Why Do Plumbers Need a License in Most States?

Plumbing is an important part of your daily life. When you hire a plumber to clear your drains, repair your water heater or install a water softener, you'd expect 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 through the state. Actually, they depend on city and county agencies to provide oversight and licensing. While the specific requirements to obtain a plumbing license vary by city, you can rest knowing that hiring a licensed specialist is the top way to minimize the possibility of inferior workmanship, fraud and health problems.

Educational Criteria for Plumbers

This is what it takes to become a licensed plumber:

  • Education: Numerous vocational schools and community colleges facilitate plumbing certificates or degrees. Usually this training covers all the crucial skills plumbers use every day.
  • Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations provide apprenticeship training that blend classroom learning with practical experience. These programs typically take four to five years, and apprentices get paid wages during their training.
  • Licensing exam: A participating state offers its own plumbing test, which candidates must pass to earn a license. The materials 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 receive different licenses and certifications based on their knowledge 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: Some states only require plumbers to have a certificate to handle residential jobs with a minimal scope of work. This is primarily an apprentice-level plumber working with supervision.
  • Journeyman plumber: In many states, plumbers may take the journeyman’s licensing exam after completing an apprenticeship and having the required years of on-site experience.
  • Master plumber: The criteria to qualify for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary greatly by location. Some states only require 1 - 2 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 maximum level of professionalism and practical experience. Earning ACE certification is more exhausive than most plumber licensing and demands 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 might be less expensive at first, but that’s where the benefits stop. Don’t risk it — only work with a licensed expert, no matter how simple or complex the job is, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:

  • Superb craftsmanship: Plumbing is not as simple as you might think. Performing even the most basic tasks, like snaking a drain, involves specialized equipment and years of expertise. Given the amount of training needed to achieve their certifications, you can rest easy knowing that a licensed plumber will solve the problem.
  • Liability insurance: Most states require plumbers to display proof of liability insurance as a condition of the licensing process. This prevents you, the homeowner, from being left responsible for property damage or an injury on-site if a plumber has an mishap while completing work in your home.
  • Legal and code-compliant: Big plumbing jobs usually need to have permits to guarantee safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are regularly refused the required permits. If they move ahead with the job, you could confront code violations and accompanying fees later on. Additionally, you might face legal problems if an unlicensed plumber damages the local waterways. Eliminate these risks by only contracting a licensed professional.
  • Preserved health and safety: A competent plumber knows the proper strategies for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and gas lines. Years of hands-on experience are vital to reduce the risk of water contamination, sewer backups and gas leaks.
  • Trustworthy services: Unfortunately, there are plumbers out there that don't have your best interest at heart. A fully licensed team is significantly less likely to try to swindle you than an unlicensed company. In the end, homeowners can file a complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect fraud, 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 Falso Service Experts, we go above and beyond to provide 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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