HVAC & Plumbing

Building a Career for the Future

Plumbing

HVAC

Plumbing training can offer you the opportunity to pursue a future in an in-demand, practical career field. If you love working with your hands and enjoy challenging work, becoming a plumber could be a sound career choice for you.

Plumbing has a massive effect on the day-to-day functioning of today's society—probably more than most people realize. For example, plumbers help design the inner workings and placement of pipes within houses, make it possible to cook with a gas oven, create safe ways to utilize the power of highly pressurized steam in the manufacturing industry, and even deliver clean oxygen to hospital patients.

Plumbing is also one of the most attractive sectors of the skilled trades industry thanks to the good pay, varied work, and potential for advancement. However, it takes plenty of training, commitment, and hard work to make it in the plumbing field.

HVAC careers are a sensible choice because people require the indoor comfort of temperatures that are between the extremes of hot and cold. That means there are always homes and businesses that need the expert attention of HVAC technicians.

And when you add in the need for proper ventilation and refrigeration, it's easy to understand why graduates of HVAC programs often have careers with long-term stability. Air quality and temperature control are essential to our health and modern lifestyles, and energy conservation and alternative play larger and large role in the HVAC trade.

At an HVAC trade school, you'll be taught to service many types of systems. One day, you might be installing a furnace and ductwork for heating a new home. Another day, you might be servicing advanced air conditioning equipment. Few days are ever exactly the same.

Job Outlook

National estimates show a projected growth rate in the employment of plumbers of 16 percent between 2016 and 2026.

Some of the factors that are thought to influence the increased demand include:

  • A high number of current professionals who are expected to retire over the next 10 years.
  • The fact that plumbing isn't affected by economic downturns since clean water access and safe waste removal are necessary services rather than optional expenditures.
  • An increasing number of residential, corporate, and industrial building owners who are becoming more sensitive to environmental issues, causing a growing trend to update existing plumbing systems to be more water and energy efficient.

Job Outlook

In America, employment of HVAC technicians is projected to increase by 15 percent between 2016 and 2026.

The growing demand for technicians can be attributed to a number of factors.

  • It is projected that in 2020 over 100,000 techs will be needed in the HVAC industry.
  • As the nation's population grows, so does the number of buildings (residential, commercial, and industrial) that need to be fitted with climate-control systems.
  • The growing focus on reducing energy consumption and improving indoor air quality means that more HVAC technicians are needed for analyzing the efficiency of existing systems and replacing old polluting ones with new, more efficient models.

Pay

The median annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters was $53,910 in May 2018.

Pay

The median annual wage for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers was $47,610 in May 2018.

Plumbing Wages HVAC Wages

Tools of the Trade

Students will be encouraged to apply for the State of Maryland license in either Plumbing or HVAC, or both. Upon successful completion of the course students may receive an endorsement for up to 655 hours towards their Maryland State Journey License.

Utilizing the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) curriculum, this nationally developed competency-based, task-driven curriculum orients students toward beginning a formal apprenticeship program.

Instruction consists of an integrated approach of theory and hands-on experiences to prepare students for the plumbing and HVAC trades.

Students learn to install, repair, assemble, and maintain heating and air conditioning systems. Additionally, they will learn the approved practices for installing and maintaining all piping systems involved in sanitary drainage, storm water management, and developing potable water supply systems.

Students will also learn piping practices for refrigeration and cooling. Also included is hot water piping for building heat using oil and gas fuels. Fire protection systems are studied. Experiences are provided in metals and fiberboard duct fabrication/installation, blueprint reading, establishing system layouts and interpretation of manufacturer's specifications.

Student House: Where It All Comes Together

Through a unique public/private partnership with the Frederick County Students Construction Trades Foundation, students have the opportunity to plan and install all of the comfort systems in a single family home. The student house projects began in 1978 when educators and business representatives came together and formed the Foundation to provide an educational project that would provide in-the-field experience for students desiring to learn construction and to assist students in learning about the career opportunities available in the construction industry. Work on the 33rd Student House Project began this September. The "Yellow Hats" from the HVAC/Plumbing are beginning to rough in piping for a downstairs bathroom working along side the other Construction Trade students.

On the Job

It's a good job to have ... plumbers and HVAC technicians are always needed. - Josh V., student

Department: 

Construction Technology Programs