Why Do Plumbers Need a License in Almost All States?

Plumbing is a crucial 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'd like the assurance of getting the job done right. While reading reviews and evaluating the company's reputation can help, the number one thing to look for is a plumbing license.

Only a few states — Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming — don’t assign plumbing licenses at the state level. Actually, they depend on city and county agencies to offer oversight and licensing. While the actual requirements to earn a plumbing license vary by region, you can be certain that hiring a licensed Expert is the top way to minimize the risk of poor workmanship, fraud and health concerns.

Educational Criteria for Plumbers

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

  • Education: Lots of vocational schools and community colleges provide plumbing certificates or degrees. In most scenarios, the training covers all the crucial skills plumbers use on a regular basis.
  • Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations offer apprenticeship courses that integrate classroom learning with practical experience. These programs typically take four to five years, and apprentices earn wages during the course of their training.
  • Licensing exam: Each state offers its own plumbing assessment, which candidates must pass to earn a license. The topics covered consist of plumbing fixtures, drainage systems, vents and venting, fabrication, pipe maintenance, administrative procedures and more. Requirements to take the exam vary based on where you are and licensing level.

Types of Plumbing Licenses and Certifications

Plumbers can earn various licenses and certifications based on their knowledge 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: Some states only require plumbers to have a certificate to work on residential jobs with a limited scope of work. This is ultimately an apprentice-level plumber working with a certified supervisor.
  • Journeyman plumber: Usually, plumbers will take the journeyman’s licensing exam after completing an apprenticeship and having the required years of hands-on experience.
  • Master plumber: The criteria to qualify for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary significantly by location. Some states only demand one or two years working as a journeyman plumber, while 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 practical experience. Attaining ACE certification is more exhausive than typical plumber licensing and demands yearly recertification to guarantee that techs are up-to-date with the latest industry standards.

Advantages of Hiring a Licensed Plumber

Using an unlicensed plumber for the job may be less expensive at first, but that’s where the benefits stop. Why chance it? — only work with a licensed pro, regardless of the job size, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:

  • Superb workmanship: Plumbing is not as simple as it may seem. Performing even the most straightforward projects, like snaking a drain, needs 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 solve the problem.
  • Liability insurance: A large number of states require plumbers to show proof of liability insurance as one component of the licensing process. This prevents you, the homeowner, from being left responsible for property damage or medical bills if a plumber has an accident while working in your home.
  • Authorized and code-compliant: Large plumbing jobs often have to have permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are regularly turned down the needed permits. If they proceed with the job, you could receive code violations and fines later on. Similarly, you might face legal repercussions if an unlicensed plumber damages the local waterways. Prevent these risks by only choosing a licensed professional.
  • Preserved health and safety: A competent plumber understands the proper strategies for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and gas lines. Years of hands-on experience are vital to decrease the risk of water pollution, 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 much less likely to try to swindle you than an unlicensed company. After all, homeowners can make a complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect fraud, which might cost the plumber a severe 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 TML Service Experts, we go above and beyond to provide the best plumbing services to our customers 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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