Plumbing is a crucial part of your daily life. When you hire a plumber to clean your drains, service your water heater or install a water softener, you want the assurance of getting the job done right. While reading reviews and learning more about the company's history 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 issue plumbing licenses through the state. Actually, they expect city and county groups to supply oversight and licensing. While the specific requirements to earn a plumbing license vary by region, you can rest knowing that hiring a licensed Expert is the ideal way to decrease the risk of poor workmanship, deception and health issues.
Educational Requirements for Plumbers
Here’s what it takes to get a plumber's license:
- Education: Many vocational schools and community colleges facilitate plumbing certificates or degrees. This classroom training covers all the vital skills plumbers use on a regular basis.
- Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations have apprenticeship courses that combine classroom learning with practical experience. These programs normally take four to five years, and apprentices get paid wages throughout their training.
- Licensing exam: Each state offers its own plumbing test, which candidates must pass to earn a license. The topics covered deal with plumbing fixtures, drainage systems, vents and venting, fabrication, pipe maintenance, administrative procedures and more. Criteria to take the exam vary state-to-state and licensing level.
Types of Plumbing Licenses and Certifications
Plumbers can attain different licenses and certifications based on their knowledge 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: Certain states only require plumbers to have a certificate to handle residential jobs with a minimal scope of work. This is effectively an apprentice-level plumber working with a certified supervisor.
- Journeyman plumber: Usually, plumbers can take the journeyman’s licensing exam after finishing an apprenticeship and having four years of practical experience.
- Master plumber: The requirements to be considered for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary greatly by location. Some assessments only require 12 to 24 months working as a journeyman plumber, while others insist on four or five years of journeyman experience.
- ACE certification: Becoming an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the maximum level of professionalism and experience. Attaining ACE certification is more exhausive than typical plumber licensing and demands yearly recertification to guarantee that techs are up-to-date with the most current industry standards.
Perks of Hiring a Licensed Plumber
Selecting an unlicensed plumber for the job might be cheaper initially, but that’s where the benefits end. Why chance it? — only work with a licensed expert, regardless of the job size, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:
- Awesome craftsmanship: Plumbing is not an easy field. Completing even the most clear-cut projects, like snaking a drain, involves 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 will properly diagnose and resolve your plumbing problem.
- Liability insurance: Nearly all states require plumbers to display proof of liability insurance as part of the licensing process. This keeps you, the homeowner, from liability for property damage or medical bills if a plumber has an accident while working in your home.
- Authorized and code-compliant: Major plumbing jobs frequently have to have permits to guarantee safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are regularly turned down the required permits. If they proceed with the job, you could face code violations and fines later on. Similarly, you may face legal repercussions if an unlicensed plumber damages the local waterways. Prevent these risks by only hiring a licensed professional.
- Preserved health and safety: A well-qualified plumber adheres to the proper strategies for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and gas lines. Years of hands-on experience are essential to minimize the risk of water pollution, sewer backups and gas leaks.
- Reliable services: Unfortunately, there are plumbers out there that don't have your best interest at heart. However, a fully licensed team is far less likely to try to mislead you than an unlicensed company. In the end, homeowners can make a formal complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect being cheated, leaving the plumber with a steep fine or even causing them to lose 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 Sunbeam 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 Sunbeam Service Experts office near you today!