Plumbing is an essential part of your daily life. When you call a plumber to clear your drains, repair your water heater or install a water softener, you'd expect the assurance of a job well done. While reading reviews and evaluating the company's history can help, the number one 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. Actually, they count on city and county agencies to provide oversight and licensing. While the specific requirements to secure a plumbing license vary by city, you can be certain that hiring a licensed professional is the best way to decrease the chance of poor workmanship, fraud and health concerns.
Educational Criteria for Plumbers
Here's a summary of what it takes to get a plumber's license:
- Education: Lots of vocational schools and community colleges provide plumbing certificates or degrees. In most scenarios, the training encompasses all the vital skills plumbers use on a daily basis.
- Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations have apprenticeship courses that blend classroom learning with practical experience. These programs usually 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 topics covered include plumbing fixtures, drainage systems, vents and venting, fabrication, pipe maintenance, administrative procedures and more. Qualifications to take the exam vary by state and licensing level.
Types of Plumbing Licenses and Certifications
Plumbers can receive various licenses and certifications based on their training and experience. These vary by location, and not all are offered in every state, but the most typical plumbing licenses and certifications include:
- Plumbing certificate: Certain states only mandate plumbers to have a certificate to handle 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 can take the journeyman’s licensing exam after finishing an apprenticeship and having the necessary years of practical experience.
- Master plumber: The criteria to be considered for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary widely by location. Some states only require 12 to 24 months working as a journeyman plumber, whereas others insist on four or five years of journeyman experience.
- ACE certification: Becoming an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the highest level of professionalism and experience. Attaining ACE certification is more exhausive than most plumber licensing and requires yearly recertification to guarantee that techs are up-to-date with the most current industry standards.
Benefits of Hiring a Licensed Plumber
Selecting 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 work with a licensed expert, no matter the job, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:
- Superb workmanship: Plumbing is not an easy field. Conducting even the most straightforward jobs, like snaking a drain, requires specialized equipment and years of expertise. Given the amount of training needed to achieve their certifications, you can rest easy knowing 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 protects 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.
- Legal and code-compliant: Large plumbing jobs frequently require permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are typically denied the necessary permits. If they go ahead with the job, you could receive code violations and subsequent penalties later on. Similarly, you might face legal consequences if an unlicensed plumber harms 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 natural gas lines. Years of hands-on experience are vital to reduce the risk of water pollution, sewer backups and gas leaks.
- Reputable services: Unfortunately, there are plumbers out there that don't have your best interest at heart. But a fully licensed team is far less likely to attempt to mislead you than an unlicensed company. After all, homeowners can file a complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect deception, leaving the plumber with a steep fine or even causing them to forfeit 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 Peitz Service Experts, we go above and beyond to deliver the best plumbing services to our clients 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 receive reliable plumbing services in your area, please contact a Peitz Service Experts office near you today!