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Plumbing Apprentice



Plumbing apprentices learn to install and repair pipes for water, gas, sewage, and drainage systems, and to install and repair sanitary facilities. They learn how to test their installations to ensure compliance with plumbing code. Work can be indoors or outdoors on existing or new construction projects. Plumbers may work on a ladder/scaffold, in trenches and in various weather conditions. Work requires both stamina and physical strength, working in cramped or uncomfortable positions, and standing for long periods.

Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and related classroom instruction.

  • An apprentice enters a contract to learn a skilled craft or trade in exchange for paid services to an employer in the field.
  • The apprentice works with a journeyman (skilled craftsman) for two to five years depending on the trade where the skilled craftsman passes on knowledge to the apprentice.
  • Each apprentice is required to take designated related instruction throughout their apprenticeship. Instruction is usually provided through the technical college. Typically, apprentices attend day school for eight hours every other week (72-hours per semester) and receive a normal hourly salary while attending class during the day.
  • Many apprenticeship trades also require night school.
  • Apprenticeships are a partnership between the employer who offers on-the-job training, the apprentice who agrees to work for the employer, the technical college or training group, and the State of Wisconsin, Department of Workforce Development, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Standards.


  • 5-year training program
  • 8,000 hours of on-the-job training
  • 576 hours of paid related classroom instruction
  • 260 hours of non-paid related instruction (First Aid, Welding, OHSA, Modules, Blueprint Reading, Transition to Trainer, etc)

Program Outcomes

  1. Apply state plumbing code requirements to the installation and repair of sanitary drain systems.
  2. Apply state plumbing code requirements to the installation and repair of venting systems.
  3. Apply state plumbing code requirements to the installation and repair of water supply systems.
  4. Apply state plumbing code requirements to the installation and repair of storm drain systems.
  5. Apply State plumbing code requirements to the installation and repair of POWTS systems.
  6. Refer to the Wisconsin Administrative Plumbing codes.
  7. Prepare for journey level licensure examination.


  • High school diploma or GED/HSED
  • Passing score on Accuplacer or other required tests
  • Physical capability of performing the trade
  • Valid driver's license or reliable transportation
  • Applicants must meet the application and testing requirements of the field they are interested in entering. These rules and policies may vary depending on the requirements of the specific occupation.
  • Applicants must be employed prior to starting an apprenticeship. If you do not have an employer, you can still start the application process and go before the committee to receive a Letter of Introduction, which can be taken to potential employers to designate that you are a qualified apprenticeship candidate.


  • Depending on the current needs of business and industry, the availability of apprenticeship programs may vary. Please check with the Dean of Trade and Industry to see if courses are being offered in any given year.


The Department of Workforce Development - Bureau of Apprenticeship and Standards (BAS) governs apprenticeship programs, deriving its authority from Chapter 106 of the Wisconsin Statutes. This law determines all requirements of students, employers, and apprenticeship training programs. Registration assures that the employer has a qualified employee and that the apprentice receives a thorough grounding in the knowledge and skills required in his/her selected field. BAS's supervision assures that training meets the standards of the trade.

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