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Wisconsin Plumbing License: Everything You Need to Know

Are ready to start your career as a plumber? The plumbing profession requires trade school, an apprenticeship, and an understanding of Wisconsin's plumbing laws. 

Plenty of resources exist to help you attain your goals. Continue reading this guide to learn everything you need to know to get a Wisconsin plumbing license.

What are the Different Types of Plumbing Licenses Available in Wisconsin?

An apprentice works under experienced plumbers to learn new skills. In this role, you can’t work alone. You also must be at least 18 years old.

To become a journeyman plumber in Wisconsin, you must first complete an apprenticeship for 5 years with a master plumber. You also must pass a state exam. The exam costs $20, and the application fee is $10. Upon passing the exam, you will pay a licensing fee of $180. Journeymen can perform jobs without the direct supervision of a master plumber, but they are not able to start their own contracting business.

A master plumber has practiced the plumbing trade for several years and has passed Wisconsin's master plumber exam. To take the master plumber exam, a plumber must complete at least 1000 hours per year for at least 3 consecutive years. Master plumbers can start their own plumbing business.

A plumber’s pay depends on his or her experience. The average hourly pay for plumbers in Wisconsin is $26.35.

How to Get a Plumbing License

A journeyman plumber can apply for licensing by first completing the exam. The test consists of two parts, 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 has 120 questions.

After becoming a journeyman, a plumber can take the exam to become a master plumber. This exam consists of two 4-hour parts. The first part has 110 questions, and the second part has 132 questions. To learn more about the test, visit the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Education

Several technical colleges offer plumbing programs, including Fox Valley Technical College. Other colleges with the program include Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, Moraine Park Technical College, Gateway Technical College, and Western Technical College.

Typically, plumbing programs take about 2 years to complete, and classes will teach you about water heaters, pipe fittings, plumbing codes, and entrepreneurship.

Depending on the school, you won’t be required to take general education courses. Most classes require in-person attendance, although some online classes may be available. Also, you should consider purchasing plumbing tools, such as pipe cutters, a tape measure, and a utility knife.

Many colleges cost less than $4,000 per year. Eligibility for financial aid will depend on the school. For instance, at Fox Valley Technical College, students are not eligible for financial aid. To receive financial aid through government programs, fill out the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services form. If you don't qualify, you can get private loans, apply for scholarships, or work for a company that offers tuition reimbursement.

Criminal Background

A criminal record doesn't bar you from holding a Wisconsin plumbing license, but you might have to complete a criminal disclosure statement in the licensing application for a felony. 

Should I Join a Union?

Unions advocate for plumbers. For instance, unions voice their collective concerns to local politicians. They also 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.

Insurance for Plumbers in Wisconsin

Plumbers should invest in public liability insurance, general property coverage, and personal accident and illness coverage.

How to Get My First Plumbing Apprenticeship

Contacting Plumbers Union Local 75 is one of the primary ways to get an apprenticeship. During interviews, you will be asked to explain your education and previous experience.

Does My License Work in Any Other State?

Wisconsin doesn't have reciprocity with any other state.

How Do I Stay Up to Date With Plumbing Codes?

Plumbers can learn about changes in plumbing codes by visiting Wisconsin's State Legislature pages. You also can take continuing education courses.

What Resources are Available in the Plumbing Industry?

You can learn about the plumbing industry by reading blogs. Your goal is to stay aware of trends in plumbing and learn about new plumbing specialties

Many trade shows offer opportunities for you to learn about the latest tools and techniques. There are plenty of shows in Wisconsin, such as the Annual Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Trade Show. Browse this comprehensive list of trade shows.

I Already Have a License But:

If you misplace your Wisconsin plumbing license, change your name, or change your address, you will need to contact the Wisconsin Safety and Professional Services office. Depending on your situation, bring proof of your name change, proof of your identity, or proof of your new address.

How Often Do I Renew My Plumbing License in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin will send you a renewal plumbing license application about 4 to 6 weeks before your license expires. Cost of renewal is $40 unless it has already expired. In that case, you'll have to pay an extra $25 for late renewal.


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