New Jersey plumbers license and insurance requirements

New Jersey plumbers license and insurance requirements

Ashley Henshaw
By Ashley Henshaw
Jan 18, 2024
8 min read

Getting a New Jersey plumbers license is relatively straightforward. If you want to work in this state, you’ll only need a license to work as a master plumber. Apprentice and journeyman plumbers need to be registered, but not licensed.

Jump ahead to learn more about an NJ plumbing license, including:

How to get a plumber license in New Jersey

To work as a master plumber in the state of New Jersey, you must have a license issued by the State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers. The state defines a master plumber as someone who has “the qualifications, training, experience and technical knowledge necessary to plan properly, lay out, install and repair plumbing apparatus and equipment and to supervise others in the performance of such work.”

Apprentice and journeyman plumbers in New Jersey do not need to obtain licenses to work. However, they must apply for registration:

Apprentice plumber in New Jersey

You must register with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship and obtain sponsorship for your plumbing apprenticeship from an employer.

Journeyman plumber in New Jersey

You must register with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and submit a form that certifies your previous work experience.

Master plumber in New Jersey

The State Board provides specific instructions on how to get a master plumber license in New Jersey. First, you must submit your New Jersey plumber license application along with an application fee of $100 and a passport-style photograph.

Upon approval of your initial application, you must schedule your licensing exam. The master plumber exam consists of three parts: a plumbing trade section, a business and law section, and a practical section. You must score at least 70% on each section in order to pass.

New Jersey plumbers license requirements

You must be at least 21 years old to apply for a New Jersey master plumber license. In addition, you must meet one of the following plumbing work experience requirements:

  • Completion of a four-year, approved apprenticeship program and one year (at least 1,200 hours) of practical, hands-on experience as a journeyman plumber in New Jersey.
  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree in mechanical, plumbing or sanitary engineering from an accredited college and one year (at least 1,200 hours) of practical, hands-on experience as a journeyman plumber in New Jersey.

The State Board meets monthly to review license applications. You will receive an approval letter as soon as possible after the meeting with information on how to register for the licensing exam.

Once the application process is complete and you pass your licensing exam, you can expect to receive your license in about 15 to 20 days.

Insurance for New Jersey plumbers

If you’re a plumber in New Jersey, you want to get self-employed plumber insurance that can help cover your work. Here are some of the types of New Jersey business insurance available for plumbers.

Workers’ compensation insurance

Except for certain federal programs, all employers in New Jersey must have workers’ compensation insurance.6 This insurance can help provide coverage for costs related to injuries that occur on the job, like lost wages and medical expenses.

General liability insurance

General liability insurance can help provide coverage in the event of a work-related accident, such as property damage or a client injury.

Tools and equipment insurance

Tools and equipment insurance can help cover the costs of repair and replacement for damaged or stolen work gear.

Commercial auto insurance

Do you drive to different job sites for work? If so, commercial auto insurance can help provide coverage for accident-related expenses, including medical costs and property damage.

Commercial property insurance

If you own or rent property or have a place where you store inventory and equipment, commercial property insurance can help provide coverage for incidents like weather-related damage, theft and vandalism.

Requirements for NJ plumber license renewal

You must renew your license every two years. New Jersey master plumber licenses expire on June 30 of odd-numbered years. A reminder will be sent to your address approximately two months before the expiration date.

You must pay $160 to renew your New Jersey plumbing license. In addition, you must complete five credits of continuing education during each two-year license period.

New Jersey plumbers license reciprocity

If you are already a licensed plumber in another state, you may apply for licensure through reciprocity under certain conditions. The state must have licensure standards considered equal or comparable to New Jersey’s requirements. In addition, the state must reciprocate with New Jersey for plumber licenses.

The Board has previously established that licenses from the following states do not fulfill the requirements for New Jersey plumber license reciprocity:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

Bond requirements for a plumbers license in NJ

After passing the exam, you must secure a $3,000 surety bond to cover your work as a licensed master plumber. Submit proof of your bond to the State Board along with your licensing fee.

How NEXT helps support New Jersey plumbers

NEXT has affordable, hard-working plumber insurance. We’re 100% dedicated to small business, and we’ve helped thousands of plumbing contractors get the right insurance at the right cost.

We’ll ask a few questions about your business and give you a quote. You can select your coverage options and purchase your policy — all in about 10 minutes. Your certificate of insurance will be available immediately, and you can access your policy 24/7 via web or mobile app.

If you have questions, our licensed, U.S.-based insurance professionals are available to help.

Start a free quote with NEXT.

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Ashley Henshaw
About the author

Ashley Henshaw was a contributing writer at NEXT. She specializes in small business topics, covering everything from insurance and branding to web hosting and cryptocurrency.

Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, AOL City's Best, Citysearch, USA Today, The San Francisco Chronicle and Livestrong.

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