blue and red wrenches tightening up a pipe

Tyler ISD played a role in passing legislation that allows students to be licensed as a Tradesman Limited Plumber after taking the required amount of CTE plumbing courses in high school and subsequently passing the state board examination. This ground-breaking opportunity for students was made possible by an amendment added to HB 636 by Texas House Representative Matt Schaefer during the 87th Legislative Session. Now that the bill is law, it is easier for students to be trained in plumbing in high school and immediately join the industry upon graduation.

Gary Brown, executive director of college and career for Tyler ISD, was instrumental in the passage and implementation of the new law. "I testified in Austin at a committee hearing in support of Rep. Schaefer's legislation,” Brown said. “Once the bill became law, I worked with Rep. Schaefer's team, Texas Education Association (TEA), State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC), State Board of Education (SBOE), and the Texas State Plumbing Board of Examiners (TSBPE) to develop the implementation plan."

“We cut the red tape that had closed doors for students to learn the plumbing trade in public schools," Rep. Schaefer said. "Now, the plumbing trade will open to thousands of students who will be able to turn that training into success immediately. Restoring real-world skills training to students and giving them more options to succeed is good for all Texans. Tyler ISD was instrumental in helping me pass this law. We are seeing interest in starting plumbing courses in public schools all over Texas, and we are excited.”

An individual was required to have a minimum of 4,000 hours working under a master plumber to be eligible to test for this license. Now under the alternative program created by the new law, Tyler ISD can provide classroom training and work-based learning experiences in high school. Brent McDonald, owner of Rub-A-Dub Plumbing in Tyler, also testified in support of the legislation. McDonald is on the Tyler ISD Career and Technology Education (CTE) Executive Advisory Board that provides industry insight and gives feedback on curriculum, instruction, and equipment to Tyler ISD.

"We are thrilled that these future plumbers will be stepping into a high-demand, high-wage career," said Brown. We will offer four levels of study with classes taught by a Master Plumber."

Students may enroll in the new CTE plumbing program beginning in the fall of 2022.

For more information, contact Jennifer Hines at