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The Secrets of Become Becoming a Licensed Contractor in the U.S. Revealed

Pursuing a career in general contracting is a worthy aspiration, especially for someone who likes to build and has a creative touch. Whether you want to renovate homes or build up a lucrative business, youíll need to obtain the right licensing first.

Why Become Licensed?

Why go through all the trouble of obtaining your license? For starters, people are far less likely to hire an unlicensed contractor. Without a license, you will be viewed as an incompetent liability. And perhaps more importantly, contracting without a license in most states is considered a criminal offense.

Contractor License Requirements

Before you jump the gun and pay for your application for your license, double-check to see if you meet the basic requirements:

● 18 years or older
● Must have earned a high school diploma/GED
● Take a criminal background check and pass
● Be a U.S. citizen
● Documentation of any other related licenses you may have
● Previous experience or relevant skills

If you want to choose a specialty, now is the time to do it. Choosing a specialty isn't at all required, but it will likely be asked about before or during your exam, so itís important to have it defined beforehand.

Each state has its own requirements in order to earn a contractorís license, which means the exam types will vary. Before you even start studying for an exam, research your stateís requirements to find out what exam you will need to pass.

In some states the exams are separated by the monetary value of the work. For example, a Class A contractor will have a tougher exam to pass, but can complete projects with a higher value. In states such as California, the exams are divided by the type or specialty of work that will be completed.

No matter what specialty you choose, youíll need to take before the exam is to name and register your business legally. If you are working completely on your own without employees, you will need to get your own employer identification number (EIN.). This process will require you to pay fees upfront that will vary depending on where you live, so research your fees and come prepared.

Preparing to Take Your Licensing Exam

With the prep work out of the way, itís time to take your stateís licensing exam. If youíre stressed about studying and being able to pass the test in order to get a general contractor license, youíll find plenty of helpful courses and other resources online or in your local community. Rather than cramming your mind with thousands of flash cards, consider a long-term study program, such as a seminar taught by experienced and professional contractors.

Submitting Your Application

In most states, you must pass your exam first before submitting your application. Once you have taken your exam, figure out what materials you will need in order to submit your final application. Common materials required are:

● Company name and license
● EIN (if applicable)
● Contracting class and specialty (if applicable)
● Copies of personal identification
● Proof of completed background checks
● Certification from an approved agency that you have passed your exam
● Proof of citizenship and state residency
● Summary and proof and education
● Proof of any other contracting licenses you may have already worked under
● Proof of insurance

The final step of the process is to submit your application! Since you already passed your exam, as long you turned in all the required information, fulfill the basic requirements, and pay the required submission fees, you should be approved with no problem and be ready to get to work!


Contact Information

  • Name: Russell Edmonds

    Company: Contractors Institute

    Telphone: ,