The state government in Indiana requires state contractor licenses only for plumbers and companies wanting to bid on Department of Transportation projects (which must pass an interview process but no exam). Local governments in Indiana require contractors to have licenses for their individual trades such as electrician, carpenter or builder. Individuals should contact the municipal or county governments serving areas in which they are working to find out what is required. There are other professional licenses required by the state, but they are not for contractor professions.
Plumbers must go through a four-year plumbing apprenticeship program that is recognized by the state. This program can be through a technical school, college or union. The apprenticeship program will have on-the-job training with a licensed plumbing contractor as well as classroom training. This apprenticeship program will lead to a journeyman license and will qualify the individual to take the state licensing exam.
A plumber hoping to take the state licensing exam must have worked a minimum of four years and 6,400 working hours under the direct supervision of a licensed plumbing contractor. This differs from the apprenticeship requirement because both meet the minimum testing requirements. If you're seeking to take the plumbing contractor exam and can show the licensing agency that you have completed either the apprenticeship program or four years, 6,400 hours of verifiable working experience, you can apply to take the exam.
The licensing agency will review all applications to determine who qualifies to take the state licensing exam. The exam consists of three sections. The practical section deals with copper piping and soil piping. The written section has questions dealing with plumbing work and is multiple choice. Last is the drawing section, which deals with the layout of drainage systems and the way water is distributed throughout the facility and grounds. If you have received your journeyman's license through an apprenticeship program, you will only be required to take the written and drawing sections of the exam.