Here’s Why You Should Always Check If Your Plumber Is Licensed Before Hiring Them

Bry'Ana Arvie
Written by Bry'Ana Arvie
Updated October 12, 2021
Overhead view of a plumber fixing a kitchen sink
Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Hiring a licensed plumber with experience and insurance is well worth the added peace of mind

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A fully functioning plumbing system is one of those background necessities you don’t appreciate until something breaks or it stops working. When this happens, most homeowners try to save money by hiring someone they know who is “pretty good with a snake drain” but isn’t anywhere near a licensed plumber

Unfortunately, hiring an unlicensed plumber is more costly and risky than the alternative. So, why not take a few extra moments to hire the most experienced and knowledgeable pro for the job? Here’s why having a licensed plumber is important and how to check if they are. 

Why Should I Hire a Licensed Plumber?

You might be tempted to hire your neighbor or family member familiar with plumbing to save a few bucks, but that’s not always the best choice. Here are a few very important reasons why your plumber should be licensed.

More Training and Experience

Truthfully, you don’t need a license to have experience in plumbing. But it can be tough to know for sure whether your plumber has the necessary training and expertise to solve your problem without one.

Some states require thousands of hours of training as an apprentice before earning your license. And nearly all states (44 of them) require the completion of specialized exams. When your plumber is licensed, you can be confident that they have the necessary certifications, training, and experience to help you. 

They Are Familiar With Building Codes

Building codes are there for a reason—your safety and protection. A licensed plumber stays up-to-date on all building codes to ensure your home is a safe place for you and your family. 

You’re Protected by Insurance and Bonds

Both you and your plumber would be covered in the unfortunate event of damages to your property or injuries sustained on the job. If your contractor is also bonded, that’s even better. These insurances guarantee you financial protection should the plumber deliver problematic work (though, we sincerely hope they do not). 

It Can Be More Cost-Effective

Plumbers without a state license might save you a few bucks at first, but they can cost you tremendously in the long run should you need to double back and fix their mistakes.

A licensed pro, on the other hand, can perform a more detailed inspection and be more proactive in spotting preventative maintenance items. That way, you can avoid any unseen and costly problems in the future, like having to rush an emergency plumber to your home to repair a burst pipe.

How to Check If Your Plumber Is Licensed

Close-up of a plumber’s hands in gloves fixing a sink pipe
A stockphoto/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Here are a few ways to verify if your plumbing contractor is truly qualified to work on your home. 


Yes, one of the fastest ways to find out if your plumber is licensed is to ask them if they’re qualified. Since most plumbers carry their state license with them, they shouldn’t have any problem showing you.  

If a contractor refuses to share it, then you should consider hiring a different plumber, as this is a definite red flag. Ask your friends and family for plumber recommendations and always read their reviews before signing a contract. 

Search Their Website

Their website is another place you can search for a plumber’s license, as well as their qualifications and testimonials. If they display recent certifications as well, then it’s a good indicator they’re licensed and up-to-date on their training. 

A website or social media page is common these days, but don’t take a lack of web presence to mean they are not licensed. 

Contact Your State’s License Board

You can verify that your plumber is licensed (or confirm their license is active) through your state’s license board. Here, you can browse a list of all currently licensed plumbers by searching their name, license number, and city or town they’re licensed in. 

Quickly access your state’s online records by using the Angi licensing tool. Simply select the state you live in and your contractor's trade or profession to the website you need to verify credentials.

Is a Business License the Same as a Plumbing License?

A plumbing license is not the same as a business license. All businesses must have a business license in the jurisdiction where they operate, but this does not certify that the contractor can work as a licensed plumber. Ask to see copies of both business license and plumbing license before making a hiring decision.

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