Why Do Plumbers Need a License in Most Provinces?

Plumbing is an important part of your day-to-day 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 a job well done. While reading reviews and evaluating the company’s reputation can help, the # 1 thing to look for is a plumbing license.

Only six provinces — Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming — don’t assign plumbing licenses through the province. Alternatively, they use city and county governments to offer oversight and licensing. While the actual requirements to get a plumbing license vary by region, you can be certain that hiring a licensed professional is the ideal way to reduce the risk of poor workmanship, scams and health issues.

Educational Criteria for Plumbers

Here’s what it takes to become a licensed plumber:

    • Education: Numerous vocational schools and community colleges offer plumbing certificates or degrees. In most scenarios, the training covers all the essential skills plumbers use on a daily basis.
    • Apprenticeship: Both union and non-union organizations offer apprenticeship courses that blend classroom learning with practical experience. These programs typically last four to five years, and apprentices earn wages during the course of their training.
    • Licensing exam: Each province offers its own plumbing assessment, which candidates must pass to acquire a license. The subject areas 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 necessary in every province, but the most typical plumbing licenses and certifications include:

    • Plumbing certificate: Certain provinces only require plumbers to have a certificate to work on residential jobs with a limited scope of work. This is ultimately an apprentice-level plumber working with supervision.
    • Journeyman plumber: In most provinces, plumbers can take the journeyman’s licensing exam after finishing an apprenticeship and having four years of hands-on experience.
    • Master plumber: The prerequisites to be considered for the master plumber’s licensing exam vary greatly by location. Some places only expect 12 to 24 months working as a journeyman plumber, while others call for four or five years of journeyman experience.
    • ACE certification: Training to be an Advanced Certified Expert demonstrates the highest level of professionalism and working experience. Receiving ACE certification is more rigorous than typical plumber licensing and requires annual recertification to guarantee that techs are up-to-date with the latest industry standards.

Advantages of Hiring a Licensed Plumber

Selecting an unlicensed plumber for the job could be cheaper initially, but that’s where the benefits end. 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:

    • Awesome workmanship: Plumbing is not as simple as you might think. Performing even the most clear-cut tasks, like snaking a drain, requires 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: A good number of provinces require plumbers to show proof of liability insurance as one component of the licensing process. This protects you, the homeowner, from being left responsible for property damage or an injury on-site if a plumber has an accident while working in your home.
    • Legal and code-compliant: Major plumbing jobs frequently need to have permits to guarantee safety and legality. Unlicensed plumbers are typically refused the necessary permits. If they proceed with the job, you could confront code violations and fines later on. Furthermore, you might face legal consequences if an unlicensed plumber impairs the local waterways. Prevent these risks by only employing a licensed professional.
    • Preserved health and safety: A certified plumber understands the proper strategies for working on water supply lines, sewer pipes and natural gas lines. Years of hands-on experience are necessary to reduce the risk of water contamination, sewer backups and gas leaks.
    • Legitimate services: Not all plumbers have your best interest at heart. However, a fully licensed team is significantly less likely to try to scam you than an unlicensed company. In the end, homeowners can file an official complaint with the province licensing board if they suspect fraud, 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 Winnipeg Supply Service Experts, we go above and beyond to deliver the best plumbing services to our customers 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 Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office near you today!

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