Licensed Plumbers Pt. 2

Licensed Plumbers

Quick Facts About Licensed Plumbers

Here are some of the quick facts regarding plumbing licenses in the US and the advantages for demanding one in your home or office.

  • Forty-Four states require plumbing licenses on the state level.
  • Some municipalities require licenses locally which can make things pretty difficult for the plumber or plumbing contractor because he or she might need to be licensed for each city, town or county within their working area.
  • Most large municipalities like New York, Boston and Chicago require their plumbers to be licensed within the city. They do this because the plumbing infrastructure in a large city is different from that of a small town or rural area therefore the requirements tend to be different. As a matter of fact if you receive your plumbing license in the City of Chicago that license is reciprocal throughout the state of Illinois.
  • Some projects in both the home or commercial buildings can only be performed if a licensed plumber or plumbing contractor pulls the permit.
  • In most instances if a contractor is licensed they are also required to keep proper general liability insurance to cover any mistakes that result in damage to the home or commercial building.
  • Non-licensed plumbers and or contractors give their licensed counterparts a bad reputation. Non-licensed plumbing contractors may offer lower pricing but they are neither trained nor do they offer the same workmanship as the licensed contractor. These lower prices may lead the customer to think that all plumbing services are equal and are done by equals, this is not the case.

How do you obtain a plumbing license?

Licensed Plumbers

  • Most state websites have a direct link to their respective licensing boards so you can get instructions on obtaining a plumbing license. You may be able to apply right from the site.
  • Most states require a four year on the job training apprenticeship with a licensed plumbing contractor so finding a plumbing contractor willing to hire is essential. Some states require additional classroom training to accompany the on the job training.

You can’t find a plumbing contractor that will hire you but you want to get a head start once a position becomes available?

  • Inquire with your local community college, quite a few offer plumbing code and theory courses so you get familiar with the trade and it’s concepts.

What can you expect to learn if you decide plumbing is the profession for you?

  • Mathematics as they relate to the plumbing trade. Volume of a cylinder, flow rates, pitch, adding inches, offsets, etc.
  • Potable Water Distribution. Proper water pipe sizing. Proper installation of water piping in the ground, proper materials to be used and how those material are joined, effects of improper installation, cross connections etc.
  • Waste and sewage piping. Proper installation of sewage piping, how it’s sized, drainage fixture units, effects of improper installation, etc.
  • Plumbing Fixtures. What is a plumbing fixture or appliance, how are they connected to the waste and water supply? What are the different types of plumbing fixtures, parts of each fixture and how are they repaired, etc.
  • Plumbing Code. Quite a bit of this is covered in the previous topics but this class goes over specifics on code and how it is implemented.
  • Plan reading. How a do you read a plan that shows the drainage, water supply and fixture schedule in a home or building?
  • Safety. Most apprenticeship programs in every trade require a certain amount of time dedicated to safety training. All safety training in the US as they relate to apprenticeship programs will be in accordance with OSHA regulations.
  • Rigging and Hoisting. How do you take piping and equipment off of a truck safely, how do you hoist a 900lb storage tank off of a truck and get it safely into a building? What knot would be best in these situations?

A licensed plumber touches all of these topics and more during their 4 to 5 year trade education. The education is also ever expanding to include new technologies including, solar hot water, geothermal heat and cooling just to name a couple. As you can see the training and expertise of a licensed plumber is extensive and necessary when dealing with the health of the nation.


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