Plunge Into Your Future

A nontraditional online program meets the increased demand for plumbers and HVAC professionals

Hunter Botto knows a thing or two about plumbing. As a licensed master plumber for more than 38 years, Botto has served as president of Botto Brothers Plumbing & Heating of Hicksville since 1993. Now on the Board of Directors for Plumbing Heating and Cooling Contractors of Long Island (PHCC-LI), his mission is simple: to maximize the efforts to bring more individuals

into the field. As high school and college students consider their career path, those who are not looking to attend higher learning institutions should consider a trade school opportunity, as the services and skills in those rewarding industries will be in demand for years to come.

Hunter Botto

As a member of the PHCC educational board of directors, what is your role?

I have served and continue as a national secretary and board member of the PHCC Educational Foundation, whose core focus is to train and support the membership of PHCC, both in plumbing and HVACR. We are dedicated to the promotion, advancement, education, and training of the industry for the protection of the environment and the health, safety and comfort of society.

Tell me about the PHCC’s eLearning program.

The PHCC eLearning program was developed by our national in-house training experts who had the vision to adapt to the needs of a younger audience. Learning the book portion of our industry online along with owner-supported field supervision, this program has filled the need for apprentices to “Learn and Earn” without having the need to attend the traditional brick & mortar type schooling during the day; it can be done in the comfort of the students’ homes and at their own pace. Students also have the ability to apply for scholarships through the PHCC which is also supported by many Industry partners.

Why should someone consider the apprentice program?

We as the PHCC of Long Island and the industry as a whole have jobs with excellent starting pay. PHCC contractors are the best of the best and our motto is “Best people, best practices.” Also, master plumbers have a minimum seven years of experience and have passed a difficult written test and practical exam. These exams are given by the local municipalities (Oyster Bay, Hempstead, North Hempstead, Huntington, Babylon, Smithtown) for the Long Island sector. New York City has a separate license and has much more difficult process and requirements. Each local Incorporated Village also has their own requirements.

Do you find more and more students wanting to enter trade professions?

The need for properly trained plumbers and HVACR (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) technicians is at a high level, especially on Long Island. The eLearning program has made it easier for young apprentices to complete an apprenticeship program while they work at their trade-related jobs. PHCC has taken the “bull by the horns” to teach and lead the industry into a highly technical future. This industry is wide open and the opportunities are endless.

To learn more about PHCC’s eLearning Apprentice Academy call 516-922-7688 or visit For more information about PHCC-LI, visit

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Jennifer Fauci
Jennifer Fauci is the former managing editor of Long Island Weekly, Anton Media Group's award-winning special sections and Anton’s local magazines. Her passion for literature, travel and the arts lend to the unique content in her publications. In her time at Anton, she has received first place in the Folio Awards, second place for the NYPA awards and is the recipient of six PCLI awards.

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