Building has been booming all over Wyoming. Counties all over the state, such as Sheridan County, have been reporting a surge in new building permits in the last several years. This trend began at the beginning of the COViD-19 pandemic and remains strong to this day.
New construction isn't the only thing that's on the rise, either. There's been a massive boom in home improvement projects since 2020, as well. Those numbers are projected to hold steady well into 2023.
This is causing a boom in demand for contractors in Wyoming. Wyoming already has the highest rate of construction workers of any state in the union. There's a large pool of qualified workers who would make a great Wyoming contractor, if they know how to meet the contractor's license in Wyoming requirements.
It's no surprise so many are seeking out becoming a Wyoming contractor. The pay is great. There's a ton of work available.
Many appreciate the freedom and independence that comes from having your contractor's license in Wyoming, as well.
If you've been considering becoming a Wyoming contractor, here are the steps to follow to become a fully licensed Wyoming contractor.
How To Get a Contractor's License In Wyoming
The first thing to note is that Wyoming doesn't govern contractors at the state level. When you're seeking a contractor's license in Wyoming you'll need to check with your local licensing board to find out their specific requirements. If you're looking to do electrical work in Laramie County, for example, you'll need to check with the Cheyenne Contractor Licensing Board about their licensing requirements.
Wyoming contractors do have to follow state business requirements, though. You need to register your business with the Wyoming Secretary of State, for starters. All Wyoming businesses need to apply for worker's compensation coverage, as well.
When you determine where your Wyoming contractor business is going to be based, it's a good idea to check the local city and county requirements for contractor licensing.
General Contractor Licensing Requirements in Cheyenne
As one of the most populated cities in Wyoming, it makes sense to take a look at how contractor licensing works in that city. The Cheyenne Contractor Licensing Board handles all of the general contractor licensing for Laramie County. It's a subset of the Building Safety Department.
The Cheyenne Contractor Licensing Board has its own specific requirements for who's eligible to become a contractor. They have their own regulations around education and insurance, as well. The Cheyenne Contractor Licensing Board also maintains its own fee and exam structures.
Before signing up to become a general contractor, you'll want to decide what kind of contracting you're interested in. This will impact the license you ultimately receive.
The City of Cheyenne defines a contractor as a "person, firm, partnership, corporation or other legal entity who undertakes for compensation, any construction or building maintenance work on any building or structure."
They go on to specify what counts as work, including erecting, enlarging, repairing, or moving buildings.
Depending on what kind of contractor work you're looking to do, you may need to apply for numerous contractor licenses.
What You'll Need To Become a Wyoming Contractor in Cheyenne
Although the requirements are different, the application process for all classifications is the same. Each one may have different exam requirements and licensing fees, however.
Fill Out The Application and Register Your Business
The first step in becoming a Wyoming general contractor is to fill out the application. Once it's finished, you'll need to submit it to the appropriate organization.
Next, you'll need to show proof of general liability insurance to the City of Cheyenne Building Department. You'll also need to show proof that you're the policyholder.
If your business has employees, you'll need to register with the Department of Workforce Services of the State of Wyoming. You'll also need to provide a copy of the structure of your business to the Wyoming Secretary of State.
Pass the Exams and Prove Experience
After you've successfully filled out the application and turned in the necessary certifications, you'll need to take a qualifying exam to get your contractor's license. Some exams that have been accepted by the Cheyenne licensing board in the past include the ICC National Standard Contractor exams and the Wyoming Building Contractor exam (WAM). Since these standards are always changing, we recommend you check with the city of Cheyenne, Wyoming first to ensure these exam requirements are still valid before preparing for exams.
Once the exam is taken, you'll need to show proof of experience as well. You also have to provide personal and professional references as part of this process.
Once these steps are complete, you need to attend the Licensing Board meeting on the second Tuesday of every month.
Finally, you'll need to sign all of the pertinent applications and then have them notarized. Then once you've paid your application and exam fees, you're finished!
Every license application requires appointing a qualified supervisor for your company. This means your business needs to have at least one employee who's qualified to supervise a team.
Cheyenne, Wyoming Licensing Fees
Every city and county in Wyoming has its own rates and rules around licensing fees. In Cheyenne, Wyoming, here are the most common contractor license fees you'll encounter.
For Class A contractor licenses, the initial fee is $650. The fee for renewing a Class A contractor license is $200.
Class B contractor licenses have an initial fee of $450. Renewal of a Class B contractor license costs $100.
For Class C or R residential contractor licenses, the initial fee is $450. The renewal fee costs $75.
Contractor Requires for Gillette, Wyoming
We'll cover a few of the other big cities in Wyoming while we're at it. This is how you can apply for your contractor's license in Gillette, Wyoming.
