Construction is one of the biggest industries available right now because it's so necessary and a lot of projects are built each year.
The construction industry consists of 745,000 employers, nearly 8 million employees, and more than a trillion dollars in structure expenditures. If you're trying to join this career, getting a license as a contractor can be one of the best decisions that you make.
This is a statewide requirement. How can you get a license in Kansas? We're happy to explain.
These tips will help when you're looking into getting your contractor's license in Kansas.
What Is a Contractor License?
A contractor's license is the official designation that you need to handle any sort of professional construction project. Each state or incorporated municipality within the state has its own set of requirements that you need to follow when you're trying to enter this field.
Knowing the statewide requirements for getting a Kansas contractor's license will help you follow the protocols in place that will help you get it approved. Kansas doesn't oversee general contractor licenses as a whole but instead leaves the issuing of these licenses to the discretion of its cities or counties.
Each city or county in Kansas has you go through their departments once a project rises to the standard of needing a license, or if you need a license to help with your career. Getting a contractor license protects all parties involved. Customers can feel confident that they're doing work with the best professionals around, while contractors cross a threshold that lends them credibility and authority that they otherwise would not have.
Why Do You Want Your Contractor's License?
So, why are you looking to get a contractor license? Many people get their contractor license when starting a business in Kansas. Others get their license so that they can act as a general contractor that works with a company.
Anybody who plans to earn money as a contractor of any type will need to explore getting a license. Figure out why you're looking to get a license so that you know exactly what path to take and what requirements you'll need to fulfill.
There are many different jobs you can take advantage of, including:
- Commercial and residential plumbing
- Foundations and concrete work
- New construction home projects
- Steel and other metalworkers
- Tile and other types of flooring
- Demolition and excavation projects
- Roofing works and masonry
Do your due diligence when exploring your career aspirations and it will help you take the right steps.
How Do You Get a Contractor’s License in Kansas?
Now that you know you'd like to get a license, it's time to follow the steps. First, make sure to also learn about state reciprocity if you work in multiple states. If you have reciprocity that applies within Kansas, you can save yourself some trouble by simply filling out your paperwork and using the license that you already have.
Once you have figured this out, proceed with the rest of the process:
Consider the Type of License
First and foremost, recognize that there are a few different types of contractor licenses that you can get. Understanding what kind of license you need will help you cut out time waste, and will allow you to scratch off every part of your checklist. Each type of contractor license also has a unique exam type and code that you need to understand so you know which direction to head.
Here are the main types of licenses that you'll look into:
Class A is the designation for the general contractor's license. General contractors are professionals who handle an assortment of different construction and repair projects, rather than focusing strictly on a specialty.
This is considered the entry-level license for people looking to address projects that require the Kansas standard general building protocols. You'll be able to work on any project with this designation, regardless of size or scale.
Next, consider the Class B contractor's license, which is for Kansas Standard Building Contractor protocols. As a building contractor, you handle building inspections, planning, design, and construction.
These professionals handle details such as:
- Handling professional property conversions
- Addressing wall and barrier construction projects
- Focusing on safety codes to clear buildings for occupation
- Developing an expert understanding of building materials
- Evaluating the quality of construction products
There are also different classifications of Class B licenses, such as residential and commercial building inspectors.
Class C contractors are for Kansas Standard Residential Building Contractors. Once you pass this exam and get licensed, you can specialize in constructing and significantly modifying homes.
They handle jobs that deal with:
- Residential framing and roofing
- Residential swimming pool construction
- The construction of single-family homes, two-family homes, and other structures
- Remodeling projects that don't affect the home structure
- In-house handy repairs
Other License Classifications
While Class A, Class B, and Class C are the most common designations that contractors look for, there are also several other licenses that professionals seek.
Examples include those such as:
- Class DE electrical contractors
- Class DS swimming pool contractors
- Class DW wood framing contractors
- Class DP plumbing contractors
- Class DM mechanical contractors
Make sure to look into the different categories and the requirements you'll need to fulfill whenever you're seeking any of these licenses. From there, you can choose the exam category that you will need to figure out and study for.
Present a Photo ID
Before you set out to get your contractor's license, you'll need to verify your identity. Similar to how you would for any other type of filing, you need to make sure that you have a current photo ID that you can present.
Only government-issued IDs are acceptable, so make sure to use a driver's license, passport, government ID, or other option to verify your identity.
Furnish Proof of Insurance
Before you can become a contractor in Kansas, you need to make sure that you're bonded and insured, and that you have proof of insurance. Professional contractors need to hold both a valid general contractor liability insurance policy and a worker's compensation insurance policy.
You can prove your insurance with a copy of the insurance binder or the other proof of insurance document that you receive at the time of registering your policy. It's also important that you keep this plan active and in effect for as long as you have your license. The only time you're allowed to not have insurance or let a plan lapse is if you're inactive as a contractor.
Look for a plan through a quality insurance company that can help you out. Shop around for price quotes upfront from a few different insurance providers.
Get Your Education in Order
Regardless of what kind of license you're seeking, it's important that you put the work into getting your education before anything else. For starters, make sure that you study for the exam so that you can pass it with no problem.
There are plenty of online contractor licensing courses you can take to make sure that you're up-to-date on every detail. Look through the catalog for each license course so that you know you're adequately prepared for the exam once you decide to book a date.
You'll feel more equipped to pass the exam if you also supplement your education and make yourself as prepared as possible. Many contractors decide to get a bachelor's degree in areas of study like Bachelors of Science (B.S.) degrees in fields like Construction Science, Construction Management, and Architecture.
Make sure that the degree programs are accredited, and from a school that has a solid reputation. Consider the course curriculum for any bachelor's degree program that you decide to enroll in. This will help to get you up to par with all of the information you'll need to cover on the license exam.
Choose a program that also prepares you for the actual licensing exam. Many degree programs have electives or core classes that focus on exam prep so that you can sit for the exam and become a professional as soon as you graduate.
Look into continuing education opportunities if you're a contractor looking to grow your skillset. Getting your continuing education (CE) credits is how a lot of contractors in Kansas take their original skillset and build on it, as they create new and different opportunities.
Schedule and Sit for Your Exam
In order to fulfill the contractor requirements in Kansas, you need to make sure that you book a date for your exam, sit for it, and pass the exam.
Provide Your Qualifications
In order for your results to be certified, you will need to also submit a qualified person declaration page. This page is an official statement that affirms that you have passed the ICC or equivalent exam and that you have valid liability insurance in the amount of at least a $300,000 policy.
You must also declare and affirm that you have a valid worker's compensation insurance policy and any other types of insurance that your particular city, county, or industry of interest requires. Make sure that you also submit the name and information of the party that is named on the Limited Liability Company (LLC) business license.
Issuing this form verifies that you have fulfilled all Kansas contractor requirements so that you can move forward and take the next steps of getting your contractor's license.
Handle Application and License Fees
You will also need to take care of any application and license fees that come with the territory. Your exam fees are due at the time of purchase and securing your date. They can be paid online using any Visa or Mastercard, or a certified check.
In some special situations, you might also be able to receive a voucher to excuse the payment.
At the time of registration, make sure you have the correct contact information to receive your test results and a certification that you passed. Make sure to also register your business license so that you can hit the ground running with your career as soon as you pass your examination and get your license.
Use Your Kansas Contractor's License to Build Your Career
These tips will help you get your contractor’s license in Kansas. Do your due diligence so that you're able to build a prosperous career in the construction and building industry.
In the meantime, we are happy to serve as your resource to build your career. If you need help sorting out the steps to prepare for your contractor's exam and obtain a license, you can book a start-up consultation with a licensing expert here!