Every state in the U.S. has requirements for individuals wishing to become contractors. While general contractors have their own set of regulations, each specialization can have their own requirements. For individuals hoping to become plumbers in New Mexico, these include an apprenticeship program and becoming a journeyman before being eligible to work as a plumbing contractor.
What is involved in each stage? In this guide, you’ll find the information needed to plot your path forward as a plumbing contractor in the Land of Enchantment.
New Mexico Journeyman Plumber License Requirements
Are you ready to get started on the path to becoming a plumbing contractor? Know upfront that becoming a licensed journeyman plumber in New Mexico can take a couple of years and requires some basic fees, including a license application charge of $30 and an annual license renewal charge of $50. Further, seeking out the professional development needed to succeed as a new plumbing contractor can accrue some additional costs.
Those looking to become a journeyman must first complete an apprenticeship, including fieldwork — you can learn more about how to become an apprentice below. Afterward, you must take the plumbing journeyman exam.
Plumbing Journeyman Exam
In order to apply to take the journeyman exam, you must acquire an affidavit from the plumber you worked under during your apprenticeship which states the number of hours you worked with them.
The test is offered by PSI Exams. Keep in mind that, in order to take part in the exam, you must be pre-approved and pay a fee (which is, as of the time of this writing, $68.88). More information on registering can be found in the New Mexico Contractor Examination Registration Bulletin, and the registration form can be found on page 38.
You can also register by calling a PSI registrar at (800) 733-9267 (be sure to have a valid credit card ready), or by sending a written request to:
2301 Yale SE, Ste. C-4
Albuquerque, NM 87106
The exam can be completed on a computer or by reporting to an examination site. PSI testing centers in New Mexico are located in Albuquerque, Farmington, Las Cruces, Roswell, and Santa Fe. You can find the address of the nearest testing center to you in the candidate information bulletin above. If you will be testing from out of state, you can make an exam accommodation request by using the form on the last page of the bulletin. Note that, if you miss your exam time without canceling at least two days prior, you’ll forfeit the application fee and will need to reschedule.
The exam is an open-book test with 100 questions. The bulletin contains links to allowed reference materials — be sure to have those ready on exam day, as testers are expected to bring their own. You must get at least 75 questions correct, and you are given 250 minutes to complete it.
Plumbing Apprenticeship Requirements
If you are at least 18 years old, have completed high school, and have no criminal record, you may be eligible to become a plumbing apprentice. Other requirements include:
- A driver’s license or another form of state ID;
- Passing a drug test;
- A good driving record.
Note that an apprenticeship program in New Mexico lasts at least four years, encompassing at least 144 hours of instruction. If you want to get started on the path to becoming a plumber, you’ll want to either attend a college/trade school with a program in plumbing (you can find some top examples in the state below) or find an apprenticeship. Both will grant you some hands-on experience to prepare you for the road ahead.
New Mexico Plumbing Apprentice Jobs
As you can see, becoming an apprentice is a vital step to becoming a plumbing contractor. During an apprenticeship, you’ll earn some much-needed experience and mentorship. Further, you’ll receive wages for your time, with the average wage for plumbing apprentices in New Mexico being $21 an hour.
Reaching out to a local plumber’s union to ask about apprenticeship opportunities is a smart idea. One such example is:
- U.A. Local Union No. 412
411 Arizona SE,
Albuquerque, NM 87108
This mission of the United Association labor union is to offer training to those looking to become plumbers. This state-registered program will also connect qualified individuals with employers, who they will work with as part of their apprenticeship.
You may also choose to reach out directly to plumbing companies near you to inquire about apprenticeship opportunities.
Plumbing Trade Schools in New Mexico
The institutions below offer some of the top programs for aspiring plumbers in the state:
- Central New Mexico Community College
900 University Blvd. SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
The college’s Plumbing and Gas Fitting Program offers an Associate of Applied Science in the subject and a certificate of completion. This is a public school. You can find a cost estimate for both on their respective pages.
- New Mexico State University – Doña Ana Community College
3400 Espina St
Las Cruces, NM 88003
This University’s Associate of Applied Science Degree in Building Construction Technology encompasses 17 credit hours related to Plumbing. They also offer a certificate of completion in plumbing, which prepares individuals for entry-level employment in the field. This is a public school. Click here to get a cost estimate.
- Santa Fe Community College
6401 Richards Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87508
Sante Fe Community College offers an Associate of Arts in Building Science and Construction Technologies, as well as a plumbing certificate. This is a public school. Click here to get a cost estimate.
New Mexico Professional License Search
If you’d like to check if an individual’s license is current or has expired, you can check on the New Mexico E-Services for Contractor Licensing. You can search by individual or company. For the former, you’ll need the contractor’s certificate number, while you’ll need the business name and license number of any company you’re looking into. This tool will tell you whether a license is active, inactive, canceled, or unattached. It will also inform you of when a license was issued, as well as when it will expire.
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