Becoming a contractor in Texas may be easier than you may think. It all depends upon what type of contractor that you are trying to get licensed for. Specialty contractors, such as HVAC, plumbers, and electricians need to be licensed, but a general contractor does not. While that may mean good things for you if this is what you want to do, it also means that there are no checks and balances on the general contracting business, which means that anyone can claim to be one. No matter what type of contracting that you want to do, you want to be sure that you understand the regulations and requirements that you will be subjected to. Where do you start?
Starting the Process
Research is your first step. Going blindly into anything is not smart. The Internet can be a great resource for information concerning a number of different topics, including how to become a contractor in Texas. The most helpful resource that you will find in this process is the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which is found here. This lists all of the areas in which you need licensing and it runs through the requirements of receiving the licenses as well. In addition, it has a search engine that will allow you to find licensed contractors. This can be quite helpful if you are a general contractor looking for people to work for you.
Some of the Details
The regulations and requirements will, of course, be largely dependent upon the contracting license that you are trying to get. Here is a rundown of the most common contractor licenses and the process of getting your license.
- HVAC Contractor’s License-This license is separated into two divisions. A Class A license allows you to work on any size of equipment, while a Class B license only allows you to work on systems that are 25 or less tons of cooling and 1.5 million BTU or less of heating. To get this license, you will need at least three years of practical experience and will pass testing on the particular endorsement(s) that you want. In addition, you will have to meet insurance requirements and pay the testing and licensing fees.
- Plumbing Contractors- Getting a plumbing contractor’s license will depend upon several things. The first is how much experience that you have and the second is if you already have a license. You must have a journeyman license for at least one year before you can take the Master Exam. The requirements for the journeyman license is at least 8,000 hours of work experience or combination work/education experience in plumbing, as well as a passing grade on the exam. A Master Contractor will need to pass the exam, as well as meet insurance requirements, etc. All of the requirements for this type of license can be found at http://www.tsbpe.state.tx.us/.
- Electrical Contracting. There are many different types of contracting that make up the electrical category. The requirements will depend upon what type of contracting that you are going to be doing and where you are going to be doing it. From an Electrical Apprentice all the way up to an Electrical Contractor, you will find all of the information that you need to get the proper licensing by going to http://www.license.state.tx.us/electricians/elec.htm.
There are many different kinds of contractors that make up the building process. If you are looking to get a specialty contracting license, you want to be sure that you check out the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation website, which offers you all of the information that you need on the above licenses, as well as other contracting licenses that you may be looking for. While you are not mandated by the state to get a general contractor’s license, if you are going to do any specialty contracting, you want to be sure that you do your research and get the proper licensing.