Why Do Plumbers Need a License in Most States?

Plumbing is an essential part of your day-to-day life. When you hire a plumber to clear your drains, service your water heater or install a water softener, you’d expect the assurance of a job well done. While reading reviews and learning more about the company’s reputation can help, the number one thing to look for is a plumbing license. 

Only a handful of states — Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming — don’t require plumbing licenses at the state level. Actually, they depend on city and county groups to supply oversight and licensing. While the actual requirements to secure a plumbing license vary by region, you can rest knowing that hiring a licensed Expert is the ideal way to reduce the possibility of mediocre workmanship, deception and health concerns. 

Educational Criteria for Plumbers 

Here’s what it takes to get a plumber’s license: 

  • Education: Many vocational schools and community colleges offer plumbing certificates or degrees. In most scenarios, the training includes all the vital skills plumbers use on a regular basis. 
  • Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations offer apprenticeship training that blend classroom learning with hands-on experience. These programs normally take four to five years, and apprentices earn wages throughout their training. 
  • Licensing exam: A participating state offers its own plumbing exam, which candidates must pass to receive a license. The materials 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 receive different licenses and certifications based on their education and experience. These vary by location, and not all are offered in every state, but the most typical plumbing licenses and certifications include: 

  • Plumbing certificate: Many states only require plumbers to have a certificate to handle residential jobs with a modest scope of work. This is ultimately an apprentice-level plumber working with an experienced supervisor. 
  • Journeyman plumber: In most states, plumbers will take the journeyman’s licensing exam after completing an apprenticeship and having the necessary years of on-site experience. 
  • Master plumber: The criteria to be considered for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary greatly by location. Some places only require one or two years working as a journeyman plumber, whereas others call for four or five years of journeyman experience. 
  • ACE certification: Progressing to an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the highest level of professionalism and experience. Attaining ACE certification is more rigorous than typical plumber licensing and involves yearly recertification to keep technicians up-to-date with the most current industry standards. 

Perks of Hiring a Licensed Plumber 

Selecting an unlicensed plumber for the job could be less expensive at first, but that’s where the benefits stop. Don’t risk it — only hire a licensed expert, no matter the job, to ensure all the perks of professional experience: 

  • Outstanding craftsmanship: Plumbing is not as simple as you might think. Completing even the most clear-cut jobs, like snaking a drain, needs specialized equipment and years of experience. As a result of the intensive training needed for certification, you can rest assured that a licensed plumber will solve the problem. 
  • Liability insurance: A good number of states require plumbers to demonstrate proof of liability insurance as part of the licensing process. This prevents you, the homeowner, from being held liable for property damage or an injury on-site if a plumber has an accident while working in your home. 
  • Legitimate and code-compliant: Large plumbing jobs often need to have permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are regularly denied the required permits. If they move ahead with the job, you could confront code violations and fines later on. Furthermore, you could face legal issues if an unlicensed plumber impairs the local waterways. Remove these risks by only employing a licensed professional. 
  • Preserved health and safety: A qualified plumber adheres to the proper techniques for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and fuel lines. Years of hands-on experience are vital to decrease the risk of water contamination, sewer backups and gas leaks. 
  • Reliable services: Not all plumbers have your best interest at heart. A fully licensed team is significantly less likely to attempt to swindle you than an unlicensed company. Besides, homeowners can lodge an official complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect deception, resulting in a hefty 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 communities 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 schedule reliable plumbing services in your area, please contact a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office near you today! 

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