Contractors License in North Carolina

North CarolinaNorth Carolina General Building Contractor License Exam | North Carolina Highway License Exam | |  North Carolina Residential | North Carolina NASCLA Contractor License Exam

NC ACCEPTS NASCLA for Residential and Commerical Contractors!

Getting a contractor license in NC is essential if you are hoping to successfully conduct your contracting work within the state. Like many states, North Carolina has carefully structured rules, regulations, and requirements regarding contracting work being done in the state. One of those stipulations requires that all contractors must have a license in order to perform work in the area on projects exceeding $30,000 in cost. 

NC Residential and NC Commercial Exams Are CLOSED BOOK ExamsWe Offer the OPEN BOOK NASCLA Exam because it is much easier to prepare for and pass.  Do Not Take The Closed Book Exams!

If you would like to obtain a NC contractor license, which is something that is recommended in general for contractors in order to increase their credentials and ensure they are meeting the requirements of their state, you need to familiarize yourself with the process of how to get one. Fortunately, we have gathered everything you need to know here about apply and preparing for your examination.

To get your North Carolina contracting license, there are a lot of things you should know and be prepared for. Fortunately, however, we can help you every step of the way to accomplishing your goal. We can give you valuable resources you need to understand North Carolina’s requirements for contractors and all of the general knowledge you will need to pass your exam on your first attempt.

At Contractors Institute, we strive to provide you with everything you need to succeed in getting your requirements to do contracting work in North Carolina with minimal stress and hassle. Here, you will find everything you need to know about the steps you need to take to get your requirements met to do any type of contracting work in the state that you like. We understand that it can seem like a stressful and intimidating task to undertake, which is precisely why we strive to prepare your adequately and make the process as easy as possible on you.

To work as a general contractor on projects costing more than $30,000 in North Carolina, you must get a license from the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors. Electrical, plumbing, heating and fire sprinkler contractors must be licensed.


The first thing that needs to be done is to receive a license application, which you can get from the licensing board. In addition, you will need to enclose a check for $15 to the following address, or download an application from the following website, for a charge of $13.

Licensing Board for General Contractors

Send in the application for the General Contractors License application, as well as any supporting documents. Be sure to send all of it to the North Carolina Board for General Contractors. The application must be received 30 days before any scheduled meeting for the board. If you wish to find the meeting dates, they are on the website listed above.

Residential Contractor Exam: What’s Involved?

Here is the Residential Building Contractor exam content.  The State test through PSI contains 90 questions taken randomly from a pool of over 1,000 questions.  You will have have 210 minutes and must get 70% or higher to pass.  Our course covers ALL areas thoroughly:

The following is what is involved with the Residential Building Contractor exam. The test that is through PSI has 90 questions that is randomly taken from 1,000 different questions. You will be allotted 210 minutes. However, you must get a score of 70% or higher to be able to pass. Each of our courses cover each area thoroughly, including:

  • Concrete and Concrete Reinforcements – 10 questions
  • Foundations, Footings, and Site Work – 12 questions
  • Carpentry – 11 questions
  • Masonry – 7 questions
  • Roofing – 6 questions
  • Associated Constructions Trades that includes Energy Conservation and Dry Wall – 8 questions
  • Plan Reading, General Residential Code Requirements, and Estimating – 16 questions
  • Osha Safety – 4 questions
  • Special Construction Zones (coastal and wind), as well as sedimentation control – 6 questions
  • Business, Law, and Licensing – 10 questions

What is on the Building Contractor Exam?

Here is the Building Contractor exam content. The State test through PSI contains 90 questions taken randomly from a pool of over 1,000 questions.  You will have have 180 minutes and must get 70% or higher to pass.Our course covers All areas thoroughly:

  • Sitework (6 questions)
  • Concrete (15 questions)’
  • Masonry (6 questions)
  • Metals (15 questions)
  • Carpentry (7 questions)
  • Roofing (6 questions)
  • Associated Trades (3 questions)
  • Business and law (7 questions)
  • Safety (4 questions)
  • Estimating, Plan reading and general Building code Requirements (14 questions)
  • One Call (2 questions)
  • Erosion and Sedimentation Control (2 questions)
  • Licensing (2 questions)
  • Liens (1 question)

Will I require a license before bidding on projects?

Only when a project costs $30,000 or more requires a license before bidding.

Building Contractor License and the North Carolina Residential Contractor License: The Difference

The license for Residential Contractors is for both, one and two-family dwellings. However, for the Building Contractor licensure is for residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial buildings.

