Licensing Guides

New Hampshire Plumbing License: How to Become a Plumber in New Hampshire

category-iconPlumbing, NH

Table of Contents
  1. License Requirements for Plumbing Professionals

  2. New Hampshire Plumbing License Types and Requirements

  3. National Plumbing Certifications

  4. How Long Does it Take to Get a Plumbing License?

  5. What is the Mean Salary for a Plumber?

  6. New Hampshire Training Programs and Trade Schools

  7. New Hampshire Plumber Apprenticeship Programs

  8. Does My Plumbing License Work in Any Other States? 

As with other skilled trades, most states require training and licensure before you can legally install, repair, and maintain plumbing systems. While the plumbing trade has been around since the 1800s, today’s plumbers must have a wide range of skills to work in residential and commercial settings. Depending on the nature of the job, plumbers often work alongside electricians, HVAC techs, general contractors and other professionals in the construction industry.

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Learning the art of plumbing takes years, but once you complete the necessary training, your skills will be in high demand across New Hampshire and beyond.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), there are roughly 469,900 plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters nationwide, and 1,730 work in New Hampshire. The BLS predicts employment to grow 5% by 2030 nationwide, and that growth rate is expected to be even higher in New Hampshire — projected at 13%, according to CareerOneStop, the U.S. Department of Labor’s job search website.

Licensing requirements for plumbing workers vary widely from state to state. In New Hampshire, plumbing candidates can pursue Apprentice Plumber, Journeyman Plumber, and Master Plumber contractor licenses. Read on to learn more about becoming a licensed plumber in the Granite State.

License Requirements for Plumbing Professionals in New Hampshire

Is a license required to perform plumbing work in New Hampshire? Yes. In New Hampshire, a person must be a Master Plumber in order to be in business and/or can act in the capacity of a Journeyman Plumber without a second license.

New Hampshire Plumbing License Types and Requirements

The New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification (OPLC) is responsible for issuing mechanical licensing (including plumbing licenses). As of July 2021, the Mechanical Safety and Licensing Board transferred from the Department of Safety to the Office of Professional Licensure and Certification (OPLC). 

New Hampshire offers three plumbing license types:

  1. Apprentice Plumber

  2. Journeyman Plumber 

  3. Master Plumber

New Hampshire Apprentice Plumber Requirements  

To eventually work as a licensed Journeyman Plumber or Master Plumber in New Hampshire, you must first fulfill Apprentice Plumber requirements

Working as an Apprentice Plumber provides practical work experience in a training program while earning an income. To obtain an apprentice registration license or trainee registration license in New Hampshire, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old

  • Have a high school diploma or GED

  • Be a U.S. citizen or hold permanent resident status

Candidates can pursue an Apprentice Plumber license via a trade school or by working under the supervision of a Journeyman Plumber or Master Plumber.  

To start the process, candidates need to apply directly to a company or sponsor that offers plumbing apprentice programs, and then register the apprentice agreement letter with the Mechanical Safety and Licensing Board to obtain an apprentice identification card. All candidates must pay an initial apprentice registration fee of $90. Identification cards must be carried at all times while on the job, and they expire on the last day of the month of the apprentice's birth. 

After completing a minimum of four years of on-the-job training under the supervision of a licensed Master Plumber or Journeyman Plumber, apprentices must pass an exam to receive their apprentice license. 

In New Hampshire, plumbing apprentice candidates may also take the First Year Bypass Test, an electronic exam with 100 multiple-choice questions. A passing grade of 70 percent is required to bypass the first year of apprenticeship-related instruction. Applicants must be at least 16 years of age and eligible for an apprenticeship card at the time of test.

All registered apprentices must demonstrate a minimum total of 6,000 hours (3 years of full-time employment) of on-the-job learning to successfully complete the registered apprenticeship program. They then become eligible to apply for a Journeyman license.

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New Hampshire Journeyman Plumber License

To take plumbing exams and apply for a Journeyman Plumber License in New Hampshire, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old.

  • Complete a four-year apprenticeship program in plumbing (8,000 hours) and obtain an apprenticeship completion certificate from a qualifying plumbing apprentice program.

