Embarking on a plumbing career in New Mexico? The state offers a structured pathway for aspiring plumbers, ensuring that residents receive top-notch services. This guide will provide a detailed roadmap for your journey in the plumbing industry in the “Land of Enchantment.”

1. Plumbing License Types and Requirements in New Mexico

a. Apprentice Plumber License

Starting as an apprentice is the first step in your plumbing career:

  • Eligibility:
    • Must be at least 18 years old.
    • Possess a high school diploma or GED.
    • Have a photo ID and a valid driver’s license.
    • Some programs may require a drug test.
  • Scope:
    • Work under the supervision of a licensed journeyman or plumbing contractor.
    • Gain hands-on experience and learn the intricacies of the trade.
  • Training:
    • Four years of on-the-job training.
    • 144 hours of classroom instruction via a plumber’s union, trade school, or community college.
    • Completion results in a signed affidavit from sponsoring companies, acknowledging the apprentice’s work experience.

b. Journeyman Plumber License

After your apprenticeship, you’ll transition to a journeyman:

  • Eligibility:
    • Successful completion of a plumbing apprenticeship program.
  • Application Process:
    • Seek approval from PSI Exams.
    • Submit an application with a signed affidavit, documenting both work experience and classroom training.
  • Examination:
    • Register online or in person at a PSI examination center.
    • Locations include Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Farmington, Albuquerque, and Roswell.
    • The exam has written and practical sections, costing $137.76.
    • Topics covered include:
      • Drainage Waste and Vents
      • Water Supply Systems
      • Backflow Prevention
      • Storm Drainage Systems
      • Plumbing Fixtures
      • General Knowledge and Regulations
      • Interceptors and Traps
      • Isometric Analysis
      • Septic and Sewer
  • License Fee:
    • After passing the exam, submit the journeyman license application to PSI.
    • Pay a $75 application fee.
  • Continuing Education:
    • Demonstrate 16 hours of approved continuing education coursework every three years.

c. Plumbing Contractor License (MM-1)

For those looking to run their own business:

  • Eligibility:
    • Hold a journeyman license or employ at least one licensed journeyman plumber.
  • Requirements:
    • Pass the contractor exam via PSI.
    • Complete a law exam and trade exam.
    • Fulfill multiple other criteria.

2. Licensing Authority in New Mexico

The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department (RLD) oversees the licensing process:

  • Journeyman Plumbing Licenses: Issued by the RLD.
  • Plumbing Contractor Licenses: Administered by the Construction Industries and Manufactured Housing Division.

Plumber License Reciprocity in New Mexico

License reciprocity allows plumbers licensed in one state to work in another state without having to go through the entire licensing process again. This is beneficial for plumbers looking to expand their services across state lines.

New Mexico’s Reciprocity Agreements:

  • New Mexico offers electrical license reciprocity with several states including Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
  • Unfortunately, New Mexico does not have plumbing license reciprocity agreements with other states. This means that plumbers licensed in other states would need to undergo the standard licensing process in New Mexico.

License Bond Requirements in New Mexico

License bonds are essential for protecting the public. They ensure that plumbers will adhere to the regulations and codes of their profession. If a plumber fails to abide by these rules, a claim can be made against their bond.

Bond Requirements:

  • The bond amount and specifics can vary based on the type of plumbing work and the location within New Mexico.
  • It’s crucial to check with local municipalities and the state’s regulatory board for exact bond requirements.

Insurance Needs for Plumbers in New Mexico

Every plumbing business, whether residential or commercial, faces unique challenges and risks. To safeguard against these risks, plumbers need specific types of insurance.

1. Business Owner’s Policy (BOP):

  • Property Insurance: Protects the building you operate out of and covers business equipment and tools.
  • General Liability Insurance: Covers legal fees and judgments if a customer gets injured on your business property or if your business causes damage to another property.
  • Business Interruption Insurance: Protects your income if your business is interrupted due to damages to your business building.

2. Business Auto Insurance:

  • Essential for plumbers who travel frequently to job sites.
  • Protects business vehicles and the tools, equipment, and inventory they carry.
  • Provides liability coverage in case of accidents.

3. Workers Compensation Insurance (WCI):

  • Mandatory for plumbers with employees in most states.
  • Provides protection against claims related to workplace injuries and accidents.

4. Inland Marine Insurance:

  • Protects inventory, tools, and plumbing supplies during transportation between job sites.

It’s crucial to work with an insurance agency familiar with local business landscapes to ensure you have the necessary coverages and adequate protection. Learn more about the intricacies and costs involved with New Mexico Plumbing Insurance by visiting our detailed article on the subject.

In conclusion, obtaining and maintaining a plumbing license in New Mexico involves several steps, from education and exams to renewals. Additionally, understanding reciprocity agreements, bond requirements, and insurance needs is crucial for plumbers looking to operate successfully and responsibly in New Mexico. Always consult with local and state boards to ensure you’re meeting all requirements.