Minnesota Contractor License Courses, Classes & Exam Prep

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Overview & Benefits

Obtaining a Contractors License in Minnesota

Every re-modeler and building contractor that works with a homeowner must hold a license in Minnesota. Homeowners that plan to work on their own property also need to obtain a license if they are remodeling or building to resell. 

In the state of Minnesota, you can obtain two different kinds of contractor licenses: 

  • Residential builder. The state approves a residential builder to build both residential structures and commercial facilities. They are also licensed to do repairs, alterations, maintenance, and remodeling projects. 
  • Maintenance and Alteration. A licensed contractor for maintenance and alteration is only qualified to do one task involved in the building process. Contractors could get a maintenance and alteration license for tasks like concrete, roofing, masonry, and more. 

You will need to pass an exam to receive both of these licenses. We will help you choose the exam that’s right for your career goals. 

The Benefits of Having a Contractor's License in Minnesota

Whether you are a residential or maintenance and alteration contractor, there are many benefits to this line of work. Here are some of the biggest advantages of obtaining a contractor license: 

Achieve financial independence.

By holding a contractor license, you have a greater opportunity for financial independence. You become your own boss, make your own schedule, and start generating money quickly. You also have the option of working full-time or part-time when starting your own business. With a contractor license, the economic possibilities are endless. 

Guaranteed payment for your work.

If you have a contractor license, you will always receive payment for the work you do. This is because of laws that allow contractors, laborers, and subcontractors to put a mechanics lien on a homeowner's property if payment is not received. If this lien is left unpaid, the house is foreclosed on, basically guaranteeing you will receive the money you earned. 

Job security.

As a licensed contractor, you have more job security than you would if you were unlicensed. You can bid on jobs that are more than about 500 dollars and get more business because of your license. Also, you never have to worry about losing your work to an unlicensed laborer. By pursuing a career as a contractor, you'll have more job security than ever. 

What you can expect from us

Get a strong start in building your career

At Contractor Training Center, we offer exclusive affordable coaching and consulting, as well as application assistance, are included as part of our offerings.

Choose the preparation services that you need to help simplify the intimidating licensure process. Learn in your style with the choice of four separate services that you can follow at your own pace:

● Application Assistance
● Ranking Services
● Coaching and Consulting

Contractor Training Center utilizes a team of expert instructors to ensure that each test taker passes on the first try. Instead of getting bogged down by flashcards or saving all your studying until the last minute, work with the Contractor Training Center for a relaxing and stress-free process.

License Requirements

How To Get A Contractor's License In Minnesota

Getting a contractor license in Minnesota is a straightforward process. Keep reading for some basic steps to becoming a licensed contractor. 

Step 1: Decide which type of license your business needs. 

If you only do specific trades or services like roofing or concrete, you will need to get a specific license. Rather than obtaining a regular builder license, you should get a maintenance and alteration license for just your trade. To decide what type of license you need, think of the services you want to offer.

Type 1: Residential Builder License

If you want to offer a wider range of services, opt for the residential builder license. This is important if you want to take more expensive jobs. 

Type 2: Maintenance and Alteration License

If you want to keep it to a few specific services, apply for a maintenance and alteration license. You could get a license for roofing, concrete, and more.

Which Exam Should You Take? 

You should pick the exam that most closely correlates with the services you want to offer. For example, if you know you want to offer roofing services, take the maintenance and alteration exam instead of the residential builder exam. 

Step 2: Complete pre-licensure education.

To get your contractor license, you need to show the state that you are educated on relevant topics. To do this, you have to complete 60 hours of approved pre-licensure classes, which can be done online. The classes must be approved since the state of Minnesota only accepts those courses. 

These classes educate you on topics from business management, contracts, marketing and sales, and more. You must take 6 hours of license courses about various topics, but you also have 18 hours to take whatever classes interest you. After completing the required 60 hours, you'll be prepared to take the test and get your license. 

Step 3: Apply and confirm moral character. 

