New Jersey plumber license and insurance requirements

New Jersey plumber license and insurance requirements

Ashley Henshaw
By Ashley Henshaw
Feb 9, 2023
8 min read

Looking for a great place to work as a plumber? In New Jersey, plumbers earn an average annual salary of $82,740. That’s a major increase from the national average plumber salary of $63,350. It also places New Jersey fourth in the nation for the highest-paying states for plumbers.1

Fortunately, the process for getting a plumber license in New Jersey is relatively straightforward. If you’re interested in working in this state, you’ll only need to get a license if you want to work as a master plumber. Apprentice and journeyman plumbers need to be registered, but not licensed.

If you’re ready to start the application process, read through this guide first to learn more about the steps to get a plumbing license in New Jersey, including details on the following topics:

Do you need a license to be a plumber?

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.2 The state defines a master plumber as someone who has “the qualifications, training, experience and technical knowledge necessary to properly plan, lay out, install and repair plumbing apparatus and equipment and to supervise others in the performance of such work.”3

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

Apprentice plumber 

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 

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

How to get a plumber license 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.4

New Jersey plumber 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.

How long does it take to get your plumber license?

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

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.

Requirements for plumber license renewals

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 plumber 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:5

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

Bond requirements for plumber licenses

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.

What kind of insurance does a plumber need in New Jersey?

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.

How NEXT Insurance supports New Jersey plumbers

NEXT is the top resource for affordable plumber insurance. We’re 100% dedicated to small businesses, so we’ve helped thousands of plumbing contractors like you get the right insurance for their line of work at the right cost.

One of the best things about working with NEXT is the fact that our services are available online. You can apply for coverage and get a certificate of insurance in just minutes from any computer or mobile device. Whether you’re at home, in an office or on a job site, you can access your account and share unlimited COIs at no extra cost.

Get an instant quote online today.

Are you thinking about taking on plumbing jobs in another U.S. state? Find out what states require plumber licenses in our summary of plumber license requirements.


1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

2 State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers

3 New Jersey Administrative Code Chapter 32

4 Master Plumber Licensure Examination Candidate Information Bulletin

5 Master Plumber Reciprocity with Other States

6 New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development

New Jersey plumber license and insurance requirements


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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