Looking for Work as a Commercial Contractor? Make Sure You’re Certified!

A person looking to find work as a certified contractor must first ensure he gets the required certification from his specific state. Each single state has its own prerequisites and rules that must be fulfilled before one gets certified as a contractor. A key requirement for all contractors is that they must pass the state exam. If a contractor happens to move to another state, he is required to sit for the state exam in that particular state before he can start working as a contractor there. While a contractor is not required to be certified in all the different states before he or she can begin practicing as a contractor, it is advisable to do so as he will be able to get more work when he or she is certified in various states.


There are specific prerequisites that one must have before he or she can qualify to become a certified contractor. These are:

  • They must be not less than eighteen years old and must be a holder of a high school diploma (or its equivalent).
  • They must either be a resident of the United States or have proof of legal residency.
  • Provide 2 passport photos.
  • They must provide records of other occupational certification they have in that particular state.
  • They must also explain about any violations, liens and citations that have resulted from construction work they have undertaken in the past.

Each specific state has more than forty contractor classifications. These classifications include Specialty Contractors, General Building Contractors and General Engineering Contractors. Examples of Specialty contractors are: flooring, plumbing, electrical, landscaping, fire protection, roofing, locks and security, moving and demolition, various kinds of carpentry, hazardous substance removal, and insulation and acoustical. It is therefore important for the person to know beforehand the specialty they want to work in before applying to become a certified contractor.

Possible Requirements

A person applying to become a licensed contractor may also be required to:

  • Show that they have the financial means to operate their business.
  • Take a written exam in regards to their construction skills and to laws pertaining to business and construction.
  • Give letters of reference from their previous employer and clients, architects and engineers.
  • Provide evidence that they have the necessary job experience.

The written exam that a person is required to take before they can become a certified contractor is normally a multiple choice one. The exam usually varies in length depending on the particular state, but it mostly ranges between 1-2 hours long. The main purpose of the exam is to make sure that all contractors have a good level of knowledge pertaining to their trade and to business. The exam has many different specialties, so it is advisable for the applicant to choose the specific area they would like to focus their business on before taking the exam. If a person would like to become a general constructor, he may be required to take more than one exam.

Business License Form

A person must also submit a business license form to his state’s business office so as to ensure his business gets registered. The details to be included in the form are:

  • The name of the business
  • The person’s primary business address
  • The different types of services the business will provide
  • The person’s information

There is usually a fee that one is required to pay as they register their business. Many states also require that all contractor businesses pay a “State License Bond.” A certified contractor must also have a Worker’s Compensation Coverage and Proof of Liability.

One of the main ways new contractors who have received the proper certification can find work and get new clients is through listing their services on Fixxbook as this will help them promote their status to prospective clients looking to hire certified contractors. Learn more about how it works.

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