Why Do Plumbers Need a License in Almost All States?

Plumbing is an important part of your day-to-day life. When you trust a plumber to clear 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 years of experience 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 issue plumbing licenses at the state level. Actually, they expect city and county governments to offer oversight and licensing. While the actual requirements to obtain a plumbing license vary by region, you can rest knowing that hiring a licensed specialist is the ideal way to decrease the chance of poor workmanship, rip-offs and health concerns.

Educational Expectations for Plumbers

This is what it takes to become a licensed plumber:

  • Education: Lots of vocational schools and community colleges provide plumbing certificates or degrees. This classroom training encompasses all the crucial skills plumbers use every day.
  • Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations provide apprenticeship programs that integrate classroom learning with on-site experience. These programs usually last four to five years, and apprentices get paid wages during their training.
  • Licensing exam: A participating 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 training and experience. These vary by location, and not all are offered in every state, but the most common plumbing licenses and certifications include:

  • Plumbing certificate: Some states only mandate plumbers to have a certificate to handle residential jobs with a modest scope of work. This is essentially an apprentice-level plumber working with supervision.
  • Journeyman plumber: In many states, plumbers may take the journeyman’s licensing exam after finishing an apprenticeship and having 4 - 5 years of on-site experience.
  • Master plumber: The requirements to take the master plumber’s licensing exam vary greatly by location. Some assessments only require 1 - 2 years working as a journeyman plumber, but 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 most plumber licensing and involves annual recertification to guarantee that techs are up-to-date with the latest industry standards.

Rewards of Hiring a Licensed Plumber

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

  • Superb workmanship: Plumbing is not as simple as you might think. Performing even the most direct projects, like snaking a drain, involves 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 has what it takes for a job well done.
  • Liability insurance: A good number of states require plumbers to demonstrate proof of liability insurance as one component of the licensing process. This protects you, the homeowner, from being left responsible for property damage or an injury on-site if a plumber has an accident while performing services in your home.
  • Legal and code-compliant: Large plumbing jobs frequently have to have permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are regularly turned down the needed permits. If they move ahead with the job, you could confront code violations and subsequent penalties later on. Furthermore, you could face legal consequences if an unlicensed plumber harms the local waterways. Eliminate these risks by only choosing a licensed professional.
  • Preserved health and safety: A certified plumber understands the proper methods for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and gas lines. Years of hands-on experience are necessary to reduce the risk of water contamination, sewer backups and gas leaks.
  • Reliable services: Not all plumbers have your best interest at heart. But a fully licensed team is far less likely to try to mislead you than an unlicensed company. After all, homeowners can make 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, we go above and beyond to offer the best plumbing services to our clients 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 request an appointment for reliable plumbing services in your area, please contact a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office near you today!

chat now widget box