New Mexico Plumbing License: How to Become a Plumber in New Mexico
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Other Requirements Unique to New Mexico
As with other skilled trades, most states require training and professional licensing before you can legally install, repair, and maintain plumbing systems. While the plumbing trade has been around since the 1800s, today’s plumbers need 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.
Learning the art of plumbing takes years, but once you complete the necessary training, your skills will be in high demand across New Mexico and beyond.
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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), there are roughly 469,000 plumbers, pipefitters, and gasfitters nationwide, and 3,120 work in New Mexico. The BLS predicts employment to grow 2% from 2021 to 2031 nationwide, and that growth rate is expected to be much higher in New Mexico — projected at 11%, according to CareerOneStop, the U.S. Department of Labor’s job search website for plumbers, pipefitters, and gasfitters and their helpers.
Many contractors nationwide are trying to find skilled tradesmen. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 2022 AGC-Autodesk Workforce Survey, 93% of firms in the U.S. had unfilled hourly craft positions like plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians. So, if you get the training you need you will have a lot of jobs to choose from when you’re ready.
Plumbing license requirements vary from state to state and in some cases from municipality to municipality. Read on to learn more about becoming a licensed plumber in the "Land of Enchantment."
New Mexico Plumbing License Types and Requirements
Is a license required for plumbing professionals in New Mexico? Yes.
New Mexico requires a state-issued license for journeyman plumbers and plumbing contractors. Unlike many other states, New Mexico doesn’t offer a master plumber license. Plumbing professionals who own their own plumbing business need to obtain the plumbing contractor license.
Who Issues Plumbing Licenses in New Mexico?
The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department Construction Industries Division is responsible for issuing plumbing licenses.
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New Mexico Journeyman Plumber License
After getting the required 4,000 hours of work experience, which typically takes about two years, working under the supervision of a licensed journeyman plumber, candidates need to seek approval from PSI Exams to take the journeyman licensing exam. Candidates must fill out an application and submit the signed affidavit documenting their work experience and classroom training.
After approval, candidates may register online for the New Mexico Journeyman Licensing Exam or in person at a PSI examination center in Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Farmington, Albuquerque, or Roswell. The exam includes both written and practical sections, and candidates need to pay a combined $137.76 examination fee.
The written exam consists of 70 questions and candidates must score 75% or higher to pass. Permitted reference materials during the examination include the New Mexico Plumbing Code, Uniform Plumbing Code, the New Mexico Mechanical Code, and IPT’s Pipe Trades Handbook.
The written portion of the New Mexico Journeyman Plumbing Exam covers the following topics:
Drainage Waste and Vents
Water Supply Systems
Storm Drainage Systems
Plumbing Fixtures, Including Water
General Knowledge and General Regulations
Interceptors and Traps
Septic and Sewer
The practical exam consists of 50 questions, and candidates must score 75% or higher to pass. Permitted reference materials during the examination include the New Mexico Plumbing Code, Uniform Plumbing Code, the New Mexico Mechanical Code, and IPT’s Pipe Trades Handbook.
The practical exam covers the following topics:
Copper/PEX Water Piping Assembly
Properly solder copper piping and fittings
Properly assemble PEX and PEX fittings
Air test assembly
Assembly of tub drain
Water test of tub drain
Washer Box Assembly
Overall assembly of project
Island Vent Assembly
Measure, cut, and ream piping
Correct use of fittings
Drainage Pipe Project
Measure and calculate minimum rise
Set drain to minimum rise
After passing the journeyman exam, candidates must submit the journeyman license application to PSI and pay a $75 application fee.
Note: Journeyman plumbers in New Mexico need to demonstrate 16 hours of approved continuing education course work every three years to keep licenses active. Use this form to submit continuing education hours.
New Mexico Plumbing Contractor License
New Mexico plumbers who wish to run their own business also need to obtain a contractor license from the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department, Construction Industries Division. The New Mexico classification for plumbing contractors is referred to as MM-1.
To obtain the New Mexico Contractor License, business owners need to hold a journeyman license or employ at least one licensed journeyman plumber to act as the qualifying party for the business. Additionally, candidates need to pass the contractor exam administered through PSI — both a law exam and trade exam — and fulfill multiple other requirements. Click here for more details on obtaining a New Mexico Contractor License.
National Plumbing Certifications
Other certifications can help you demonstrate your proficiency to potential employers and clients. The National Inspection Testing and Certification (NITC), International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (American Society of Sanitary Engineers, or 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 Mexico?
In New Mexico, it takes two years of on-the-job experience to earn a journeyman plumber license. After working for an additional two years as a licensed journeyman and meeting several other criteria, candidates become eligible to apply for a contractor license.
What Is the Mean Salary for a Plumber in New Mexico?
The annual mean salary for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters in New Mexico is $50,150 according to the BLS. And, according to Indeed.com, the average salaries for plumbing professionals in New Mexico increase with experience and training.
Apprentice: The average salary for an apprentice plumber is $16.03 per hour in New Mexico and $5,500 overtime per year.
Journeyman: The average salary for a journeyman plumber is $26.39 per hour in New Mexico and $6,750 overtime per year.
Plumber salaries can vary widely depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and years of experience.
What Business Owners Need to Know
Getting the most out of a plumbing technician, no matter where they are in their licensing journey, takes work. ServiceTitan’s cloud-based, all-in-one plumbing software gives technicians and business owners the technology they need to do the work efficiently, and the data they need to do it smartly.
SMS communications that keep customers informed about the technician’s visit.
Location-specific service history, including recorded calls, accessible from the mobile app.
Required forms that ensure every job is done right, driving consistency.
The ability to build multi-option proposals with photos, on-site, in minutes.
Sales presentations that make conversations with customers easier and drive average ticket.
Mobile payment acceptance, eliminating lost checks and increasing cash flow.
To learn more, schedule a demo with a product expert today.
New Mexico Plumbing Training Programs and Trade Schools
New Mexico offers a wide variety of training opportunities across the state, including private companies, trade schools, and community colleges that offer plumbing programs and apprenticeships.
Some of the top training opportunities include:
Does My New Mexico Plumbing License Work in Any Other States?
No, while New Mexico allows reciprocity for electrical and a few other trades, the state currently doesn’t permit plumbing licenses from out of state.
Other Requirements Unique to New Mexico
To keep your state-issued license current, New Mexico requires you to renew it before it expires every three years. The fee for an active timely renewal is $75.
Journeyman plumbers in New Mexico need to demonstrate 16 hours of approved continuing education course work every three years to keep licenses active.
Additional Resources for New Mexico Plumbers
You can stay up to date on all plumbing industry news several ways: