Why Do Plumbers Need a License in Most States?

Plumbing is a crucial part of your day-to-day life. When you trust a plumber to clean your drains, service your water heater or install a water softener, you’d like the assurance of a job well done. 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 require plumbing licenses at the state level. Actually, they use city and county governments to provide oversight and licensing. While the specific requirements to get a plumbing license vary by city, you can rest knowing that hiring a licensed Expert is the best way to reduce the chance of low-quality workmanship, fraud and health problems. 

Educational Criteria for Plumbers 

This is what it takes to become a licensed plumber: 

  • Education: Many vocational schools and community colleges offer plumbing certificates or degrees. In most scenarios, the training encompasses all the crucial skills plumbers use on a regular basis. 
  • Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations have apprenticeship courses that bundle classroom learning with practical experience. These programs typically last four to five years, and apprentices receive wages throughout their training. 
  • Licensing exam: Each state offers its own plumbing test, which candidates must pass to acquire a license. The topics covered include things like plumbing fixtures, drainage systems, vents and venting, fabrication, pipe maintenance, administrative procedures and more. Requirements to take the exam vary by state and licensing level. 

Types of Plumbing Licenses and Certifications 

Plumbers can earn multiple licenses and certifications based on their education and experience. These vary by location, and not all are offered in every state, but the most familiar plumbing licenses and certifications include: 

  • Plumbing certificate: Certain states only require plumbers to have a certificate to handle residential jobs with a moderate scope of work. This is ultimately an apprentice-level plumber working with an experienced supervisor. 
  • Journeyman plumber: Usually, plumbers may take the journeyman’s licensing exam after finishing an apprenticeship and having 4 – 5 years of on-site experience. 
  • Master plumber: The criteria to be considered for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary significantly by location. Some places only demand 1 – 2 years working as a journeyman plumber, but others insist on four or five years of journeyman experience. 
  • ACE certification: Training to be an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the highest level of professionalism and practical experience. Receiving ACE certification is more stringent than most plumber licensing and usually requires annual recertification to guarantee that techs are up-to-date with the latest industry standards. 

Rewards of Hiring a Licensed Plumber 

Choosing an unlicensed plumber for the job could be less expensive at first, but that’s where the benefits end. Don’t gamble on your plumbing — only work with a licensed pro, no matter the job, to ensure all the perks of professional experience: 

  • Outstanding workmanship: Plumbing is not as simple as it may seem. Performing even the most basic tasks, like snaking a drain, needs specialized equipment and years of experience. Given the amount of training needed to achieve their certifications, you can rest assured that a licensed plumber will properly diagnose and resolve your plumbing problem. 
  • Liability insurance: Nearly all states require plumbers to demonstrate proof of liability insurance as one component of the licensing process. This keeps you, the homeowner, from being left responsible for property damage or an injury on-site if a plumber has an mishap while working in your home. 
  • Legal and code-compliant: Major plumbing jobs often require permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are routinely refused the needed permits. If they proceed with the job, you could face code violations and subsequent penalties later on. Furthermore, you might face legal repercussions if an unlicensed plumber impairs the local waterways. Remove these risks by only contracting a licensed professional. 
  • Preserved health and safety: A certified plumber understands the proper techniques for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and fuel lines. Years of hands-on experience are essential to decrease the risk of water pollution, sewer backups and gas leaks. 
  • Trustworthy services: Some plumbers don’t have your best interest at heart. A fully licensed team is much less likely to attempt to mislead you than an unlicensed company. Besides, homeowners can file a complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect being cheated, leaving the plumber with a steep fine or even causing them to forfeit their license. Knowing this provides extra peace of mind when hiring a plumber for the first time. 

Arrange Plumbing Services with a Licensed Professional 

At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we go above and beyond to provide the best plumbing services to our customers in North America. First, we are licensed, insured and ACE-certified. What’s more, everything we do is backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. To receive reliable plumbing services in your area, please contact a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office near you today! 

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