• Plumbing Apprenticeship

    Facts about plumbers: career, training, advantages, application, contractors, and earnings

Plumbers are vital to the community as they ensure we have easy access to clean water and gas, and the ability to dispose of waste.  In addition to unclogging drains and fixing leaks, plumbing professionals are responsible for the assembly, installation, and repair of pipes, fixtures, and fittings in homes, businesses, and factories.

A Plumbing Apprenticeship provides a solid foundation in protecting the health of the public, by using essential plumbing skills, passed down from masters of the trade. Plumbing apprenticeships combine structured, on-the-job training with related classroom instruction. Apprenticeships provide a complete education in all aspects of the craft and training extends beyond the specific skills required by any one employer.

Apprentices are employed by a contractor for the term of their apprenticeship. Upon successful completion of the five-year/8,000 hour program and passing the state licensing examination, one will possess a Journeyworker Plumber’s license.

During the required classroom instruction, the plumbing apprentice learns how to use, care for, and safely handle the tools and materials used in the trades.  Apprentices learn safety techniques necessary to establish a safe working environment, including the safe use of ladders, scaffolding, fall protection and the need for trench shoring to prevent cave-ins.  Plumbers must be aware of the potential dangers of hazardous and toxic substances in their workplace, and the protective measures required.

They install piping for water, gas, sewage, and drainage systems. This includes installing sanitary fixtures in facilities, medical gas, and specialty piping systems for commercial, health and industrial applications.  They run tests on installations to make sure they are operating properly, and service and repair existing industrial, commercial, and residential plumbing systems.

The Plumbing Apprenticeship Program is a five-year “earn as you learn” program, with 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 572 hours of paid-related instruction.  A total of 90% of your training is done on-the-job with an additional 10% of training done in the classroom.  No previous experience is needed.  A person wishing to enter this professional trade must be able to understand detailed written and verbal communication. They should also enjoy working with their hands and be able to solve math problems quickly and accurately.

The Plumbing Apprenticeship Program requires 572 hours of paid-related instruction and 260 hours of unpaid-related instruction.  Related instruction courses are completed during a normal Fall and Spring semester cycle.  Your paid-related instruction includes attending class for an 8-hour day, once a week, and you get paid your hourly wage by your employer while you are in class.  Unpaid-related instruction are evening classes that you take each semester throughout the apprenticeship.

  • Earn while you learn
  • Become self-reliant
  • Potential to be no financial burden to one’s parents
  • College-level earning power upon graduation, without the costs of a college education
  • Obtain instruction by Journeyworker plumbers of considerable stature and experience
  • Gain respect and recognition from co-workers as one progresses and becomes productive
  • Satisfaction of working with your hands and your mind in an increasingly technical and sophisticated industry
  • Learn a trade that requires a license in the state of Wisconsin
  • Receive training for a career – not just a job
    • Varied career opportunities: Owner, inspector, estimator, teacher, etc.
  • Freedom to take your skill and knowledge from one employer to another, to all parts of the country

Union Plumbing Apprentices:

  • Equal pay for Men, Women, and Minorities
  • More likely to use best safety practices
  • Insurance/Retirement Benefits
  • Referral Hiring Halls
  • Training post-Apprenticeship

Once completed, return to:

Madison Area Plumbing Joint Apprenticeship Committee Office
5940 Seminole Centre Court, Suite 102
Madison, WI  53711

For more information or questions, please contact Kim Chacos at 608-288-1414 or Kim.Chacos@mechanicalindustries.org

General Qualifications for Plumbing Apprentices:

  • High School Diploma or Equivalency Certificate
  • Meet required minimums on Accuplacer Placement Test or ACT Test
  • Physically able to perform trade work
  • Valid driver’s license or reliable transportation
  • Take and pass a drug test prior to employment, or apprentice contract

This is a short list of contractors who train through the Madison Area Plumbing Joint Apprenticeship Committee:

1901 Inc.
2801 Syene Road
Madison, WI  53713

All Comfort Services
5245 Voges Road
Madison, WI  53718

Arndt & Son Plumbing, Inc.
201 S. Railroad Street
Brooklyn, WI  53521

H.J. Pertzborn Plumbing & Fire Protection
802 John Nolen Drive
Madison, WI  53713

Hooper Corporation
6450 Pederson Crossing Blvd.
DeForest, WI  53532

J. F. Ahern Co.
3821 Anderson Road
DeForest, WI  53532

Monona Plumbing & Fire Protection
3126 Watford Way
Madison, WI  53713

Triggs Plumbing Co.
1723 Beld Street
Madison, WI  53713

Madison Union Plumbing Wages
(thru 6/2/2024)

Plumbing Pre-Apprentice
Taxable Wage           $22.02
Health & Welfare       $9.75

1st Year Plumbing Apprentice
Taxable Wage               $24.78
Health & Welfare           $9.75
Pension Fund*                $3.55
*Increase each year of apprenticeship; hired on/after 6/1/23

 Journeyworker Plumber
Taxable Wage               $55.06
Health & Welfare           $9.75
Pension Fund*             $14.20

Madison Non-Union Plumbing Wages
(as of February 2, 2024)
Skilled Wage Rate is $38.26

Madison Area Plumbing Joint Apprenticeship Committee will not discriminate against apprenticeship applicants or apprentices on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, arrest or conviction record, membership in the armed forces, or because they are an individual with a disability or a person 40 years old or older.

Madison Area Plumbing Joint Apprenticeship Committee will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and operate the apprenticeship program as required under 29 CFR part 30 and the equal employment opportunity rules of the state of Wisconsin.