Why Do Plumbers Need a License in Most States?

Plumbing is an important part of your day-to-day life. When you trust a plumber to clean 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 evaluating the company’s history 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 through the state. Actually, they depend on city and county groups to provide oversight and licensing. While the actual requirements to get a plumbing license vary by city, you can rest assured that hiring a licensed specialist is the ideal way to reduce the possibility of low-quality workmanship, deception and health concerns.

Educational Criteria for Plumbers

This is what it takes to obtain a plumber’s license:

    • Education: Many vocational schools and community colleges provide plumbing certificates or degrees. In most scenarios, the training includes all the essential skills plumbers use on a regular basis.
    • Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations provide apprenticeship programs that bundle classroom learning with hands-on experience. These programs normally take four to five years, and apprentices earn wages during their training.
    • Licensing exam: A participating state offers its own plumbing exam, which candidates must pass to receive a license. The subject areas covered include plumbing fixtures, drainage systems, vents and venting, fabrication, pipe maintenance, administrative procedures and more. Qualifications to take the exam vary based on where you are and licensing level.

Types of Plumbing Licenses and Certifications

Plumbers can earn 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 common plumbing licenses and certifications include:

    • Plumbing certificate: Certain states only require plumbers to have a certificate to work on residential jobs with a minimal scope of work. This is effectively an apprentice-level plumber working with a certified supervisor.
    • Journeyman plumber: In most states, plumbers will take the journeyman’s licensing exam after completing an apprenticeship and having the required years of field experience.
    • Master plumber: The prerequisites to be considered for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary greatly by location. Some states only demand one or two 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 experience. Attaining ACE certification is more stringent than most plumber licensing and requires yearly recertification to keep technicians up-to-date with the most current industry standards.

Rewards of Hiring a Licensed Plumber

Choosing an unlicensed plumber for the job could save you a few dollars up front, but that’s where the benefits stop. Don’t gamble on your plumbing — only hire a licensed pro, no matter how simple or complex the job is, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:

    • Excellent workmanship: Plumbing is not as simple as it may seem. Completing even the most straightforward jobs, like snaking a drain, needs specialized equipment and years of expertise. Given the amount of training needed to achieve their certifications, you can rest easy 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 medical bills if a plumber has an mishap while completing work in your home.
    • Legitimate and code-compliant: Big plumbing jobs often require permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are routinely turned down the necessary permits. If they go ahead with the job, you could face code violations and accompanying fees later on. Furthermore, you might face legal repercussions if an unlicensed plumber damages the local waterways. Eliminate these risks by only contracting a licensed professional.
    • Preserved health and safety: A qualified plumber understands the proper techniques for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and gas lines. Years of hands-on experience are necessary to minimize the risk of water contamination, sewer backups and gas leaks.
    • Reliable services: Not all plumbers have your best interest at heart. However, a fully licensed team is much less likely to try to scam you than an unlicensed company. In the end, homeowners can make an official complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect being cheated, 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.

Set up Any Plumbing Services with a Licensed Professional

At Winnipeg Supply Service Experts, we go above and beyond to provide the best plumbing services to our communities 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 Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office near you today!

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