How to Get a Contractor's License in Colorado

How to Get a Contractor's License in Colorado

Are you thinking about performing construction in the state of Colorado? If you’re here, there are chances you have thought about starting or expanding your business into the Centennial State of Colorado.

Unlike many other states across the U.S., construction contractors are not regulated at the state level but are rather licensed by the local government within each jurisdiction (city or county). While this makes the licensing process seem more complex, have no worries! Contractor Training Center has state licensing specialists that know the process from start to finish and can help you through each step of the way.

Keep reading below to find out more about the requirements for earning a Colorado contractor license.

Need answers to your Colorado contractor questions? Schedule your consultation with our licensing experts today and get answers!

Submitting a Contractor License Application in Colorado

Since Colorado contractors are licensed/regulated at the city and county level across the state, contractors will need to submit a registration and meet the necessary requirements for each of the counties or cities they plan to perform work in. While some cities only require a simple registration form to be completed, other localities within Colorado require applicants to obtain certifications and pass competency exams as well as pay licensing and registration fees.

Regardless of the qualifications required, our licensing experts can ensure nothing is misinterpreted or left incomplete on your application with our Contractor License Application Processing and Review Services.

Taking the Colorado Contractor License Exam

While there is no state construction licensing exam administered in Colorado, the ICC National Standard Contractor Licensing Exams are a close equivalent. A multitude of cities and counties within the state of Colorado, as well as surrounding states, require contractor license applicants to prove competency within their respective field of construction by passing a National Standard Contractor Licensing Exam.

It's also worth mentioning that in Colorado, all plumbing and electrical contractors need to carry state-issued licenses. This does not apply to general contractors in Colorado, however. General contractors will instead be require to communicate with every city they work in to determine what the requirements are.

Importantly, there are very few municipalities in the state that allow for licensing reciprocity, so you will need to pass an exam and pay the fees for each city you work in.

Preparing for Colorado Contractor Exams

If you are required to take an ICC National Standard Contractor Exam for the Colorado municipality you are applying for licensure in, Contractor Training Center can help make sure you pass the exam with ease!

While there are many variations of National Standard Exams, Contractor Training Center has exam prep courses, practice exams, and reference materials for them all! From National Standard General Building Contractors looking to work on large commercial projects to National Standard Residential Building Contractors looking to build family homes, there are exam prep options that can help you learn everything you need to know for test day.

Which Contractor Exam Should You Take in Colorado?

The International Code Council (ICC) offers versions of their National Standard exams for both 2015 and 2018 code editions, as some cities and counties enforce 2015 codes while others have updated to refer to 2018 codes in their local regulations. Exams with code names starting with ‘G,’ or G-Series exams, refer to 2018 International Code Council standards, while exam codes preceded by ‘F-’, or F-series exams, refer to the 2015 versions of code standards.

Be sure to check with your local regulatory authority to make sure you take a test referring to current code standards before testing!

Contractor License Requirements in Colorado

While every city has its own licensing requirements and procedure, other common requirements for Colorado contractor license applicants include the following:

  • Proof of adequate Workers’ Compensation and insurance coverage
  • Proper registration of business with state and locality
  • Meeting experience requirements by holding several years’ experience working in the industry

Additionally, some cities such as Denver, Colorado require license applicants to hold a supervisor certificate showing competency in their respective field. You can check with your county to see if there are any additional requirements for license applicants before starting the application process.

You can find more information about specific cities' licensing requirements on our Colorado exam prep course page here.

Colorado Electrical Contractor Requirements

Electrical contractor licensing in Colorado is regulated by the state's Electrical Board.

Different electrical licenses in Colorado include:

Residential wireman: only eligible for work in a residential setting; needs 4,000 hours of residential experience

Journeyman electrician: needs 8,000 hours of electrical work, half of which needs to be in a commercial or industrial setting; needs 288 hours of electrical education

Master electrician: requires 10,000 hours of electrical work, 4,000 of which needs to be in a commercial or industrial setting while holding a Journeyman license; or earn an electrical engineering degree with 2,000 hours of practice experience as a registered apprentice; or obtain a community college or trade school degree in electrical construction or a related field with 8,000 hours of Journeyman experience.

As an electrical contractor, you may be eligible for reciprocity if you have a journeyman or master electrician license from a state in good standing with the National Electrical Reciprocal Alliance or from another body or jurisdiction with a reciprocity agreement with the board. 

Colorado Plumbing Contractor Requirements

Similarly, three types of plumbing licenses exist in Colorado:

Residential plumber: needs two years (3,400 hours) of experience

Journeyman plumber: needs four years (6,800 hours) of experience

Master plumber: needs five years (8,500 hours) of experience.

You will need to have either a Master plumber's license or employ somebody who has one in order to operate a plumbing contracting business in Colorado.

Types of Colorado General Contractor Licenses

Many of the cities in Colorado differentiate among general contractor licenses:

Class A: these are most general licenses, permitting contractor work on commercial, residential, and public projects, regardless of size. Any electrical, plumbing, or mechanical work, however, must be done by someone with such a license.

Class B: this license allows for work on most buildings, both commercial and residential. This license does not permit contracting work done on buildings designated as IA or IIA by the International Building Code. 

Class C: these licenses permit contractors to perform work on residential buildings for single- or multi-family buildings of less than three floors and less than four separate units.

General contractors are licensed at the municipal level and are therefore subject to the regulations of individual cities. There may both additional requirements to register with a particular city for plumbers and electricians.

Further, a business license may be required by certain Colorado cities where in applicants will need to first register their business with the Secretary of State, which may necessitate showing proof of tax registration, having general liability insurance, and other requirements.

How Contractor Training Center Can Help

At Contractor Training Center, we offer exam prep and application assistance resources for Colorado contractor license applicants and others from across the nation. Our ICC National Standard Contractor Exam Prep Courses include timed simulation exams like the real exam and are backed by a No-Pass, No-Pay Guarantee!

Additionally, our state licensing specialists are well-versed with all requirements and regulations to meet for obtaining a license and can assist you through the process of compiling and submitting your application with our Contractor License Application Processing Service!

Have any questions? Book a 30-Minute Start-Up Consultation to speak with a licensing expert and get started building your plan to upgrade your career today!

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