Plumbing is an essential part of your daily life. When you call a plumber to clear your drains, fix 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 at the state level. Actually, they count on city and county agencies to supply oversight and licensing. While the actual requirements to secure a plumbing license vary by region, you can be certain that hiring a licensed professional is the ideal way to decrease the chance of mediocre workmanship, rip-offs and health concerns.
Educational Requirements for Plumbers
This is what it takes to get a plumber's license:
- Education: Plenty of vocational schools and community colleges offer plumbing certificates or degrees. This classroom training includes all the vital skills plumbers use every day.
- Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations provide apprenticeship programs that blend classroom learning with on-site experience. These programs normally last four to five years, and apprentices get paid wages throughout their training.
- Licensing exam: Each state offers its own plumbing assessment, which candidates must pass to acquire a license. The subject areas covered deal with plumbing fixtures, drainage systems, vents and venting, fabrication, pipe maintenance, administrative procedures and more. Qualifications to take the exam vary state-to-state and licensing level.
Types of Plumbing Licenses and Certifications
Plumbers can attain various licenses and certifications based on their education 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: Certain states only need plumbers to have a certificate to handle residential jobs with a moderate scope of work. This is essentially an apprentice-level plumber working with an experienced supervisor.
- Journeyman plumber: In many states, plumbers may take the journeyman’s licensing exam after completing an apprenticeship and having 4 - 5 years of hands-on experience.
- Master plumber: The criteria to be considered for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary significantly by location. Some places 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 maximum level of professionalism and practical experience. Earning ACE certification is more exhausive than most plumber licensing and requires yearly recertification to ensure techs stay up-to-date with the latest industry standards.
Rewards of Hiring a Licensed Plumber
Selecting an unlicensed plumber for the job may save you a few dollars up front, but that’s where the benefits stop. Don't gamble on your plumbing — only choose a licensed pro, no matter the job, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:
- Excellent craftsmanship: Plumbing is not as simple as it may seem. Conducting even the most basic projects, like snaking a drain, needs specialized equipment and years of experience. As a result of the intensive training needed for certification, you can be assured knowing that a licensed plumber will solve the problem.
- Liability insurance: Most states require plumbers to show proof of liability insurance as part of the licensing process. This keeps you, the homeowner, from liability for property damage or an injury on-site if a plumber has an mishap while working in your home.
- Legal and code-compliant: Large plumbing jobs often require permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are routinely denied the necessary permits. If they continue with the job, you could confront code violations and fines later on. Furthermore, you may face legal consequences if an unlicensed plumber harms the local waterways. Remove these risks by only contracting a licensed professional.
- Preserved health and safety: A competent plumber knows the proper methods for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and fuel lines. Years of hands-on experience are essential to reduce the risk of water pollution, sewer backups and gas leaks.
- Reliable services: Not all plumbers have your best interest at heart. However, a fully licensed team is significantly less likely to try to mislead you than an unlicensed company. In the end, homeowners can file a formal complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect deception, 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 Strogen's Service Experts, 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 receive reliable plumbing services in your area, please contact us today!