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 clean your drains, service your water heater or install a water softener, you want the assurance of a job well done. 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 handful of states — Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming — don’t assign plumbing licenses at the state level. Actually, they count on city and county agencies to supply oversight and licensing. While the exact requirements to earn a plumbing license vary by city, you can be certain that hiring a licensed professional is the top way to minimize the risk of poor workmanship, scams and health concerns.
Educational Requirements for Plumbers
This is what it takes to obtain a plumber's license:
- Education: Numerous vocational schools and community colleges facilitate plumbing certificates or degrees. This classroom training covers all the crucial skills plumbers use every day.
- Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations provide apprenticeship programs that bundle classroom learning with on-site experience. These programs normally last four to five years, and apprentices receive wages throughout their training.
- Licensing exam: Each state offers its own plumbing test, which candidates must pass to acquire a license. The topics covered include things like plumbing fixtures, drainage systems, vents and venting, fabrication, pipe maintenance, administrative procedures and more. Requirements to take the exam vary state-to-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 necessary in every state, but the most familiar plumbing licenses and certifications include:
- Plumbing certificate: Some states only need plumbers to have a certificate to complete residential jobs with a modest scope of work. This is generally an apprentice-level plumber working with supervision.
- Journeyman plumber: In most states, plumbers will take the journeyman’s licensing exam after finishing an apprenticeship and having the necessary years of hands-on experience.
- Master plumber: The requirements to qualify for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary significantly by location. Some places only require 1 - 2 years working as a journeyman plumber, while others insist on four or five years of journeyman experience.
- ACE certification: Becoming an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the top level of professionalism and experience. Attaining ACE certification is more stringent than typical plumber licensing and involves annual recertification to guarantee that techs are up-to-date with the latest industry standards.
Perks of Hiring a Licensed Plumber
Selecting an unlicensed plumber for the job might be cheaper initially, but that’s where the benefits stop. Don’t risk it — only choose a licensed expert, regardless of the job size, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:
- Awesome workmanship: Plumbing is not as simple as you might think. Performing even the most clear-cut tasks, like snaking a drain, requires specialized equipment and years of experience. Given the amount of training needed to achieve their certifications, you can be assured knowing that a licensed plumber will properly diagnose and resolve your plumbing problem.
- Liability insurance: A good number of states require plumbers to demonstrate proof of liability insurance as part 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.
- Authorized and code-compliant: Big plumbing jobs frequently require permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are typically refused the required permits. If they continue with the job, you could face code violations and accompanying fees later on. Furthermore, you can face legal repercussions if an unlicensed plumber harms the local waterways. Prevent these risks by only employing a licensed professional.
- Preserved health and safety: A qualified plumber understands 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.
- Reputable services: Unfortunately, there are plumbers out there that don't have your best interest at heart. However, a fully licensed team is far less likely to attempt to mislead you than an unlicensed company. After all, homeowners can make a formal complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect deception, leaving the plumber with a steep fine or even causing them to lose 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 Church Services, we go above and beyond to offer 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 request an appointment for reliable plumbing services in your area, please contact us today!