How to Become a Licensed Plumber in Wisconsin

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Almost all states require plumbers to have licenses, and Wisconsin is no exception. In fact, it has some of the country’s strictest standards for plumbers. If you want to become a plumber, it is important to know the steps involved in getting your plumbing license and working as a plumber in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Plumbing License Requirements

Every plumber must have a license in Wisconsin, and they must possess these credentials from the start. Licenses are issued at every level, from apprentice to contractor.

Wisconsin’s DSPS, or Department of Safety and Professional Services, requires prospective plumbers to finish an apprenticeship program and prove their competency by passing a state exam.

Then, they become licensed journeymen who must earn even more experience before receiving a master plumber’s license.

Types of Wisconsin Plumbing Licenses

Wisconsin has nine types of plumber’s licenses, with three at each experience level.

Apprentices, journeymen, and masters alike must all earn their starter, restricted appliance, and restricted service licenses.

Each of these licenses has strict requirements, and new plumbers should familiarize themselves with these guidelines before starting.

Cost of a Wisconsin Plumbing License

The application fee is only $15 with a yearly renewal fee of $15 until the apprenticeship is finished.

Apprentice programs come at varying costs, but applicants can earn as they are learning.

Journeyman plumber credentials have an application fee of $10, with a $20 exam fee. Once an applicant passes the exam, they’ll pay a prorated license fee of $180, which is for a four-year term that starts on March 31st.

For master plumber’s licenses, there’s a $20 application fee and a $30 exam fee. Once an applicant passes the exam, their prorated license fee is $500. The license term is four years, and starts on March 31st.

Plumbing Licensing Exams

DSPS administers plumbing license exams, and each has a varying time limit.

For instance, the master plumber exam takes eight hours, while the restricted appliance and restricted service exams are only three hours.

Plumbing license exams are offered in Appleton, Brookfield, Eau Claire, and Madison several times per year, with locations, dates, and start times listed on the DSPS website.

Test-takers will receive a result letter within three weeks of their exams, and those who do not pass can schedule a review for $15.

Who Issues Wisconsin Plumbing Licenses?

The Department of Safety and Professional Services’ Trades Credentialing Division certifies those who show competency through their experience, training, and test-taking.

DSPS also issues Wisconsin Dwelling Contractor Credentials, which plumbing businesses must have to operate within the state.

Local governments often have different rules, and it’s up to individual plumbers to learn about those requirements.

Additional Plumbing Certifications

Other certifications, while not required by the state, can demonstrate a plumber’s proficiency to potential customers and employers.

For example, the NITC (National Inspection Testing and Certification) and ASSE certifications can increase a plumber’s marketability and make them more attractive hires.

Can I Transfer a Plumbing License to Wisconsin?

Wisconsin does not have plumbing license reciprocity, meaning plumbers cannot transfer out of state licenses into Wisconsin.

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