Plumbing is an important part of your everyday life. When you call a plumber to clear your drains, repair your water heater or install a water softener, you'd like the assurance of a job well done. While reading reviews and evaluating the company's years of experience 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 issue plumbing licenses through the state. Actually, they use city and county agencies to supply oversight and licensing. While the actual requirements to earn a plumbing license vary by region, you can rest assured that hiring a licensed professional is the best way to minimize the chance of inferior workmanship, deception and health concerns.
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 covers all the crucial skills plumbers use on a daily basis.
- Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations offer apprenticeship courses that blend classroom learning with hands-on experience. These programs typically last four to five years, and apprentices earn wages throughout their training.
- Licensing exam: A participating state offers its own plumbing test, which candidates must pass to receive a license. The topics covered include things like 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 training and experience. These vary by location, and not all are available in every state, but the most typical plumbing licenses and certifications include:
- Plumbing certificate: Many states only mandate plumbers to have a certificate to work on residential jobs with a modest scope of work. This is effectively an apprentice-level plumber working with supervision.
- Journeyman plumber: In most states, plumbers can take the journeyman’s licensing exam after completing an apprenticeship and having the necessary years of practical experience.
- Master plumber: The prerequisites to qualify for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary widely by location. Some assessments only require one or two years working as a journeyman plumber, whereas others call for four or five years of journeyman experience.
- ACE certification: Training to be an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the maximum level of professionalism and experience. Receiving ACE certification is more exhausive than typical plumber licensing and involves annual recertification to guarantee that techs are up-to-date with the most current industry standards.
Perks of Hiring a Licensed Plumber
Using an unlicensed plumber for the job might be less expensive at first, but that’s where the benefits stop. Don’t risk it — only choose a licensed expert, regardless of the job size, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:
- Exceptional workmanship: Plumbing is not an easy field. Conducting even the most direct projects, like snaking a drain, needs specialized equipment and years of experience. 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: Nearly all states require plumbers to show proof of liability insurance as a condition of the licensing process. This prevents you, the homeowner, from being left responsible for property damage or medical bills if a plumber has an mishap while completing work in your home.
- Legitimate and code-compliant: Major plumbing jobs often have to have permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are typically denied the required permits. If they go ahead with the job, you could encounter code violations and accompanying fees later on. Furthermore, you may face legal problems if an unlicensed plumber impairs the local waterways. Prevent these risks by only hiring a licensed professional.
- Preserved health and safety: A competent plumber understands the proper techniques 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.
- Reputable services: Not all plumbers have your best interest at heart. However, a fully licensed team is significantly less likely to try to mislead you than an unlicensed company. Besides, homeowners can file a formal complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect being cheated, resulting in a hefty fine or even causing them to lose their license. Knowing this provides extra peace of mind when hiring a plumber for the first time.
Schedule Plumbing Services with a Licensed Professional
At A1 Chesney Service Experts, we go above and beyond to offer the best plumbing services to our clients 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 schedule reliable plumbing services in your area, please contact a A1 Chesney Service Experts office near you today!