Wisconsin Contracting: Licensed to Skill

by Brian P. Murphy, J.D. on 2018-04-18 9:36am

Source: Pixabay.com

Bond, Surety Bond.

Perhaps it lacks the thrill of a license to kill, but building in Wisconsin takes licensed skills. And each license takes time, training, and education. For those looking to obtain or renew a license, we'll discuss some of the laws and regulations with which you should become familiar.

Before reading on, test yourself. Which of the following disciplines require licensing in Wisconsin and which don't?

  • Remodelling
  • Landscaping
  • HVAC Repair
  • Roofing
  • Flooring
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Blasting / Explosives
  • Fireworks / Pyrotechnics
  • Framing
  • Drywall
  • Appliance Repair

Licensed Skills and Profession in the Badger State

Source: Pixabay.com Source: Pixabay.com

There are nine basic areas in the contracting and construction field that require licensing in Wisconsin, so that contractors, their employees, and subcontractors can perform their services legally within the state. These areas are:

  • dwelling construction
  • electrical
  • mechanical
  • fire sprinkler
  • HVAC
  • plumbing
  • blasting and fireworks
  • conveyances (elevators, etc.)
  • inspection business

How many did you get right?

Obtaining any of these licenses generally involves several administrative steps, including:

  • completing prelicense training
  • paying required fees
  • posting a contractor license bond (in some cases), and
  • maintaining the license, i.e., keeping up with continuing education requirements and renewal fees.

Licensing Requirements

Navigating the licensing laws and regulations is a crucial step for all of these disciplines, yet not one generally taught in accordance with many of them. Here we are going to provide a layperson's overview of the laws and regulations that mark the road to successful licensing.

The following is a brief overview of the laws determining which disciplines require licensing and the steps necessary to comply with licensing regulations.

Source: Pixabay.com

First is the preamble leading to all of the licensing requirements in the professions related to contracting:

SPS 305.001 Purpose. This chapter is to protect public and employee health, safety and welfare by establishing minimum standards for the qualifications and responsibilities of persons and businesses that are required or permitted to obtain licenses, certifications or registrations…

And this is the roadmap to understanding the language used in these laws:

SPS 305.003Definitions. Click here to see the 75 different definitions used in this piece of the licensing chapter.

The Application Process

SPS 305.01 Application. [In part]

(1) Application for a license, certification or registration or a license, certification or registration examination covered under this chapter shall be submitted on a form prescribed by the department.

(2) An application for a license, certification or registration which either requires or recognizes the attendance at or completion of educational courses as a qualification for the license, certification or registration shall be accompanied by such evidence, including but not limited to transcripts, that verifies fulfillment of the prerequisite.

(4) A business having multiple locations covered under one federal employer identification number applying for any of the following licenses, certifications or registrations need not obtain a separate license, certification or registration for each location:

(a) Dwelling contractor.

(b) Electrical contractor.

(c) UDC inspection agency.

(d) HVAC contractor.

(e) PECFA consulting firm.

(f) Tank specialty firm.

(g) Elevator contractor.

(h) Gas supplier.

For a list of these fees updated as of August 2017, click here.

Some of the other and specialty licenses included under the aegis of contractor include:

Check for the discipline that you are pursuing or take a quick look at them all if you're still in the "considering" stage. You'll be surprised how readily attainable and affordable they can be if you just follow the steps provided.

And always begin your licensing or prelicensing course searches at: AYPO/Tradesmance.com.

Just one final footnote: there generally are no licensing requirements for Odd Jobs.


Good luck and good licensing!