North Carolina Contractor License Courses, Classes & Exam Prep

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Overview & Benefits

Preparing for the contractor’s exam in North Carolina

If just anyone were allowed to go around building houses, the quality of the properties would be very questionable. After all, skilled construction requires both experience and knowledge.  Even the most experienced contractors may not know all the state laws for their specific area. Fortunately, at Contractor Training Center, our task is to help you get to that understanding. We understand that you may not know all of the laws, regulations, and rules for your state. Our mission is to help you obtain a contractor license in NC.

If you don’t know all the laws just yet, don’t stress about it. This is why we are here. We will guide you through this tedious process. We aim to help you get your license as quickly and efficiently as possible. While you have to work for it, the result is gratifying. Plus, we will be guiding you through each step along the way.

The state of North Carolina provides many opportunities for people interested in operating their own contracting business. Our experienced team of knowledgeable, passionate specialists helps you find those opportunities. We help local contractors get their businesses started the right way. We know the process inside out. We are equipped with the best practice exams, resources, and tools needed to prepare you.

The benefits of having a contractor's license in North Carolina

Clients in this business will often ask to see a physical copy of your contractor’s license before they buy your service. This is because it will prove your credibility to them as a professional. A license shows them you have met all of the requirements and NC regulations and rules. All states have their own set of construction laws, and North Carolina is no different. To work on a project as a general contractor that will cost more than $30,000, you must hold a license issued by the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors. The same goes for fire sprinklers, heating, electrical, and plumbing contractors.

Just to be safe, we recommend obtaining your license. The benefit of this is increased opportunities for big projects. Let’s say for example that your business gains momentum and a big project comes along. If that client wants to hire you, you won’t have to reject them simply because you lack a legal license.

Gives You Credibility

Having a license increases your credibility, allowing you to build trust with your clients. There are other ways to gain their trust, but this is a big part of establishing yourself and your business, especially if you're working with new customers.

Gives You A Higher Earning Potential

Consequently, there are larger projects that you can't perform without a contractor's license. With one, you can take on big assignments, get more jobs, and increase your profit. More often than not, clients will pay a higher price to a licensed contractor than unlicensed handypersons.

In North Carolina, you are not legally allowed to bid on any projects over $30,000 if you don't hold an active contractor's license. Don't limit yourself to small jobs by putting off obtaining your license - get started today and scale your business to new levels!

A contractor’s license significantly increases the earning potential for your business. Not only can you take on bigger projects. A license entails that clients are more willing to pay a higher price for your work and services.

If you decide against getting this valuable documentation, it can have consequences. The most serious is that you can get caught for performing work illegally. This gets you and your business in muddy water. It also discredits you. When clients hear you are not in good legal standing, they will disappear faster than you can blink. You can avoid this by getting your license with the help of our services.

What You Can Expect

Get a strong start in building your career

Everything you could need to embark on this learning journey can be found here on this page. We have a collection of high-quality resources, tools, and information available from licensing experts. Our services will help you in many ways, including:

  • Discussing the various types of exams that you will encounter
  • Guiding you through the different steps required for certification
  • Providing you with additional study resources and helpful tools.
  • Minimizing the hassle involved with the exam-taking process and making it simple
  • Providing you with the necessary materials and books to take the exam
  • Additional services where we will tab and highlight your books, preparing them for the exam for you
  • Providing you with hundreds of practice test questions
  • Assisting you with the license application process and providing an expert review of all necessary documents before their submission to the board
  • Offering support with a friendly customer service team. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have.

License Requirements

How to get a contractor’s license in North Carolina

For most of the work that you end up conducting in the state, you will find having a contractor’s license extremely helpful. This goes for anything from commercial construction to smaller residential projects. Legal documentation can help you avoid unnecessary legal problems.

So how exactly do you get it? If you are interested in the Residential Contractor Exam, then we would like to guide you in a different direction. This exam is a closed book exam, it is harder to pass, and it limits you to only Residential Construction in the state of North Carolina. We teach the NASCLA exam prep in North Carolina for several reasons.

  • First, the NASCLA certification is a Nationally-Accredited exam accepted in 16 states, with many other states planning to adopt it in the near future. 

    The NASCLA Accredited Commercial Builder Exam is an accepted technical licensing exam for commercial construction in all 16 accepting states. Applicants may supply NASCLA Commercial Builder Exam transcripts to qualify for exemption from completing the state technical licensing exam.

    In Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, the US Virgin Islands, Utah, and West Virginia, the equivalent license for the NASCLA Commercial Builder exam also covers residential construction work.
  • The second reason we prefer the NASCLA exam is that it is an open book exam; most contractor exams in NC are not open book.

Your only other requirements are to meet the necessary experience and financial requirements for your license class and submit an application to the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors. When you have a NASCLA certification and want to go to another state and pick up work, you can do so much more quickly as you will not have to take that state's commercial builder technical exam. 

Meet the initial requirements

The type of business that you own determines what documents you need to send in with your application. Here is a list of what you need to send in depending on your situation:

Sole Proprietorship

For this ownership, you need a photocopy of your Certificate of Assumed Name. To get this, go to the Register of Deeds of the county where you will be running your business.

Limited and General Partnerships

This is similar to the previous option. You need a copy of the Certificate of Assumed Name. However, you also need to go to the NC Secretary of State to register your business. You’ll need to submit a copy of your Certificate of Limited Partnership or General Partnership Agreement.

LLC Domestic Corporations

For this, you’ll need the Certificate of Assumed Name from your designated county. You’ll also need to register your business with the Secretary of State. Additionally, you need a copy of your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation. You must provide these with an official seal from the Secretary of State.

