Plumbing School


Welcome to Thornton & Grooms University

Are you looking for a new career opportunity? Have you wanted to get into the trades but didn't know where to start? Are you looking for a company dedicated to teamwork, career growth, and is willing to pay you while you train? Are you shaking your head yes? Then we should get to know more about each other.

Plumbers: Earnings and Career Path

Why do Plumber technicians love their job?

  1. They get to help people
  2. Job stability (People can't live without water!)
  3. Compensated well

If you are ready to begin your career in the trades, then we want to hear from you.

What Will A Plumbing Apprenticeship look like?

Our plumbing apprentices work hard for our customers to keep them safe and comfortable. At Thornton & Grooms, apprentices work in our maintenance, installation, and service departments and often rotate through these during their 3-year apprenticeship. We encourage all our apprentices to sit for their Journeyman’s test and unlock the next phase of their plumbing career.

The Fall 2021 Plumbing Apprentice Program is FULL, and we will be opening enrollment again in Spring 2022. We are looking for men and women who enjoy working with their hands, aren’t afraid of a little dirt, and are people centric. This is a fully-paid, entry-level, 4-month program where you will get professional training in the plumbing trade. After graduation, students will earn a full-time position in our plumbing department.

What is Thornton & Grooms University?

TGU is the educational arm of Thornton & Grooms. We launched the University in the Fall of 2021 and expect our first graduates in early 2022. TGU supplies educational opportunities to all employees of Thornton & Grooms in the areas of technical skills, soft skills, leadership training, safety training, wellness, and much more. We are helping our team to grow both professionally and personally.

Our Commitment to Growing the Trades

Thornton & Grooms is a locally owned heating, cooling, and plumbing company. Our purpose is to be ever-building the professionalism, integrity, and honor of the trades. Employees at Thornton & Grooms are supplied with continuous education in technical training, soft skills, and safety training throughout their career. Thornton & Grooms is also a winner of the Detroit Free Press “Top Workplaces” Award.

*Students enrolled in our Plumbing Apprenticeship Program will be paid an hourly wage. Students will receive 16-weeks of free training. All students will be required to sign a 2-year contract with Thornton & Grooms.

*All candidates will undergo a selection process so we can narrow our Spring 2022 program to 20 students. Upon selection, students will need to pass a drug test, background check, and driving record check to secure enrollment.

Our Plumbing Apprentice School Curriculum

We’ve been building residential plumbers at Thornton & Grooms since our conception in 1937. Mostly, we’ve done it the traditional way – having an apprentice ride-a-long and help a licensed plumber and train on the job. Today, we are training plumbing apprentices in a new way.

Our 16-week Plumbing Apprentice Program is designed to give students with little to no plumbing experience the tools they need to build a foundation in the trades. Coursework consists of 25% classroom, 25% skills lab, and 50% field training. Students will learn the basic principles of plumbing, drain systems, vents, water lines, and fixture installation. Apprentices are expected to register with the state so they can begin logging hours towards their apprenticeship - our program earns students 640 hours. Upon graduation, Apprentices will be matched with one of our plumbing service, maintenance, or install departments where they will begin their full-time career.

Students will also get to take advantage of all the other perks that come with working at Thornton & Grooms. Whether it’s attending a holiday party or all company meeting, competing in a wellness challenge, or taking Dave Ramsey classes, we provide you with the same experience we give all team members.

Benefits of Our Hybrid Training Approach

As we mentioned above, TGU will consist of 25% classroom, 25% skills lab, and 50% field training.

Classroom style training taught by a trained educator provides:

  • Written and video coursework
  • Technical, soft skills, and safety training
  • Experience with our software programs, maintenance plan, and branding

Technical skills lab training by an HVAC professional gives you:

  • A safe, secure opportunity to get hands-on training
  • Experience working with tools and equipment
  • Repeated opportunities to practice and master

Field ride-a-longs give you:

  • Opportunities to see and work on all HVAC projects in real-life situations
  • First-hand customer interactions so you can put your soft skills training to work
  • A chance to meet and get to know many of the same men and women you will be working with during your career at Thornton & Grooms