How much money do contractors make in WI?

Working in the construction industry can be lucrative, particularly when you take into account that you usually don’t need a college-level diploma to get started in this field. But contractor salaries vary pretty dramatically depending on the type of work you do, your experience level, and where you live. 

If you live in Wisconsin, how much money can you expect to make as a contractor? That’s what we’re here to find out. We’ll look at a general overview of what contractors earn across the country, what jobs pay in the Badger State, and how much you’ll bring home depending on your type of contractor work. 

Average contractor salaries

To help you get a better handle on contractor salaries in Wisconsin, it’s first helpful to understand the broad strokes of contractor pay across the nation. For that, we’ll turn to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They highlight the sizable range of pay you might get in the construction industry by giving us data on entry-level jobs all the way up to construction managers:

  • Construction laborers and helpers: In 2019 (the most recent year for which the Bureau has released data), the average construction laborer made $17.31 an hour, which means they took home about $36,000 for the year. While that’s a little bit below the state average of $19.79, the Bureau says job outlook is good for construction laborers. They anticipate job growth of 5% over the next decade, faster than average.  
  • Construction managers: If you work your way up to manager level, things look even better. Construction managers earned an average of $45.80 per hour or $95,260 per year in 2019. Plus, they can expect job growth of about 8%, much faster than average. Keep in mind that in order to reach this level of contractor, you usually need a Bachelor’s degree. 

This is just a look at averages across the country, though. What do contractors earn in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin salaries for contractors

Indeed says that the average contractor in Wisconsin earns roughly $38,00 a year, or $16.84 an hour. But that doesn’t give you a ton of information. How much do you make based on the specific type of work you do? 

Let’s take a look. 

General contractors

As a GC, you’re looking at a bit more pay. Indeed puts the average base salary at just over $20 an hour, which would have you earning a little more than $40k a year. 

ZipRecruiter reports higher earnings for GCs, putting their average earnings at over $60k.  

Home remodeling contractors

If you were to average out the earnings for GCs from our two sources above, you’d arrive right in the ballpark for home remodeling contractor salaries in Wisconsin. ZipRecruiter says these contractors earn about $53,000 a year, while Salary.com puts them at nearly $50k. 


If you’re a roofing contractor, you can expect to earn somewhere in the mid $30,000s. Salary.com says the median roofer salary falls right around $36,000, while Indeed reports a similar number, putting the average at just north of $35,000. 


As an electrical contractor, you’re looking at earning a very comfortable living in Wisconsin, even as a journeyman. If you work your way up to master electrician, you can expect to earn about 10k more each year. Here are some quick figures on average electrician salaries in Wisconsin:


Plumbing contractors earn a very solid salary in the Badger State. Indeed says the average plumber earns about $32 an hour. 

Just like electricians, plumbers earn more depending on their experience level and the corresponding licensure. Journeyman plumbers earn roughly $59,000 a year, according to ZipRecruiter, while master plumbers make an average salary of nearly $66,000. 


Ultimately, you can bring home a handsome living as a contractor in Wisconsin. But the amount you earn will depend on the type of work you pursue and your experience/license level. 

Keep in mind, though, that the Wisconsin Department​ of Safety and Professional Services requires that contractors maintain their license level by taking continuing education on a regular basis. The number of CE hours you’ll need will depend on your license type, so brush up on your specific requirements so you can keep your license current. 

We do have some good news for you. You can probably take the CE hours you need online. The DSPS has approved specific online courses, allowing Wisconsin contractors to get the hours they need whenever their schedule permits from any location that’s convenient for them. You can take your hours from your computer, tablet, or even your mobile phone.

Since CE is getting easier and easier and contractors can earn a comfortable salary, there’s plenty to be excited about if you’re considering a contracting career in Wisconsin.