Why Do Plumbers Need a License in Most States?

Plumbing is an important part of your daily life. When you trust a plumber to clean your drains, repair your water heater or install a water softener, you want the assurance of getting the job done right. While reading reviews and considering the company's years of experience can help, the number one thing to look for is a plumbing license.

Only a few states — Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming — don’t assign plumbing licenses through the state. Alternatively, they depend on city and county agencies to provide oversight and licensing. While the specific requirements to earn a plumbing license vary by region, you can be certain that hiring a licensed Expert is the ideal way to decrease the risk of poor workmanship, fraud and health issues.

Educational Expectations for Plumbers

This is what it takes to get a plumber's license:

  • Education: Lots of vocational schools and community colleges facilitate plumbing certificates or degrees. Usually this training includes all the necessary skills plumbers use on a regular basis.
  • Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations offer apprenticeship training that bundle classroom learning with practical experience. These programs typically take four to five years, and apprentices receive wages throughout their training.
  • Licensing exam: A participating state offers its own plumbing exam, which candidates must pass to earn a license. The topics covered consist of 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 attain different licenses and certifications based on their education and experience. These vary by location, and not all are available in every state, but the most familiar plumbing licenses and certifications include:

  • Plumbing certificate: Certain states only require plumbers to have a certificate to work on residential jobs with a moderate scope of work. This is more or less an apprentice-level plumber working with master plumber oversight.
  • Journeyman plumber: Usually, plumbers can take the journeyman’s licensing exam after finishing an apprenticeship and having 4 - 5 years of on-site experience.
  • Master plumber: The prerequisites to be considered for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary widely 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: Training to be an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the top level of professionalism and working experience. Receiving ACE certification is more stringent than typical plumber licensing and demands annual recertification to keep technicians up-to-date with the most current industry standards.

Advantages of Hiring a Licensed Plumber

Choosing an unlicensed plumber for the job might be less expensive at first, but that’s where the benefits end. Don’t risk it — only choose a licensed expert, regardless of the job size, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:

  • Exceptional workmanship: Plumbing is not as simple as it may seem. Completing even the most direct jobs, 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: Most states require plumbers to display proof of liability insurance as a condition of the licensing process. This keeps you, the homeowner, from being left responsible for property damage or medical bills if a plumber has an mishap while completing work in your home.
  • Authorized and code-compliant: Large plumbing jobs commonly have to have permits to guarantee safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are regularly denied the required permits. If they move ahead with the job, you could receive code violations and accompanying fees later on. Furthermore, you might face legal problems if an unlicensed plumber impairs the local waterways. Eliminate these risks by only employing a licensed professional.
  • Preserved health and safety: A competent plumber adheres to the proper methods for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and natural gas lines. Years of hands-on experience are necessary to minimize the risk of water contamination, sewer backups and gas leaks.
  • Reliable services: Some plumbers don't have your best interest at heart. However, a fully licensed team is much less likely to attempt to scam you than an unlicensed company. Besides, homeowners can file a formal 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 Rob's Albertan Service Experts, we go above and beyond to deliver the best plumbing services to our communities 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 us today!

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