Why Do Plumbers Need a License in Most States?

Plumbing is an essential part of your everyday life. When you trust a plumber to clean your drains, repair 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 # 1 thing to look for is a plumbing license.

Only six states — Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming — don’t require plumbing licenses through the state. Actually, they count on city and county groups to supply oversight and licensing. While the actual requirements to obtain a plumbing license vary by city, you can rest assured that hiring a licensed professional is the best way to reduce the chance of low-quality workmanship, fraud and health concerns.

Educational Expectations for Plumbers

Here's a summary of what it takes to get a plumber's license:

  • Education: Plenty of vocational schools and community colleges provide plumbing certificates or degrees. Usually this training encompasses all the crucial skills plumbers use on a daily basis.
  • Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations offer apprenticeship courses that bundle classroom learning with practical experience. These programs normally last four to five years, and apprentices earn wages throughout their training.
  • Licensing exam: Each state offers its own plumbing assessment, which candidates must pass to acquire a license. The materials 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 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: Many states only need plumbers to have a certificate to work on residential jobs with a moderate scope of work. This is effectively an apprentice-level plumber working with an experienced supervisor.
  • Journeyman plumber: In most states, plumbers can take the journeyman’s licensing exam after finishing an apprenticeship and having 4 - 5 years of practical experience.
  • Master plumber: The prerequisites to take the master plumber’s licensing exam vary significantly by location. Some places only expect one or two years working as a journeyman plumber, whereas 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 rigorous than most plumber licensing and demands yearly recertification to keep technicians up-to-date with the latest industry standards.

Rewards of Hiring a Licensed Plumber

Selecting an unlicensed plumber for the job may be cheaper initially, but that’s where the benefits end. Why chance it? — only work with a licensed pro, no matter how simple or complex the job is, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:

  • Superb workmanship: Plumbing is not an easy field. Completing even the most basic tasks, like snaking a drain, requires specialized equipment and years of experience. As a result of the intensive training needed for certification, you can be assured knowing that a licensed plumber will properly diagnose and resolve your plumbing problem.
  • Liability insurance: Most states require plumbers to demonstrate proof of liability insurance as a condition of the licensing process. This protects you, the homeowner, from liability for property damage or medical bills if a plumber has an accident while performing services in your home.
  • Legitimate and code-compliant: Large plumbing jobs frequently have to have permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are regularly refused the necessary permits. If they move ahead with the job, you could face code violations and accompanying fees later on. Furthermore, you can face legal consequences if an unlicensed plumber impairs the local waterways. Remove these risks by only choosing a licensed professional.
  • Preserved health and safety: A competent plumber adheres to the proper methods for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and gas lines. Years of hands-on experience are vital to decrease the risk of water contamination, sewer backups and gas leaks.
  • Legitimate 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 attempt to swindle you than an unlicensed company. Besides, homeowners can file a 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.

Schedule Plumbing Services with a Licensed Professional

At Atmostemp Service Experts, we go above and beyond to provide the best plumbing services to our clients across 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 us today!

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