Why Do Plumbers Need a License in Most States?

Plumbing is an essential part of your everyday life. When you hire a plumber to clean your drains, fix your water heater or install a water softener, you'd like the assurance of getting the job done right. While reading reviews and considering the company's history can help, the first thing to look for is a plumbing license.

Only six states — Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming — don’t require plumbing licenses at the state level. Alternatively, they count on city and county agencies to supply oversight and licensing. While the actual requirements to get a plumbing license vary by city, you can rest knowing that hiring a licensed specialist is the best way to minimize the possibility of mediocre workmanship, rip-offs and health issues.

Educational Expectations for Plumbers

Here's a summary of what it takes to get a plumber's license:

  • Education: Many vocational schools and community colleges offer plumbing certificates or degrees. This classroom training encompasses all the vital skills plumbers use on a daily basis.
  • Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations offer apprenticeship courses that integrate classroom learning with hands-on experience. These programs normally last four to five years, and apprentices receive wages during the course of their training.
  • Licensing exam: Each state offers its own plumbing assessment, which candidates must pass to receive a license. The topics covered consist of plumbing fixtures, drainage systems, vents and venting, fabrication, pipe maintenance, administrative procedures and more. Criteria to take the exam vary based on where you are and licensing level.

Types of Plumbing Licenses and Certifications

Plumbers can attain multiple 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: Many states only need plumbers to have a certificate to work on residential jobs with a moderate scope of work. This is effectively an apprentice-level plumber working with a certified supervisor.
  • Journeyman plumber: In most states, plumbers may take the journeyman’s licensing exam after finishing an apprenticeship and having the necessary years of field experience.
  • Master plumber: The requirements to qualify for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary greatly by location. Some places only demand 1 - 2 years working as a journeyman plumber, whereas others call for four or five years of journeyman experience.
  • ACE certification: Progressing to an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the top level of professionalism and practical experience. Receiving ACE certification is more stringent than typical plumber licensing and involves 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 might be cheaper initially, but that’s where the benefits stop. Don’t risk it — only choose a licensed pro, no matter the job, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:

  • Superb workmanship: Plumbing is not an easy field. Completing even the most clear-cut jobs, like snaking a drain, involves 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 properly diagnose and resolve your plumbing problem.
  • Liability insurance: A large number of 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 performing services in your home.
  • Legitimate and code-compliant: Big plumbing jobs frequently require permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are typically denied the needed permits. If they proceed with the job, you could confront code violations and fines later on. Similarly, you could face legal consequences if an unlicensed plumber damages the local waterways. Eliminate these risks by only contracting a licensed professional.
  • Preserved health and safety: A competent plumber understands the proper methods for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and fuel lines. Years of hands-on experience are vital to decrease 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 attempt to mislead you than an unlicensed company. After all, homeowners can file an official complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect deception, which might cost the plumber a severe 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 Midland Air Service Experts, we go above and beyond to provide 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 receive reliable plumbing services in your area, please contact a Midland Air Service Experts office near you today!

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