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 learn 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
  • Identify the skills needed to use plumbing tools on the common types of plumbing and piping systems, as well as the applicable codes, standards, and licensing procedures
  • List how to select and use the proper tools for various tasks, perform computations, interpret architectural drawings, disinfect water, use plumbing valves and meters, and differentiate the installation procedures for the types of heating systems
  • Describe the basics of plumbing system design, calculating required pipe lengths and system dimensions, scheduling work, installing DWV and supply piping, system testing, and doing finish work
  • Identify equipment and methods for working with specialized plumbing systems, doing service work, and performing calculations
  • Outline how to remove old fixtures, choose and install new fixtures, and repair fixtures
  • Explain the fundamentals of drawings and fluid-power diagrams and the assembly of piping and accessories
  • Identify the local, state, and national codes required for compliance in the design, installation, and repair of plumbing systems
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
In this lesson, you'll learn about the construction industry and the different trades that are a part of the industry. You'll also learn about the critical role of safe work practices in the construction industry.


  • Learn about career opportunities and demand for skilled workers.
  • Learn about professional organizations.
  • Address safety concerns.
  • List the licensing and certification requirements for individual building trades.
This lesson will teach you the codes and standards used in plumbing and pipefitting, as well as how drawings are used to represent building components and systems.


  • Get an overview of plumbing and pipefitting.
  • Learn about basic regulations, codes, and standards.
  • Learn about licensing and certification.
  • Explore how to interpret construction drawings and specifications.
In this lesson, you'll gain a thorough understanding of the tools of the trade, how to handle the tools properly, and how to use them in a safe and efficient manner.


  • Learn about job and tool safety.
  • Discover how to identify and use tools for layout, cutting, and boring.
  • Explore pipe-joint assembly, finishing, testing, and maintenance.
This lesson will teach you the fundamentals of plumbing, including safety, tools, drawings, and soldering.


  • Explore the safe working habits plumbers should follow.
  • Compute pipe offsets, pipe slopes, and the volume and area of various objects.
  • Prepare two- and three-dimensional piping sketches.
  • Read about soldering and welding pipe and fittings.
  • Explore water supply and fixtures.
  • Familiarize yourself with fittings, valves, and water heaters.
Practical Exercise 1

In this exercise, you’ll complete some suggested activities that will increase your knowledge of plumbing drawings, codes, and fittings. You’ll get practice applying plumbing skills through various work scenarios and illustrations.

Additional Unit Material

Textbook: Modern Plumbing

This lesson covers plumbing system design. You'll study minimum requirements for locating fixtures in typical installations, how to locate and calculate the proper size for the drain piping, and planning the vent system.


  • Study plumbing-system design and learn the techniques for working with plastic, copper, galvanized-iron, and cast-iron materials.
  • Explore the drain, waste, and vent (DWV) system.
  • Outline the proper process for installing a hot-water heater.
  • Demonstrate proper installation of fixtures and faucets.
This lesson explains how pipe lengths are calculated when working with a variety of pipe materials and fitting types. You'll also learn to work with pipe and fitting charts, which list all the important dimensions for almost every type of fitting.


  • Learn how to determine the pipe lengths required to assemble piping systems.
  • Learn formulas and equations.
  • Read about determining pipe weights, clearances, and fitting allowances.
  • Familiarize yourself with plumbing math terms.
Additional Unit Material

Textbook: The Pipe Fitter's and Pipe Welder's Handbook

This lesson introduces several specialized aspects of plumbing, including service work and repair. You'll study septic systems, which play an invaluable role in water recycling, as well as systems for handling storm water. You'll also study HVAC systems, pools and spas, and irrigation systems.


  • Learn about the construction and operation of a simple septic system.
  • Explore alternative waste systems.
  • Recognize the basic components of swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas.
  • Outline the basic operating principles of sprinkler and irrigation systems.
  • Learn how to solve common plumbing problems and troubleshoot breakdowns in fixtures.
This lesson describes the steps required to lay out sheet metal objects. It explains how to properly determine the amount of water in any container, find the weight of the contained water, and even calculate the pressure that results from the collected water. You'll also learn how to size heating systems to match the needs of a particular installation and how to size the components within the system.


  • Learn how to calculate the volume of cubes, cylinders, spheres, and partly filled tanks.
  • Explain the concepts of force and pressure as they relate to water.
  • Calculate pipe carrying capacities and examine the “units of flow” method of pipe sizing.
  • Understand heat loss and how it relates to radiator size.
Practical Exercise 2

This practical exercise will help you apply your knowledge of plumbing technology and water-supply systems to some real-life examples.

This lesson discusses installation and repair of residential plumbing.


  • Identify the three major sections of a household plumbing system.
  • Learn how to choose, remove, and install plumbing fixtures.
  • Recognize the basics of plumbing installation.
  • Study the processes involved in plumbing repairs International.
Additional Unit Material

Textbook:The Complete Guide to Plumbing

This lesson will teach you how to read piping drawings. You'll learn to understand dimensions, symbols, and abbreviations, distinguish different types of valves, and read fluid-power diagrams.


  • Explore the fundamental parts of a drawing.
  • Learn about reading schematical drawings.
  • Read about diagramming fluid-power systems.
Practical Exercise 3

In this practical exercise, you'll get practice in reading and interpreting plumbing drawings and plans.

In this course, you'll learn the National Standard Plumbing Code, a collection of regulations determining the minimum safe and sanitary standard required in the design, installation, and repair of plumbing systems. As a plumbing professional, you're obligated to perform your services in complete compliance with all local, state, and national codes.


  • Evaluate the National Standard Plumbing Code (NSPC).
  • Read about applying code standards.
  • Understand how to utilize tabular data.
  • Learn about using code terminology.
Practical Exercise 4

This practical exercise will increase your understanding of the National Standard Plumbing Code (NSPC). You'll be presented with real-world situations so you can learn to use the code to your best advantage.

Additional Unit Material

Textbook: National Standard 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.

Sample Plumber Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a Plumber course would look like.
Sample Plumber Lesson
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.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
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