Program Overview

Heating technology student

Learn the introductory theory and practices of heating and plumbing.  At the New England Institute of Technology’s plumbing and heating school, you will get hands-on experience in a laboratory setting that combines two distinct but interconnected areas: heating in residential structures and plumbing in residential, commercial, and industrial facilities.

In the Associate in Science in Plumbing and Heating (PLB) program, you can share classes and collaborate with your peers in architecture, construction management, welding engineering, and other allied professional trades programs.

Plumbing: The four-term plumbing program includes the study of basic tools, fabrication methods, fitting identification and usage, drainage, waste, and venting, approaches to design and install pipes, sewage disposal and treatment, water sources and distribution, and household and industrial maintenance of piping systems.

Students at the plumbing trade school also study sustainability aspects using rainwater harvesting and gray water technology.

Heating: In the heating program (distributed over two terms), we examine heating systems, such as steam, warm air, and forced hot water. Also presented are the burners used in conjunction with these systems and their associated control circuitry.

We specialize in electrical wiring, heat loss calculations, and system design for residential and commercial applications. We offer courses in the installation of heating systems, gas technology, solar heating systems, and introduction to welding.

The theory and hands-on training help you kickstart your career as a professional plumber or a heating technician. Graduates usually start apprenticeships under another master plumber.

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Full Description

We offer the Associate in Science Degree in Plumbing and Heating is a program offered jointly through the separate Plumbing and Heating Departments.

Plumbing/Heating is a comprehensive program designed to train students as entry-to-industry level technicians. Students learn the basic theory and practices of plumbing and heating and receive hands-on experience in a laboratory setting. The program offers a curriculum combining two distinct but interconnected areas:  heating in residential structures and plumbing in residential, commercial, and industrial structures.

The four-term plumbing portion of the program includes the study of basic tools; methods of fabrication; fitting identification and usage; drainage; waste and venting; water piping methods and design; sewage disposal and treatment; water sources and distribution; and household and industrial maintenance. Sustainability issues using rainwater harvesting and gray water technology are stressed.

In the heating portion of the program (distributed over two terms), various heating systems are examined such as steam, warm air, and forced hot water. Also presented are the burners used in conjunction with these systems and their associated control circuitry. Special consideration is given to electrical wiring, heat loss calculations, and system design as they relate to a residential and commercial application.  Included in the Heating Program are courses in the installation of heating systems, gas technology, solar heating systems, and introduction to welding.

The theory and lab experience at the heating and plumbing school includes designing, installing, troubleshooting, and servicing a vast array of heating units.

Graduates of the trade school can work in entry-level heating and plumbing apprenticeships. In addition, they are eligible to continue for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management.

Job Availability in Rhode Island

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the next decade, there will be 51,000 openings for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters each year. These jobs will replace those who will retire or exit the workforce.

Students of the plumbing associate degree should create a solid resume to start as an apprentice. This happens through personal recommendations, plumbing unions, and plumbing companies in Rhode Island.

According to the BLS, employment for heating mechanics will grow at 5% between 2020 and 2030. This equals about 38,500 openings each year to replace those who exit the workforce due to retirement.

The NEIT Campus that Offers the Plumbing Trade School Degree in Rhode Island

The NEIT campus that offers the plumbing and heating associate degree is the Post Road Campus, located at 2500 Post Rd, Warwick, RI 02886.

Plumbing and Heating Industry License Requirements in Rhode Island

The typical requirements to get a journeyman or master plumber license in Rhode Island are:

Journeyman Plumbing License

  • Spend at least 4-years (8000 hours) as a registered apprentice plumber with hands-on training experience. This must include 576 hours of training in a state-approved program.
  • Fill out and submit an application form and a fee of $75.
  • Clear the exam for a journeyman plumber.
  • Renew the license every two years for $72.

Master Plumbing License

  • Show a copy of your current journeyman plumbing license.
  • The journeyman license should show 5 years of work experience.
  • Deposit a fee of $75.
  • Clear the exam for a master plumber.
  • Renew the license every two years for $240.

Earning Potential After Plumbing School in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is among the top states in the U.S. in terms of paying salaries to plumbers. Plumbing technicians in Providence and Johnston get $29,38 and $28.52 per hour, respectively. This is the same as the national average.

In addition, plumbers make over $6,500 per year for overtime and up to $401k in non-cash benefits. Plumbers who work on boilers earn 38.48% more than the average base salary of $28.52 per hour.

