How to Become a Licensed Contractor

It’s a fairly common question by those not affiliated with the construction industry: how does someone find a career in doing construction work? Many wonder if there is a necessary degree to start a carpentry business, and others may think anyone can do it with the right training. As it turns out, the answer is somewhere in between: it’s true that anyone can start a career in carpentry, it’s a very fulfilling career with a number of roles that can be filled by individuals with any skillset. Those who enjoy heights and climbing could consider a position on a roofing team, as the job highly suits those who enjoy working up high – however, there are certifications involved with becoming a contractor, which cannot be done as easily as working in the field. Although this does not typically involve years of classes and exams, it does mean having to pass certain important tests which define whether or not a person will become certified to own their own contracting business.

Becoming a contractor has very little to do with formal education, and a lot to do with experience in the field. In fact, no contractor can become certified until they have experience in carpentry, as it protects carpentry teams from being exposed to leadership from someone who may not have any knowledge of roofing. Because of this, no one can study for an exam, pass it, and become a contractor, as this could lead to injury on the job due to poor oversight.


Once an individual has had several years’ experience in roofing, they can begin to work towards their contractor certification. Every state has their own necessary certifications, and they can be found by running a quick Google search of the term “roofing certifications in my state.” Not all states are the same in this respect, either: one example is Ohio, where certifications are not done on a statewide level, but on a local level, meaning you may have to contact someone locally to learn more about your options. With this in mind, the certifications are relatively the same across the board, and certain ones will have benefits that others won’t have. Other contracting teams in the area will know more about local certifications, so anyone with questions about the process can use local carpentry teams as a resource.

After the proper test has been pinpointed, it’s time to start studying: the test can be difficult, so anyone looking to take it should probably study for several weeks beforehand, just to ensure a passing grade. Once a test has been passed, a visit to the state licensing board is in order. Those looking to get their state license will need to present photo I.D., a resume, proof of education and work experience, a background check, and the licensing fee. This verify that an applicant has the proper scores on certification tests, as well as proper work experience to be licensed. Once and application has been complete, the person call consider themselves a Licensed Contractor.

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