If you're looking for a career in construction, then you'll need to get your contractor license. This can be a difficult process, but it's worth it in the end. There are many schools across the U.S. that offer contractor licensing courses.
In this blog post, we will list the top 5 schools for getting your contractor's license.
We'll also provide a few details about a general contractor career and what you can expect from the licensing process.
What Should I Study to Become a Contractor?
Not all schools are created equal. You'll want to make sure you select a school that offers quality education and prepares you for the licensing exam.
When it comes to what you'll actually study in a contractor licensing course, it will depend on the state you're in. Each state has different requirements for their license application.
However, there are some general topics that will likely be covered in any contractor licensing course, such as:
- Estimating costs
- Project management
- Human resources management
- Dealing with subcontractors
- Legal issues
- Permits and inspections
- Building code requirements
You can find contractor licensing courses offered by both community colleges and private trade schools. There are even some online contractor licensing courses available.
However, not all of these schools are created equal. You'll want to make sure you select a school that offers a quality education and prepares you for the licensing exam with practice exams.
It's important to note that most contracting courses won't teach you basic building skills so you won't be spending any time learning to put up drywall or roofing. These courses are meant to prepare you for the business side of contracting.
What you will want to ensure is that the school you pick has instructors with years of experience in the contracting industry. It's also important to make sure the school is accredited, as this will help you when it comes time to take your licensing exams.
How Do I Become a Licensed Contractor?
The first step in the licensing process is to complete an accredited contracting course.
Once you have completed the course, you will need to pass the state exam, which will be administered by the local Board of Contractors.
For example, the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) provides you with your California contractors license. In Florida, it's the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), and so on.
After passing the exam, you will be required to submit proof of insurance and a contractor license bond as part of your license application. Once you have met all the requirements, you will be issued your license.
To maintain your license, you will need to renew it every two years and complete continuing education courses as required by your state.
How Do I Start a Career as a Contractor?
The first step in starting your career as a contractor is to decide what kind of contractor you would like to be. There are many different types of contractors, each with its own set of skills, experience, and licenses. Some of the most common ones include:
- General contractor: These are the professionals who oversee construction projects from start to finish. They are responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors, as well as ensuring that the project stays on schedule and within budget.
- Building contractor: These professionals specialize in constructing new buildings or additions. They work with architects and engineers to ensure that the plans are followed and that the construction is up to code.
- Specialty contractor: These contractors specialize in a particular type of construction, such as electrical work, plumbing, or HVAC. They typically have more experience and training in their specific field than general contractors or building contractors.
- Landscaping contractor: These professionals design, install, and maintain landscaping for residential and commercial properties. They may also be responsible for snow removal in colder climates.
Once you've decided what kind of contractor you need, you'll need to find the right school to get your contractor license. From there, you'll need to pass an exam in order to officially become a licensed contractor.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Contractor's License?
The amount of time it takes to get a contractor's license can vary depending on your state and the type of contractor license you're trying to obtain. In most cases, it takes around 3-4 weeks to complete the process.
The exact amount of time it takes to get a contractor's license will also depend on the type of contractor you want to become. For example, a general contractor license will take less time to obtain than an electrical contractor license.
5 Best Contractor License Schools
Now that you know how to become a licensed contractor, let's take a look at the five best contractor license schools.
Builders License Training Institute (BLTI)
BLTI is one of the leading contractor license schools and has been helping students obtain their contractor licenses for over 25 years. The school offers a variety of in-person and online options to fit every schedule and learning style.
They offer a wide range of courses, including general contractors, roofing contractors, and electrical contractors. BLTI also has a pass rate of 98%, so you can be confident you're getting the best education possible.
Hosted by Stautzenberger College, @Home Prep is an online contractor licensing school that offers a wide range of courses to help you get your contractor license. The school offers both live and self-paced courses, so you can learn at your own pace.
If you're looking for additional certifications outside of your contractor license, @Home Prep also offers a wide range of courses, including OSHA 10 and 30-hour certifications, asbestos awareness certification, and lead paint removal certification.
Contractor School Online
As you might have guessed from the name, Contractor School Online is an online contractor licensing school. The school offers a wide range of courses to help you get your contractor license, including live and self-paced options.
One of the primary benefits of Contractor School Online is that it offers courses for every different state, and the District of Columbia, making it a great choice if you plan on working in multiple states.
Contractor Training Center
The Contractor Training Center offers online-only contractor licensing courses. The course offerings include everything from the basics of running a contracting business to more specific trade courses like roofing and HVAC.
One of the benefits of the Contractor Training Center is that they offer a wide variety of financing options to help you pay for your education, including loans, grants, and scholarships.
They also offer courses in 27 states, so you should be able to find a program that meets your needs no matter where you live.
The Construction Association
The Construction Association differs slightly from the other contractor license schools on our list in that they are an internal construction industry association designed to help members improve their skills and connect with quality resources.
One of the main ways they do this is by offering educational programs, including a contractor license course. This course will help you prepare for your state's contractor licensing exam and will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to run a successful contracting business.
They offer in-person events at local chapters around the country, as well as online courses that you can take at your own pace. The Construction Association also offers a variety of other resources, such as job boards and networking opportunities, that can be helpful for both new and experienced contractors.
Get Your Contractor License Today
Getting your contractor license is an important step in starting or growing your contracting business. Enrollment in the right school to help you prepare for the exam can make all the difference.
By finding the right school, you'll be able to get the education and training you need to pass the exam and start your contracting business on the right foot.
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