The heating and air conditioning technicians in RI make an average of $27.09 per hour and $401k of non-cash benefits. The $25.08 per hour salary in Warwick, RI, is close to its peer cities in Florida, Texas, Nevada, and Georgia.

Potential Career Opportunities

Getting an education in plumbing and piping systems can help you take up jobs such as:

Plumbing Technician

Heating Technician

Plumber Helper



The associate degree prepares you for plumbing apprenticeship programs where you can fine-tune your skills in on-the-job training under a master plumber.

Rhode Island currently employs 1,050 heating and air conditioning technicians and 2,240 plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. Professionals with a college degree have the necessary skills and opportunities to pursue their careers as licensed journeyman plumbers.


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Related Programs

Program Mission, Goals, and Outcomes

Plumbing Technology

Program Mission

The mission of the Plumbing Technology (PLBH) program is to provide an Associate in Science degree in Plumbing and Heating Technology. The program offers a curriculum combining two distinct but interconnected areas: heating, with residential structures; and plumbing, with residential, and light commercial structures. Through a combination of classroom theory and hands-on laboratory training, students acquire the skills required for entry-level employment in the plumbing and heating industry.

Program Goals

  1. The PLBH program will provide students with the appropriate knowledge and skills in basic construction methods. The program equips them to read blueprints, use basic plumbing tools, and understand fabrication processes, fitting identification and usage, drainage, waste and venting, water piping methods and design, sewage disposal and treatment, water sources and distribution, and residential and light commercial maintenance.
  2. The heating portion of the PLBH program will examine various heating systems such as steam, warm air, forced hot water and gas-fired equipment as well as the burners used in conjunction with these systems and their associated control circuitry.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Provide appropriate cost estimates for the residential or commercial jobs.
  2. Produce piping installations from specification sheet guidelines utilizing appropriate tools and pipefitting techniques with ABS, PVC, no-hub cast iron, threaded black iron, copper, CPVC and PEX pipe and fittings.
  3. Design and install a residential kitchen and bathroom from rough-in to finish fixture placement utilizing an ABS or PVC drainage, waste and vent system and a copper or CPVC branch style potable water supply system that meets current International Plumbing Code standards.
  4. Install and repair residential and light commercial bathroom plumbing fixtures, and their respective potable water supply and drainage trap connections.
  5. Design and install a shallow well jet, deep well submersible and jet pump booster system for potable water or grey water supply. Design and install a submersible sump or sewage pump system for waste water drainage or rainwater harvesting.
  6. From a residential floor plan drawing – size the plumbing system, create isometric plumbing system drawings, estimate pipe, fittings, materials and fixtures, and estimate the labor hours needed to install a complete, code approved plumbing system.

Heating Technology

Program Mission

The mission of the Heating Technology Program is to provide an integral component to the Associate Degree programs in Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning, Heating Technology and Plumbing Heating Technology. The Heating Technology program is focused on providing basic essential training to students in preparation for their entry into the fields of oil and gas heating and pipefitting. We design the training for students who recently graduated from high school and adults seeking a different career path to follow. Through a combination of classroom theory and hands-on laboratory training, students acquire the skills required for entry-level employment in the heating industry.

Program Goals

The Heating Technology Program will provide the appropriate training for students to:

  1. Develop theoretical knowledge of systems, their components and function.
  2. Gain an understanding of tools and equipment used in the heating field and how to put them to proper use.
  3. Use the knowledge acquired in the classroom and display proficiency in the lab while working on equipment readily found in real-life installations.
  4. Qualify for the Rhode Island Oil Burner Journeyperson Technician’s license.
  5. Enter the workforce with the ability to interact appropriately with customers, vendors and fellow tradespersons.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Exhibit knowledge of combustion efficiency testing through the use of instruments.
  2. Demonstrate a procedure for testing electrical circuits by using a Volt-OHM-Milliamp Meter.
  3. Calculate heat loss for single family dwellings and small commercial buildings and properly design a multi-zone series loop system for that structure.
  4. Design a fuel delivery system with natural gas and propane for a residential and light commercial application and develop a complete parts list for the installation of that system in accordance with NFPA 54.
  5. Install and troubleshoot heating controls for the following parameters: temperature, humidity, pressure and ventilation to create and efficient system.
  6. Install furnaces and boilers with ductwork and piping.

Courses Offered

For the latest listing of courses offered, please review our University Catalog here.

