How to Become a Plumber in New Hampshire


Plumbing is an occupation that requires you to repair, install and maintain pipes, fittings, and fixtures in various kinds of buildings, whether residential or commercial. This is a highly skilled and technical job that requires you to have a few achievements or requirements under your (tool) belt.

These kinds of requirements can equip you with formal education, practical skills as well as proper knowledge about the local laws, structures, buildings, and regulations so that you can have an easier time applying these when you start working as a plumber in New Hampshire.

These requirements can also put you on the path of giving your exam for the kind of license you want to obtain, following which you can earn your license once you pass the exam.

To obtain these qualifications and requirements, you will need to carry out a few steps that you can learn about in detail below.

Required Qualifications to Be a Plumber in New Hampshire

Becoming a plumber in New Hampshire requires you to obtain a license that can be of two main kinds that include:

  • Journeyman plumber license
  • Master plumber license

A journeyman license can allow you to work as a plumber under a master plumber while a master plumber license can let you work independently or as an employer to other apprentices and journeyman plumbers.

It is essential for you to have your apprenticeship or traineeship done and dusted before you can apply to obtain your journeyman plumber license. At each stage including both journeyman and master plumbing licenses, you will need to give and pass an exam while also submitting other relevant details to the licensing board.

These licenses and their processes are all managed and regulated by the New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification.

Overall, you should:

  • Be at least 16 (apprenticeship) or 18 (journeyman) years old.
  • Hold a high school diploma or GED.
  • Submit your application.
  • Pay all the relevant fees.
  • Give and pass your exams.
  • Complete 8,000 hours to obtain a journeyman license.
  • Hold your journeyman license for at least six months to become a master plumber.
  • Submit all the relevant documents.
  • Submit to a background check.

Make sure you meet the aforementioned criteria before you consider applying for a plumbing license. You will also need to keep renewing your license every two years with a fee and the completion of continuing education courses.

You can go through some of these requirements in further detail below.

Application Form

Filling out an application form can help move the process forward. The application form for a journeyman plumber and a master plumber is essentially the same, but you will need to clearly tick the role that you are applying for.

Within this form, details about your personal identity, your work experience, your qualifications, your education and details about your employer will be asked that you should fill out as honestly as possible since incorrect information will prevent you from obtaining a license.

You will also need to submit other mentioned documents and pay the fees ($190 for journeyman and $310 for master plumber) so that the licensing board can approve you to take the exam.

Once you fill out your application, you will need to print it out and mail it (along with the payment and attached documents) to the office of the licensing board in New Hampshire.

Background Check

Within your application form itself, there will be a couple of Yes/No questions whose responses you will need to tick accordingly. These questions pertain to your criminal history to ensure that you do not have any previous or ongoing charges against you, especially related to the plumbing industry.

In case you do, you should be honest and transparent about this in your application form. Based on this response, you will need to submit to a background check and provide additional details about your charges.

Then, based on the nature of your crime, your charges, the time period that has passed since then and how your record has been in the last few years, the board will figure out how to move forward with your application.

Severe crimes and ones related to the trade will be treated with additional caution and protocol.

Work Experience

Showing that you have the relevant work experience in place can move your application process along. Completing a stipulated number of hours is an important criterion so that you can go on to obtain a license and can also give you plenty of experience and skill.

The work experience that you need can depend on the kind of plumbing license you are applying for.

For instance, if you want to apply for a journeyman plumbing license, you will need to have completed 8,000 hours of experience as an apprentice to be eligible for the license.

These hours include your education and classes along with practical and on-field experience under a master plumber.

Once you obtain your journeyman plumber license, you should hold it for at least six months before you can apply for your master plumber license. This can then allow you to hire employees, oversee projects, work with other developers or work independently.

Written Exam

An exam is an essential part of the process of applying for a plumbing license. It is only once you pass this kind of exam with a given score that you can go on to obtain your license.

This written exam is mainly managed and administered by the New Hampshire Gasfitters Plumbing Exams or ProV. You can choose which testing organization to opt for, following which you should register with either of them and select the date and location of your exam.

You will need to opt for a physical test center since you cannot take this exam online under a proctor.

You should also score at least 70% in this exam to obtain your journeyman or master plumber license.

Relevant Documents

There might be several other relevant documents that you might need to submit such as your identification documents, fee documents, details about your employers, education certificates and any other documents that might be mentioned on your application.

Proof of insurance and a license bond are also essential if you want to become a master plumber and start your own plumbing business. Having these documents in place can protect you as well as your employees so that you can be accountable for their payments in case there is any kind of damage or violation or other such issues.

Good Plumbing Programs in New Hampshire

As an apprentice, a good plumbing program can make plenty of difference in terms of the experience that you manage to gain along with the quality of education. This can help train you for your exam as well as for your career.

Make sure the plumbing program you opt for meets all your requirements. Some options that you can consider include:

  • The New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades
  • Granite State Trade School
  • Advanced Trade School
  • UA Local Union 131
  • Manchester Community College

You can go through further details and find more approved institutes here.

Salary Expectations in the State

Depending on the amount of experience you have and the kind of license that you hold as well as other certifications that you may have earned, the salary that you can expect to earn is bound to vary.

Overall, however, you can expect to earn anywhere between $10 to $30 per hour, with the amount increasing as you continue to gain experience in the industry. Per year, this can amount to anywhere between $50,000 and $70,000 as a journeyman and master plumber.

Organizations to Know

There are several plumbing organizations in the state of New Hampshire as well as in the country that can help you be aware of certain codes and practices. They can also help you in case you need access to support and resources.

Some of these organizations include:

  • Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association of New Hampshire
  • Plumbers, Fuel Gas Fitters and HVAC Association of New Hampshire
  • National Inspection Testing and Certification
  • International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials
  • Associated General Contractors of America
  • Mechanical Contractors Association of America
  • American Backflow Prevention Association
  • American Supply Association
  • American Society of Sanitary Engineering
  • American Society of Plumbing Engineers

Can I Do My Own Plumbing in New Hampshire?

You need a license to do plumbing in New Hampshire. You can only do your own plumbing if you hold a master plumbing license but not as an apprentice or journeyman plumber.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Plumber in New Hampshire?

It can take around four or five years to become a journeyman plumber in New Hampshire since this is usually how long an apprenticeship lasts. You will then need at least six months if you want to become a master plumber.

Final Remarks

To sum up, becoming a plumber in New Hampshire requires you to complete your application, pass the exams with 70%, obtain sufficient work experience, pay the relevant fees and submit all the required documents.

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