How to Become a Plumber in Wisconsin

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The plumbing profession, no matter which state you plan to work in, requires trade school, an apprenticeship, and an understanding of plumbing laws.

If you continue reading this guide, you will learn everything you need to know to get a Wisconsin plumbing license.

All plumbing licenses in Wisconsin are administered through the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS).

It is worth mentioning that some local apprenticeship committees may, enforce their own application requirements and regulations for applicants., so it is our suggestion that those interested in becoming a plumber read their local committee’s guidelines prior to applying.

Plumbers who wish to perform work on dwellings, structures, or sites must also receive DSPS Dwelling Contractor certification.

Wisconsin Plumbing License Reciprocity

In the state of Wisconsin, reciprocity agreements are offered on a case-by-case basis.

This means that only individuals whose plumbing contracting license is comparable to Wisconsin’s will be allowed to get the reciprocity.

Wisconsin Master Plumbing License Requirements

In Wisconsin, aspiring master plumbers must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete at least 1,000 hours as a journeyman plumber or graduate from an accredited university or college with a degree in a related engineering field;
  • Both require proof of experience.
  • Candidates must submit an Application for the Master Plumber License, alongside a $20 application fee and a $30 exam fee.

All applications may be sent to:

Department of Safety and Professional Services
Trades Credentialing Unit
PO Box 78780
Milwaukee, WI  53293-0780

Once you become a licensed master plumber in Wisconsin, you will be allowed to perform all work typically associated with the profession, such as installing, repairing, and examining any and all plumbing apparatus.

Master plumbers can start their own plumbing business.

A journeyman plumber can take the exam to become a master plumber and this exam consists of two 4-hour parts.

The first part has 110 questions, and the second part has 132 questions.

Wisconsin Plumbing Journeyman License Requirements

In order to become a journeyman plumber in the state of Wisconsin, you must have: 

  • 5 years as an apprentice (8,000 hours);
  • 7,428 hours must be spent on the job;
  • 572 hours must be spent in the classroom;
  • Proof of experience letter from the Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards;
  • Successful completion of the journeyman plumbing license exam.
  • Submitted an Application for the Journeyman Plumber License, alongside a $10 application fee and a $20 exam fee.

Plumbing Journeyman Exam

Wisconsin plumbing journeyman exam is a two-part open book exam and each part of the test has a 3-hour time limit.

The first part of the test has 87 questions, and the second part consists of 120 questions.

To become a journeyman plumber in Wisconsin, you are required to reach a passing grade of 70%.

The exam costs $20, and the application fee is $10.

Upon passing the exam, you will need to pay a licensing fee of $180.

Wisconsin Plumbing Apprenticeship Requirements

Requirements to becoming a plumbing apprentice in Wisconsin include:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Hold a high school diploma or equivalent;
  • Be able to physically perform the trade;
  • Possess a valid driver’s license or reliable transportation.
  • An Application for Plumbing Apprenticeship Registration, alongside a $15 application fee.

Once you manage to become a plumbing apprentice, you will work directly under the supervision of masters and learn the skills of the trade.

Apprentices learn and perform all of the work, such as installing and repairing pipes that supply water or gas to and from buildings.

To look for plumbing apprentice jobs in Wisconsin you can look at local apprenticeship committees, as well as through job sites such as Indeed.

You can also utilize Wisconsin’s professional license search to verify plumbing licenses in your area and find a master plumber to start your apprenticeship.

How Often Do I Need To Renew My Plumbing License in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin will send you a renewal plumbing license application about 4 to 6 weeks before your license expires and you will be required to pay $40 fee unless it has already expired.

In case it has already expired, you will have to pay an extra $25 for late renewal.

Plumbing Trade Schools in Wisconsin

There is another option that aspiring plumbers can find apprenticeships directly through local universities and technical colleges.

Below are a few of the schools which offer plumbing courses in Wisconsin:

Madison Area Technical College

Location: Madison, WI

Tuition (in-state): $2,184.00 for the entire program

Contact: (608) 246-6800

Chippewa Valley Technical College

Location: Eau Claire, WI

Tuition (in-state): $2,421 for the entire program

Contact: (715) 833-6300

Western Technical College

Location: La Crosse, WI

Tuition: No tuition costs.

Contact: (608) 785-9200

Milwaukee Area Technical College

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Tuition (in-state): $2,374 per semester

Contact: (414) 297-6282

Some additional technical colleges that offer plumbing programs are Fox Valley Technical College, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, Moraine Park Technical College, and Gateway Technical College.

Plumbing programs take about 2 years to complete, and you will be taught about water heaters, pipe fittings, plumbing codes, and entrepreneurship during these studies.

The tuition is less than $4,000 per year and your eligibility for financial aid will depend on the school.

To receive financial aid through government programs, you can fill out the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services form.

Should I Join a Union?

Unions can be very useful, due to the fact that they help plumbers receive adequate benefits on their jobs.

Plumbers Union Local 75 and UA Local 400 Plumbers and Steamfitters are a couple of unions in Wisconsin which you can choose from.

Contacting Plumbers Union Local 75 is one of the primary ways to get an apprenticeship if you cannot find a master plumber to start your apprenticeship by yourself.

Insurance for Plumbers in Wisconsin

It is our suggestion that plumbers should invest in public liability insurance, general property coverage, and personal accident and illness coverage.

Salary

Just as in any other profession, there can be numerous factors that affect a salary and it cannot be exactly determined how much plumbers earn.

The average Plumber salary in Wisconsin is $ 56,619 and it varies among the major cities.

A plumber’s pay depends on his or her experience, meaning that apprentice plumber will earn half the salary of a master plumber, but the average hourly pay for plumbers in Wisconsin is $26.35.

Annual Salary Range:

$49K
$56K
$64K

Average Salary of Plumbers in Wisconsin

City NameSalary
Milwaukee$56,888
Madison$56,561
Green Bay$55,142
Kenosha$56,354
Racine$56,354
Appleton$55,153
Waukesha$56,674
Oshkosh$54,796
Eau Claire$53,202
La Crosse$51,710
* Salary information last updated 2020

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