Once you have completed all the relevant coursework, you are ready to send in your application to the state of Minnesota. The application, which is about two pages long, asks many questions about your personal history. This includes criminal history, your name, address, and other specific details. After that, you have to choose which license you are applying for and provide information about your prelicensure education.

You are required to confirm good moral character by showing you have a good credit history and no prior history of bankruptcies. However, if you're a veteran and can show that you left the armed forces under honorable circumstances, you are exempt from any licensing fees. Just make sure to include the necessary forms.

Step 4: Pass the exam.

The next step is the most important: the exam. The test you need to pass is given by PSI and consists of a 75-minute law and business section and a 180-minute trade and practice section.

Once you pass the exam, PSI will issue a notice to the state of Minnesota. After that, the state will mail you your contractor license, and you'll be ready to go!

Exam Times and Date

Testing centers across the state of Minnesota can administer the exam for your contractor license. There are many dates and times to choose from, so be sure to pick the one where you'll have plenty of time to prepare. It is also important to show up at least 30 minutes early with the required photo ID. 

Step 5: Renew license when necessary. 

Every three years, on the 31st of May, you will be required to renew your license. The state will remind you by sending your renewal info to your house 90 days before you're required to renew. You have to prove to the state that you've completed the required amount of continuing education hours. Once this has been done, you can complete the renewal online for 150 dollars. 

Remember to renew your license as soon as possible, or you could face additional fees or fines. If you're caught operating without a contractor license, there could be major consequences. Be sure to complete your continuing education hours and applications in good time. 

Preparing for the Contractor's Exam

One of the best ways to prepare is by knowing the exam format. Since you take the exam at a computer and it is closed-book, you'll want to take practice tests under those same conditions. 

By taking the 60 required hours of prelicensure education, you will be well-prepared for the contractor exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the licensing process

What is the difference between a residential builder license and a maintenance and alteration license?

Someone with a residential builder license can build homes from the ground up or perform any repair. While the builder can contract for the whole job, they have to subcontract other services like plumbing, electrical, heating, and ventilation. 

Maintenance and alteration contractors are different because they can only accept jobs for the trades or services they are licensed for. This would include things like gutters, tile, and marble, or basement waterproofing. 

Do I need a license to flip a house?

The state law requires that someone who purchases, improves, and resells a structure, and does so more than twice a year, must hold a contractor license. The exception to this will be if the work is being done for someone's own use or hiring someone else to do the work. 

How hard is the contractor license exam?

While the test isn't necessarily hard, it covers all the topics from your pre-licensure education. This means you should pay attention to your course hours to fully prepare for the exam. 

The test can be difficult, but you don't need to get every question right to pass. In the builder exam, you only need to get 116 out of the 160 questions correct. This means you don't have to worry about making a few silly mistakes.

How much does it cost to become a contractor?

When applying for your license, the fee is 195 dollars. Since you need to pay for your prelicensure education, you should budget around 400 dollars for that. Depending on the exam, you'll have to pay a different amount. For example, the residential builder exam costs 117 dollars. Those looking to take the exam for maintenance and alteration will cost at least 70 dollars. 

What are the requirements to be issued a license?

To be issued a contractor license in Minnesota, you must be at least 18 years old. You also have to hold a valid driver's license in the state. After verifying that information, you then must complete your 60 hours of prelicensure education. To get your license, you also have to pass the appropriate exam and pay all associated fees. 

Another requirement from the state of Minnesota to be a contractor is that you have to be financially stable. This can be a broad term, but Minnesota specifically wants you to be free of bankruptcies and to have a reasonable credit score. These requirements are called fluid, which means you can call if you have bad credit and see if you would be approved before starting your application. 

How long does it take to receive my license?

Once you take the contractor license exam, you'll receive your license in the mail, letting you know you're approved. Typically, contractors should receive their license within three to four weeks after taking their exam. However, there can sometimes be more applications than normal, leading to delays in the process. If you have bad marks on your credit history, it could push back the process even further. 

What is a branch locator license?

A contractor with more than one office located in Minnesota must obtain a separate branch location office for each one. A branch location is known as any place that a contractor has listed as separate locations for doing business. For each location, there should be an individual fee and application submitted. 

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