The Different Types of Contractor Licenses You Should Know About


Did you know there were around 46,000 surveyors in America in 2020? This sounds like a more solitary profession, but professional help is needed for inspections, blueprints, assessments, and more. Even if it seems you can toil away on your own, you are sure to encounter a point where hiring a contractor will be more efficient.

But as you can imagine, you don’t want to deal with people that aren’t licensed. So what do you need to know about contractor licenses?

Keep reading to learn more about the different types of contractor licenses in this article.

License for Subcontractors

Subcontractor licensing requirements differ slightly from state to state. In some places, such as California, practically all subcontractors are required to have and maintain a license in order to operate.

Other states are less strict regarding subcontractors, allowing licensing to local governments.

Subcontractors who require licenses in general include:

  • Plumbers for water, sewer, and gas
  • Electricians
  • HVAC specialists
  • Mold, asbestos, and hazardous waste contractors

Some states, like general contractor licenses, set project cost restrictions to determine whether or not a license is required.

Contractors in General License

In many areas, anyone working on a significant construction project must have a general contractor’s license. This is determined by the project’s cost, and this threshold determines whether or not a general contractor needs a license.

In certain states, commercial and residential work require distinct licenses. If they want to take both types of contracts, general contractors in such states must take exams and maintain eligibility for both licenses.

A licensing bond may also be needed for general contractors. Download a list of each state’s license requirements.

Contractor License With Reciprocity

States have equivalent contractor licensing deals, making it easier to become a contractor to obtain licenses in other states. A state can recognize a contractor’s current license without requiring additional steps in some cases.

However, most licensing compensation programs do not require the contractor to take a written exam but require an application or evaluation. Each state has its own set of regulations.

Electrical Installation Licensing

Although local governments oversee general contractor licensing, some contractors must get a state license. This may be useful if you want to offer plumbing or electrical services as part of your general contracting business.

To obtain an electrical or plumbing contractor’s license, you must meet the minimum coverage requirements by state for workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation insurance, as well as be or use a licensed professional electrician or qualified master handyman to assume responsibility for all work performed.

And submitting the required fees and software products, and meeting any provided by the local registration requirements.

Contractors should seek more details in general contractor insurance coverage that fulfills the standards for their local locations as they get closer to finishing the requisite experience.

Knowing the Types of Contractor Licenses

There are many different types of contractor licenses you should be aware of before hiring a contractor. Each type of license allows the contractor to perform different types of work.

Be sure to ask your contractor what type of license they have and if it is appropriate for the job you need to be done.

To learn more, take a look at our site for more topics about contractors.