Why Do Plumbers Need a License in Almost All States?

Plumbing is an essential part of your everyday life. When you call a plumber to clean 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 learning more about the company’s reputation can help, the # 1 thing to look for is a plumbing license. 

Only a handful of states — Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming — don’t require plumbing licenses through the state. Instead, they expect city and county agencies to supply oversight and licensing. While the specific requirements to get a plumbing license vary by region, you can be certain that hiring a licensed Expert is the ideal way to decrease the possibility of mediocre workmanship, deception and health problems. 

Educational Requirements for Plumbers 

This is what it takes to obtain a plumber’s license: 

  • Education: Plenty of vocational schools and community colleges provide 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 provide apprenticeship programs that combine classroom learning with on-site experience. These programs usually take 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 receive a license. The materials covered deal with plumbing fixtures, drainage systems, vents and venting, fabrication, pipe maintenance, administrative procedures and more. Criteria 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 familiar plumbing licenses and certifications include: 

  • Plumbing certificate: Many states only need plumbers to have a certificate to complete residential jobs with a moderate scope of work. This is generally an apprentice-level plumber working with an experienced supervisor. 
  • Journeyman plumber: In most states, plumbers may take the journeyman’s licensing exam after finishing an apprenticeship and having the required years of field experience. 
  • Master plumber: The requirements to take the master plumber’s licensing exam vary greatly by location. Some assessments only demand 12 to 24 months working as a journeyman plumber, whereas others call for four or five years of journeyman experience. 
  • ACE certification: Progressing to an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the highest level of professionalism and experience. Attaining ACE certification is more rigorous than typical plumber licensing and demands annual recertification to ensure techs stay up-to-date with the most recent industry standards. 

Perks of Hiring a Licensed Plumber 

Choosing an unlicensed plumber for the job could be cheaper initially, but that’s where the benefits end. But when it comes to your home’s plumbing — only hire a licensed pro, no matter the job, to ensure all the perks of professional experience: 

  • Superb craftsmanship: Plumbing is not an easy field. Conducting even the most clear-cut tasks, like snaking a drain, involves specialized equipment and years of expertise. Given the amount of training needed to achieve their certifications, you can rest assured that a licensed plumber will properly diagnose and resolve your plumbing problem. 
  • Liability insurance: A large number of 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 an injury on-site if a plumber has an accident while performing services in your home. 
  • Authorized and code-compliant: Major plumbing jobs usually require permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are regularly turned down the necessary permits. If they proceed with the job, you could encounter code violations and fines later on. Additionally, you might face legal issues if an unlicensed plumber impairs 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 gas lines. Years of hands-on experience are necessary to decrease the risk of water contamination, sewer backups and gas leaks. 
  • Legitimate 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 try to mislead you than an unlicensed company. In the end, homeowners can lodge a complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect being cheated, 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 Stevenson 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 receive reliable plumbing services in your area, please contact a Stevenson Service Experts office near you today! 

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