Do Carpenters Need to be LicensedThe most common question we always heard from young bucks is do carpenters need to be licensed? Well, that largely depends on the sort of things and we will try to give you the complete answer in this article.



To briefly answer that, the need for such a requirement will depend on the state or location where the carpenters are going to work thus separate licenses will be issued by the state.

Some states may oblige the carpenters to be registered first to define if they need a license based on the scope of the project they will be working or be registered as a general contractor. While other states will require them to pass a series of tests and meet certain experience as a professional or as an apprentice.

If the state or government does require carpenters to have a license, the state may also demand to post a surety bond. The bond amount will depend on the extent of the job as this is an assurance that if the carpenters fail to finish the project it will be used to pay the client.

Verifying if carpenters do need to be licensed in the city or government where they plan to work and whether there are different categories of licenses are the first thing to solve; If the carpenters indeed need to be licensed, the second you to need to do is knowing what are the requirements to comply.

To know more about the requirements, visit the website of the state’s contractor licensing agency, and review the documents and processes to apply for carpenter license.

If one has held a position as a foreman or as a supervisor that would greatly increase your application of getting approved. If you have a current or previous contractor license issued by another state, this will help you qualify for this requirement; the previous contractor license may also exempt you from taking a trade examination that needs to be passed in order to get a carpentry license.



Prior Experience is One of the Important Requirements That Will Be Asked

Please do keep it mind that when applying for a license, prior job experience is important, without this, the chance of having the application approved greatly decrease. The prior experience before one can be approved is four (4) years in the last ten (10) years.

In most states, the experience must be verified. This is easy if one is in possession of a license issued by another state but what if not.

The verification must be done by a responsible party such as a building inspector, engineer, architect, past or present employer, or by a technical person who had worked with the applicant.

Sadly, getting approved for the license becomes hard for those just getting started and new to this job that does not have prior experience yet. Fortunately, there are ways to settle this:

  • By obtaining a grandfathered contractor license – This is significantly applicable if the business is family-owned to help pass the ownership to the next generation. Please do remember not just because that the license under this option can be inherited doesn’t mean it is good to go, there will still be licensing tests that need to be passed if the state requires it.

  • By hiring a Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) – an RMO is a professional who is in possession of an active contractor’s license. By hiring an RMO, it allows the new contractor to use the license of the RMO to comply with the requirements and to do business as if the new contractor had a license of their own.

A Contractor Surety Bond is Required as Well

It is a form of insurance that protects the consumers or clients from any illegal or unethical action performed by a contractor. The contractor must have a surety bond before beginning a business so that the customer is guaranteed or protected.

Every contractor will need to secure a surety bond prior to the application of a license. The amount of the bond will depend on the scope of the job and where the state project is in.

A contractor surety bond can be of great importance to the contractor and the client as well. Aside from that, it is a requirement to have a license, it informs the client that the contractor can be trusted. The client is assured of that when things don’t go as planned, they have a guarantee.

If someone is planning to get a bond and want to know how much does it cost, well, the premium amount will depend on the applicant’s credit. If the contractor has a good credit standing, an eligibility standard of 1% - 3% of the bond amount will be given. On the other hand, if the contractor has a not-so-good credit rating, the yearly premium ranges from 5% - 15%.



Taking the Contractor License Examination

If the license application does require to pass the examination, we made these simple tips to help the applicant ace the tests. Here are what you need to do:

  1. Passing the tests in the first try can be difficult for many people, but knowing first what the test consists of is the starting point, here are the usual contents: 100 questions about law and business (finances, organization, employment, licensing and contract requirements, safety, etc), 100 questions about trades (core trades, finish trades, planning, estimation, safety, etc.)

  2. Taking a practice test will help the applicant to get a feel of it. The big hurdle most applicants face was that they have not taken the exam yet. To go about it, an online tool is available to take a practice test. These simulated exams are very helpful in preparing for the big day. Here is an example of an online test

  3. Browse and read through the prep book. Aside from taking an online practice, it would be beneficial if you get a copy of the contractor prep book and read the topics that may be covered in the exam.

Studying in the means you preferred will increase your confidence in passing the licensing test. If you invest some of your time and effort in the preparation, there’s no way you will fail. We wish you good luck!



To Finalize This

Carpenters do need a license if the state where they plan to work requires it. They may not need it in other states. So when planning to work, be sure to check the state’s licensing requirement.

A license may be obtained whether you are an individual or a business and be sure you have what it takes as these are important requirements in the application.  

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