Why Do Plumbers Need a License in Most States?
Plumbing is an essential part of your daily life. When you trust a plumber to clean your drains, fix your water heater or install a water softener, you'd like the assurance of getting the job done right. While reading reviews and considering the company's reputation can help, the first thing to look for is a plumbing license.
Only six states — Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming — don’t assign plumbing licenses at the state level. Alternatively, they expect city and county groups to supply oversight and licensing. While the specific requirements to obtain a plumbing license vary by city, you can rest assured that hiring a licensed Expert is the best way to decrease the possibility of low-quality workmanship, rip-offs and health problems.
Educational Expectations for Plumbers
Here’s what it takes to get a plumber's license:
- Education: Lots of vocational schools and community colleges offer plumbing certificates or degrees. In most scenarios, the training covers all the crucial skills plumbers use on a regular basis.
- Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations offer apprenticeship training that integrate classroom learning with hands-on experience. These programs normally last four to five years, and apprentices receive wages during the course of their training.
- Licensing exam: A participating state offers its own plumbing exam, which candidates must pass to acquire a license. The subject areas covered include things like plumbing fixtures, drainage systems, vents and venting, fabrication, pipe maintenance, administrative procedures and more. Qualifications to take the exam vary based on where you are and licensing level.
Types of Plumbing Licenses and Certifications
Plumbers can earn various licenses and certifications based on their education and experience. These vary by location, and not all are necessary in every state, but the most familiar plumbing licenses and certifications include:
- Plumbing certificate: Certain states only need plumbers to have a certificate to handle residential jobs with a modest scope of work. This is effectively an apprentice-level plumber working with an experienced supervisor.
- Journeyman plumber: Usually, plumbers will take the journeyman’s licensing exam after finishing an apprenticeship and having 4 - 5 years of hands-on experience.
- Master plumber: The prerequisites to be considered for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary significantly by location. Some assessments only demand 12 to 24 months working as a journeyman plumber, but others require four or five years of journeyman experience.
- ACE certification: Progressing to an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the maximum level of professionalism and working experience. Earning ACE certification is more stringent than most plumber licensing and demands annual recertification to ensure techs stay up-to-date with the most current industry standards.
Advantages of Hiring a Licensed Plumber
Selecting an unlicensed plumber for the job might save you a few dollars up front, but that’s where the benefits stop. Don't gamble on your plumbing — only choose a licensed pro, regardless of the job size, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:
- Superb workmanship: Plumbing is not as simple as you might think. Completing even the most straightforward projects, like snaking a drain, needs specialized equipment and years of expertise. As a result of the intensive training needed for certification, you can rest easy knowing that a licensed plumber will properly diagnose and resolve your plumbing problem.
- Liability insurance: A large number of states require plumbers to show proof of liability insurance as a condition of the licensing process. This keeps you, the homeowner, from liability for property damage or medical bills if a plumber has an mishap while working in your home.
- Legal and code-compliant: Major plumbing jobs frequently have to have permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are routinely denied the required permits. If they continue with the job, you could receive code violations and accompanying fees later on. Additionally, you could face legal issues if an unlicensed plumber damages the local waterways. Prevent these risks by only hiring a licensed professional.
- Preserved health and safety: A certified plumber knows the proper strategies for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and natural gas lines. Years of hands-on experience are vital to reduce the risk of water pollution, sewer backups and gas leaks.
- Reliable services: Some plumbers don't have your best interest at heart. A fully licensed team is much less likely to try to swindle you than an unlicensed company. Besides, homeowners can make a formal complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect being cheated, which might cost the plumber a severe fine or even causing them to forfeit their license. Knowing this provides extra peace of mind when hiring a plumber for the first time.
Schedule Plumbing Services with a Licensed Professional
At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we go above and beyond to deliver the best plumbing services to our customers throughout North America. First, we are licensed, insured and ACE-certified. What’s more, everything we do is backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. To request an appointment for reliable plumbing services in your area, please contact us today!