Plumbers install, repair and maintain the water supply, waste water treatment, drainage and gas systems in homes, commercial and industrial buildings. The work includes plumbing tasks to assemble, install and repair pipes, fittings, and fixtures of heating, water and drainage systems according to specifications and plumbing codes.

The Technical Plumbing Apprenticeship program is five years in length, with a minimum of 8,000 hours. This includes 572 hours of paid related instruction and 260 hours of unpaid instruction, plus an 8 hour Plumbing Prep Test-Out Exam or a 54 hour Plumbing Code Review Course.

  • Overview
  • Included in the 572 hours of day school and 260 hours of night school Plumbing Apprenticeship training:

    • OSHA 30-hour Safety Training
    • Water distribution
    • Cross connection control
    • Sanitary drains
    • Vents and venting
    • Private onsite wastewater treatment systems
    • Green plumbing
    • Solar hot water
    • Water reuse
    • Storm water
    • State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services Administrative Code

    Term of Apprenticeship

    The Technical Plumbing Apprenticeship program is five years in length, with a minimum of 8,000 hours. This includes 572 hours of paid related instruction and 260 hours of unpaid instruction, plus an 8 hour Plumbing Prep Test-Out Exam or a 54 hour Plumbing Code Review Course.

  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Requirements
  • Minimum Requirements

    The apprenticeship applicant must complete the following to be considered a qualified applicant:

    1. Complete Apprentice Application
    2. Provide a copy of your High School transcripts or GED
    3. Prove you have a valid driver's license
    4. Take the TABE Survey entrance assessment test which will consist of the following sections: Math, Math Computation, and Reading. The applicant must have an 11th grade level score in all sections. Please call 608.822.2313 or 800.362.3322 ext. 2313 to schedule an appointment for testing which is located in the Knox Learning Center, Room 314D. ACT scores within the past five years of the test date can be used in lieu of the TABE Survey (minimum ACT standards of 15 in Math and 16 in Reading required)
    5. Complete Employer Application
    If you are unable to access documents here, please contact Academic Services (academicservices@swtc.edu, 608.822.2617)

    High School Seniors: Apply in your last semester if you meet all other qualifications. Submit a letter from your high school counselor stating you will graduate at the end of the academic year.

    No one will be considered a qualified applicant until all of the above requirements have been met. Please submit the information listed above to:

    Jody Millin
    Southwest Tech
    1800 Bronson Blvd.
    Fennimore, WI 53809
    608.822.2720
    jmillin@swtc.edu
    fax: 608.822.2675

    You will be given a letter of introduction to give to prospective employers after all the minimum qualifications have been met. If you find an employer willing to hire you as an apprentice, contact Jody Millin at Southwest Tech 608.822.2720. Jody will provide you with information on procedures to be followed by you and your employer.

    Program Fees

    • NOTE: This program is not eligible for financial aid.
    • Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
    • Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.

    Additional requirements

    Students must have eye wear protection (safety glasses with side shields or wrap around safety glasses over prescription glasses) and must meet OSHA Z87.1 or greater while they are conducting operations that are deemed hazardous in nature. These glasses can be purchased at the College Bookstore.

  • Outcomes
  • A student successfully completing this program will be able to do the following:

    • Assemble pipe sections, tubing and fittings, using couplings, hangers, cement, and plastic solvent, soldering, brazing and welding equipment.
    • Cut openings in structures to accommodate pipes and pipe fittings, using hand and power tools.
    • Fill pipes or plumbing fixtures with water or air and observe pressure gauges to detect and locate leaks.
    • Hang steel supports from ceiling joists to hold pipes in place.
    • Install pipe assemblies, fitting, valves, appliances such as dishwashers and water heaters, and fixtures such as sinks and toilets, using hand and power tools.
    • Install underground storm, sanitary and water piping systems and extend piping to connect fixtures and plumbing to these systems.
    • Repair and maintain plumbing, replace defective washers, replace or mend broken pipes, and opening clogged drains.
    • Interpret building plans and inspect structures to assess material and equipment needs.
    • Determine the material, methods, and tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
    • Maintain a working knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses and repairs.
    • Maintain a working knowledge of blueprint reading, the plumbing code, math and theory.
    • Must be able to understand detailed written and verbal communication.