Do I need a license as a master plumber contractor?
N.J.S.A. 45:14 C-1 and N.J.S.A. 13:32-3.3(a)3 states that "plumbing shall only be performed by a master plumber, an authorized plumbing contractor, or by employees whose remuneration is reported on a Form W-2 to the Internal Revenue Service."
Is there a fee to apply?
Yes, the application fee is currently $100. There is a separate licensing fee which will be assessed when an individual is approved for and passed the licensing examination.
Can I get my license the same day I apply?
No, the State Board Examiners of Master Plumbers reviews completed applications during its monthly meetings. All applications must be reviewed and approved by the Board. Approval letters, along with information on how to register for the licensing examination will be sent to applicants as soon as possible following Board meetings.
How long does it take to receive my license after passing the examination?
Once your licensing fee is processed by the Revenue Department and the application process is complete, you should receive your license in 15-20 days.
How do I gain experience to qualify for the examination?
To gain experience to qualify for an examination, an applicant who is at least 21 years of age shall submit proof to the Board that the applicant has either:
- Completed a four-year apprenticeship program approved by the U.S. Department of Labor, which includes education in propane services that meets the education requirements, and has completed after the end of the apprenticeship, one year of practical hands-on experience as a journeyman plumber in New Jersey, consisting of at least 1,200 hours;
- Or has been awarded a bachelor's degree in mechanical, plumbing or sanitary engineering from a college or university accredited by a regional accreditation agency recognized by the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education, which includes education in propane services that meets the education requirements and has completed, after completion of the bachelor's degree, one year of practical hands-on experience as a journeyman plumber in New Jersey, consisting of 1,200 hours.
I am licensed in another state, may I apply through reciprocity?
Yes, the regulations allow for individuals licensed in other states to apply through reciprocity; however, per N.J.A.C. 45:14C-19, the licensure standards of other States must be equal to or comparable with, those of the State of New Jersey, and the State must reciprocate with the State of New Jersey. A list of States the Plumbing Board has previously reviewed can be found here:
I am enrolled in a Plumbing program. Am I automatically enrolled in an apprenticeship program?
No, your employer must agree to and register you with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Where would I go to get a credited apprenticeship?
The Plumbers Board only accepts apprenticeships approved by the U.S. Department of Labor-Office of Apprenticeship. If your employer agrees to sponsor an apprenticeship, they must email the U.S. Department of Labor- Office of Apprenticeship representative servicing the county where the company is located.
The list of U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Apprenticeship staff can be found here:
If my employer does not agree to sponsor a registered apprenticeship program, may I still become a registered apprentice?
No, the U.S. Department of Labor requires that employers sponsor an apprenticeship.
If I change employers, am I still part of the apprenticeship program?
No, the apprenticeship does not automatically transfer to your new employer. Your new employer will need to agree to sponsor you in an apprenticeship and contact the U.S. Department of Labor to register you.
How often must a license be renewed?
Master Plumber licenses expire biennially on June 30th of odd-numbered years and must be renewed at that time. A reminder will be sent to the licensee's address of record approximately 60 days prior to the expiration date.
What is the cost to renew a license?
The license renewal fee is $160.00.
Am I required to complete continuing education in order to renew my license?
Yes, every licensee must complete five credits of continuing education at a Board approved course every biennial period. Per N.J.A.C. 13:32-6.1(d), licensees are required to maintain, for a period of four years, all verification of continuing education attendance.
Does my plumbing business need to be licensed and registered?
The Board does not license businesses themselves; however, all businesses must be registered with the Department of Community Affairs. Each company is also required to have a bona-fide representative (BFR).
How and where am I required to display my license information?
Per N.J.A.C. 13:32-3.1, the following information must be displayed:
- All commercial vehicles used in the practice of State-licensed master plumbing shall be marked on both sides with the following information:
- The name of the licensed master plumber in lettering at least one inch in height;
- The words "Plumbing license number" or "Plumbing Lic. #" followed by the license number of the owner or qualified bona fide representative in lettering at least one inch in height; and
- The name of the owner or lessee of the vehicle and the municipality from which the licensed master plumber practices or where the licensed master plumber has a principal office in lettering at least three inches in height.
- Where available space for lettering is limited, either by design of the vehicle or by the presence of other legally specified identification markings, making strict compliance with (a)3 above impractical, the size of the lettering shall be as close to three inches high as is possible within the limited space, provided the name is clearly visible and readily identifiable.
- All business correspondence, invoices and stationery shall display:
- The name of the licensed master plumber; and
- The words "Plumbing license number" or "Plumbing Lic. #" followed by the license number of the owner or qualified bona fide representative; and
- The New Jersey business address, including the street name and number of the owner or qualified bona fide representative.
- All advertising shall include:
- The name of the licensed master plumber;
- The New Jersey business address, including the street name and number of the owner or qualified bona fide representative; and
- The words "Plumbing license number" or "Plumbing Lic. #" followed by the license number of the owner or qualified bona fide representative.
- Every State-licensed master plumber whose name, New Jersey office address, place of
practice or license number appears or is mentioned in any advertisement of any kind or
character shall be presumed to have caused, permitted, or approved the advertising and
shall be personally responsible for its content and character.
- If a plumbing contractor intends to subcontract, in a calendar year, more than one-third of the work which it contracts to perform, or subcontracted in the previous calendar year more than one-third of the work which it contracted to perform, all advertising by the plumbing contractor shall state: "A substantial part of the work which we undertake may be performed by independent licensed plumbing subcontractors."
What is a Bona-fide representative and what are the ownership requirements?
The bona-fide representative will act as an agent of service and provide the Board the acceptance of liability to the business for financial responsibilities. A bona-fide representative is a licensed master plumber who is the holder of not less than 10% of a plumbing contractor business in the state of New Jersey.
Who can sign permit applications when I am out of office?
Per N.J.A.C. 13:32-3.3 the bona-fide representative may sign and seal a letter, good for up-to 60 days, authorizing an individual to secure a permit for the bona-fide representative. The permit must be signed by the bona-fide representative.
What are the requirements to be a continuing education sponsor?
Per N.J.A.C 13:32-6.2(b) an individual seeking approval as a continuing education sponsor shall submit to the Master Plumbers Board an application which shall consist of the application fee, a curriculum vitae, and detailed descriptions of the course content. Upon receipt of the information, new sponsors will be scheduled to appear before the Board.