A contractor (or general contractor) builds or works on residential or commercial properties. He or she might have a specialty, such as roofing or plumbing, but contractors sometimes run their businesses as Jacks and Janes of all trades. Regardless of the type of career you intend to build, you must first learn how to get a contractor’s license.
Familiarize Yourself With the Construction Industry
Unlike many other states, Michigan does not require residential builders to obtain on-the-job training in construction prior to applying for a license. However, if you have a background in construction – even briefly – you might find it easier to complete the other prerequisites.
Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field is one option. However, it can take four or more years to receive your degree, and if you don’t want to complete college, you can learn about the construction industry through hands-on experience.
You might get a job as a laborer at a construction site or ask a contractor to serve as a mentor. The more you know about materials, equipment, supplies, and other facets of the construction industry, the better prepared you’ll be for a career as a licensed contractor.
Take 60 Hours of Educational Courses
Before you can get a contractor’s license in Michigan, you must successfully complete a 60-hour Michigan pre-license builders course. Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) approves these courses.
The course includes six hours each of several categories of study, including marketing and sales, project management and scheduling, and design and building science, among others. You can choose the subject for 18 of the 60 hours from a list of approved options.
A pre-licensing course does not require any advanced preparation. You will receive all the information and tools you need to complete the course, at which point you’ll be ready to take your exam. However, make sure to develop good study habits and to follow all the instructions during your course.
Submit Your Application and Take the Exam
After you take your pre-licensing courses, you can fill out the residential builder license application. You must also pass a two-part exam that covers two essential aspects of the construction industry: Business and Law and Residential Building.
Study for several weeks before the exam, then schedule your appointment. Bring two forms of identification as well as your contractor’s license application. You’ll receive your scores before you leave the testing location. The exam fee costs $111 for first-time students and $106 for a retest of both portions as of September 2015.
Continue Your Education
After you pass the contractor’s license test and gain application approval, you must continue your education. CE courses keep you up-to-date on construction codes, practices, techniques, and technology so you can continue to provide excellent service to your community.
In Michigan, you’ll need 21 hours of CE to maintain your contractor’s license in good standing. It’s easier than ever now because you can take your CE contractor’s courses online from the comfort of your own home.
Now that you know how to get a contractor’s license in Michigan, don’t wait to start the process.