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This rigorous Plumbing curriculum prepares learners for a career as skilled plumbers. It covers the concepts technicians need to safely install, test, maintain, and repair many different types of pipe systems for residential, commercial and public buildings. Coverage of math, drawings, code and other critical knowledges skills ensure learners are set up for job success.  

The four-level Plumbing curriculum complies with the U.S. Department of Labor’s standards for apprenticeship programs 

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Plumbing 5th Edition, Level 3 is now available. Click the Purchase button to learn more.

Craft Snapshot

Journey Level
Assessment Available
2022, 5th Edition
NCCERconnect Deliver instruction using our pre-loaded content and course management tools, streamline training, and track results through the online gradebook. Students learn using the interactive eTextbook and Media Library with Active Figures that bring the material to life, anytime and anywhere they choose.
English, Spanish

Curriculum Details


Total Recommended Hours
Competencies & Objectives Lists
5th Edition:

  • Levels 1-2: 397.5, includes Core hours
5th Edition: Click here
4th Edition:

  • Levels 1-4: 700, includes Core hours
4th Edition: Click here
Introduction to the Plumbing Profession
5 Hours

Module ID 02101: In this module, trainees are introduced to the opportunities awaiting well-trained plumbers. Provides a brief history of plumbing and a review of the trade’s current technologies, industries, and associations that make up the modern plumbing profession. Also reviews human relations and safety skills needed to be a successful plumber.

Plumbing Safety
22.5 Hours

Module ID 02102: Introduces plumbing hazards that can lead to serious accidents or injuries. Reviews direct and indirect costs of delays, increased expenses, and loss of life. Provides instruction regarding the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and lists techniques designed to reduce safety risks and workplace injuries. Covers confined-space safety topics, and reviews describes safety hazards related to hand and power tools.

Tools of the Plumbing Trade
10 Hours

Module ID 02103: This module describes hand and power tools used by plumbers to measure, lay out, level, cut, drill, and join different pipe. Along with teaching trainees how to select the appropriate tools for the task, this module teaches them how to avoid some of the most dangerous hazards associated with power tools. Trainees are also instructed in the proper care of different types of hand and power tools.

Introduction to Plumbing Math
12.5 Hours

Module ID 02104: Reviews basic math concepts, such as whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and squares, and demonstrates how they apply to on-the-job situations. Teaches trainees how to recognize the type of math necessary for each job, and illustrates methods for measuring pipe length using a variety of tables and illustrations.

Introduction to Plumbing Drawings
17.5 Hours

Module ID 02105: Introduces trainees to the types of plumbing drawings they will encounter, and teaches them how to interpret and apply the information when laying out and installing plumbing systems. Reviews symbols used in plumbing and mechanical drawings and provides examples of isometric, oblique, orthographic, and schematic drawings. Requires trainees to interpret plumbing drawings and to understand the relationship between code requirements and plumbing drawings.

Plastic Pipe and Fittings
12.5 Hours

Module ID 02106: Introduces trainees to the different types of plastic pipe and fittings used in plumbing applications, including ABS, PVC, CPVC, PE, PEX, and PB. Describes how to measure, cut, join, and support plastic pipe according to manufacturer’s instructions and applicable codes. Also discusses pressure testing of plastic pipe after it is installed.

Copper Tube and Fittings
12.5 Hours

Module ID 02107: Explains sizing, labeling, and applications related to copper tube and fittings. Reviews valves used with copper tube systems, and describes methods for cutting, joining, and installing copper tube. Insulation, pressure testing, seismic codes, and handling and storage requirements are also addressed.

Cast Iron Pipe and Fittings
12.5 Hours

Module ID 02108: Describes how hub-and-spigot and no-hub cast iron pipe and fittings are used in DWV systems. Reviews related sizing and labeling standards, types of fittings, and techniques for measuring and cutting cast iron pipe. Also provides instructions for joining, hanging, and testing pipe installations.

Steel Pipe and Fittings
12.5 Hours

Module ID 02109: Presents concepts related to threading, labeling, and sizing of steel pipe and fittings. Different types of elbows, couplings, and valves are described. Provides instructions for measuring, cutting, threading, joining, and hanging steel pipe, and reviews corrugated stainless steel tubing.

Introduction to Plumbing Fixtures
7.5 Hours

Module ID 02110: Introduces trainees to the primary types of plumbing fixtures, the materials from which they are made, and how they function in typical applications. Also reviews the functionality of specific bathroom and kitchen fixtures, including compression and non-compression faucets, shower and bath fixtures, and exterior utility faucets.

Introduction to Drain, Waste, and Vent (DWV) Systems
10 Hours

Module ID 02111: Explains how DWV systems remove liquid and solid waste safely and effectively. Identifies DWV components, including pipe, drains, traps, and vents. Also describes how plumbers connect these components to municipal and private sewer systems.

Introduction to Water Distribution Systems
10 Hours

Module ID 02112: Identifies the major features and functions of components used in water distribution systems, including pipe and fittings, valves, and water heating and treatment equipment. Reviews private and public water sources, and describes how plumbers connect service lines to both types of systems.

