In New Hampshire, the plumbing profession is both respected and regulated. Whether you’re an aspiring plumber or an experienced professional, understanding the licensing process is crucial. This guide offers an in-depth look into the steps and requirements for obtaining and renewing a plumbing license in the state.

1. Establishing Eligibility

Before you can apply for a plumbing license in New Hampshire, you must first establish your eligibility. This is determined by your level of training and experience.

Types of Plumbing Licenses:

  • Apprentice Plumber:
    • Ideal for those just starting in the plumbing profession.
    • No prior experience is required.
    • Must work under the supervision of a licensed plumber.
  • Journeyman Plumber:
    • For those who have gained substantial experience in the field.
    • Requires at least 8,000 hours of experience over a minimum of 5 years.
    • Supervision from a licensed master plumber is mandatory during this period.
  • Master Plumber:
    • The pinnacle of the plumbing profession.
    • Requires a minimum of 4,000 hours as a licensed journeyman plumber over at least 2 years.

2. Application Process

The journey to becoming a licensed plumber in New Hampshire involves a meticulous application process.

Steps to Apply:

  • Determine Your License Type: Decide whether you’re applying as an Apprentice, Journeyman, or Master Plumber based on your qualifications.
  • Complete the Application:
    • Download the Initial Plumbing Application Packet.
    • Fill in all required details, ensuring accuracy.
    • Attach proof of identification and any relevant experience or training documents.
  • Application Fees:
    • Apprentice Plumber: $90.00
    • Journeyman Plumber: $190.00
    • Master Plumber: $310.00
  • Additional Documentation: Depending on your application type, you may need:
    • Testing results (for out-of-state applicants).
    • Letters of recommendation or endorsement.
    • Proof of apprenticeship or other relevant training.
  • Submission:
    • Compile your application, necessary forms, and payment.
    • Mail to: Office of Professional Licensure & Certification, 7 Eagle Square, Concord, NH 03301.

3. License Renewal

To ensure continuous practice, plumbers must renew their licenses periodically.

Renewal Process:

  • Duration: Licenses are valid for two years. They expire two years from the issuance date, specifically on the last day of the month in which they were issued.
  • Renewal Fees:
    • Apprentice Plumber: $80.00
    • Journeyman Plumber: $180.00
    • Master Plumber: $300.00
  • Online Renewal: Visit the Online Applications for Renewal page. Here, you can also check your application status.
  • Customer Support: If unsure about renewal requirements, contact OPLC Customer Support.

4. Plumber License Reciprocity in New Hampshire

If you’re already licensed as a plumbing contractor in another state and are considering working in New Hampshire, it’s crucial to understand the state’s stance on license reciprocity.

  • Reciprocity Agreements: New Hampshire does not have any license reciprocity agreements with other states. This means that even if you are a journeyman or master plumber in another state, you’ll need to undergo New Hampshire’s licensing process.
  • Application Process: If you’re a licensed plumber from another state, you’ll need to take the New Hampshire plumbing exam and then complete an application packet. The state has specific definitions and criteria for master and journeyman plumbers, which you’ll need to meet to practice in New Hampshire.

5. License Bond Requirements in New Hampshire

While the provided links did not specify the exact bond requirements for New Hampshire plumbers, typically, states require plumbing contractors to post a surety bond to ensure they will adhere to state regulations and codes. This bond acts as a financial guarantee against potential damages or financial losses that might be caused by the plumber’s work. It’s advisable to check with the New Hampshire Mechanical Safety and Licensing Board or a local bonding company for specific bond requirements and amounts.

6. Insurance Needs for Plumbers in New Hampshire

For plumbers operating in New Hampshire, having the right insurance coverage is essential to protect against potential risks and liabilities. If you are interested in understanding the expenses related to your profession, consider checking our detailed content on New Hampshire plumbing insurance cost which delves into specifics regarding the costing aspects in the plumbing industry within New Hampshire.

  • General Liability Insurance: This covers bodily injuries or property damage caused by your plumbing work. It’s the most basic form of insurance and is often required before you can get licensed or take on certain jobs.
  • Workers’ Compensation: If you have employees, New Hampshire requires you to have workers’ compensation insurance. This covers medical expenses and lost wages if an employee gets injured on the job.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: If you use vehicles for your plumbing business, this insurance covers any damages or injuries caused by business-related vehicular accidents.
  • Umbrella Policy: This provides additional liability coverage beyond the limits of your other policies. It’s beneficial if you take on large projects or work in high-risk environments.
  • Tool and Equipment Insurance: This covers your tools and equipment against theft, damage, or loss. Given the expensive nature of plumbing tools, this can be a valuable policy to have.


Starting and running a successful plumbing business in New Hampshire requires understanding and navigating various licensing, bonding, and insurance requirements. By staying informed and proactive, you can ensure your business operates smoothly, remains compliant, and is protected against potential risks. Always consult with local authorities or professional advisors to stay updated on any changes to state regulations.