What Do You Need to Get a General Contractors License

Getting a general contractor’s license is a crucial step towards establishing a successful career in the construction industry. It is a way of proving that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to undertake construction projects. General contractors licenses are issued by state boards and requirements vary from state to state. Here are some general guidelines on what you need to get a general contractor’s license.

Education and experience

Before applying for a general contractor’s license, you need to have some level of formal education and experience. Most states require a high school diploma or a GED. Additionally, you may need to have completed a certain number of hours or units of construction-related courses. Some states may also require you to have a degree in construction management or a related field.

Experience is another critical requirement. You need to have worked in the construction industry for several years as a journeyman or an apprentice. This is to ensure that you have acquired enough experience and knowledge to manage construction projects and deal with unforeseen situations that may arise on-site.

Passing an exam

After meeting the education and experience requirements, you need to pass an examination. The exams cover a range of topics such as construction safety, contract laws, building codes, project management, and estimating. The exams vary from state to state, and some states may require you to take additional exams such as a business and law exam.

Background check and financial requirements

To obtain a general contractor’s license, you need to have a clean criminal record. State boards conduct background checks to ensure that applicants have no criminal history that could compromise job performance or pose a safety risk to the public.

You may also need to meet financial requirements such as submitting a credit report, a bond, and proof of liability insurance. These requirements vary from state to state, and it’s essential to understand them before applying.


Getting a general contractor’s license is a rigorous process that requires experience, education, and passing an exam. However, it is worth the effort as it opens doors to lucrative jobs and enables you to undertake construction projects legally. If you’re interested in getting a general contractor’s license, research your state’s requirements and start preparing early.

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