WILLMAR and HUTCHINSON, MN – Finding a good plumber is going to get a bit easier when Ridgewater College graduates its first class of plumbers to help fill the industry need.
Beginning Fall Semester 2022, Ridgewater College is opening a Plumbing Technician 36-credit diploma program on the Willmar campus, with both in-person and online blended courses.
“Ridgewater has long been known to graduate and produce excellent trades people, but this will be the first time that list of in-demand workers will include plumbing technicians,” said Jeff Miller, Ridgewater dean of technical instruction. “With many industry professionals retiring, it’s getting tougher to find the experts needed to continue providing plumbing services in all phases and types of building construction.”
During the full-time, two-semester program, students will learn everything from safety and code requirements and basic plumbing to drainage, venting, water distribution, faucet installation, troubleshooting, and repair. The program will include 33 technical credits and 3 credits of applied math, human relations, and communications. It will also include an internship for real-world, hands-on application and practice.
“We have worked with local and regional industry experts, plumbing technicians, business owners, and educators to develop a program that will produce graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to become impactful to the plumbing industry immediately upon employment,” Miller explained. “Our Plumbing Technician graduates will likely find jobs starting out as technicians and then gain the experience they need to become licensed plumbers.”
According to Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), regional wages for plumbers is $22.13 to $32.37 per hour.
For developing information about the Plumbing Technician program, go to www.ridgewater.edu/plumbing.