Q&A and Technical Standards

Questions & Answers

  1. When do my classes meet?Day Classes: Technical classes normally meet for at least three hours a day for up to five days a week. Classes normally begin in the early morning (7:45 a.m.), late morning (usually 11:25 a.m.), or mid-afternoon. The time slot for your program may vary from term to term.Evening Classes: Technical classes meet on the average of three nights a week, although there may be times when they will meet four nights a week. Classes normally begin at 5:45 p.m.In addition, to achieve your associate degree, you will take a total of approximately eight liberal arts courses, which will be scheduled around your technical schedule over the course of your entire program. Each liberal arts course meets approximately four hours per week. Liberal arts courses are offered days, evenings, and Saturdays.At the beginning of each term you will receive a detailed schedule giving the exact time and location of all your classes. The College requires that all students be prepared to take classes and receive services at any of NEIT’s locations where the appropriate classes and services are offered.

    When a regularly scheduled class falls on a day which is an NEIT observed holiday (Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Memorial Day), an alternate class will be scheduled as a make up for that class. The make-up class may fall on a Friday. It is the student’s responsibility to take note of when and where classes are offered.

  2. How large will my classes be?The average size for a class is about 20 to 25 students; however, larger and smaller classes occur from time to time.
  3. How much time will I spend in lab?Almost half of your technical courses consist of laboratory work. In order for you to get the most out of your laboratory experiences, you will first receive a thorough explanation of the theory behind your lab work.
  4. Where do my classes meet?Students should be prepared to attend classes at any of NEIT’s classroom facilities: either at the Post Road, Access Road, or East Greenwich campus.
  5. I have not earned my high school diploma or GED: can I enroll in an Associate Degree Program?A candidate for admission to an associate degree program must have a high school diploma, have earned a recognized equivalency diploma (GED), or meet the federal home school requirements.
  6. How long should it take me to complete my program?To complete your degree requirements in the shortest possible time, you should take the courses outlined in the prescribed curriculum. This technology is a six-term curriculum, and a student may complete the requirements in as little as 18 months.To complete all your degree requirements in the shortest time, you should take at least one liberal arts course each term. Students who need more time to complete their curriculum may postpone some of the liberal arts courses until after the completion of the technical requirements. Students are provided up to two additional terms of study to complete the liberal arts requirements without any additional tuition assessment fee. During these additional terms of study, students are required to pay all applicable fees.Students may also elect to complete some of their liberal arts requirements during Intersession, a five-week term scheduled between Spring and Summer Quarters. Students will not be assessed any additional tuition for liberal arts courses taken during the Intersession but may be assessed applicable fees.Students wishing to extend the number of terms needed to complete the required technical courses in their curriculum will be assessed additional tuition and fees.
  7. Is NEIT accredited?NEIT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Accreditation by NECHE is recognized by the federal government and entitles NEIT to participate in federal financial aid programs. Some academic departments have specialized professional accreditations in addition to accreditation by NECHE. For more information on accreditation, see NEIT’s catalog.
  8. Can I transfer the credits that I earn at NEIT to another college?The transferability of a course is always up to the institution to which the student is transferring. Students interested in the transferability of their credits should contact the Office of Teaching and Learning for further information.
  9. Can I transfer credits earned at another college to NEIT?Transfer credit for appropriate courses taken at an accredited institution will be considered upon receipt of an official transcript for any program, biology, science, and mathematics courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the past three years and for English or humanities courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the last ten years. An official transcript from the other institution must be received before the end of the first week of the term for transfer credit to be granted for courses to be taken during that term. Students will receive a tuition reduction for the approved technical courses based on the program rate and will be applied against the final technical term of the curriculum’s tuition amount. No tuition credit is provided for courses which are not a part of the technical curriculum.
  10. What is the “Feinstein Enriching America” Program?New England Institute of Technology is the proud recipient of a grant from the Feinstein Foundation. To satisfy the terms of the grant, the College has developed a one-credit community enrichment course which includes hands-on community enrichment projects. The course can be taken for a few hours per term, spread over several terms. Students who are already engaged in community enrichment on their own may be able to count that service towards course credit.
  11. How many credits do I need to acquire my Financial Aid?In order to be eligible for the maximum financial aid award, you need to maintain at least 12 credits per academic term.
  12. What does my program cost?The cost of your program will be as outlined in your enrollment agreement, along with your cost for books and other course materials. Students who decide to take more terms than the enrollment agreement describes to complete the technical courses in their curriculum will be subject to additional fees and possible additional tuition costs. Students who elect to take the technical portion of the degree requirements at a rate faster than the rate prescribed in the curriculum and the enrollment agreement will be assessed additional tuition.Students who require prerequisite courses will incur additional tuition and fees above those outlined in their enrollment agreement.If a student elects to take a course(s) outside of the prescribed curriculum, additional tuition and fees will be assessed.Remember, students who withdraw and re-enter, one time only, pay the tuition rate that was in effect for them at the time of their last day of attendance for up to one year from their last day of attendance. Second re-entrees and beyond pay the tuition rate in effect at the time they re-enter. The most economical way for you to complete your college degree is to begin your program now and continue your studies straight through for the six terms necessary to complete your degree requirements.
  13. What kind of employment assistance does NEIT offer?The Career Services Office assists NEIT students and graduates in all aspects of the job search, including resume writing, interviewing skills, and developing a job search strategy. Upon completion of their program, graduates may submit a resume to the Career Services Office to be circulated to employers for employment opportunities in their fields. Employers regularly contact us about our graduates. In addition, our Career Services Office contacts employers to develop job leads. A strong relationship with employers exists as a result of our training students to meet the needs of industry for over fifty years. No school can, and NEIT does not, guarantee to its graduates’ employment or a specific starting salary.
  14. Where will job opportunities exist?Graduates have obtained employment in the local area. However, one of the most exciting aspects of this program is the ability to look nationally for employment opportunities.
  15. Is there any state or federal licensing required in my field?Because of the complex nature of state licensing requirements and because those requirements change periodically, NEIT cannot list all the requirements for the various types of licenses in the various states.Under current Rhode Island law, a student who obtains an associate degree in plumbing and has been registered with the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training as an apprentice plumber for at least two (2) years and is employed as a registered apprentice by a duly licensed master plumber in Rhode Island for a period of two (2) years, may sit for the test for a journeyperson’s license in Rhode Island. (R.I.G.L. Section 5-20-17).NEIT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY CHANGES IN LICENSING REQUIREMENTS THAT ANY STATE LEGISLATURE MAY IMPLEMENT AT ANY TIME, INCLUDING RHODE ISLAND.