  • Demonstrate proof of plumbing licensure from another state (if applicable).

  • Submit an application to the Mechanical Safety and Licensing Board, or mail the application to:

Mechanical Safety and Licensing Section Division of Fire SafetyNew Hampshire Department of Safety110 Smokey Bear BoulevardConcord, NH 03305

  • Pay a $190 initial application fee, and register for the journeyman exam.

  • Two testing organizations are approved by the New Hampshire Mechanical Safety & Licensing Board:

  • Journeyman Plumber licenses require biennial renewal and payment of $180 fee.

  • Additionally, Journeyman Plumbers must complete a minimum of three hours per year of continuing education required for license renewal, totaling six hours of specified training for each two-year licensing cycle. 

New Hampshire Master Plumber License 

After meeting state board requirements for both the Apprentice Plumber and Journeyman Plumber programs, qualified applicants can apply to become a licensed Master Plumber. In New Hampshire, a person must be a Licensed Master Plumber to operate a plumbing business, and/or act in the capacity of a Journeyman Plumber without a second license.  

The requirements to become a Master Plumber in New Hampshire are as follows: 

  • Must be at least 18 years of age.

  • Hold a Journeyman Plumber’s license for at least six months.

  • Submit an application for Master Plumber professional licensing to the Mechanical Safety and Licensing Board, or mail the application to:

Mechanical Safety and Licensing Section Division of Fire SafetyNew Hampshire Department of Safety110 Smokey Bear BoulevardConcord, NH 03305

  • Pay a $310 initial application fee, and register for the Master Plumbing Contractor License exam.

  • Two testing organizations are approved by the New Hampshire Mechanical Safety & Licensing Board:

  • Licensed Master Plumbers require biennial renewal and payment of $300 fee.

  • Additionally, Master Plumbers must complete a minimum of three hours per year of continuing education required for license renewal, totaling six hours of specified training for each two-year licensing cycle. 

National Plumbing Certifications

As a plumbing contractor, you can seek other certifications as you gain years of experience in the plumbing industry. These certifications can help demonstrate your proficiency in water distribution, venting, plumbing codes, and more to potential employers and clients. The National Inspection Testing and Certification (NITC), International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (ASSE Certifications) and other professional certifications can add to your marketability and increase your opportunity to make more money.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Plumbing License in New Hampshire? 

You can become an Apprentice Plumber after enrolling in an accredited trade school and/or working with a licensed Master Plumber and applying for an Apprentice Plumber license. It takes at least four years to become a Journeyman Plumber after fulfilling the Apprentice Plumber requirements. After six months of working as a licensed Journeyman Plumber, you can apply to become a Master Plumber. 

What is the Mean Salary for a Plumber in New Hampshire? 

The annual mean salary for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters in New Hampshire is $54,960, according to the BLS. And, according to ZipRecruiter.com, the average salaries for plumbing professionals in New Hampshire increase with practical experience and training.

  • Plumbing Apprentice: The average base salary for an apprentice in Manchester, New Hampshire is $36,812

  • Journeyman Plumber: The average base salary for a journeyman in Manchester, New Hampshire is $54,054.

  • Master Plumber: The average base salary for a master plumber in Manchester, New Hampshire is $59,981.

Salary ranges can vary widely depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and real-world experience.

New Hampshire Training Programs and Trade Schools 

New Hampshire Plumber Apprenticeship Programs

Contact the U.S. Department of Labor, Education and Training Office of Apprenticeship-NH for information on accredited apprenticeship programs at (603) 225-1446 or (603) 225-1444, or visit the state apprenticeship website for more information.

Does My New Hampshire Plumbing License Work in Any Other States? 

In general, New Hampshire does not allow reciprocity with other states. However, a contractor with an out-of-state license, with proof of licensure and/or certification, is eligible to take the licensing exam in New Hampshire.

Additional Resources for New Hampshire Plumbers

You can stay up to date on all plumbing industry news several ways:

Listen to top plumbing podcasts like ServiceTitan’s “Toolbox for the Trades.”

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