Being Licensed in the Trades is a critical matter that is the law in most states. If you intend to perform work in the trades, especially if you intend to be paid for that work, it is critical that you are currently licensed in your state or territory. States require licenses to perform most work, and you could be subject to hefty fines and penalties for performing unlicensed work. If that is not enough to convince you to obtain a license before performing trade work, check out the following benefits of licensure.
Being Licensed ensures the safety of yourself, anyone working for or with you, the homeowner, and any other parties in the vicinity. Licensed trade professionals must know all relevant state and city codes, as well as all safety codes that apply. To maintain a license, trade professionals must keep current on any updates to the codes. Many licensed trade professionals must also pass a criminal background check. This ensures the safety of everyone involved in the project.
Being Licensed allows trade professionals to perform more work. Most jurisdictions will not allow you to pull a permit unless you are a licensed trade professional or the homeowner- and if you pull the permit as a homeowner, you must do all the work by yourself, without any help (even if it is a free help). Further, insurance and inspections require licensed work. If someone is selling their home and having it inspected, submitting a claim to their homeowner’s insurance, or otherwise having the work performed inspected by an authority, the work must be performed by a licensed trade professional. Thus, obtaining a license opens the door to many more work opportunities that are available to an unlicensed trade professional.
Being Licensed also affords you a higher earning potential. Licensure allows you to charge more for your services because customers are confident of your skills. More job opportunities are available for licensed trade professionals than unlicensed trade professionals. If working for a company, licensed trade professionals will earn a higher rate of pay than unlicensed professionals- for example, apprentice plumber wages are typically about half of a journeyman plumber’s wages, and a master plumber makes even more than that. If you want to start your own company and potentially earn even more money, licensure is essential. Many trade professionals would like to take work on their own or start their own business, but if they are unlicensed, if they can perform any work, they must work under someone licensed.
Even when being Licensed is not mandatory, customers would simply rather hire a licensed trade professional than an unlicensed one. In addition to assurances conveyed by the license regarding safety and quality of work, licensed trade professionals must carry insurance and can be held legally liable for the quality of their work. As scary as that sounds, it also leads to more work and more money for the licensed trade professional. Licensed trade professionals must carry workers compensation insurance for any employees working with them on the job, which protects both you and the homeowner for which the work is being performed.
Being Licensed also protects you. As mentioned above, licensure requires possession of certain insurances that protect you if an accident occurs on the job or if you incur liability as the result of work performed. If you are unlicensed and sued for work performed, or work per
formed leads to injury, you are starting out in a hole that you must dig yourself out of. If you claim you are licensed when you are not, you are committing fraud, and if you perform work for which a license is required and you do not possess the license, you are in big trouble as well.
Finally, being Licensed does actually lead to better work. Licensure requires many hours of classroom education and several years of work experience under licensed trade professionals. This ensures that the quality of your work is at least up to current standards- a guarantee you won’t get without licensure. If you are unlicensed and lacking certain knowledge, it can cause further damage to the thing you are attempting to repair.
In sum, if you want to work as a trade professional, get a license. It’s better for everyone. PHCEid provides the necessary “Service Marks” for professional contractors to affix to their vehicles, business locations, stationary, websites and other items in order to display their License to the general public. For more information contact PHCEid at [email protected] today! Don’t be seen without it!