Technical Standards

These technical standards set forth by the Refrigeration/ Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing Departments, establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to these programs to achieve the knowledge, skills and competencies to enter these fields. The successful student must possess the following skills and abilities or be able to demonstrate that they can complete the requirements of the program with or without reasonable accommodation, using some other combination of skills and abilities.

Cognitive Ability

  • Ability to deal with materials and problems such as organizing or reorganizing information.
  • Ability to use abstractions in specific concrete situations.
  • Ability to break information into its component parts.
  • Ability to understand spatial relationships.
  • Possession of basic math skills through addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions using both the U.S. and Metric systems of measurement.
  • Ability to demonstrate and use the knowledge acquired during the classroom training process and in the lab setting.

Communications Skills

  • Ability to communicate effectively with others including faculty and students.

Adaptive Ability

  • Ability to respond in an appropriate manner to stressful situations.
  • Ability to maintain emotional stability and the maturity necessary to interact with other members of the faculty and students in a responsible manner.

Physical Ability

  • Ability to perform tasks requiring bending, stooping, squatting, kneeling, lying, climbing and walking.
  • Ability to lift, lower, push, and pull using both arms and legs.
  • Ability to grasp, lift and carry tools and equipment weighing fifty (50) pounds 50 – 500 feet from truck to work area.
  • Ability to climb stairs and ladders to 25 feet.
  • Agility and strength sufficient to allow bodily maneuvering in small spaces.
  • Sufficient strength and agility to grasp and maintain tension for long periods of time.
  • Ability to wear and tolerate ear plugs, safety glasses and other protective equipment.
  • Ability to perform learned skills, independently, with accuracy and completeness within reasonable time frames in accordance with procedures.

Manual Ability

  • Sufficient manual dexterity and fine motor coordination to manipulate small objects within a limited space.
  • Sufficient manual dexterity and motor coordination to coordinate hands, eyes and fingers in the operation of tools and other equipment.

Sensory Ability

  •  Visual
    • Acute enough to distinguish colors, read blueprints, inspect equipment for proper installation and work in dimly lit areas such as basements and boiler rooms.
    • Acute enough to read small print.
    • Acute enough to read small numbers on precision measuring instruments.
  •  Auditory
    • Auditory ability, acute enough to detect sounds, changes in sounds, or lack of sounds emitted by heating and air-conditioning equipment.