Plumbing Math Two
15 Hours

Module ID 02201: Explains the Pythagorean theorem and reviews methods for laying out square corners. Discusses the techniques used to calculate simple and rolling offsets, as well as offsets on parallel runs of pipe.

Reading Commercial Drawings
25 Hours

Module ID 02202: Explains how to identify and interpret civil, architectural, structural, HVAC/mechanical, plumbing, and electrical drawings. Discusses how to ensure accurate dimensions, generate RFIs, and locate plumbing entry points, as well as how to establish piping routes and fixture locations. Isometric drawings, material takeoffs, approved submittal data, and Building Information Management (BIM), are also covered.

Structural Penetrations, Insulating, and Firestopping
15 Hours

Module ID 02203: Introduces methods for adjusting structural members, insulating pipe, and installing fire-stopping. Covers reinforcement techniques for modified structural members; how to measure, cut, and install fiberglass and flexible foam insulation; and how to identify walls, floors, and ceilings that require fire- stopping.

Installing and Testing DWV Piping
30 Hours

Module ID 02204: Explains how to locate, install, connect, and test a complete drain, waste, and vent (DWV) system. Discusses how to develop material takeoffs, set up and use levels, locate building sewers and building drains, locate fixtures, and test a DWV system.

Installing Roof, Floor, and Area Drains
5 Hours

Module ID 02205: Covers the proper techniques for locating, installing, and connecting roof, floor, and area drains and floor sinks according to code. Discusses waterproof membranes and flashing, drain components, shower pans, trap primers, and proper drain applications.

Installing and Testing Water Supply Piping
20 Hours

Module ID 02206: Explores the proper techniques for locating, installing, and testing complete water service and distribution systems, including meters, water heaters, water softeners, and hose bibbs. Introduces basic backflow and water hammer prevention, and discusses the installation of shower and tub valves, ice maker and washing machine boxes, and pipe stubouts and supports.

Types of Valves
5 Hours

Module ID 02207: Reviews types of valves, their components, and applications. Also covers valve servicing.

Installing Fixtures and Valves
20 Hours

Module ID 02208: Covers the installation of basic plumbing fixtures, including bathtubs, shower stalls, lavatories, sinks, water closets, and urinals. Reviews the installation of associated valves, faucets, and components. Explains how to connect appliances such as dishwashers, food-waste disposers, refrigerators and ice makers, and washing machines.

Installing Water Heaters
10 Hours

Module ID 02209: Discusses gas-fired, electric, tankless, heat pump, solar thermal, and indirect water heaters, components, and applications. Reviews proper installation and testing techniques and covers the latest code requirements for water heaters.

Basic Electricity
10 Hours

Module ID 02210: Introduces electrical safety and the principles of electricity needed by plumbers including voltage, current, resistance, and power. Includes important electrical formulas, circuitry, and common plumbing-related electrical applications.

Fuel Gas and Fuel Oil Systems
20 Hours

Module ID 02211: Introduces techniques for safe handling of natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, and fuel oil. Reviews fuel gas and fuel oil safety precautions and potential hazards, applications, systems installation, and testing.

Applied Math
15 Hours

Module ID 02301: Reviews math concepts, including weights and measures, area and volume, temperature, pressure, and force. Describes the six simple machines: inclined planes, levers, pulleys, wedges, screws, and wheels and axles.

Service Plumbing
27.5 Hours

Module ID 02311: Covers the troubleshooting and repair of fixtures, valves, and faucets in accordance with code and safety guidelines. Explains how to diagnose and repair water supply and drainage piping, water heaters, and other appliances and fixtures. Describes the effects of corrosion, freezing, and hard water on plumbing systems.

Sizing and Protecting the Water Supply System
30 Hours

Module ID 02312: Teaches techniques for sizing water supply systems, including calculating system requirements and demand, developed lengths, and pressure drops. Reviews the factors that can reduce efficiency of water supply piping. Introduces different backflow prevention devices and explains how they work, where they are used, and how they are installed in water supply systems.

Potable Water Supply Treatment
15 Hours

Module ID 02303: Explains how to disinfect, filter, and soften water supply systems. Discusses how to troubleshoot water supply problems, flush out visible contaminants from a plumbing system, and disinfect a potable water plumbing system.

Types of Venting
20 Hours

Module ID 02305: Reviews the different types of vents that can be installed in a DWV system and explains how they work. Teaches design and installation techniques.

Sizing DWV and Storm Systems
20 Hours

Module ID 02306: Explains how to calculate drainage fixture units for waste systems. Reviews how to size drain, waste, and vent (DWV) systems; storm drainage systems; and roof storage and drainage systems.

Sewage Pumps and Sump Pumps
12.5 Hours

Module ID 02307: Discusses the installation, diagnosis, and repair of pumps, controls, and sumps in sewage and storm water removal systems.

Corrosive-Resistant Waste Piping
7.5 Hours

Module ID 02308: Discusses corrosive wastes and reviews related safety issues and hazard communications. Explains how to determine when corrosive-resistant waste piping needs to be installed, as well as how to correctly select and properly connect different types of piping.

