Plumbing is an essential part of your daily life. When you hire a plumber to clear your drains, service 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 history can help, the # 1 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 through the state. Actually, they use city and county groups to supply oversight and licensing. While the specific requirements to get a plumbing license vary by region, you can rest assured that hiring a licensed Expert is the ideal way to decrease the possibility of poor workmanship, scams and health issues.
Educational Requirements for Plumbers
This is what it takes to become a licensed plumber:
- Education: Many vocational schools and community colleges facilitate plumbing certificates or degrees. In most scenarios, the training includes all the vital skills plumbers use every day.
- Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations offer apprenticeship programs that integrate classroom learning with hands-on experience. These programs normally last four to five years, and apprentices receive wages during their training.
- Licensing exam: Each state offers its own plumbing assessment, which candidates must pass to acquire a license. The materials covered include 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 receive 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: Many states only need plumbers to have a certificate to work on residential jobs with a limited scope of work. This is more or less an apprentice-level plumber working with a certified supervisor.
- Journeyman plumber: Usually, plumbers may take the journeyman’s licensing exam after completing an apprenticeship and having 4 - 5 years of hands-on experience.
- Master plumber: The requirements to qualify for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary greatly by location. Some assessments only require 12 to 24 months working as a journeyman plumber, whereas others require four or five years of journeyman experience.
- ACE certification: Training to be an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the maximum level of professionalism and practical experience. Attaining ACE certification is more exhausive than typical plumber licensing and usually requires annual recertification to guarantee that techs are up-to-date with the latest industry standards.
Benefits of Hiring a Licensed Plumber
Choosing an unlicensed plumber for the job might be cheaper initially, but that’s where the benefits end. Don’t risk it — only hire a licensed expert, regardless of the job size, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:
- Outstanding craftsmanship: Plumbing is not an easy field. Conducting even the most straightforward jobs, like snaking a drain, involves specialized equipment and years of expertise. Because of the need to complete classroom education and hands-on training, you can rest assured that a licensed plumber has what it takes for a job well done.
- Liability insurance: A large number of states require plumbers to display proof of liability insurance as part 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 completing work in your home.
- Legal and code-compliant: Major plumbing jobs frequently require permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are routinely turned down the needed permits. If they go ahead with the job, you could encounter code violations and accompanying fees later on. Similarly, you might face legal repercussions if an unlicensed plumber damages 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 essential to reduce the risk of water contamination, sewer backups and gas leaks.
- Trustworthy services: Unfortunately, there are plumbers out there that don't have your best interest at heart. A fully licensed team is far less likely to attempt to swindle you than an unlicensed company. In the end, homeowners can file a formal complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect fraud, leaving the plumber with a steep fine or even causing them to lose 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 Stevenson Service Experts, we go above and beyond to offer the best plumbing services to our customers throughout 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 Stevenson Service Experts office near you today!