Is There a Difference in a Licensed Plumber?

What’s the Difference in a Licensed Plumber?

Why All the Fuss Over Whether or Not a Plumber Has a License?

I was asked by a friend of mine, ‘What’s the Difference in a Licensed Plumber and a non-Licensed Plumber?’ It’s actually very simple.

A person out there acting like a plumber and doing odd jobs and plumbing repairs that is not a licensed plumber, is performing work that they are NOT supposed to do, but many people either don’t know that…or don’t care.

What’s the Big Deal?

The biggest issue really comes down to qualifications. If a person really has the experience, knowledge and qualifications to do plumbing work, then they should immediately make an appointment and sit for the state exam at the next opportunity.

However, it’s very unlikely that they are truly qualified or they would have already had a license. It’s also very telling if they really don’t know the real differences in a “Journeyman License” and a “Master License”, or even that there is another designation that even fewer people know about or understand.

What Are the Differences in Types of Licenses and Why is It Important to Know?

The biggest differences revolve around experience. In the plumbing industry, there are classifications of experience that are based on the amount of time a person has spent in the trade as well as the testing required to move to the next level.

These classifications are as follows:

  • Apprentice Plumber
    • at least 18 years of age,
    • high school diploma or equivalence,
    • no felony convictions,
    • provide proof that you will be working under a licensed plumber,
    • provide proof of enrollment in a recognized plumber apprenticeship program,
    • pass the Apprentice-Level Exam (including basic math understanding), and
    • have current applications on file and pay all fees.
  • Journeyman Plumber License
    • Provide proof of completed work in the industry as an Apprentice Plumber under a licensed Journeyman or Master Plumber for the required number of years; this can vary between 2 to 5 years based on the state requirements,
    • hold a current and in good-standing Apprentice Plumber License,
    • pass the Journeyman-Level Exam, and
    • pay all license renewal fees annually.
  • Master Plumber License
    • hold a current and in good-standing Journeyman Plumber License, and
    • pass the Master-Level Exam, and
    • pay all license renewal fees annually.
  • Required Continuing Education
    • to maintain your Journeyman or Master license, you are required to take part in continuing education. This process can also vary by state requirements, but usually consists of obtaining a minimum number of hours of board-approved classroom instruction (typically in course or seminar format) per year, and
    • pay all license renewal fees annually.

As you can tell, there IS a difference in experience and knowledge between a licensed plumber and an unlicensed handyman. In addition, there are some differences in what a Journeyman Plumber can do and a Master Plumber.

The biggest differences are:

  • Only a Master Plumber is allowed to pull a building permit from a City Building Department (this would include a permit necessary to install or change out a water heater).
  • Only a Master Plumber is authorized to own and/or operate a plumbing business.

Hopefully, you now better understand the differences and the reason for them. Your family and your home’s safety is important to us all.

Our next article will provide some additional information to be aware of and to be looking for when a plumber shows up for a service call at your house or you receive advertisements about plumbing services.

The Professionals

Give us a call if you have a question. Expect our service team to be professional and courteous, to always make sure your questions are answered, do the highest quality work, and will be a licensed plumber.

Leak Geeks Plumbing provides conventional gas-fired or electric water heaters, tankless water heaters and plumbing services in the DFW and the surrounding areas for all types of plumbing repairs or new installations. For more information on water heaters and plumbing services by Leak Geeks Plumbing, check out other articles, connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn.

Call us today at (817) 500-9767!licensed plumber

Only a licensed plumber will show up at your home.