Become a Plumber in New Hampshire

If you’re the kind of person who loves working with your hands and cringes at the thought of sitting behind a desk for hours at a time, consider a career as a New Hampshire plumber. It’s a career that’s always in demand, pays well and has opportunities in both residential and commercial settings. As a plumber, you’ll read blueprints, troubleshoot problems and inspect, install or repair fixtures and pipes.

What are the Requirements for Becoming a New Hampshire Plumber?

If you want to become a plumbing contractor in New Hampshire, you’ll start by becoming a plumbing apprentice, which means you’re learning plumbing skills under the direction of a Master Plumber. To get started, you’ll apply through the Mechanical Licensing Division where you’ll obtain an ID card. Completing an apprenticeship requires completing 8,000 hours of work and on-the-job training and takes about four years. You’re also required to complete 144 hours of classroom instruction related to the field in each year of your apprenticeship.

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Obtaining a Plumbing License in New Hampshire

After you’ve completed your apprenticeship, you’re eligible to take an exam to become a Journeyman Plumber. You’ll need to get a score of 70 percent or higher to obtain this license. As a journeyman, you’ll continue to work under the direction of a Master Plumber.

You can apply to become a Master Plumber once you have six months of experience as a Journeyman Plumber and a letter from a Master Plumber stating you worked under their direction and they believe you’re competent to be a Master Plumber.

Plumbing Schools in New Hampshire

One way to learn the needed skills to become a plumber is to enroll in a plumbing program through a trade school or community college. Some places that offer these include:

  • Granite State Trade School. This trade school in Raymond, NH, has partnered with the National Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Educational Foundation to offer students a choice of in-person training or a hybrid course, which can be done partly online. The classroom plumber apprentice program meets two nights a week beginning in September. Students complete 150 hours of classroom training each year.
  • The NH School of Mechanical Trades. Located in Manchester, NH, this school offers Plumbing 101, an entry-level course designed for people interested in a career in plumbing who haven’t started a formal apprenticeship. The school also offers Apprentice courses, which are geared to the working apprentice who needs to fulfill the state’s classroom requirements. Students complete 160 hours of classroom training each year.

Finding a Plumbing Apprenticeship in New Hampshire

If you love working with your hands and you’re interested in a lucrative career that’s always in high demand, consider plumbing. To pursue this career in New Hampshire, you’ll start by becoming a plumbing apprentice. This is a paid position that involves working under a master plumber learning many different plumbing skills such as inspecting, installing and repairing pipes and fixtures.

To work as a plumbing apprentice in New Hampshire, you’ll need to register with the Mechanical Licensing Division. They will issue an identification card that you’ll need to carry with you at all times. An apprenticeship requires 8,000 hours, which is about four years of on-the-job training. You’ll also need to complete 144 hours of classroom instruction each year.

You’ll need to find a master plumber willing to train an apprentice. There are both union and non-union opportunities. An example of a union plumbing apprenticeship is Local Union 131. The U.S. Department of Labor Education and Training can give you more information about becoming a plumbing apprentice in New Hampshire.

Attending a formal training program can help you get started as a plumbing apprentice. The New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades offers Plumbing 101, which can give you an introduction to the field before you start a formal apprenticeship. They also offer apprentice plumbing courses that meet one evening a week for 40 weeks and allow a working apprentice to complete the necessary classroom instruction.

Earnings Potential and Employment Opportunities for Plumbers in New Hampshire

The data from O*NET Online provides insights into the salary figures for Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters in New Hampshire, showing that workers in this field earn an average annual wage of $58,250. This is slightly below the national average of $60,090. The lowest 10% of earners in New Hampshire make $36,880 or less, while the highest 10% earn up to $82,480.

National vs. New Hampshire Salary Comparison

Location Annual Low (10%) Annual Median (50%) Annual High (90%)
United States $37,250 $60,090 $101,190
New Hampshire $36,880 $58,250 $82,480

Salaries by Regions in New Hampshire

Region Annual Low (10%) Annual Median (50%) Annual High (90%)
Manchester, NH $37,590 $59,740 $78,020
Portsmouth, NH-ME $42,430 $60,530 $79,250
Dover-Durham, NH-ME $37,420 $57,710 $75,840

Plumbing Trends in New Hampshire

The employment trends for Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters in New Hampshire show a healthy growth pattern. In 2020, the state employed approximately 1,910 individuals in these professions. By 2030, this number is projected to increase to 2,050, representing a growth rate of 7%. Annually, from 2020 to 2030, New Hampshire is expected to have about 210 job openings due to growth and replacements.

This growth rate is notably higher than the national average, which is projected at only 2% from 2022 to 2032, with the number of employees increasing from 482,700 to 493,600, and an average of 42,600 projected annual job openings.


Region Employment (Start Year) Projected Employment (End Year) Projected Growth (%) Annual Job Openings
New Hampshire 1,910 (2020) 2,050 (2030) 7% 210
United States 482,700 (2022) 493,600 (2032) 2% 42,600

Sources of data:

  1. State Data: The projections for this State from 2020 to 2030 are provided by Projections Central, which offers long-term projections for occupational employment.
  2. United States Data: The nationwide employment projections from 2022 to 2032 are sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which regularly publishes detailed employment projections for a wide range of occupations across the United States.

Work as a Plumber in New Hampshire

Working as a plumber can be both interesting and challenging. No two days are exactly alike. Working conditions aren’t always ideal, since you may have to work outdoors in bad weather, lift heavy materials or squeeze into tight spaces. You may have to handle emergencies at any hour day or night.

A job as a plumber will be rewarding since you’ll know that you’re providing an essential service in providing clean, problem-free running water, drainage and other services. Everyone has problems with their plumbing sooner or later, and there are plenty of job opportunities for plumbers all over New Hampshire, especially in cities such as Manchester and Nashua.