Plumbing is a crucial part of your everyday life. When you hire a plumber to clean your drains, fix your water heater or install a water softener, you'd like the assurance of getting the job done right. While reading reviews and considering the company's years of experience can help, the first thing to look for is a plumbing license.
Only a handful of states — Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming — don’t assign plumbing licenses through the state. Alternatively, they depend on city and county agencies to supply oversight and licensing. While the exact requirements to get a plumbing license vary by region, you can rest knowing that hiring a licensed Expert is the best way to decrease the possibility of poor workmanship, deception and health problems.
Educational Criteria for Plumbers
This is 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 crucial skills plumbers use on a daily basis.
- Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations offer apprenticeship training that blend classroom learning with hands-on experience. These programs usually last four to five years, and apprentices earn wages throughout their training.
- Licensing exam: A participating state offers its own plumbing assessment, 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. Criteria to take the exam vary state-to-state and licensing level.
Types of Plumbing Licenses and Certifications
Plumbers can earn different licenses and certifications based on their knowledge 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: Some states only mandate plumbers to have a certificate to complete residential jobs with a modest scope of work. This is primarily an apprentice-level plumber working with an experienced supervisor.
- Journeyman plumber: Usually, plumbers may take the journeyman’s licensing exam after completing an apprenticeship and having the required years of hands-on experience.
- Master plumber: The criteria to take the master plumber’s licensing exam vary widely by location. Some states only demand 1 - 2 years 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 top level of professionalism and experience. Receiving ACE certification is more exhausive than typical plumber licensing and demands yearly recertification to keep technicians up-to-date with the most recent industry standards.
Perks of Hiring a Licensed Plumber
Using an unlicensed plumber for the job may be less expensive at first, but that’s where the benefits stop. Don’t risk it — only choose a licensed expert, no matter how simple or complex the job is, to ensure all the perks of professional experience:
- Excellent workmanship: Plumbing is not an easy field. Performing even the most straightforward jobs, like snaking a drain, needs specialized equipment and years of expertise. Because of the need to complete classroom education and hands-on training, you can be assured knowing that a licensed plumber will solve the problem.
- Liability insurance: Most states require plumbers to demonstrate proof of liability insurance as a condition of the licensing process. This keeps 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.
- Legitimate and code-compliant: Large plumbing jobs commonly have to have permits to ensure safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are regularly turned down the needed permits. If they go ahead with the job, you could face code violations and accompanying fees later on. Similarly, you could face legal issues if an unlicensed plumber damages the local waterways. Prevent these risks by only employing a licensed professional.
- Preserved health and safety: A qualified plumber adheres to the proper strategies for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and fuel lines. Years of hands-on experience are vital to minimize the risk of water pollution, sewer backups and gas leaks.
- Reliable services: Some plumbers don't have your best interest at heart. However, a fully licensed team is far less likely to attempt to swindle you than an unlicensed company. Besides, homeowners can file an official complaint with the state licensing board if they suspect deception, 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 Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we go above and beyond to offer 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 request an appointment for reliable plumbing services in your area, please contact a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office near you today!