HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN NEW JERSEY

A GUIDE ON PLUMBING IN NEW JERSEY

The official records of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) state there are approximately 8,780 plumbers in New Jersey. New Jersey is situated in the Mid-Atlantic and North-eastern region of the United States of America. As of 2019, the state had a population of 8,882,190 people and is the 11-th most populous state of the US. In the fourth quarter of 2018, New Jersey’s gross state product was as high as $639.8 billion. New Jersey also has the third-highest per capita incomes and the highest number of millionaires per capita i.e., approximately 9.76% of the households. 76.4% of places in New Jersey have higher per capita incomes than the national average. The state also has a very diversified economy. New Jersey is also known for providing some of the safest and purest drinking water available anywhere in the nation which is an indication the strength of its plumbing industry. This article will discuss the career prospects of a plumber and provide a detailed guide on how to become a plumber in New Jersey.

Plumbing in New Jersey

JOB OUTLOOK

As mentioned above, there are about 8,780 people engaged in the plumbing, pipe-fitting and steam-fitting industry in New Jersey. 2.15 persons people out of every 1000 people are employed in this industry. The average annual salary of a plumber in New Jersey is $74,360. Wages start from around $37,460 and can go up to approximately $135,976. Plumbers enjoy an average hourly wage of $28.19. Journeyman plumbers enjoy a wage of $26.94 per hour. The average hourly wage of a master plumber is $28.10. On an average, apprentice plumbers earn around $16.61 per hour. One’s knowledge, level, years of experience and type of work performed have a significant impact of the wages earned. There is a shortage of skilled workers throughout the world which means that the demand for plumbing services will continue to rise and attract many youngsters in the near future. A constant demand for plumbers has been noticed in this state.

Job outlook

WHAT INSURANCE IS REQUIRED FOR PLUMBERS IN NEW JERSEY?

All those involved in the plumbing industry must consider getting insurance coverage. This protects them from the unwanted and unprecedented hassles that one could face if there occurs an accident at work.

Plumbers in New Jersey must have the health and disability insurance. This kind of insurance coverage is offered by most employers. However, if a plumber is working independently or under an organisation that does not handle these benefits, he/she must get it individually or through a union.

One should also look into the liability insurance that covers damage to a client’s assets.

Other important types of coverages are –

  • Property Insurance – to cover damages to the plumber’s equipment.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance – to cover the medical expenses of those employees who have faced a financial loss due to injuries while at work.
Insurance coverage

HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN NEW JERSEY:

  • Must be atleast 21 years of age (to apply for a license)
  • High School or GED Certificate
  • College Degree or Vocational Courses (optional)
  • Apprenticeship
  • Pass the Licensing Tests

Provided here is a step by step guide on how to become a plumber in New Jersey.

One must fulfil the age and educational requirements before applying for the plumbing license in New Jersey.

The apprentice and journeymen plumber stages are unlicensed in this state. These are considered to be stages that must be completed in order to obtain the master plumber license, which is the only type of plumbing license in New Jersey. One must be 21 years of age before applying for this license.

Apprentice plumber training

HOW TO BECOME A LICENSED MASTER PLUMBER:

The State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs jointly handle the licensing procedure in the state of New Jersey. A strict criminal background check is conducted before passing on the license to the candidates.

There are two paths to become a licensed master plumber. The first is through an apprenticeship approved by the Department of Labor. A fee of $50 must be paid for registering as an apprentice. After the completion of this program in at least 4 years, one must register to become a journeyman plumber. One year of experience at the journeyman level is necessary in order to apply for the master plumber license.

The other path is an academic one. One can apply for a four-year degree program in mechanical or plumbing engineering. After the completion of this program, they can register for becoming a journeyman plumber. The fee for registration is $75. After working as a journeyman plumber under the supervision of a master plumber, one is free to apply for the master plumber license.

It is mandatory to pass an exam in order to acquire the license. The exam has three sections – trade, business and law and practical skills. The application fee is $100. One must sign a bond of $3,000.  After passing all three sections, plumbers can obtain their master plumber licenses.

A licensed plumber at work

A plumbing license in New Jersey must be renewed every 2 years. The cost of renewal is $150.

PLUMBING SCHOOLS IN NEW JERSEY

It is of immense benefit for plumbers to enrol themselves in a vocational training program. Plumbing schools are very important institutions in New Jersey because they also contribute to the acquisition of licenses in this state. The following section will look into some of the best plumbing schools in New Jersey.

Coursework in plumbing schools

  • The College of New Jersey, Ewing – offers a mechanical engineering program that could be a great option for plumbers who re trying to obtain their master plumber licenses through the academic route. Students are taught about fluid mechanics, heat transfer etc.
  • Hohokus School of Trade and Technical Sciences, Paterson – offers a diploma program in plumbing apprenticeship. The course duration is 9 months to 18 months, depending on whether one is taking up a day or an evening program.
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark – offers engineering programs in construction technology and construction management. These could be considered by plumbers who wish to acquire an engineering degree as a stepping stone to obtain their master plumber licenses.
  • Eastwick College, Hackensack – offers an apprenticeship training program in plumbing. This gives students a head-start into their career in plumbing. The program duration is 9 months if taken during the day, and 18 months if taken in the evening. Students learn about the installation and maintenance of drains and vents, hot water and heating systems etc. on the completion of this program, students are awarded with an OSHA 10 and Aerial Lift Certification.
  • Ocean County Vocational Technical School, Toms River – offers a four-year apprenticeship training program in plumbing. It is a hands-on training course that follows the industry curriculum and teaches students about various topics like the basic principles of plumbing, piping systems, plumbing math, work safety etc.

New Jersey was one of the many states that went into total lockdown due to the covid-19 pandemic. Plumbing was however, considered to be an essential service. Construction workers thus had to be present at the job site to perform their duties. Plumbing companies have to adapt to the situation and bring in many new policies for their operation. Maintaining high standards of health and safety is now their first priority. Several reports have also stated that the cost of plumbing services might increase once the pandemic subsides. However, the demand for plumbing services continues to remain high. Subject to the maintenance of safety protocols. Several statistics have projected that the plumbing industry in New Jersey is going to grow at a higher rate in the next 5 years than average industry growth. The revenue for the plumbing industry in this state may amount to as high as $7.6 million by 2024. It is also being expected that the opening up of offices and other institutes, post the pandemic, will create a massive demand for skilled workers like plumbers. The prospects therefore, look extremely positive for the plumbing industry in the state of New Jersey.

Better prospects for the plumbing industry

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