Will I Be Required to Pass a Separate Law and Business Examination?

No, you will not need to take a separate Law and Business exam. There is only one exam that consists of 90 questions that will cover the above topics. So, if you take the NASCLA-accredited test examination, you won’t have to take a separate Law and Business exam for the state of North Carolina.


In North Carolina, is it Required to Have Continued Education as a Contractor?

No, it’s not required to have continued education as a contractor in North Carolina.

NASCLA Accredited Commercial Contractor License: It is Accepted in North Carolina?

Yes, it is. When you pass the NASCLA Accredited Exam for Commercial General Building Contractors, you can find yourself within the database for the NASCLA National Examination. The following states will also be able to access this:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Oregon
  • Arizona
  • West Virginia

Does North Carolina require a General Contractor (commercial contractor) license?  

Yes: NASCLA is accepted in NC for Commercial and Residential Contractors!

General Contractor (Commercial Contractor) License- Is it Required in North Carolina?

Yes!  An intermediate license permits you to act as the general contractor for any project valued up to $700,000. You must also have $75,000 of working capital to apply for this license.

Having an intermediate license will permit you to act as a general contractor for a project, with a value of up to $700,000. You need to have $75,000 in working capital to apply for this licensure.


This classification covers all building construction activity including: commercial, industrial, institutional, and all residential building construction. It includes parking decks; all site work, grading and paving of parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, and gutters; storm drainage, retaining or screen walls, and hardware and accessory structures; and indoor and outdoor recreational facilities including natural and artificial surface athletic fields, running tracks, bleachers and seating. It also covers work done under the specialty classifications of S(Concrete Construction), S(Insulation), S(Interior Construction), S(Marine Construction), S(Masonry Construction), S(Roofing), S(Metal Erection), S(Swimming Pools), and S(Asbestos).

  • # of Questions: 90
  • % Required to Pass: 70
  • Time Allowed: 180 minutes


Subject Area # of Items
Site work 6
Concrete 15
Masonry 6
Metals 15
Carpentry 7
Roofing 6
Associated Trades 3
Business and Law 7
Safety 4
Estimating, Plan Reading and General Building Code Requirements 14
One Call 2
Erosion and Sedimentation Control 2
Licensing 2
Liens 1


This classification covers all highway construction activity including: grading, paving of all types, installation of exterior artificial athletic surfaces, relocation of public and private utility lines ancillary to the principal project, bridge construction and repair, culvert construction and repair, parking decks, sidewalks, curbs, gutters and storm drainage. It also includes installation and erection of guard rails, fencing, signage and ancillary highway hardware; covers paving and grading of airport and air-field runways, taxiways, and aprons, including the installation of fencing, signage, runway lighting and marking; and work done under the specialty classifications of S(Boring and Tunneling), S(Concrete Construction), S(Marine Construction), S(Railroad Construction), and H(Grading and Excavating).

  • # of Questions: 90
  • % Required to Pass: 70
  • Time Allowed: 240 Minutes


Subject Area # of Items
Paving-Asphalt 14
Piles 5
Excavation and Grading 9
Concrete Paving 3
Safety 5
One-Call 3
Traffic Control 2
Concrete 6
Metals including Concrete Reinforcement 5
Erosion and Sedimentation Control 6
Tunneling 8
Railroad Construction 8
Marine Construction 6
Licensing 2
Liens 1
Business and Law 7


This classification covers all construction activity pertaining to the construction of residential units which are required to conform to the residential building code adopted by the Building Code Council pursuant to G.S. 143-138; all site work, driveways, sidewalks, and water and wastewater systems ancillary to the aforementioned structures and improvements; and the work done as part of such residential units under the specialty classifications of S(Insulation), S(Interior Construction), S(Masonry Construction), S(Roofing), S(Swimming Pools), and S(Asbestos).

  • # of Questions: 90
  • % Required to Pass: 70
  • Time Allowed: 210 minutes


Subject Area # of Items
Site work, Footings and Foundations 12
Concrete and Concrete Reinforcement 10
Masonry 7
Carpentry 11
Associated Construction trades, including Energy Conservation and Drywall 8
Roofing 6
Estimating, Plan Reading and General Residential Code Requirements 16
OSHA Safety 4
Licensing and Business and Law 10
Special Construction Zones (wind and coastal) and Erosion and Sedimentation Control 6

Where can I get the books?

At our Bookstore

powered by BirdEye
powered by BirdEye