LLC & Foreign Corporations

The same requirements apply here as with Domestic Corporations. However, you also need a Certificate of Authority with the official seal. In addition to this, you need to submit the following:

  • Financial Statement
  • 3 letters of reference
  • Tax Identification Number
  • Application Fee
Submit the application

At this point, you need to have filled out your application. You must have obtained all of your necessary documents. If you have these ready along with the application fee itself, you can submit the application.

Make sure that you didn’t accidentally miss any of the sections of the application. Everybody makes mistakes on tedious paperwork – and that’s alright. But that’s also why it’s important to double-check. If something is missing, then the application will be incomplete. This will delay your process of obtaining a contractor license.

The beginning of the month is when the application is due. This is because that is when the board typically reviews the applications that they receive. The first week of the following month is when they will actually look at it. For example, if you turn in your application within the first week of September, the board will review it in the first week of October.

Assuming that everything was correct, you will later receive a letter of eligibility. With this letter, you are able to take the exam.

This is where many contractors struggle and procrastinate and lose momentum right out of the gate. At Contractor Training Center, we offer our Application Fulfillment Service to help you past this hurdle. We will set up a Dropbox with you and put the correct documents in front of you, along with a checklist of the requirements. You will still need to fill them out as this is your information, and we don’t know it. We will answer all of your questions as you fill in all of the required information. Once everything is ready, we will review for accuracy and suggest editing where necessary. We save people time and frustration. You have one year from application submission to complete the entire process.

Determine the type of license you need

There are several classes of licenses that you can get:

Limited license

This first-class is the most limited. With this option, you can bid for and work on any project below $750,000. To qualify for this license, your working capital must be a minimum of $17,000.

Intermediate License

With is one, you can bid for and work on projects that are worth up to $1,500,000. You must have a minimum of $75,000 as your working capital to qualify for this license.

Unlimited License

As the name suggests, there are no limits on the projects that you can bid for and work on with this option. However, to qualify for this license classification, your working capital must be a minimum of $150,000.

Take the Exam

The common exam for this industry is the NC Residential and NC Commercial Exam. Note that these are closed book exams. At Contractor Training Center, we offer an open book option: the NASCLA Exam. Open book exams are significantly easier to study and prepare for, and they have higher passing rates. NASCLA also covers you for both Commercial and Residential contracting.

Depending on the type of work you plan on doing in the area, there are various categories of work and specific exams for each one. These include:

General Building

This classification includes all construction building activity such as industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential. It also covers parking decks, paving, site work, driveways, gutters, sidewalks, and much more. We recommend the NASCLA instead.

  • Number of Questions: 90
  • Required Passing Percentage: 70%
  • Time Allotted: 180 minutes

This covers all construction highway activity, including installation of artificial athletic surfaces in exterior locations, all kinds of paving, bridge repair and construction, relocation of utility lines, fencing, airport runway paving, and more. We have the NC Highway exam prep as this exam is partially open-book. We cover the books that are allowed in the testing room.

  • Number of Questions: 90
  • Required Passing Percentage: 70%
  • Time Allotted: 240 Minutes

This covers any residential unit construction, including all site work, sidewalks, driveways, wastewater systems, water systems, conforming to the building code of residential properties, and more. We recommend the NASCLA instead.

  • Number of Questions: 90
  • Required Passing Percentage: 70%
  • Time Allotted: 210 minutes

This covers all Residential and Commercial work in North Carolina and is accepted in 16+ states.

  • Number of Questions: 115
  • Required Passing Percentage: 70%
  • Time Allotted: 330 Minutes

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the contractor licensing process.

What is on the exam?

At Contractor Training Center, preparing you for the exam is what we were trained for. However, it is important to note that each exam varies slightly depending on the specialization of your practice. As such, it is good to know what kind of work you will be doing.


This includes:
•    Piles
•    Asphalt Paving
•    Grading and Excavation
•    Safety
•    Concrete Paving
•    One Call
•    Safety
•    Concrete
•    Traffic Control
•    Concrete Reinforcement
•    Metals
•    Sedimentation and Erosion Control
•    Railroad Construction
•    Tunneling
•    Licensing
•    Marine Construction
•    Business and Law
•    Liens


This includes:

  • Planning and Estimating
  • Financial and Project Management
  • Safety
  • Site Construction
  • Concrete
  • Masonry
  • Metals
  • Wood Foundations and Framing
  • Thermal Moisture Protection
  • Doors, Windows, and Glazing
  • Finishes
  • Specialty Equipment and Conveyance Systems
Is a commercial contractor license required in North Carolina?

A Commercial Contractor's License is required for any project exceeding $30,000 in North Carolina.

How long is my license valid?

The validity of a license varies from state to state, just like the requirements that must be met. In North Carolina, all licenses expire on the 1st of January every year.

Where can I get the books for my exam?

We offer all the books you'll need here in our North Carolina bookstore.

Need help finding the right course for you?

If you are ready to become a certified contractor, contact us today! At Contractor Training Center, our expert instructors are here for you every step of the way. Our compilation of resources, tools, and materials have been perfected over the years and are just what you need to pass the test with flying colors. Each of our different courses thoroughly covers the important study categories.

We also offer helpful guidance on how to operate your future contracting business. In fact, our resources can be continuously referenced throughout your career. We have trained specialists in all aspects of this industry, such as employment law, project management, estimating and bidding, environmental issues, banking options, tax information, and more.

We have helped over 30,000 contractors get their license, and we look forward to helping you!

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