Obtaining a valid license is the essential first step for anyone serious about a career in contracting. A contractor’s license allows you to bid on projects, supervise construction jobs, and be your own boss. It also lets property owners know that you’re competent and trustworthy, making them more likely to do business with you.
While you do not have to be a Nevada resident to obtain a state contractor’s license, do know that other states may have different requirements. The following step-by-step guide to getting your contractor’s license is based on the rules set forth by the Nevada State Contractor’s Board.
1. Make sure you’re qualified.
Before you begin the application process, you’ll want to make sure that you meet all of the necessary licensing qualifications so that you can get approved the very first time you apply.
In the state of Nevada, applicants will need to meet two major requirements. The first is that you’ll need to have a state business ID, which requires a separate application to be filed with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office.
The second major requirement is at least 4 years (within the last 10 years) of experience in the classification you’re applying for. This experience must be at the level of a journeyman (meaning that you’re able to perform the work without supervision) or higher.
While there are no educational requirements, education from an accredited school program approved by the Board can be used to satisfy up to three years of the four-year experience requirement.
2. Know the type of license you need.
There are three types of contractor’s licenses in Nevada:
- General Engineering License (Class A): A Class A license is best suited for contractors who oversee construction projects (most often repairs) that require technical engineering knowledge.
- General Building License (Class B): A General Building license allows you to legally oversee most commercial and residential construction and remodeling projects.
- Specialty License (Class C): If your experience doesn’t fall into one of the above categories, then it most likely falls into one of the 36 specialty classifications.
Each license classification has its own set of rules and allowances, so you’ll need to choose the one that best suits the type of work that you do. A complete list of classifications and sub-classifications can be found on the Nevada State Contractors Board website.
3. Complete your application.
Once you’ve made sure that you quality for a contractor’s license in Nevada and know which license type is the most relevant to you, it’s time to actually fill out your application. The licensing application itself and any related forms can be downloaded directly from the Nevada State Contractor’s Board site.
With your application, you’ll also need to submit the following:
- Non-refundable $300 application fee
- Detailed resume
- At least four reference certificates proving your experience for each trade
- Background disclosure and fingerprints for background check purposes
- Financial statement
Take your time filling out the application to avoid any mistakes that could lead to the denial of your application. If your application is denied for any reason, you’ll have up to 60 days to appeal the rejection. If it’s denied due to missing information, you’ll have 60 days to resubmit the form without penalty.
In addition to the initial $300 application fee, you’ll also be required to pay a biennial (every two years) $600 license fee if your application is approved.
4. Take the licensing exam.
The last thing you’ll need to do before you can get your Nevada contractor’s license is pass the state licensing exam.
Unless you qualify for a waiver, all applicants are required to take a general Business and Law exam. The exam is multiple choice and covers topics related to business management and construction law. Depending on the classification you’re applying for, you may also be required to pass an additional trade exam.
When it comes to preparing for your exams, the easiest thing to do is to sign up for an online prep class. Not only will you be able to study from the comfort of your own home, you’ll also have access to practice tests and application assistance services.
Keep in mind that while you can study from home, you cannot take the Board exam from home – you’ll need to travel to one of three testing locations throughout the state.
Get Your Contracting License on the First Try
Earning your contractor’s license can be a long and sometimes confusing process, but at the end of the day, it’s well worth it.
At the Contractor’s Institute, our goal is to assist you with the application process and prepare you for the licensing exam so that you pass on the very first try. Sign up for one of our online Nevada contracting courses today to take the first step toward obtaining your license and growing your business.