Posted in Career Insights
How to Get a Contractor's License With No Experience

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 263,000 job openings within the construction industry in June 2018.

BLS projects faster-than-average employment growth in the industry through 2026 with the median annual wage of $45,820 in 2017 surpassing the $37,690 median wage for all industries. 

In some U.S. states, you may need direct work experience in order to get a license, while in others, you don’t need any to become a general contractor. You should verify this by checking your state’s local requirements. 

That being said, you can always take Stratford Career Institute’s Contractor / Construction Management course to stand out from the competition and help prepare yourself for this rewarding career!

How Much Experience Do I Need?

If you don’t have any prior construction experience, consider apprenticing or taking on small jobs that don’t require a license. This could help you get a better idea of the industry. 

What is a Contractor License?

A contractor license is a license, provided either by the government or a ‘professional organization’ such as a union or guild, that allows its holder to legally perform various contracting jobs.

The most common types of contractor licenses are general contractor, subcontractor, electrician, roofer, and plumber.

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Ways to Get a Contractor License Without Experience

The states of Florida, Louisiana, Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming don’t require a state license for contractors.

RMO License

One of the most common, and often easiest ways that people without any prior experience can gain access to a contractor license is by utilizing either an “RMO” or “RME.” 

RMO stands for “Responsible Managing Officer.” The RMO is a licensed contractor who allows their license number to be used by an existing business to take on construction projects over $500.

RME stands for “Responsible Managing Employee,” and is the same as an RMO, except the contractor qualifying the company is an employee.

What Types of Services Do I Want to Provide?

Some people like the security of large jobs, while others prefer the flexibility of more short-term projects.   

If you’re looking at getting a contractor license of some sort, it is important to consider the kinds of job, the kinds of work, that most appeals to you. It’s also important to take into consideration your long-term goals.

In other words, the amount of work that you can do before you have to get a contractor license should only be part of the equation. The amount of work you can take on also depends on the project cost and your geographic area.

How Can I Get a Contractor License?

Applying for a formal license through the U.S. Contractors State License Board (CSLB) requires at least four years of journeyman levelwork experience in a specialty work area in the last 10 years.

The CSLB maintains a database of licensed individuals, partnerships, LLCs, C-Corps and S-Corps which are kept on a public record. This board provides and proctors examinations for prospective contractors, performs sting operations to catch unlicensed contractors, and manages the entire licensing process.

That is why it’s important to start building your background knowledge and work experience now. 

Stratford’s Contractor/Construction Management course covers the basics of construction management and includes modules on measurements, estimations, job site management, general construction knowledge and more. 

Enroll today to get started!

This educational program is an introductory course designed to help students gain knowledge necessary for the vocational application of this subject. Completion of a Stratford Career Institute program does NOT fulfill the legal requirements of particular state licenses or certifications, which may require additional training or apprenticeships. 


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Interested in Becoming a General Contractor?

Interested in Becoming a General Contractor?

Get started by enrolling in our contractor / construction management course today!