The mission of the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) is to protect Texas citizens against the health and safety hazards that can result from improperly installed plumbing, gas, and medical gas systems. To achieve this goal, the TSBPE administers and enforces Chapter 1301 of the Texas Occupations Code (Plumbing License Law). The agency’s main functions can be separated into four categories: examination, licensing, enforcement, and administration. Although it is not required by statute, the TSBPE believes an education component is inherent in all but its administrative function. To that end, the agency strives to raise awareness among consumers, licensees and registrants, local governments, and other stakeholders in the plumbing industry regarding the requirements of the Plumbing License Law and rules adopted by the Board, and the dangerous conditions that can arise from improperly installed plumbing. Outreach efforts are also in place to educate individuals considering the plumbing profession as a career. Properly installed plumbing systems should not be taken for granted simply because we live in modern times. Rather, we must recognize that the reason plumbing-related accidents, illnesses, and injuries occur less often is due, in large part, to continued diligence in the regulation of the plumbing industry.
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The TSBPE’s examination function ensures that all those who hold a plumbing license or endorsement have met or exceeded minimum standards of competency and have the knowledge and experience needed to perform plumbing work properly. Both the examinations developed by the agency and its Exam Center are currently recognized nationwide as setting some of the highest standards for the plumbing industry. Most notable are the practical “shop” components of the exams for the Tradesman Plumber-Limited License, Journeyman License, and Medical Gas Piping Installation Endorsement.
The licensing function ensures that those working in the plumbing trade are staying current with changes in the plumbing codes, knowledgeable about technical advances in the industry, and improving their skill as plumbers through continuing education. The registration of Plumber’s Apprentices is vital to the growth of the industry because it provides a clear career path for obtaining a license.
Proactive enforcement of the Plumbing License Law, rules adopted by the Board, and plumbing codes protects both consumers and the plumbing industry. Identifying and penalizing individuals and companies offering or performing plumbing services without the proper license reduces the risk posed to consumers by improperly installed plumbing. Penalizing business owners, licensees, and registrants who fail to abide by the laws, rules, and ordinances regulating plumbing keeps industry standards high.
Administrative functions like purchasing and payroll are necessary to support the agency’s other key functions and keep the TSPBE operating effectively and efficiently.