Plumbing is an essential part of your daily life. When you hire a plumber to clean your drains, service 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 years of experience 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 assign plumbing licenses through the state. Instead, they use city and county agencies to supply oversight and licensing. While the actual requirements to obtain a plumbing license vary by city, you can be certain that hiring a licensed Expert is the top way to decrease the risk of inferior workmanship, deception and health issues.
Educational Requirements for Plumbers
Here’s 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 encompasses all the vital skills plumbers use on a daily basis.
- Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations provide apprenticeship courses that combine classroom learning with on-site experience. These programs normally take four to five years, and apprentices get paid wages during their training.
- Licensing exam: Each state offers its own plumbing assessment, which candidates must pass to earn a license. The materials covered include things like plumbing fixtures, drainage systems, vents and venting, fabrication, pipe maintenance, administrative procedures and more. Requirements to take the exam vary state-to-state and licensing level.
Types of Plumbing Licenses and Certifications
Plumbers can earn multiple licenses and certifications based on their education 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 need plumbers to have a certificate to work on residential jobs with a moderate scope of work. This is primarily an apprentice-level plumber working with an experienced supervisor.
- Journeyman plumber: Usually, plumbers can take the journeyman’s licensing exam after completing an apprenticeship and having the necessary years of hands-on experience.
- Master plumber: The prerequisites to be considered for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary significantly by location. Some states only demand 1 - 2 years working as a journeyman plumber, but others insist on four or five years of journeyman experience.
- ACE certification: Progressing to an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the top level of professionalism and experience. Attaining ACE certification is more rigorous than most plumber licensing and demands yearly recertification to keep technicians up-to-date with the most current industry standards.
Advantages of Hiring a Licensed Plumber
Using an unlicensed plumber for the job might be less expensive at first, but that’s where the benefits end. Don’t risk it — only hire a licensed pro, regardless of the job size, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:
- Outstanding workmanship: Plumbing is not as simple as it may seem. Conducting even the most straightforward tasks, like snaking a drain, requires specialized equipment and years of experience. Because of the need to complete classroom education and hands-on training, you can be assured knowing that a licensed plumber has what it takes for a job well done.
- Liability insurance: Nearly all states require plumbers to display proof of liability insurance as a condition of the licensing process. This prevents 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.
- Authorized and code-compliant: Major plumbing jobs commonly have to have permits to guarantee safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are regularly turned down the necessary permits. If they go ahead with the job, you could encounter code violations and accompanying fees later on. Furthermore, you can 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 adheres to the proper methods for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and gas lines. Years of hands-on experience are vital to reduce the risk of water pollution, sewer backups and gas leaks.
- Legitimate services: Some plumbers don't have your best interest at heart. A fully licensed team is significantly less likely to attempt to swindle you than an unlicensed company. In the end, 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 forfeit 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 Calverley Service Experts, we go above and beyond to deliver 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 schedule reliable plumbing services in your area, please contact us today!