Why Do Plumbers Need a License in Most States?

Plumbing is an essential part of your day-to-day 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 evaluating the company's years of experience can help, the # 1 thing to look for is a plumbing license.

Only six states — Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming — don’t assign plumbing licenses at the state level. Alternatively, they count on city and county governments to provide oversight and licensing. While the actual requirements to earn a plumbing license vary by city, you can rest knowing that hiring a licensed Expert is the top way to decrease the possibility of mediocre workmanship, deception and health concerns.

Educational Requirements for Plumbers

This is what it takes to become a licensed plumber:

  • Education: Plenty of vocational schools and community colleges provide plumbing certificates or degrees. This classroom training includes all the necessary skills plumbers use every day.
  • Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations provide apprenticeship training that integrate classroom learning with on-site experience. These programs typically take four to five years, and apprentices get paid wages throughout their training.
  • Licensing exam: Each state offers its own plumbing assessment, which candidates must pass to acquire a license. The topics covered consist of plumbing fixtures, drainage systems, vents and venting, fabrication, pipe maintenance, administrative procedures and more. Requirements to take the exam vary by state and licensing level.

Types of Plumbing Licenses and Certifications

Plumbers can attain multiple licenses and certifications based on their education and experience. These vary by location, and not all are available in every state, but the most common plumbing licenses and certifications include:

  • Plumbing certificate: Certain states only mandate plumbers to have a certificate to complete residential jobs with a moderate scope of work. This is primarily an apprentice-level plumber working with a certified supervisor.
  • Journeyman plumber: In many states, plumbers may 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 widely by location. Some places only require 1 - 2 years working as a journeyman plumber, whereas others require four or five years of journeyman experience.
  • ACE certification: Becoming an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the top level of professionalism and experience. Earning ACE certification is more stringent than typical plumber licensing and demands annual recertification to ensure techs stay up-to-date with the most recent industry standards.

Rewards of Hiring a Licensed Plumber

Choosing an unlicensed plumber for the job could save you a few dollars up front, but that’s where the benefits end. Don't gamble on your plumbing — only hire a licensed expert, no matter how simple or complex the job is, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:

  • Exceptional craftsmanship: Plumbing is not an easy field. Conducting even the most straightforward tasks, like snaking a drain, needs specialized equipment and years of expertise. Given the amount of training needed to achieve their certifications, you can rest assured that a licensed plumber has what it takes for a job well done.
  • Liability insurance: Nearly all states require plumbers to demonstrate proof of liability insurance as one component of the licensing process. This prevents you, the homeowner, from liability for property damage or medical bills if a plumber has an mishap while completing work in your home.
  • Legitimate and code-compliant: Big plumbing jobs commonly require permits to guarantee safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are routinely refused the required permits. If they proceed with the job, you could face 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 certified plumber adheres to the proper methods for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and fuel lines. Years of hands-on experience are vital to reduce the risk of water pollution, sewer backups and gas leaks.
  • Trustworthy services: Not all plumbers have your best interest at heart. A fully licensed team is significantly less likely to try to mislead you than an unlicensed company. After all, homeowners can make an official 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.

Set up Any Plumbing Services with a Licensed Professional

At Parker Pearce Service Experts, we go above and beyond to provide the best plumbing services to our customers in 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 a Parker Pearce Service Experts office near you today!

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