How to Become a Plumber in New Jersey


Once you become a plumber in a certain state, you will need to be responsible for carrying out repairs, installations and maintenance of pipes and fixtures of all kinds of sizes and requirements for various buildings.

To do this successfully, it is important for you to have a few qualifications that can allow you to give a formal exam and pass an exam to obtain your license. It is only with this license that you can start working as a plumber in the state of New Jersey.

There are various kinds and levels of licenses that you can apply for. The process towards obtaining these will help you obtain knowledge, skills, and awareness about local laws and regulations.

Make sure you are aware of each step of the process. To find out more, you can go through the following sections and begin your application.

Required Qualifications to Be a Plumber in New Jersey

To become a plumber in New Jersey, the only official license that you need is that of a master plumber. However, it is still important to ensure that you register yourself with the licensing board as an apprentice or as a journeyman plumber by submitting an application and paying the fees.

The only difference here is that you do not need to give the exam to be able to count as a journeyman plumber.

As an apprentice and journeyman plumber, you will need to work under a master plumber. As a master plumber, you can employ other people, start your business, oversee projects and work independently depending on your preferences and requirements.

This plumbing license is managed and regulated by the State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. It is also important for you to register yourself with this division and board once you complete your apprenticeship or journeyman plumbing requirements.

There are various requirements that you will need to fulfill in order to become a plumber in the state. Overall, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Hold a relevant bachelor’s degree or another such degree of four years.
  • Pay a $50 application fee.
  • Fill and submit the application.
  • Complete at least five years of work experience, with four years as an apprentice and one year as a journeyman plumber.
  • Complete a work experience certification as a journeyman and master plumber.
  • Give and pass the master plumbing exam.
  • Submit all the relevant documents.
  • Submit to a background check (if required).
  • Have the insurance proof and license bond in place.

It is important for you to meet these criteria to become eligible for a master plumber license. You can go through some of these in further detail below.

Application Form

The application form is the first formal step in this process, although you will need to have completed certain qualifications by the time you fill out this application form so that you can move on to become a licensed plumber in New Jersey.

Although you will not need a license to become a journeyman plumber, you will still need to fill out a separate application form to register as one and record your work experience.

In this application form, you should ensure that you go through all the details asked of you before you start filling it out. This can help you gather all the documents so that you can have everything at hand and can fill everything out accurately.

You will need to fill out your personal details, work experience details, employer history and education levels while also answering any other questions mentioned in the form.

Paying the fees should also be done at this stage. You can then submit the form online using the online portal.

Background Check

All states require you to provide information about your criminal history so that they can ascertain how fit you are for the industry. You should state this information clearly and honestly in your application form so that the board can make a fair evaluation.

If you do have any previous criminal charges, you will need to fill out a separate form detailing the essentials of these charges such as when it was, what it was, what charges you had to face and what your record has been like since then.

The board will then take this information into account and go on to ask for further information and then make a decision about your application.

Work Experience

Having the relevant work experience is important so that you can become aware of the ins and outs of the trade while also obtaining the skills needed to advance your career as a plumber in New Jersey.

The kind and amount of work experience you need can depend on what level of plumber you are registering or applying for. For instance:

  • As a journeyman plumber, you should have completed at least four years of education and training as an apprentice.
  • As a master plumber, you should have a total of five years’ work experience. Of these, one year should be as a journeyman plumber.

Written Exam

In New Jersey, you only need to give an exam while applying for your master plumber license. You do not need to give an exam if you are only applying or registering to become a journeyman plumber.

There are several kinds of exams involved if you want to become a master plumber. These include the written and practical exams to become a master plumber as well as exams related to the law and business to ensure that you are aware of the laws, regulations and codes.

You must obtain at least 70% to pass in each of these exams so that you can then go on to get your license.

You can register and take these through PSI Exams.

Relevant Documents

You will also need to submit several other documents to become a plumber in New Jersey. These can include:

  • Work experience certification detailing information about your employers
  • Documents about your fee payments
  • Education certificates
  • Government-issued identification
  • Proof of insurance and tax liability details to account for damage or liabilities
  • License bond of $3,000

Before you submit your application, make sure you confirm the list of documents that you need, including the ones mentioned in the previous sections. Attach scans or copies of these and submit/upload them to the right place to ensure that the review process goes smoothly.

Good Plumbing Programs in New Jersey

It is important to find a good plumbing program to equip you with the skills, knowledge and experience when it comes to becoming a plumber in the state. This can also help you prepare for your exam and licensure process.

You must find a plumbing program that meets your needs. Some great options for you to consider include:

  • UA Local 9
  • Eastwick Education
  • Ocean County Vocational Technical School
  • Lincoln Technical Institute

You can also go through some options through the government’s Office of Apprenticeship so that you can know what to look for and expect.

Salary Expectations in the State

The salary that you can earn as a plumber in New Jersey can depend on the kind of experience and skills that you hold as well as some other factors like your education and certifications.

The amount you will earn will increase as you go on gaining experience. A master plumber is likely to earn more due to the level of experience and license. This can be around $60,000-$75,000.

Journeyman plumbers are likely to earn around $50,000 while apprentices can expect to earn up to $15 per hour.

Organizations to Know

There are several organizations in New Jersey and the country that can help and support you with aid and resources. These can also make you aware of codes, practices, regulations, and more. Some of these include:

  • Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association of New Jersey
  • New Jersey State League of Master Plumbers
  • United Association Plumbers
  • New Jersey Council of Master Plumbers Inc.
  • 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

Do I Need a License to Do Plumbing in New Jersey?

You do not need a license to do plumbing in New Jersey since you can become a journeyman plumber without a license. You will, however, still need to apply and register for this through a formal procedure.

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

It can take around five years to become a master plumber in New Jersey. This includes four years of apprenticeship and a year as a journeyman plumber. It might also take more depending on your context.

Final Remarks

Through this guide, it is now clear that you will need to fulfill certain criteria to obtain a master plumber license in New Jersey, although you can still become a journeyman plumber without a license. You can then start looking for relevant jobs in the trade.

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