How to Become a Plumber in New Mexico
Have you been searching for a hands-on career with a good salary and growth potential? If so, you might want to consider a career as a plumber. Plumbing infrastructure is essential to modern living and can be found in nearly everything from residences and commercial buildings to hospitals and factories. All of these systems need regular maintenance and repair, making a plumber’s livelihood look promising for a long time into the future.
Plumbers work in a wide variety of industries, both in the public and private sectors. The work requires a vast knowledge of building materials and local building codes. Plumbers hold a great deal of responsibility and will need to know which types of materials to use to ensure the systems they install are safe for use.
Certain skills will be essential for plumbers, notably, physical stamina, manual dexterity and a good eye for detail. Plumbers often need to access systems in difficult-to-reach, low visibility areas. Under these conditions, they will need to visually inspect piping systems for problems and decide which components need replacing. Communication skills will also be required, especially for those who need to work with clients regularly.
Licensing in New Mexico
Plumbers in New Mexico must be licensed to practice. Licenses can be secured through the New Mexico Licensing and Regulation Department under the Mechanical Bureau. You will be required to show proof of two years working in the field plus be able to pass an exam.
New Mexico Training Programs for Plumbers
There are many training programs in New Mexico for those who wish to become plumbers. Prior to applying for a certified training program, you will need to have acquired a high school diploma or equivalent. Once completed, you can apply for one of the following programs:
- Santa Fe Community College offers a Plumbing Certificate. Students will learn to install systems from blueprints as well as provide maintenance and repairs.
- Central New Mexico Community College offers both an Associate of Applied Science degree and a Certificate of Completion in Plumbing and Gas Fitting. Students will learn to install, repair and maintain common residential and commercial plumbing and piping systems.
- New Mexico State University’s Doña Ana Community College offers a Certificate of Completion in Plumbing.
- Navajo Technical University offers a Construction Technology Program. Students will learn construction techniques, leadership skills and building codes, along with the basics of plumbing.
The Potential for Certification
While not necessary to practice, plumbers have a number of various certifications for which they can apply. A few examples of these include Plumbing Plans Examiner, UPC Journeyman Plumber and Medical Gas Maintenance. Acquiring such certificates can help you to qualify for specialized job offerings or give your business an edge by filling a niche area.
Wages and Job Growth Expectations in New Mexico
Data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 2019 showed an average annual salary for plumbers in the state of $46,280. A range of wages from $28,460 to $67,290 means you will have great potential to increase your earnings with experience.
This career continues to grow, with Projections Central citing an expected 13.9 percent job growth rate between 2018 and 2028.
Working as a Plumber in New Mexico
Acquiring the skills and education of a plumber is a great way to open the door to a secure future. With organizations like Albuquerque Public Schools, Universal Water Systems, the City of Las Cruces, Lowe’s Home Improvement and the Army National Guard recruiting for plumbers, it is easy to see how many opportunities this career can afford. From public and private sector jobs to home-based business ownership, working as a plumber has a lot of appeal.