The state of Michigan is starting to see a revival in its construction industry, thanks in large part to the rebirth of its biggest city. When Detroit went bankrupt, the entire state of Michigan felt the effects. But now that Detroit is making a comeback, there is plenty of work for contractors to engage in. As the city starts to grow, so do the suburbs. Residential and commercial construction are on the rise in Michigan, and there are plenty of ambitious contractors moving into the area to get involved in the economic boom.
If you live in Michigan and want to become a contractor or if you are from outside of Michigan and want to take part in the growing amount of new work, then you will need to get your Michigan contractor’s license. The process is not complex, but it is essential that you take each step of the process seriously and do your best to become a licensed Michigan contractor. The work is available throughout the state of Michigan, and all you need to do to grab your piece of that growing economic pie is to get licensed.
Types of Licenses
There are two types of contractor licenses you can get in the state of Michigan: residential builder, and Maintenance and Alteration (M&A). A residential builder is approved to build residential structures, and structures that house both residential and commercial facilities. A residential builder is also licensed to do tasks such as repairs, alterations, maintenance, and full remodeling projects.
An M&A licensed contractor is only licensed to do one specific task in the building process. Contractors can get an M&A license for:
• Insulation evaluation, replacement, and installation
• Painting and decorative work
• Screen and storm sash repair and construction
• Tile work
• Basement waterproofing
• Swimming pool installation, maintenance, and repair
The Educational Requirements for a Michigan License
If you are getting a new residential or M&A license, then you will need to take a 60 hour educational course. Any entity that is renewing their license only needs to pay a fee and does not need to take any educational courses. The educational courses consist of 10 topics broken up into six hours of classroom time each. The topics are:
• Business and job estimating
• Design science
• Risk management and project liability
• Project management
• The residential building code in Michigan
• State construction safety guidelines and laws
• Three courses from any topic the contractor chooses, provided those topics are approved by the state
The Requirements You Have to Meet
Before you can take one of the Michigan contractor licensing tests, you have to meet the initial requirements for being a licensed contractor in Michigan. Those requirements include being 18 years of age or older, holding a valid Michigan driver’s license or a valid state identification card, and being financially stable at the time of your application. The rest of the qualifications include the 60 hours in course time, filling out the application for the test, paying the fee for the test, and then passing the test.
When the state of Michigan says it requires you to be financially stable, that can be a very broad requirement. For the most part, applicants are expected to not have any personal bankruptcies on their financial records, and they are expected to have a respectable credit score. These requirements can be fluid, which means that any applicant with a bankruptcy on their history or bad credit should contact the state of Michigan to see if their application would be accepted before they start the application process. In some instances, the state may make exceptions if there are other areas where the applicant excels in the construction industry.
How Long Does it Take?
The Michigan State Department of Labor and Economic Growth is in charge of accepting and processing contractor licensing applications, and they get a lot of applications every year. With growth occurring in the Michigan construction industry, it should be expected that there will be more applications to be processed than normal for the next several years.
Under normal circumstances, contractors can expect to receive their approved licenses within three to four weeks of sending in their application paperwork. But with the growth in the industry creating more applications than normal, contractors may have to wait an extra week or two for a response. Contractors who have bad credit or a bankruptcy on their credit report may be asked to fill out additional paperwork, and that will push the process back another couple of weeks.
Michigan is a bit unique in that it requires that sales professionals who work on behalf of licensed contractors also need to be licensed. To take the exam to be a licensed construction sales professional, you must be gainfully employed by a licensed Michigan contractor, and you must take an examination before submitting your application for your sales professional license. The state also requires that any construction sales professional be of good moral character, which would indicate that a background check will more than likely take place during the hiring process by the licensed contractor and/or by the state itself.
Any contractor that has more than one location in the state of Michigan must get a separate branch location license for each office. A branch location is any space that the contractor has listed in its business filings as a separate location for doing business. This applies to home offices as well as any commercial locations.
A branch office license does not require any extra classroom time, and can be obtained by filling out an application and sending the completed application in with a fee. There must be one application and fee provided for each designated location.
If you want to find out more about becoming a contractor in Michigan or if you are ready to start taking your courses to get your license, the start a course online with PDH Contractors. With the resources available from PDH Contractors, you will get all of the information you need to run a successful contracting business in Michigan.