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Why Do Plumbers Need a License in Almost All States?

Plumbing is an essential part of your day-to-day life. When you trust a plumber to clear 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 learning more about the company’s years of experience can help, the main 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. Alternatively, they depend on city and county governments to supply oversight and licensing. While the specific requirements to obtain a plumbing license vary by region, you can rest assured that hiring a licensed professional is the best way to decrease the possibility of inferior workmanship, fraud and health concerns. 

Educational Requirements for Plumbers 

Here’s what it takes to become a licensed plumber: 

  • Education: Many vocational schools and community colleges offer plumbing certificates or degrees. In most scenarios, the training includes all the essential skills plumbers use every day. 
  • Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations have apprenticeship training that blend classroom learning with practical experience. These programs normally take four to five years, and apprentices get paid wages during their training. 
  • Licensing exam: A participating state offers its own plumbing exam, which candidates must pass to acquire a license. The topics covered deal with 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 available in every state, but the most typical plumbing licenses and certifications include: 

  • Plumbing certificate: Many states only mandate plumbers to have a certificate to work on residential jobs with a modest scope of work. This is primarily an apprentice-level plumber working with master plumber oversight. 
  • Journeyman plumber: Usually, plumbers will take the journeyman’s licensing exam after finishing an apprenticeship and having the necessary years of practical experience. 
  • Master plumber: The prerequisites to be considered for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary significantly by location. Some states only demand 1 – 2 years working as a journeyman plumber, whereas others call for 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. Earning ACE certification is more stringent than typical plumber licensing and usually requires annual recertification to keep technicians up-to-date with the most current industry standards. 

Benefits of Hiring a Licensed Plumber 

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

  • Exceptional craftsmanship: Plumbing is not as simple as it may seem. Completing even the most basic tasks, like snaking a drain, requires specialized equipment and years of expertise. As a result of the intensive training needed for certification, you can be assured knowing that a licensed plumber has what it takes for a job well done. 
  • Liability insurance: A large number of states require plumbers to demonstrate proof of liability insurance as part of the licensing process. This prevents you, the homeowner, from liability 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 frequently have to have permits to guarantee safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are routinely refused the needed permits. If they move ahead with the job, you could face code violations and fines later on. Additionally, you might face legal repercussions if an unlicensed plumber impairs the local waterways. Eliminate these risks by only choosing a licensed professional. 
  • Preserved health and safety: A well-qualified plumber adheres to the proper techniques for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and gas lines. Years of hands-on experience are necessary to decrease the risk of water pollution, sewer backups and gas leaks. 
  • Legitimate services: Not all plumbers have your best interest at heart. A fully licensed team is significantly less likely to try to mislead you than an unlicensed company. After all, homeowners can file an official complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect deception, resulting in a hefty 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we go above and beyond to deliver 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 a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office near you today! 

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