. Finally, you’ll examine the proper safety measures required in various areas of the construction industry. Securing a safe environment is crucial to ensuring individual workers’ safety.


  • Analyze the structure of work, safety measures, and fundamentals of the construction industry and building trades.
Plumbers and pipe fitters work on piping systems that people rely on every day for sanitation and comfort. Piping systems provide buildings with fresh water and remove wastewater from these structures. Other systems carry gas or steam to power equipment or supply energy. You’ll identify the different features and purposes of these systems. For any system, all piping workers must follow state and local codes when installing or servicing any system. You’ll examine the types of construction drawings that each trades worker needs to read and interpret correctly. Because safety is essential in the piping trades, you’ll study the best work practices for using common construction tools and specialized piping tools.


  • Analyze the piping trades’ responsibilities and guiding procedures.
  • Categorize the types of plumbing and pipe-fitting tools and safety procedures for each.
This course covers the fundamental principles you’ll need to build a solid foundation as a plumber. This course starts with an introduction to safety, common plumbing tools and leveling instruments, and basic mathematics involved on the job. You’ll study certain aspects of plumbing work that come along with maintaining and installing different plumbing systems, including topics like hydraulics and pneumatics; how to rig and hoist using ropes and knots; and the procedures and equipment used in solder, brazing, welding, and excavating. Water supply and treatment, fixtures, and different piping materials and plumbing are also core components of the knowledge you’ll need to be a professional plumber.


  • Analyze the structure of the plumbing process, the safety measures involved, and the associated tools.
  • Categorize the various domains, codes, and responsibilities linked with plumbing.
  • Distinguish between the water supply fixtures and their materials that reduce water contamination.
  • Differentiate between the types of fittings, valves and heaters, and their installation methods.

Digital Texbook: Modern Plumbing

In this course, you’ll look at all the phases of plumbing systems that plumbers work with, from design and installation to repairs and remodeling. As a plumber, any jobs you take will revolve around pipes and fixtures. Your work will start with the planning and design of pipes and plumbing systems. Proper design that’s up to code and well-planned ensures the installation process can run smoothly. As a plumber, you’ll work with people across different trades areas in the design process, but once it’s time for pipe installation, it’s your responsibility to make sure all the appropriate measurements are taken, all the right materials are used, and that everything is done to code. This includes common DWV and water supply systems, but also special systems like pools, spas, or irrigation systems. Another big part of the job is making repairs and assisting in remodeling work.


  • Explain the phases and procedures involved in the design and installation of plumbing systems.
  • Summarize the installation procedures related to water supply system, DWV piping, fixtures, faucets, and appliances.
  • Explain the role of the plumber in the installation and maintenance of special plumbing installations.
  • Analyze common plumbing system issues to correctly diagnose, troubleshoot, and repair problems during service and remodeling jobs.
As a plumber, you’ll install pipes in settings that will require you to make precise calculations before cutting and installing the pipes. You’ll use math to measure, cut, and place pipes appropriately. On the job, you’ll apply math with basic fractions, as well as math with trigonometric principles. Although some topics are challenging, you can prepare for success as a plumber by mastering these skills that you’ll apply every day.


  • Develop math skills for work in the piping trades.
  • Produce calculations to cut and install pipe accurately.
Finish plumbing refers to the connections made between pipes and fixtures or appliances. Typically, plumbing projects involved with finish plumbing includes isolating the plumbing behind walls or under floors. In this case, access panels are created to make the shut off valves accessible for future maintenance and repairs. Plumbing projects range from common repairs such as a leaky faucet to more complex repairs such as a water heaters and installations including fixtures and drains. You’ll notice projects also vary depending on if the project is a renovation or new installation.


  • Distinguish between various types of plumbing tools, materials, and their use.
  • Explain the installing and design process of plumbing lines, fixtures, and faucets.
  • Explain the installing and design process for other fixtures, faucets, and drains.
  • Analyze various types of plumbing repairs related to home plumbing.
  • Organize the steps for installing a double-bowl, self-rimming kitchen sink with a pullout faucet and the sink drain.

Digital Texbook: Black & Decker: The Complete Guide to Plumbing

As a plumber, you’ll need to know the fundamentals of reading piping prints. It’s important to know that prints serve a purpose and are necessary for the layout of plumbing systems. There are different processes for creating prints. You’ll need to know the different types of drawings, symbols, abbreviations, and dimensions that are used in laying out a good plumbing system. Also, as a plumber, you’ll need to know the different types of valves, pipe materials, and their manufacturing methods.


  • Interpret the components of piping prints needed for various plumbing designs.
The International Plumbing Code (IPC) is used as the authoritative code in most of the United States. As you start your plumbing career, you’ll follow your supervisor’s interpretation of the code and their subsequent directions. However, your understanding of the IPC should begin even when you’re a novice in the field. As a plumbing professional, it’s essential to grasp the purpose, organization, and language of the IPC. In the field, employers and supervisors seek workers who prioritize developing their trade skills, and this includes following codes. You’ll examine codes for fixtures, equipment, and designs, and you’ll navigate the IPC to research questions and prepare for installations.


  • Summarize the features and goals of the International Plumbing Code.
  • Explain the code for fixtures, water heaters, and water supply designs.
  • Analyze the codes that regulate sanitary drainage systems and the specifics for vents and trap seals.
  • Consider the codes for designing and installing non-potable water, storm water, and medical gas systems.
  • Choose the codes and related appendices for installing or repairing plumbing work.

Texbook: International Plumbing Code

Additional Details

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this Program. Click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information. This is particularly important for residents of California and Florida.
Please review your state board requirements that are applicable to your field of study. State boards may impose a variety of different requirements. This is particularly important for residents of Connecticut.

Penn Foster Career School Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster has been accredited for over 50 years. Penn Foster Career School has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations, certifications, and licensing. Most importantly, Penn Foster Career School is both regionally and nationally accredited.

Surround Sound Support

A Committed Support System

While you can study independently, you’re not alone! With a dedicated Student Services department, the Student Community, and instructors just a call away, you’ll have access to the support you need.

Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Our customizable goal-setting tools will help you create a schedule and stick to it. Need some extra time to complete a lesson? Not a problem — you can adjust your study plan at any time to set a pace that works for you.
Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools
Penn Foster Student Community

Student Community

Looking to connect with other Penn Foster students? Our Student Community is the perfect place for you to interact with your peers — as well as Penn Foster faculty and staff — to discuss your online learning experience, congratulate fellow students, and share your Penn Foster experience.
Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete this program.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
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