How to Become a Licensed Contractor in Wisconsin

If you want to be a contractor in the United States, then most states require you to get the proper license for your craft. In general, contractor licenses require that you be a United States citizen or legal resident who is at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent. When you sign up for your license, you will need to produce identification and you will have to answer for any work violations or other issues attached to your name or your company’s name.

In just about every state, you will find that there is an educational requirement and a certain amount of work experience is needed. Some states allow you to simply fill out a form to get certain kinds of contractor licenses, while other licenses require hours of classroom work from a certified organization.

The state of Wisconsin has its own set of rules when it comes to getting a contractor’s license, and those rules are very specific for each type of contractor. If you want to become a contractor in the state of Wisconsin, you have to meet the criteria for each type of contractor license and have your license in hand before you start advertising for work.

Licensed contractor

Make sure you get the proper license.

The state of Wisconsin offers a Dwelling Contractor license and a Dwelling Contractor Qualifier license. While it is possible to get just one of them, you need both if you want to apply for building permits for your business.

The Qualifier license is the one attached to the individual, and it is the one that requires the classroom hours and work experience. The Dwelling Contractor license is to identify the business, and the only requirement to get this license is to fill out a form and pay the fee for each business location you own. You should get your Qualifier license before you attempt to get your Dwelling Contractor license as, in many cases, you usually need to get the Qualifier license first.

Getting a Dwelling Contractor Qualifier License

To be able to take the test for a Dwelling Contractor Qualifier license you must complete a 12-hour course through a certified organization as outlined by the state of Wisconsin. Once you pass the test, you can send in your certificate, completed application, and payment to get your Dwelling Contractor Qualifier license. The license must be renewed every two years with 12 hours of class time and a payment.


The state of Wisconsin refers to its certifications and licenses as credentials. The state offer credentials in:

  • Asbestos abatement
  • Lead abatement
  • Electrician
  • Plumbing
  • HVAC
  • Interior sprinkler systems
  • Tank installation
  • Pump installation
  • Well drilling

Along with a credential to perform these specific tasks, these professions also require a Dwelling Contractor Qualifier license to work in the state of Wisconsin. Each credential has its own classroom and experience requirement, and the fees for each credential vary.

Asbestos Abatement

The asbestos abatement field has credentials ranging from worker to supervisor. Each position requires classroom time that can range anywhere from eight to 40 hours. All training must be completed with a certified organization and you cannot be approved for your credential until you have completed your training. The tests required for credentials are closed book, multiple choice.

Lead Abatement

Some of the fields available in the lead abatement credentialing area include lead-safe worker, abatement worker, supervisor, inspector, and project designer. In this field, many credentials require a fee for the certificate and a separate fee for the exam. Positions such as project designer and supervisor require either a bachelor’s degree in an associated field or several years of field experience.


Becoming a credentialed electrician in the state of Wisconsin is not an easy task. Both journeymen and master electricians have to have thousands of work hours to their credit before they can even take the tests for their respective position. Master electricians must pass a national test before they can take Wisconsin’s state test for credentials.


Before you can become a journeyman plumber in the state of Wisconsin, you must first complete an approved apprenticeship program. As you move up to a master plumber, you need thousands of hours of work experience and a passing grade on a national exam. Both masters and journeyman need to pass a certification test offered by the state of Wisconsin through a series of certified testing facilities. Classroom hours in plumbing codes, blueprint reading, and other related topics are required before taking the certification test.


To get your Wisconsin HVAC credential, you need to have at least 1,000 hours of work experience and four years of technical school or college education. The HVAC credential is only offered to people who run their company, and it does not require classroom time or an exam.

Interior Sprinkler Systems

Fire sprinkler professionals must complete an approved apprenticeship before they are allowed to take the Wisconsin credentialing test. Each credential has its own cost for application, and then the exams have their own separate costs.

Tank Installation

Within the tank installation area there are credentials for above ground tanks, underground tanks, tank system liners, and tank removers. There is no education requirement to take the exam, but it never hurts to take a course in your tank specialty to make sure that you pass your Wisconsin credential exam.

Pump Installation

The pump installation credential exam is actually offered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and does not require any classroom work to take the exam. When you register for your exam, the Department of Natural Resources will send you a study guide that you can use to prepare for the exam. There are also online resources you can use to prepare for your test.

Licensed contractor

Get your information on file to get your contractor’s license as soon as possible.

Well Drilling

A well drilling credential is handled in much the same way a pump installation credential is handled. You must contact the Department of Natural Resources to take the exam and earn your credential.

Let PDH Contractors Help

When you start a course with PDH Contractors, you will be able to access all of the class information you need to qualify for your Dwelling Contractor Qualifier license and any credential that has classroom information offered by the state. With PDH Contractors, you will get all of the information you need to pass your class and get set up to take your exam.


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