What is a Master Plumber and Why Should You Hire One?
Not all plumbers are created equal. Heck, some of them aren’t even plumbers – they’re handymen who have learned a few things along the way. A master plumber may not need a college degree, but there is a lot of studying, classroom instruction and on the job training involved before becoming a master plumber. It takes many years to become a master plumber. There are several steps along the way:
Apprentice Plumbers / Gas Fitters
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, apprentice plumbers may begin their careers as plumber’s helpers, but most enter an apprenticeship program offered by a business or trade union. Apprentices must typically be 16 years of age or older. Apprenticeships are registered and monitored by the state. The apprentice plumber may be the younger person who arrives with the plumber, and helps with the heavy lifting, cleanup, tool selection, etc. An apprentice has voluntarily entered into a written employment agreement with the sponsoring plumber to learn the trade. Under law, a plumber’s apprentice may not perform work alone, and must be under the direct supervision of a Master or Journey level licensed plumber. To advance to a journey level plumber, the apprentice must put in a required number of hours and pass one or more exams.
Journey Level Plumbers / Gas Fitters
The experience requirements for a journeyman plumber’s license vary by state, but in Maryland, apprenticeships last at least 4 years. After getting the required classroom and on the 7500 hours of on the job experience while training with a licensed master plumber, plumbers may apply for a journeyman’s license. Journeyman plumber candidates must also pass a comprehensive written exam to demonstrate knowledge of local codes as well as general plumbing knowledge. The applicant must also complete 32 hours of backflow prevention device testing.
After working as a journeyman plumber for at least two years and completing 3700 hours of training with a master plumber, a journeyman plumber in Maryland can apply for a master plumber’s license. The application process involves passing a comprehensive written examination to demonstrate knowledge and proficiency of plumbing methods, codes and more. The Master Plumber must carry liability insurance covering both bodily injury and property damage.
In Maryland, it is illegal to provide plumbing or gas services without a license issued by the Maryland Board of Plumbing So that unlicensed handyman may save you a few bucks, but they are breaking the law, and you have no guarantee their work is up to code and you may be responsible for covering their medical bills if they are injured at your home or business. Why take that risk? Hire a master plumber.
Master Plumber Chris Larichiuta is licensed, bonded and insured, for your protection, and offers one of the longest warranties in the business. Call Five Star Plumbing today at 410-836-0118 for all of your plumbing repairs and plumbing installation needs. We serve the greater Baltimore area, including Baltimore County, Harford County, Cecil County and Howard County.