While Las Vegas may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Nevada, this state offers substantially more when it comes to the world of construction. With a booming real estate market and plenty of both reno and new construction opportunities, contractors in NV are in a lucrative position.
Nevada takes its contractor licensing procedures very seriously. At the baseline, you will need to have 4+ years of experience, pass two state exams and a background check, pay all fees, provide insurance coverage and a financial statement, and submit an application to qualify for a contractor’s license. Additional classifications and subclassifications may require extra documentation, discussed further below.
Do You Need a Contractor License in Nevada?
Nevada requires all individuals and businesses to hold a contractor license if they alter any structure, building, highway, parking area, railroad, or excavation in the state for projects worth more than $1,000. If the project is worth less than $1,000 but requires a permit, a license must also be obtained. All HVAC-R, electrical, and plumbing work requires a license regardless of the project cost.
Exemptions for licensure include work valued under $1,000, work done by U.S. government representatives and certain officers of the court, work performed by the Public Utilities Commission, and work done by the owner of the property who uses the property for their own occupancy.
Licenses are granted by the NV State Contractors Board. Unlicensed contracting can be punishable by $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail.
Types of Contractor Licenses in Nevada
Nevada offers three contractor license classifications: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Each of these also has subclassifications. You can hold multiple subclassifications under one license so long as you meet the requirements for each classification.
For a full list of all classes and subclassifications and their descriptions, see here.
Class A Contractor Licenses
Class A includes General Engineering Contractor Licenses. These contractors work on projects that require specialized engineering skills and knowledge.
Class B Contractor Licenses
Class B is for the General Building Contractor License. This is for contractors who work on the construction or renovation of structures that support, shelter, and enclose people and/or property. These projects include more than two unrelated building trades.
Class C Contractor Licenses
Class C is for specialty contractors. There are 36 classifications for Class C licenses, including those for plumbing, HVAC, electrical work, carpentry, decorating, concrete, signs, glass, landscaping, sheet metal, steelwork, and more. Some classifications also have additional sub-classification options.
Contractor Experience Requirements
All contractors’ licenses require the Qualifying Party to have at least 4 years of full-time experience in their field within the last decade. This experience must be at the journeyman, foreman, supervisor, or contractor level.
The experience requirement can be fulfilled by the applicant, primary business owner, or by a full-time managing employee.
If you’ve completed a training program, apprenticeship, or university training, you may be able to satisfy up to 3 years of the work experience requirement through education. Military experience or a master’s certification at the government level can also count towards the experience requirement.
All experience and education must be verifiable through official transcripts, certificates of completion, and/or employer verification forms.
Obtaining Your Nevada Contractor License
Once you have sufficient experience, you can apply for your contractor’s license. This application must be approved before the Qualifying Party takes the prelicensure exams. Once they pass the exam and all fees are paid, the contractor’s license will be granted.
When you or your Qualifying Party meet the job requirements, you’ll complete and send in the contractor’s license application via mail.
You will need to fill in the application online and then print it or print it first and complete it neatly with ink. Don’t leave any spaces blank – if it doesn’t apply to you, write “N/A.”
Be sure to include the following in/with your application:
- Information on your Nevada Business ID
- All requested signatures
- Your Background Disclosure Statement
- A Fingerprint Background Waiver Form for all listed parties
- Copies of official IDs for all listed parties
- A Financial Statement with amounts depending on the Monetary Limit you’re requesting
- Amounts needed are listed on page 6 of the application
- A Child Support Statement, if applying as a sole proprietor
- The $300 application fee
- A Residential Recovery Fund fee, if applicable (see page 6 of the application)
- A resume as well as
- 4 Certifications of Work Experience Forms
- Any official transcripts, certificates, or other licenses
Send all documents and your completed exam to ONE of these two addresses:
Nevada State Contractors Board – Southern Nevada
8400 West Sunset Road, Suite 150
Las Vegas, NV 89113
Nevada State Contractors Board – Northern Nevada
5390 Kietzke Lane, Ste 102
Reno, NV 89511
NV Contractor’s Exam
Once your application is processed and approved, the Qualifying Party will receive information on how to schedule and sit for the official PSI exam.
Nevada contractors must take and pass two exams: the Business and Law (CMS) exam and a trade exam in their classification.
The Business and Law exam is open book with the Construction Business and Law Manual for Nevada.
Trade exams are closed book (minus certain code references). You will receive an exam outline that lists any references you can use in the trade exam. The State of Nevada believes that if you have the required experience and prepare for the trade exam on your own, you will successfully pass the exam – no official licensing school or program is recommended by the state.
You are given three tries to pass the exam and scores are given out immediately after you finish taking the exam.
Once you pass the exam, you can receive your license.
Nevada has reciprocity agreements for certain contractors from Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. To see which state exams exempt you from the NV exams, see the chart at the bottom of this page.
You must have held your license in your state for at least the last four years and you must not have had any misconduct investigations or disciplinary action filed against you.
You will still need to complete the standard application and mail it in, but be sure to also include the Request for Verification of License form.
Nevada trade exams can also be skipped if you have passed the NASCLA Commercial General Building Contractor Examination and send an official transcript to the NV Board.