According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction managers earn an average salary of $94,590. If you are interested in the construction industry or if you’ve ever wanted to become a general contractor, now is the time to learn how to get a contractor’s license in Oregon.
Who Needs a License?
If you plan to accept compensation for building or improving on a commercial or residential structure in the state of Oregon, the Construction Contractors Board (CCB) requires you to obtain a license with the proper endorsement. In Oregon, endorsements include residential structure, small commercial structure, large commercial structure, and home services contractor, according to the State of Oregon website.
Complete your Prerequisites
Oregon requires contractors to meet certain prerequisites before they can receive a license. You have to be at least 18 years old to apply for a license, for example, and you need 16 hours of testing in two specific areas: law and business practices.
For a construction business, only one person needs to meet these requirements. He or she becomes the Responsible Managing Individual, or RMI, and must remain with the company if the business wants to continue working. If the RMI leaves the business, the company must replace him or her with a qualifying individual.
Take the Test
Before you can receive an Oregon contractor’s license, you have to pass a state-issued exam. You might spend several months studying the exam material, and it also helps if you work in construction to gain experience and practical training. Immersing yourself in the industry helps prepare you not only for the test, but also for your future career.
Start Your Business
Oregon requires general contractors to create a business, such as an incorporation, an LLC, or a sole proprietorship (e.g. DBA, or doing-business-as). You can file the appropriate documents with the state.
You’ll also need a CCB surety bond to protect your customers and a liability insurance policy that meets your endorsement’s requirements. For example, a residential general contractor needs a minimum of $500,000 in liability insurance for each occurrence, while commercial general contractors often need an excess of $1 million aggregate insurance.
Fill Out an Application and Get to Work
Now that you’ve satisfied all of the requirements, you can fill out a contractor’s license application. You will receive your license, at which point you can start accepting jobs.
You might have to meet other requirements depending on your specific goals and business model. For example, if you intend to hire employees, you’ll need an employer identification number as well as a worker’s compensation insurance policy. Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to determine if you need to fill out or file any specific tax forms.
Once you know how to get a contractor’s license in Oregon, you’re much closer to becoming a full-time contractor. Once you’re licensed, you can browse courses by state to fulfill your continuing education requirements.