A Plumbing Career in Wisconsin
Have you been wondering if a career as a plumber will have the opportunities you want? If you like to work with your hands, have good physical stamina and think you can handle using tools in tight spaces, a career in plumbing might be just the thing for you. What are the advantages of working as a plumber? One of the biggest is that plumbing services will be in demand as long as there are pipes to install, maintain and repair.
Plumbing systems exist nearly everywhere where humans live and work. These systems bring water to homes and businesses, remove waste products and provide gas for cooking and warmth. Plumbing is also a significant component in many air conditioning systems and is used to transport industrial gasses and chemicals for manufacturing. Even hospitals rely on piping systems to deliver medical gasses to patients who need them to survive. With so many industries relying on plumbing, it’s hard to imagine an industry where plumbers are not required to keep things running smoothly.
Wisconsin Licensing Requirements
Licenses in Wisconsin are awarded by the Department of Safety and Professional Services. For plumbing licenses, there are three different levels reflecting different stages in the plumber’s career. The Plumbing Apprentice license is for those who are just beginning their career and learning the trade. The Journeyman Plumber license requires the completion of an apprenticeship and the ability to pass an exam. The Master Plumber license is for those who have worked for at least three years as a Journeyman Plumber with at least 1,000 hours worked per year.
Wisconsin Training for Plumbers
Plumbing training is generally completed through attendance at an appropriate training program or an apprenticeship with a qualified plumber. In either case, a high school diploma or equivalent is a required prerequisite. For those wishing to explore apprenticeship opportunities, this website can help you find an opening in your area.
A few possible training programs in Wisconsin are listed below:
- Nicolet College offers Plumbing Apprenticeship training. Students in the program will learn to install and repair pipes for water, gas, sewage and draining systems. Upon completion of the program, graduates will have the option to transfer credits to a Journey-Worker degree.
- Western Technical College offers a Plumbing course. This five-year program provides 2,500 hours of on-the-job training, 500 hours of paid instruction and 260 hours of unpaid instruction.
- Fox Valley Technical College offers Plumbing Apprentice training. Students will train on residential and industrial projects while receiving both paid and unpaid instruction.
- Milwaukee Area Technical College offers a Preparatory Plumbing Diploma. The program provides instruction on the basics of plumbing. Upon completion of the program, an apprenticeship is the recommended next step.
Wages and Career Growth in Wisconsin
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), wages in Wisconsin are well above the national average, with plumbers reporting an average annual salary of $68,360 in 2019. By comparison, the average annual salary for this occupation nationally was $59,800. The top 10 percent of earners in Wisconsin reported an annual wage of $99,270, leaving plenty of room for economic growth within the field.
In other good news, the career is expected to continue to grow by 12.1 percent over the next ten years.
Career Opportunities for Wisconsin Plumbers
According to the BLS, the industries with the highest level of employment for plumbers are building equipment contractors and utility systems construction companies. However, with plumbers in high demand everywhere, you will be able to seek employment in nearly any industry. Potential employers in Wisconsin include Madison Metropolitan School District, Marquette University, Medix Group, the Army National Guard and the Wisconsin State Government.