How to Become a Plumber in New Mexico

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In the heart of New Mexico, where the rich tradition meets the pulse of contemporary life, plumbing stands as an essential yet often underappreciated cornerstone of our daily existence.

Amidst the bustling rhythm of our communities, plumbers orchestrate the seamless functioning of our homes, institutions, and businesses.

Embarking on a plumbing career in the Land of Enchantment goes beyond mere pipe fittings or leak repairs; it’s a pathway brimming with professional satisfaction and the chance to profoundly impact our societal fabric.

This article will inform you on everything you need to know about how to become a plumber in New Mexico.

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How to Become a Plumber in New Mexico

The state of New Mexico issues the following plumbing licenses:

  • Journeyman Plumber (JP) Certification
  • Mechanical Plumber (MM-1) Certification

Journeyman Plumber (JP) Certification

To apply for your Journeyman Plumber (JP) Certification, you must first complete at least two years of training or have at least two years of experience, which is equivalent to 4,000 hours of real-world work experience.

You can obtain your experience through:

  • An apprenticeship program
  • Working directly under the supervision of a Journeyman Plumber
  • Vocational/Trade school
  • College courses

After meeting the required criteria of 2 years of experience, you can begin your licensing journey.

You must fill out, and submit an application form and submit the signed affidavit documenting your work which is proof for your training and/or work experience.

If your application has been accepted, you can register in person at a PSI examination facility in Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Farmington, or Roswell, or online for the New Mexico Journeyman Licensing Exam.

The exam consists of written and practical portions, and they have separate fees.

The fee for each portion of the exam is $68.88, which equals $137.76 total.

Written Exam Portion

The written exam consists of 70 questions and has a 185-minute time limit.

Questions include:

  • 21 questions: Drainage Waste and Vents
  • 6 questions: Water Supply Systems
  • 6 questions: Backflow Prevention
  • 6 questions: Storm Drainage Systems
  • 8 questions: Plumbing Fixtures, Including Water
  • 10 questions: General Knowledge and General Regulations
  • 4 questions: Interceptors and Traps
  • 5 questions: Isometric Analysis
  • 4 questions: Septic and Sewer

Practical Exam Portion

The practical portion of the exam consists of 100 points and has a 120-minute time limit (2 hours).

The points are broken down into subcategories in the following order:

  • Copper/PEX Water Piping Assembly
  • 5 points: Properly solder copper piping and fittings
  • 5 points: Properly assemble PEX and PEX fittings
  • 10 points: Air test assembly
  • Tub Assembly
  • 5 points: Assembly of tub drain
  • 5 points: Water test of tub drain
  • Washer Box Assembly
  • 15 points: Overall assembly of the project
  • 10 points: Fitting Identification
  • 10 points: Tool Identification
  • Island Vent Assembly
  • 10 points: Measure, cut, and ream piping
  • 10 points: Correct use of fittings
  • Drainage Pipe Project
  • 5 points: Measure and calculate the minimum rise
  • 10 points: Set drain to a minimum rise

You need a score of 75% or higher on both portions to pass the exam.

You will receive your written exam results immediately after completing the exam, and the results of the practical exam within a week of taking the exam.

If you have passed the exam, you will go on to receive your journeyman plumber license.

Mechanical Plumber (MM-1) Certification

The Mechanical Plumber (MM-1) Certification is essentially a Plumber Contractor License.

This license allows you to own your own plumbing business in the state of New Jersey.

Before you can apply for this license you must have at least 8,000 hours (4 years) worth of experience.

For you to obtain a New Mexico contractor license, you must either be the licensed journeyman license holder or employ at least one journeyman plumber who meets the requirements to act as the qualifying party.

You must also complete several additional criteria and pass the contractor exam, which is given by PSI.

The exam consists of:

  • a law exam portion
  • a trade exam portion

If you pass the exams you will receive your Mechanical Plumber (MM-1) Certification.

Plumbing Schools in New Mexico

New Mexico offers its aspiring plumbers a variety of quality choices to choose from for their training.

Santa Fe Community College

Santa Fe Community College offers a plumbing program that will provide you with the tools you need to:

  • install and upgrade plumbing systems
  • build new residential and commercial spaces from blueprints
  • install and maintain sustainable water catchment and solar hot water systems

The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and the Associate General Contractors of America (AGC) Journeyman certification exams are open to you if you decide to further your plumbing education with an Associate of Science degree in building technologies and construction.

Here you can see their offered Spring 24 Plumbing Classes.

To learn more about the program and how to apply visit their website.

School Name Address
Santa Fe Community College 6401 Richards Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87508, United States


New Mexico pays its plumbers fair wages for the hard work they put into keeping their plumbing systems and water supply running smoothly.

The annual wages can vary from $43926 to $74512.

The annual average wage currently is estimated at $59160.

Santa Fe currently has the highest estimated annual average wages at $60610.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Santa Fe $60,610
Albuquerque $60,305
Rio Rancho $60,112
Farmington $59,495
Clovis $57,778
Hobbs $57,256
Alamogordo $57,211
Roswell $56,249
Carlsbad $56,249
Las Cruces $54,517

Regional Salary in New Mexico

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Albuquerque, NM1,520$52,740$25.36$76,660$36,690
Farmington, NM240$46,650$22.43$66,290$31,200
Las Cruces, NM210$47,670$22.92$69,340$30,160
Santa Fe, NM210$49,550$23.82$62,400$34,100
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters, OCC Code 47-2152, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I take the Plumbing Exams in New Mexico?

Plumbing exams are being taken in the following cities in New Mexico:

  • Albuquerque
  • Farmington
  • Las Cruces
  • Roswell
  • Santa Fe

When should I renew my plumbing license in New Mexico?

The renewal requirements are different depending on the type of license you have.

Journeyman Certificates expire every three years on the last day of the month of the initial issuing, so you should renew them by then.

Mechanical Plumber licenses expire every two years on the anniversary of initial licensure, so you should have them renewed by then.

Who is issues the plumbing licenses in New Mexico?

New Mexico Construction Industries Division Regulation and Licensing Department – Mechanical Bureau is responsible for issuing all the plumbing licenses available in the state.

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Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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