Types of Nevada Contractors Licenses

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Getting a contractor’s license is the first step to building a credible and profitable construction business – in the state of Nevada, performing contracting work without one is illegal and can result in hefty fines. But before you can apply for a contracting license, you need to know which type of license will work best for you and your business.

There are three different classifications of Nevada contracting licenses, each with their own unique sub-classifications. Understanding what each type of license allows is an important first step in the licensing process that will help you determine which exams you’ll need to take.

License Classifications 

There are three primary classifications – general engineering contracting (Class A), general building contracting (Class B), and specialty contracting (Class C).

Performing work outside of your license classification can land you in serious legal trouble, so it’s important to choose classifications that accurately describe the work your company does on a daily basis.

Each primary contracting classification has its own set of sub-classifications. Sub-classifications under a primary classification can be combined under one license – for example, a general engineering contractor license can include the sub-classifications for bridge construction and water features, or whatever combination of subclasses that are relevant to your business.

Class A: General Engineer Contractor

A general engineering contractor oversees fixed work that requires specialized engineering knowledge. Projects that have to do with waterways, infrastructure, and transmission of liquid or gaseous substances (oil, water, chemicals) all require a Class A license.

There are 25 sub-classifications in the general engineering branch, including highways, airports, residential pools, street paving, fencing, and industrial piping. For a complete list and description of each sub-classification in Class A, see the official Nevada State Contractor’s Board Handbook.

Class B: General Building Contractor

General building contractors can legally oversee the construction or restructuring of buildings designed to shelter people, animals, or property. A general building contractor can work with both commercial and residential structures.

A Class B license does not permit specialty contracting work such as plumbing, electrical, or HVAC – you would either need to obtain the appropriate specialty license or hire a subcontractor who is licensed in that particular trade.

There are just six sub-classifications of the Class B license:

  • Premanufactured housing
  • Residential and small commercial
  • Speculative building
  • Service stations
  • Prefabricated steel structures
  • Commercial remodeling

Class AB: General Engineering and General Building Contractor

The Class A and Class B licenses can be combined into a Class AB General Building and General Engineering license. The Nevada Board grants this classification to applicants with the right experience and the sufficient financial responsibility required to qualify them to hold both a Class A and a Class B license.

Class C: Specialty Contractor

If the type of construction work that you want to do doesn’t fall into Class A or Class B, then you’ll most likely require a Class C license.

There are 36 different specialty contractor licenses available in the state of Nevada, each with its own set of sub-classifications. Unlike a Class A or Class B license, there is no general “Class C” license – instead, each specialty trade requires its own license.

For example, a Class C-15 license authorizes you to perform roofing and siding work and its respective sub-classifications – roofing, siding, insulation, and waterproofing. A Class C-1 licenses allows you to perform heating and plumbing contracting. Other specialty licenses are available for concrete contracting, using sheet metal, finishing floors, tiling, refrigeration and AC, and electrical contracting. A complete list and detailed description of every type of Class C specialty contractor’s license can be viewed in the Nevada Contractor’s Board Handbook.

Qualifying Individuals

According to the Nevada State Contractors Board, a qualifying individual (or “qualifier”) is anyone who meets the experience and examination requirements for a particular license classification. If you personally don’t meet the requirements for a certain classification, a bona fide employee can qualify on your behalf if they are in an active and direct supervising role.

Get Your Nevada Contractors License

Knowing the different license classifications that you can apply for will help you start the licensing process as quickly as possible. Another way to speed up the process and make earning your contracting license easier is to take an online prep class.

From applying for the right license to passing your exam on the first try, the Contractor’s Institute can help you through every step of the process. Sign up for your first class today to begin the process of earning your Nevada contractor’s license.   


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