Compressed Air
10 Hours

Module ID 02309: Explains the principles of compressed air systems and describes their components and accessories. Reviews installation and periodic servicing of air compressor systems.

Business Principles for Plumbers
15 Hours

Module ID 02401-14: Introduces concepts and practices that are essential for competitive, successful plumbing businesses. Also covers basic business accounting and project estimating, as well as techniques for cost control and task organization.

Fundamentals of Crew Leadership
20 Hours

Module ID 46101-11, Second Edition: Covers basic leadership skills and explains different leadership styles, communication, delegating, and problem solving. Jobsite safety and the crew leader’s role in safety are discussed, as well as project planning, scheduling, and estimating. Includes performance tasks to assist the learning process.

Water Pressure Booster and Recirculation Systems
12.5 Hours

Module ID 02403-14: Builds on trainees’ previous experience with pumps, storage tanks, controls, and pipes and fittings by teaching how to assemble those components into systems that boost water pressure and provide hot water.

Indirect and Special Waste
17.5 Hours

Module ID 02404-14: Describes the code requirements and installation procedures for systems that protect against contamination from indirect and special waste.

Hydronic and Solar Heating Systems
17.5 Hours

Module ID 02405-14: Introduces the basic types of hydronic and solar heating systems and their components. Reviews hydronic and solar heating system layout, installation, testing, and balancing, and also discusses methods that inhibit corrosion in hydronic or solar heating systems.

12.5 Hours

Module ID 02406-14: Discusses the different codes used by plumbers across the country and explains how those codes are written, adopted, modified, and implemented.

Private Water Supply Well Systems
10 Hours

Module ID 02408-14: Describes the operation of pumps and well components. Reviews the qualities of good wells and how to assemble and disassemble pumps and components.

Private Waste-Disposal Systems
10 Hours

Module ID 02409-14: Describes the types of private waste- disposal systems, discusses the maintenance and installation of these systems, and explains how to determine the local code requirements for these systems. Covers percolation tests and sewage system planning and layout.

Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs
7.5 Hours

Module ID 02410-14: Introduces trainees to plumbing systems in swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas.

Plumbing for Mobile Homes and Travel Trailer Parks
7.5 Hours

Module ID 02411-14: Describes the location and layout of plumbing systems for mobile home and travel trailer parks. Reviews how to design and lay out a system, how to connect water and sewer lines to a mobile home, and how to estimate materials for the park.

Introduction to Medical Gas and Vacuum Systems
15 Hours

Module ID 02412-14: Introduces the various types of medical gas and vacuum systems used in health care facilities. Covers the system requirements and professional qualifications required by code, describes common types of medical gas and vacuum systems, and introduces the safety requirements for installing, testing, and servicing these systems.

Contributing Subject Matter Experts

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are a vital part of NCCER’s Curriculum development process. SMEs are construction and maintenance professionals who have journey-level experience and have experience teaching their trades to others.

View Subject Matter Experts
Contributing Subject Matter Experts
Below is a list of subject matter experts for this craft:

Brad Sims, Lee Company

Brent Thompson, Lee Company


David Hoover, Putnam Career & Technical Center


Frank Guertler, Freelance


Harry Rimbey, Sundt


Jan Prakke, Lake Mechanical Contractors, Inc.

John Stronkowski, Industrial Management & Training Institute Incorporated

Jonathan Byrd, Ivey Mechanical Company, LLC


Ray Thornton, ABC Southern California Chapter


Stanley Cordova, Worth & Company, Inc.


Optimize your classroom time, while accelerating knowledge for learners. NCCERconnect works to provide learners with always-available access to online training materials, including videos, interactives, a rich eText, practice quizzes and other engaging content.

  • Mobile access to the eText also allows for learning on-the-go.
  • Instructors can get started quickly with pre-built assignments, use the robust course tools for class management, and track student participation and results through the online gradebook.
  • Designed to help learner engagement in any classroom, whether a blended, virtual or traditional classroom environment.

Instructor Resources

Instructor Toolbox

NCCER’s Instructor Toolbox provides easy access to important instructional resources for your training program. You’ll find downloadable course planning tools, examples of classroom activities and projects, and instructor tips and best practices to help you enhance your program.

Level Tests

Level Tests are available for some of our most popular titles. These comprehensive tests combine items from all modules within a level of curriculum into one test.

Why Level Tests?

  • Helps instructors who have difficulty scheduling a computer lab for each module test.
  • Provides industry programs with a way for individuals to test out of a level of training for more efficient placement in a position or training program.
  • Provides secondary programs a tool for pre- and post-tests to meet school or state requirements. Pre-tests do not result in a certificate.
  • Provides instructors with instructor level tests for state requirements.

Level tests are available in the NCCER Learning Platform under Specialized Tests. Click here for how-to resources.


NCCER’s assessments evaluate the knowledge of an individual in a specific craft area and provide a prescription for upgrade training when needed. All assessments are based upon the NCCER Curriculum and have been developed in conjunction with subject matter experts from the industry. Click the assessment title below to open its specifications.