Gillette, Wy. is located in Campbell County. All contractor license applications must be submitted to the Gillette Building Inspection Division. Every contractor in Gillette needs to file an application, pass the ICC exam, and pay any licensing or application fees.
You'll also need to show proof of possessing a $5,000 surety bond to be eligible for licensing.
Who Needs a Contractor License in Gillette, Wyoming?
The City of Gillette's contractor's license application specifies who needs a contractor's license as well as some of the available classifications.
In addition to Class A, B, and R, which we've already discussed, Gillette features a Class F classification for varieties of fire suppression construction.
The Class F Chemical Fire Suppression Contractor classification authorizes a contractor to install, repair, maintain, or demolish chemical fire suppression systems.
A Class F Fire Alarm contractor can do the same thing for fire alarms.
Class F Sprinkler (Fire/Standpipe) Standalone can install, maintain, repair, or demolish fire suppression systems or appurtenances.
Class D classifications authorize a contractor to perform various kinds of specifications.
A Class D electrical contractor specification allows the contractor to perform electrical work, as specified under the 2020 NEF. Applicants must possess a current Wyoming State Electrical License in order to be eligible.
A Class D gas pipefitter contractor license qualifies a contractor to work with gas, as specified by the 2021 IFGC. To obtain a gas pipefitter classification, the applicant needs to be licensed by the city. A Master of Record must be selected, as well, who must be registered with the city as a Master Gas Pipefitter.
There are classifications for HVAC and plumbing contractors, as well.
Gillette Licensing and Fee Structure
The city of Gillette has its own licensing fees, in addition to its classifications and requirements.
A Class A classification costs $500. A Class B building contractor classification costs $300.
A Class R residential contractor license costs $150. A Class C contractor license costs $74.
Who Needs a Contractor's License in Laramie County?
Different types of contractors in Laramie County require different licenses. Here's a breakdown of the different types of licenses available for Wyoming contractors.
Class A: General Contractor
Any person trying to do any kind of construction work professionally needs to apply for a Class A license. This includes alteration and repair work, as well.
Contractors holding a Class A license are also eligible to do Class B, C, and D work. This excludes trade work.
Class B: Building Contractor
A Class B license application needs to be filled out for anyone working on residential properties that meet certain criteria. This includes residential construction for either one, two, three, or four families. It also includes one-story commercial properties up to 2,500 feet.
Contractors with a Class B license can complete any work suitable for Class C, D, or R. This excludes trade work.
Class R: Residential Contractor
If you're working on a residential property no more than three stories high, you'll need a Class R Residential Contractor license. This includes construction, alteration, additions, or repairs. A contractor holding a Class R contractor license can do everything asked of a Class D contractor's license. This excludes trade.
In each of these circumstances, a subcontractor can be hired for all trade work.
The application for each of these classes is slightly different but roughly similar. Applying for one will prepare you for any of the rest.
Reasons to Become a Wyoming Contractor
We'll finish up by taking a look at some specific reasons you should consider becoming a Wyoming contractor. There's really nothing like it if you have a passion for working with your hands, helping people, and earning an excellent living while doing so.
No one likes being at someone else's beck and call. The freedom and independence that comes with being a Wyoming contractor are some of its biggest draws. This is especially true in today's world, where the scope of work is constantly expanding and encroaching on our home life and free time.
When you work as a contractor, you decide what jobs you want to take. You have the power to decide what clients to take on, what kind of jobs you want to do, and what rates you're willing to accept.
The skills you'll learn as a contractor in Wyoming are in demand anywhere on Earth. You'll need to apply for additional licensing if you end up working outside of Wyoming, but you could easily do construction and contracting work all over the Southwest, for example. Or the East Coast.
You could even do contracting work in Southeast Asia if you can figure out their local requirements.
That kind of freedom and portability offers a peace of mind you won't find in very many other trades or professions.
Being a contractor is one of the rare instances in the business world where everybody wins. You get a stable, dependable, well-paying career doing work you enjoy. The people you work with will get the home or business of their dreams, to help even more of their dreams come true.
You won't believe how satisfying and rewarding it is, watching a customer's plans come to life as the project develops. You get to work closely with future homeowners on specific details to help them fully enjoy their lives in their new home.
A home where they'll be spending decades, hopefully. Where they'll raise their children - if they have any - who might pass it down to their children.
It's hard to find that kind of meaningful work in today's profit-driven business world. Doing work that leaves a legacy is one of the best feelings on Earth. Doing meaningful work that also draws a respectable paycheck is living the dream!
Are You Looking to Become a Wyoming Contractor?
You've come to the right place! It is our great passion to help construction workers and professionals obtain the knowledge and skills they need to advance their contracting career.
If you're ready to take the exams to get your contractor's license in Wyoming, book a call with a licensing expert to start navigating your next steps today!