NASCLA Accreditation - Do You Need It?
If you’re on this page, you're probably wondering what exams you need to take to become a fully licensed contractor. Good news! We’re here to help.
You may qualify to take the NASCLA Accredited Examination, meaning you may find yourself one step closer to becoming a licensed contractor.
Let’s go over everything you need to know about this exam.
What Is NASCLA?
The National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies, or NASCLA, is a non-profit organization. Their purpose is to assist contractors in getting licensed. They streamline the process of obtaining licensure. NASCLA has motivated many states to accept its Accredited Examination Program. As a result, most states in the country have reduced their restrictions for licensing.
The NASCLA Accredited Examination is essentially one trade exam. This one exam will qualify you to get licensing in multiple jurisdictions or states. It is important to note that not every state currently accepts this exam. Check to see if the areas you’re likely to be working in allow it. If they don’t, you will have to take the individual exam for that particular state.
Essentially, the exam allows an individual to take just one exam that will cover many states. That way, they don’t have to pass multiple individual exams. The candidate can then request their results to be sent to the participating jurisdictions. This reduces the need for redundant licensing requirements.
There is a chance you will still have to check whether you need to take a Business and Law exam for a specific state. Always check the rules of the state where you wish to work.
You will need to get pre-approved before you take the exam, but once you have this approval, you can book the exam. By working with us here at Contractor Training Center, you’ll gain access to multiple resources to aid you in passing the exam the first time.
Why Is NASCLA Important?
Simply, you need to pass the exam to get your license, and you need a license to work. Without one, you may be working illegally and could get yourself in trouble. Every state will have its own laws on what they require of you as a contractor. Even if it might seem tedious, obtaining a license is beneficial to your clients and to you in the long run.
If you can prove you’re licensed, your clients will trust you that much more. They can rest assured knowing that the job is less likely to go wrong in your hands. It also will bring you more business with clients who feel they can trust your work over competitors.
As a licensed professional, you can also have peace of mind knowing that you’ll have access to contractors’ insurance. This will cover you and your clients should any damage occur during work, or should something go wrong during the build. No license means you will not have access to obtaining insurance.
How to Prepare for the NASCLA Exam
Before you even start reviewing for your exam, you need to gain approval so that you can actually take it. When you apply to take the exam, you will receive an approval within seven business days from the NASCLA. You also need to create an account with PSI (the testing facility) here www.psiexams.com. Remember to register your business and submit applications with each state.
Once you’re approved, you’re free to book your exam.
Like any exam, it is important to have the correct resources. These will help you understand what is likely to end up on the test itself. There are both online resources and physical books that will allow you to gain the knowledge you need.
From our site, you can purchase book bundles. The book bundle is great if you want to take your time to study for the exam. Just note that the bundle consists of 19 books worth of content to get through.
However, there is an option if you want to prepare effectively but quickly. We offer a handy tabbed and highlighted bundle to make studying for the exam that much easier.
Please be aware that this service takes up to two weeks for us to prepare for you. You also can purchase resources for an individual state if you only need more information about one or two places.
If you want professional knowledge and the ability to ask questions of a real person, there are live webinars and in-class seminars available, too. We hold these live seminars on a weekly basis. All you need to do is book your place through our site and show up.
Past exam papers and pre-recorded classes are also available. These can help refresh your memory and put your knowledge to the test.
Our site also has resources to help you pass your Business and Law exams, General Contractors license exams, and Homebuilder exams.
Where Can I Take the NASCLA Exam?
Have you decided to take this exam and received the necessary approval? If so, you can access resources and the application to take the exam all through the NASCLA here: https://ned.nascla.org/public/default.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f
How much does it cost?
For a NASCLA Accredited Exam for Commercial General Building Contractors, booking the exam costs $106 in addition to an initial $25 application fee. Additionally, there is a $24.99 fee each time you need to send your transcript to a state licensing agency.
You can take the exam three times within the space of one year, starting on the date you get approved. After the first year, if you need to re-take the exam again you will need to reapply. A retake also will cost you an exam fee, which can be seen here on the PSI Website.
In What States Is NASCLA Valid?
States that accept the NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building include:
- Alabama - Commercial Only
- Arizona - Commercial Only
- Arkansas - Commercial and Residential Construction
- Florida - Commercial and Residential Construction
- Georgia - Commercial and Residential Construction
- Louisiana - Commercial and Residential Construction
- Mississippi - Commercial and Residential Construction
- Nevada - Commercial Only
- North Carolina - Commercial and Residential Construction
- Oregon - Commercial and Residential Construction
- South Carolina - Commercial and Residential Construction
- Tennessee - Commercial Only
- US Virgin Islands - Commercial and Residential Construction
- Utah - Commercial and Residential Construction
- Virginia - Commercial Only
- West Virginia - Commercial and Residential Construction
Of the states currently accepting the NASCLA exam, the following 6 states administer the NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors:
- South Carolina
- Virgin Islands
What’s the difference between an accepting state and an administering state?
Administering states allow you to take the NASCLA exam directly through their state agency. You may also choose to take the exam directly through PSI Services, but in that case, you will need to purchase transcripts from the National Education Database to send to the state agency you are looking to obtain a license in.
Looking for the requirements of an individual state? That information is available on our website. Click on any of the links above for direct access to each state’s requirements for contractor licensing. Also available is the information for the states that require a Business and Law exam to be taken.
What Do I Do After I Pass?
Congratulations on passing! Here’s what you need to do next.
Within 48 hours of completing your exam, your pass result will appear on the National Examination Database (NED). You then need to create an account to send your pass score to the state in which you are applying for a license. You also will receive a physical copy of your exam result. This will happen at the testing facility immediately after your exam.
When you have signed up to the NED, you can purchase a copy of your exam transcript for $24.99. This transcript is valid for two years. After that, you’ll need to purchase the transcript again for it to be valid. This is what you send over to get your license.
What Happens if I Don’t Pass?
If you don’t pass, there is no need to worry. The NASCLA regulations state you may take the exam up to three times in one year. If you do not pass one of these three exams, you will need to reapply. From the date of acceptance, you will have another year and another three chances to take the exam.
You can reschedule your second or third attempt almost immediately after your failed exam. Or, if you wish to wait a little while, you can try again after some more review. However, if you take your exam three times and still do not pass, you need to wait a year to reapply for another three chances.
Is My NASCLA Valid in Multiple States? What About Nationally?
The NASCLA is valid in multiple states BUT not every state. As expressed above, there are only certain places that accept the NASCLA Accreditation. You must check to see if you will need to go through the process of passing an individual exam for the state in which you wish to gain licensure.
The exam itself is known nationally. The NASCLA worked for four years to create the exam. Even more states are sure to accept it in the future.
How Do I Know What Other Licensure My State Requires?
The best way to know what other exams or licenses you will need for a state is to do your research. Keep in mind that the NASCLA examination doesn’t necessarily cover you for the Business and Law exam for a state.
For all the information on what each state requires or if they even accept the NASCLA Accredited Exam, Contractor Training Center is here to help you. We have information on many states. Simply find the state where you’re planning to work and learn more details about their regulations.
With this information, you’ll be able to jumpstart your NASCLA application process today.