Plumbing is an essential part of your daily life. When you hire a plumber to clean your drains, repair your water heater or install a water softener, you want the assurance of a job well done. While reading reviews and learning more about the company's years of experience can help, the first thing to look for is a plumbing license.
Only a few states — Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming — don’t assign plumbing licenses at the state level. Alternatively, they expect city and county agencies to provide oversight and licensing. While the exact requirements to secure a plumbing license vary by region, you can be certain that hiring a licensed specialist is the best way to reduce the possibility of low-quality workmanship, deception and health concerns.
Educational Requirements for Plumbers
This is what it takes to become a licensed plumber:
- Education: Numerous vocational schools and community colleges provide plumbing certificates or degrees. This classroom training covers all the vital skills plumbers use on a daily basis.
- Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations offer apprenticeship programs that combine classroom learning with practical experience. These programs normally last four to five years, and apprentices receive wages throughout their training.
- Licensing exam: Each state offers its own plumbing test, which candidates must pass to earn a license. The materials covered consist of 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 receive different licenses and certifications based on their training and experience. These vary by location, and not all are available in every state, but the most familiar plumbing licenses and certifications include:
- Plumbing certificate: Many states only need plumbers to have a certificate to work on residential jobs with a minimal scope of work. This is generally an apprentice-level plumber working with supervision.
- Journeyman plumber: Usually, plumbers can take the journeyman’s licensing exam after finishing an apprenticeship and having four years of on-site experience.
- Master plumber: The criteria to take the master plumber’s licensing exam vary significantly by location. Some assessments only expect 12 to 24 months working as a journeyman plumber, while others require four or five years of journeyman experience.
- ACE certification: Becoming an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the highest level of professionalism and working experience. Receiving ACE certification is more rigorous than most plumber licensing and demands annual recertification to ensure techs stay up-to-date with the most current industry standards.
Perks of Hiring a Licensed Plumber
Using an unlicensed plumber for the job may be less expensive at first, but that’s where the benefits stop. But when it comes to your home’s plumbing — only hire a licensed expert, no matter the job, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:
- Excellent craftsmanship: Plumbing is not as simple as it may seem. Performing even the most straightforward projects, like snaking a drain, involves specialized equipment and years of experience. Because of the need to complete classroom education and hands-on training, you can rest assured that a licensed plumber will properly diagnose and resolve your plumbing problem.
- Liability insurance: Most states require plumbers to demonstrate proof of liability insurance as one component of the licensing process. This prevents you, the homeowner, from being held liable for property damage or medical bills if a plumber has an accident while working in your home.
- Authorized and code-compliant: Large plumbing jobs usually need to have permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are regularly refused the needed permits. If they continue with the job, you could encounter code violations and fines later on. Similarly, you might face legal consequences if an unlicensed plumber harms the local waterways. Prevent these risks by only employing 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 minimize the risk of water pollution, sewer backups and gas leaks.
- Trustworthy services: Unfortunately, there are plumbers out there that don't have your best interest at heart. But a fully licensed team is much less likely to try to mislead you than an unlicensed company. Besides, homeowners can make a formal complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect fraud, 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.
Arrange Plumbing Services with a Licensed Professional
At Comfortech Service Experts , we go above and beyond to offer the best plumbing services to our customers 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 us today!