Why Do Plumbers Need a License in Almost All States?

Plumbing is an important part of your daily life. When you hire a plumber to clean your drains, fix your water heater or install a water softener, you want the assurance of a job well done. While reading reviews and evaluating the company’s reputation can help, the # 1 thing to look for is a plumbing license. 

Only a handful of states — Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming — don’t require plumbing licenses at the state level. Actually, they expect city and county agencies to offer oversight and licensing. While the actual requirements to earn a plumbing license vary by region, you can rest knowing that hiring a licensed Expert is the top way to decrease the possibility of poor workmanship, deception and health issues. 

Educational Expectations for Plumbers 

Here’s what it takes to get a plumber’s license: 

  • Education: Plenty of vocational schools and community colleges facilitate plumbing certificates or degrees. This classroom training encompasses all the vital skills plumbers use every day. 
  • Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations offer apprenticeship programs that blend classroom learning with hands-on experience. These programs normally last 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 deal with 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 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 common plumbing licenses and certifications include: 

  • Plumbing certificate: Certain states only require plumbers to have a certificate to handle residential jobs with a moderate scope of work. This is ultimately an apprentice-level plumber working with a certified supervisor. 
  • Journeyman plumber: In most states, plumbers may take the journeyman’s licensing exam after completing an apprenticeship and having 4 – 5 years of field experience. 
  • Master plumber: The requirements to qualify for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary significantly by location. Some places only demand 1 – 2 years working as a journeyman plumber, but others call for four or five years of journeyman experience. 
  • ACE certification: Training to be an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the top level of professionalism and practical experience. Earning ACE certification is more rigorous than typical plumber licensing and requires yearly recertification to guarantee that techs are up-to-date with the most current industry standards. 

Rewards of Hiring a Licensed Plumber 

Using an unlicensed plumber for the job could save you a few dollars up front, but that’s where the benefits stop. Why chance it? — only hire a licensed pro, regardless of the job size, to ensure all the perks of professional experience: 

  • Excellent workmanship: Plumbing is not as simple as you might think. Conducting even the most basic jobs, like snaking a drain, requires specialized equipment and years of experience. Given the amount of training needed to achieve their certifications, you can rest assured that a licensed plumber will properly diagnose and resolve your plumbing problem. 
  • Liability insurance: A good number of states require plumbers to display proof of liability insurance as a condition of the licensing process. This prevents you, the homeowner, from being held liable for property damage or an injury on-site if a plumber has an mishap while working in your home. 
  • Legitimate and code-compliant: Big plumbing jobs often need to have permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are typically turned down the needed permits. If they proceed with the job, you could face code violations and fines later on. Similarly, you could face legal issues if an unlicensed plumber damages the local waterways. Eliminate these risks by only hiring a licensed professional. 
  • Preserved health and safety: A qualified plumber understands the proper methods 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. 
  • Trustworthy services: Not all plumbers have your best interest at heart. But a fully licensed team is significantly less likely to attempt to swindle you than an unlicensed company. In the end, homeowners can lodge a formal complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect fraud, 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. 

Arrange 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 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 request an appointment for reliable plumbing services in your area, please contact a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office near you today! 

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