Plumbing is a crucial part of your day-to-day life. When you hire a plumber to clear your drains, fix your water heater or install a water softener, you'd like the assurance of a job well done. While reading reviews and considering 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 issue plumbing licenses at the state level. Instead, they count on city and county groups to provide oversight and licensing. While the actual requirements to get a plumbing license vary by region, you can rest assured that hiring a licensed Expert is the best way to decrease the possibility of mediocre workmanship, rip-offs and health issues.
Educational Requirements for Plumbers
Here's a summary of what it takes to get a plumber's license:
- Education: Many vocational schools and community colleges facilitate plumbing certificates or degrees. Usually this training includes all the necessary skills plumbers use on a regular basis.
- Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations provide apprenticeship programs that blend classroom learning with practical experience. These programs typically last four to five years, and apprentices receive wages during the course of their training.
- Licensing exam: A participating state offers its own plumbing test, which candidates must pass to acquire a license. The topics covered deal with plumbing fixtures, drainage systems, vents and venting, fabrication, pipe maintenance, administrative procedures and more. Requirements to take the exam vary based on where you are and licensing level.
Types of Plumbing Licenses and Certifications
Plumbers can earn different 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 moderate scope of work. This is ultimately an apprentice-level plumber working with master plumber oversight.
- Journeyman plumber: In many states, plumbers will take the journeyman’s licensing exam after finishing an apprenticeship and having the necessary years of field experience.
- Master plumber: The prerequisites to qualify for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary greatly by location. Some places only expect 1 - 2 years working as a journeyman plumber, while others call for four or five years of journeyman experience.
- ACE certification: Becoming an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the highest level of professionalism and working experience. Receiving ACE certification is more exhausive than most plumber licensing and demands annual recertification to guarantee that techs are up-to-date with the most current industry standards.
Rewards of Hiring a Licensed Plumber
Selecting an unlicensed plumber for the job might be cheaper initially, but that’s where the benefits stop. Don't gamble on your plumbing — only choose a licensed pro, no matter how simple or complex the job is, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:
- Excellent craftsmanship: Plumbing is not an easy field. Conducting even the most clear-cut projects, 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 will properly diagnose and resolve your plumbing problem.
- Liability insurance: A large number of states require plumbers to demonstrate proof of liability insurance as part of the licensing process. This keeps you, the homeowner, from being left responsible for property damage or medical bills if a plumber has an mishap while working in your home.
- Legitimate and code-compliant: Major plumbing jobs frequently require permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are typically denied the required permits. If they proceed with the job, you could receive code violations and fines later on. Similarly, you may face legal consequences if an unlicensed plumber damages the local waterways. Prevent these risks by only contracting a licensed professional.
- Preserved health and safety: A competent plumber adheres to the proper strategies for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and natural gas lines. Years of hands-on experience are vital to minimize the risk of water contamination, sewer backups and gas leaks.
- Reliable services: Not all plumbers have your best interest at heart. A fully licensed team is much less likely to try to mislead you than an unlicensed company. After all, 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.
Arrange Plumbing Services with a Licensed Professional
At Wesley Wood Service Experts, we go above and beyond to deliver 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 request an appointment for reliable plumbing services in your area, please contact a Wesley Wood Service Experts office near you today!