HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN INDIANA

A GUIDE ON PLUMBING IN INDIANA

The official records of the US Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) state that there are approximately 11,630 people employed in the plumbing, pipe-fitting and steam-fitting industry in Indiana. Indiana is situated in the Mid-western United States. In 2019, the population of Indiana stood at 6,732,219 and it is the 17th largest state in the USA in terms of population. Indiana has an extremely diverse economy and had a gross state product of $377.1 billion in 2019. The state has the 15th largest labor force in the US, that of 3.4 million. Indiana also has lower unemployment rate than the national average. There are several metropolitan areas in the states and this is where 77.7% of the population resides. Approximately two-thirds of Indiana’s population depends on ground water to satisfy their drinking, household and other consumption needs. The role of plumbing services is crucial in such a situation. This article will explore the prospects of plumbing and provide a guide on how to become a plumber in Indiana.

Plumbing in Indiana

JOB OUTLOOK

As mentioned above, there are about 11,630 people working in the plumbing sector in Indiana. 3.78 persons people out of every 1000 people are employed in this industry. Plumbers enjoy an average hourly wage of $25.97. The average annual salary of a plumber in Indiana is $61,480. The lowest wages are around $18,925, while the highest wages can go up to as high as $84,932. The average hourly salary for a journeyman plumber in this state is $24.78. The salaries vary, depending on the years of experience and the degree of qualifications. Apprentice plumbers and master plumbers therefore have a different range of wages. The cities paying the highest wages to plumbers in the state of Indiana are New Albany, Greenwood and Lafayette. After acquiring the plumbing license, most plumbers look for union contract jobs since these jobs offer pension and health benefits in addition to guaranteed wages. While the pandemic has led to a decline in opportunities for most occupations, it is being expected that the plumbing industry will eventually regain its dominant position once activities resume. It has also been declared as an “essential service” and the plumbers in the state are therefore constantly at work.

WHAT INSURANCE IS REQUIRED FOR PLUMBERS IN INDIANA:

It is recommended that most plumbers consider getting themselves insured due to the various risks that could emerge while at work. Most customers also look for plumbers who are licensed and insured. The Indiana Plumbing Commission requires all plumbing contractors in the state to carry an insurance policy. The policy must cover the company, the workers, the vehicle used for purposes of work, as well as the customer. 

The Plumbing Commission recommends policies with up to $2 million coverage. The company can pay a monthly premium between $600 and $1,700.

The most common forms of insurance that plumbers should consider getting are:

Commercial General Liability Insurance – covers accidents while at work. It also covers water or sewer damage to properties.

Worker’s Compensation Insurance – this covers the lost wages and medical expenses of the employees who get injured while performing work related duties.

There are many other types of insurances that plumbers could look in to, depending on their requirements.

Insurance policy

HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN INDIANA:

  • Must be atleast 17 years of age
  • High School or GED Certificate
  • College Degree or Vocational Courses (Optional)
  • Apprenticeship
  • Pass the Licensing Tests

Provided here is a step by step guide on how to become a plumber in Indiana:

A high school diploma or a GED certificate is a mandatory requirement for becoming a plumber in Indiana. Career or vocational courses are not mandatory but they offer certificates that are quite valuable for plumbing careers.

HOW TO BECOME AN APPRENTICE PLUMBER IN INDIANA:

One must be 17 years of age to become an apprentice plumber. Apprenticeships include 576 hours of classroom training and 1,900 hours of on-the-field training. They must also complete 7,600 hours of training on the field and on the job. State-approved apprenticeship programs last for 4 hours, during the course of which the apprentices learn various aspects related to the job under a master plumber. If one has a plumbing license from another state, it is not mandatory to enroll in an apprenticeship program.

Plumbing apprenticeship

HOW TO BECOME A LICENSED JOURNEYMAN PLUMBER IN INDIANA:

After the completion of the apprenticeship program, the next step is to apply for the journeyman license. The Indiana Plumbing Commission is responsible for issuing licenses to plumbers in the state. To get a journeyman license, one must pay an application fee of $25.  Candidates must also take an exam after the completion of fieldwork and apprenticeship. Those wishing to be contractors must take another exam that focuses on sewage and drainage systems for residential and commercial properties. The contractor license requires an application fee of between $50 and $100. The registration procedure for exams is conducted by the International Code Council.

Checking the criminal background of the candidate also falls under the licensing procedure. Certain types of crimes can block the acquisition of plumbing licenses.

The state of Indiana notifies the license holder at least 90 days before the expiration date of the license. The license can be renewed online and the verification of the renewal arrives within 24 hours.

A plumber at work

PLUMBING SCHOOLS IN INDIANA:

As discussed before, attending vocational courses are not mandatory but these courses definitely add more weightage to a plumber’s resume and broaden their knowledge base which makes it easier to acquire enrolment in apprentice programs and even further employment in the future. Apprentice training is a mandatory requirement for becoming a plumber in Indiana.

The following section will provide a list of the plumbing apprentice training schools in Indiana that we think are best suited for plumbers in the state:

  • Vincennes University, Vincennes – offers a number of apprentice programs in plumbing like plumbing applications, introduction to plumbing trade and plumbing practices.
  • Ivy Tech Community College, Indianapolis – offers apprenticeship technology programs that are approved by the US Department of Labor. These programs are in partnership with the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee. These programs have been known for producing the most well-trained workforce for this industry. Those who are interested can look into the website for further details.
  • Mechanical Skills Inc., Indianapolis – conducts a high-quality and reputed program that is conducted by industry experts and contractors. This 4-year program is ranked among the top plumbing courses in the nation.
Vocational skill training
  • Indiana PHCC, Fort Wayne – offers a 4-year plumbing apprenticeship program. For PHCC members, the cost per year is $1425, which includes the cost of books and first aid.
  • Indiana PHCC, Jasper – offers a 4-year plumbing apprentice training program. The course fee is $350 per semester for members and $700 for non-members. This does not include the cost of books.
  • St. Joe Valley – offers a 5-year course in residential and commercial plumbing and pipe-fitting. The cost for books varies depending on the class but the tuition cost is free.
  • PHCC also offers a number of apprentice training programs in places like Plymouth, Evansville, Milltown etc. The cost for these courses differs from place to place.

The covid-19 pandemic has affected almost every working professional in the world and those engaged in the plumbing industry are no exceptions. However, plumbers in Indianapolis have been reported saying that the lockdown and the subsequent stay-at-home order has increased the volume of emergency class that they receive. With more people staying at home, the plumbing systems are being used more and as a result of this, there has been a greater need for plumbers to clear clogged drains and repair leaking systems. The pandemic has therefore brought in some positive outcomes for the plumbers in Indiana. Since plumbers are constantly moving from one person’s home to another, they are following the maximum number of precautions that they can o keep themselves and their customers safe. The plumbers are also supposed to be washing the area they have worked on before they leave.

Several reports have also suggested that there are many job openings for plumbers in this state and that the plumbing industry in Indiana is expected to grow at a rate of 26%. The prospects for plumbing in Indiana therefore look bright.

Plumbers are likely to get busier

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