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How to Get a Roofing License: A Basic Guide

Contractor Tips , Posted by Nicole Zemaitis on

How to Get a Roofing License: A Basic Guide

Roofers perform an essential function in the world of construction. We rely on them to keep us safe, dry, and free from all the elements. Such an important job requires experience and accreditation.

If you are currently a roofer or interested in entering the industry, you need to make sure you're following all compliance laws.

These rules and regulations can get confusing, especially when every single state has different restrictions. Contractor Training Center is here to clear up the confusion!

Learn licensing rules across the states, pass your test, and become a roofer before you know it!

Who Needs a Roofing License?

Getting your license is not a requirement in every state, but in many, it is essential. 

Even in states where a license is not a requirement, working with accreditation puts you a cut above the rest. When you work with a license, your clients are more likely to trust you. That trust fosters long-term relationships and also allows you to charge more for your services. 

The lesson here is don't sell yourself short. Get your license, and be the best roofer you can be.

The following positions require a license for legal work:

Contractors 

Contractors who want to take on roofing projects will often need a license. In most cases, licensure is necessary for projects above a certain dollar threshold. 

The amount varies from state to state but usually falls around $5,000 (in California, any project above $500!).

Always check your local laws before taking on large projects.

Laborers

If a contractor or business owner has hired you to perform work on a roof, you may be required to have a license. 

Even if you are not the project manager, you need to show valid certification before performing any roofing labor. 

States Requirements on Roofing License

Check out this list for a comprehensive guide to state roofing license requirements. This list is up to date as of this posting. However, we recommend you also check with your state's labor department for any new updates.

States that Do Require a Roofing License

The following states are strict in their requirement of licensure. Do not attempt any roofing in the following states without completing your education, training, and exam:

  • Alabama 
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

States that Don’t Require a Roofing License

The following states do not outright require a roofing license. However, many states have certain caveats and other requirements. 

  • Colorado (roofers are required to have a business license)
  • Connecticut (must register with the Department of Consumer Protection)
  • Georgia
  • Idaho (proof of insurance only requirement)
  • Indiana 
  • Iowa (must register with Iowa Division of Labor / prove unemployment insurance)
  • Kansas (certification from the Kansas Attorney General required)
  • Kentucky
  • Maine (license required for asbestos work)
  • Maryland (license required for any home improvement work)
  • Missouri
  • Montana (must register with the department of labor; registration waived if you have no employees)
  • Nebraska 
  • New Hampshire (license required for asbestos work)
  • New Jersey (must register with the department of labor)
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma (must prove worker's compensation)
  • South Carolina (must register with the department of labor and submit references)
  • South Dakota
  • Texas (voluntary license available)
  • Vermont
  • Washington (must register with the department of labor)
  • Wisconsin (license required for asbestos work)
  • Wyoming

 

NOTE: All the above states may have slightly different rules and regulations in each municipality, town, or county. 

How to Get a Roofing License

The roofing industry is fast-growing, so you want to hop on board while demand is up. Even in less bullish markets, people will need roofs. 

If you live in a state that requires a license, you'll have to follow a variation of the following steps:

Get a Degree

Both a 2-year associate's degree and a 4-year bachelor's degree are valid proof of education. You must study in a field related to construction or contracting. Relevant fields include construction management, architecture, or surveying.

A 4-year degree may allow you to skip some of your post-grad apprenticeship hours.

Work in the Real World

The next step is to put your skills to the test. 

Many states will require you to apprentice for at least two years before even signing up for the exam. Other states require up to 4,000 hours of on-the-the-job training. 

Pass the Test

Taking the test can be the easiest part of obtaining your license! With your book smarts and applied skills, you should be able to cover any topic on the test.

Expect the test to address the following areas:

  • Estimating and Plan Reading
  • Surface Prep
  • Waterproofing
  • Steep and Low Slop Roofing
  • Components
  • Safety
  • Repairs
  • Reroofing / Retrofitting

 

To guarantee there are no surprises on test day, sign up with Contractor Training Center and know what's coming.

Show Proof of Insurance

Before you can head off to the professional world, you need to prove a form of liability insurance.

The licensing board will request proof of insurance to ensure you plan on working as a reputable roofer. 

Some states, Arizona, for example, also require a surety bond and workers' compensation before licensure. 

Once you’ve confirmed all these requisites, you'll receive your new license and be free to take on any size project within your state!

Conclusion

Like all construction, roofing is a safe and secure job. But to give yourself an edge, it’s best to pass the licensing exam.

If you are serious about passing your licensing exam on the first try, partner with Contractor Training Center.

We have study guides put together by experts who have passed the test themselves. We also offer one on one consultations to make sure you get the individualized help you deserve.

Don't waste time and money retaking the exam. With CTC on your side, you'll pass on your first attempt!