According to the Illinois Roofing Industry Licensing Act, anyone looking to become a contractor in the state of Illinois needs to obtain a roofing license approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Getting a license to perform construction services on roofs requires extensive training to ensure the applicant understands all the current roofing industry standards and practices.
We provide all the information you need below about the roofing exam material, different types of roofing licenses, and the application process.
Types of Roofing Licenses in Illinois
Before you embark on your journey towards becoming a licensed contractor, you'll need to know which type of roofing license you need. There are three different types of licenses in Illinois: Unlimited, Commercial/Industrial, and Residential.
The Unlimited License allows you to work on residential and commercial roofs. A Residential license is for working on homes, and a Commercial/Industrial license is for commercial properties.
If you choose to get a Residential license, you need to wait at least one year before applying for a Commercial/Industrial license. Therefore, it's recommended you get an Unlimited License so that you can work on a wide range of projects right away. However, a Residential license may be all you need to if you live in a small town.
The exams for each roofing contractor certification are different. The Residential roofing exam consists of 80 questions that you must answer within 90 minutes. For the Unlimited license, you need to answer 130 questions within two and a half hours.
Obtaining a Roofing License in Illinois
While the IDFPR issues the roofing contractor licenses, several third-party organizations conduct the testing. Here's a breakdown of the licensing requirements and application process.
- Before taking the roofing exam, applicants must pay the $125 application fee, provide proof of liability and property damage insurance, and worker compensation insurance.
- After applying, you'll have up to three years to complete all the exam material. Here's where you can take a class on how to prepare for your roofing exam (see below)
- After passing your roofing exam, you'll receive your license from the IDFPR, and you can begin to offer your services. Some cities, like Chicago, require a separate certification, so be sure to check the local guidelines of whichever city you plan to do business in.
How To Prepare for Your Roofing Contractor License
If you're planning to become a certified contractor in the state of Illinois, you're applying to complete a wide range of tasks for the community. Such duties include roof removal, maintenance, replacements, etc. The community expects you to have a vast understanding of roofing and all the practices that come with the job. The steps toward becoming an industry master start with acing your contractor exam.
One of the best ways to prepare yourself for the exam is to purchase all the class material used by Illinois licensing organizations. You can also seek out a roofing contractor licensing prep class that prepares you for the actual exam questions. Third-party prep companies study all the industry's current standards and exam materials and offer a course to prepare applicants for their respective exams.
The best part about a prep class is most of them are held online. This way, you can study all of the exam and class material without leaving your home. Once you feel like you fully understand all the class contents, you can start taking practice for your practice exam. While the practice exam and real exam are different, passing the practice test and understanding the rest of the class material will give you the confidence you need to become a licensed contractor.
Why Become a Roofer in Illinois?
Did you ever hear a kid in class say, “I want to become a roofer?” While roofing may not be the most popular career choice, the job comes with a wide range of benefits.
If you aren't the type that likes to spend a third of their day behind a computer, becoming a roofer is an excellent escape from the typical office job. You get hands-on with every project, and every day ends with a fulfilling feeling of accomplishment.
Until humans find an alternative way to protect their buildings, roofers are always going to be relevant. That's why roofing is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States. What's more, there never seems to be a shortage of work, no matter how small your town is (residential roofing, for instance). Therefore, being a roofing contractor provides excellent job security for contractors.
There's no doubt being a roofing contractor is a challenging job. The industry is constantly changing, so anyone in the business needs to stay up-to-date on all the current job standards. As a result, you get to upgrade your knowledge and skillset year after year continually.
Obtaining your Residential or Unlimited roofing license for contractors will open up numerous career opportunities. While it may seem like a rigorous process, passing your exam and becoming a certified contractor in the state of Illinois will set you up for a life of fulfilling work and satisfaction.