How to Get a Handyman License in The USA

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A handyman is often referred to as a jack of all trades. He does a different type of tasks and takes care of a lot of basic work around the home. Whether they are installing new equipment or making repairs, they provide an important and cost-effective service to homeowners. In order to work as a handyman in the USA, you have to get a license. This license will protect you and anyone you perform services for.

How to Get a Handyman License

If you want to start your career as a handyman or you’ve been working for years and planning to give service commercially then you must acquire a handyman license. Different states of the USA have different license requirements. There are some states that issue licenses at the local level. This state-by-state guide will help you know the licensing requirements of the state of the USA.         

Alabama

In Alabama, a handyman does not need a state license. Contractors only require a license if the cost of their project is valued at more than $50,000.

Alaska

A handyman in Alaska must hold a license to perform work worth up to $10,000. The Handyman license is issued by the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, Division of Corporations Business and Professional Licensing. You have to show proof of general liability and property damage insurance.

Arizona

In Arizona handyman work that is worth less than $1,000 does not require any handyman license. But; if the work worth more than $1,000 than you must have a state license in Arizona. The handyman license is issued by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. You’ll need to pass a trade, and business and law exam, and submit proof of a bond to get the license.

Arkansas

As a handyman, you’ll need a Home Improvement License in Arkansas if you’re doing any type of repair work at worth more than $2,000. There are two classes of licenses:

  • Limited (for jobs less than $50,000)
  • Unlimited (for any size residential jobs)  

You don’t have to sit on an exam but you have to submit proof of worker’s compensation insurance, as well as a financial statement to get the license.

California

There is no specific handyman license in California; however, you must have a state license in California for jobs worth more than $500. To get the license, you’ll need to show four years of work experience, proof of insurance, and a contractor’s bond of $15,000. You also have to pass the trade, and business and law exam.

Colorado

As a handyman, you fall under the category of general contractors in Colorado. There are no state handyman license requirements for general contractors, although there are some local requirements that you need to check before you start working.

Connecticut

You don’t need a license to work as a handyman in Connecticut. But if you want to work as a home improvement contractor then you’ll need to register with the Department of Consumer Protection.

Delaware

There is no specific handyman license in Delaware but general contractors require a business license and have to register with the state to work on projects worth more than $50,000.    

Florida

As a handyman in Florida, you don’t need a state license for miscellaneous non-structural work. For any kind of structural work, you will require a license. The license is issued by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. To get the license, you’ll need to show four years of experience, as well as liability and worker’s compensation insurance.

Georgia

A handyman who works on any projects worth more than $2,500 needs a Residential Basic Contractors license to work in Georgia. You will need to pass a trade exam, as well as a business and law exam. You’ll need pre-approval from the Georgia Board of Residential and General Contractors in order to write the exam. To get the license, you’ll need to show four years of experience, as well as liability and worker’s compensation insurance.

Hawaii

As a handyman, you’ll need a handyman License in Hawaii, if you’re doing any type of repair where labor and material are worth more than $1,000. General building contractor licenses and specialty contractor licenses are issued by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Professional and Vocational Licensing. You’ll need to pass a trade exam, as well as a business and law exam, show four years of experience in the past ten years, and show proof of insurance. 

Idaho

There is no contractor licensing requirements for a handyman in Idaho. However, a handyman cannot claim to be a contractor without registering with the Idaho Contractors Board.

Illinois

Handymen and general contractors don’t require a state license to work in Illinois. You may need to check local handyman license requirements before you can start working.

Indiana

There are no licensing requirements for handymen or general contractors in Indiana; however, there may be regulations at a local level and you must check these before you begin work.

Iowa

A handyman in Iowa does not require a state license; however, if you do business in the state and make more than $2,000 per year, you must register as a contractor with the Iowa Division of Labor.

Kansas

As a handyman you won’t need to get a state license to work in Kansas; however, there are regulations for general tools on a local level so make sure to check these before you start working.

Kentucky

Kentucky does not require handymen, or general contractors, to hold a state license; however, you must check the local handyman license requirements before applying for a job.

Louisiana

A handyman who works on any projects where the labor and materials cost worth more than $7,500 needs a state license to work in Louisiana. The residential license is issued by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. 

Maine

There are no general contractor or handyman license requirements in Maine. There may be local regulations you need to comply with, however, so make sure to check these out before you begin working.

Maryland

A handyman working in Maryland will need a Home Improvement license from the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. You must show two years of experience in home improvement work and show a certificate of insurance. You also have to pass an exam which includes a business and law component.

Massachusetts

A handyman who performs home improvement jobs and property repairs in Massachusetts does not require a state license but must have a home improvement contractor registration. There are various licenses depending on the scope of the work like:

  • Restricted licenses (for work on one-to-two-family homes)
  • Unrestricted licenses (for work on structures up to 35,000 cubic feet)

You’ll need to show three years of experience and pass an exam to be eligible for a license.

Michigan

A handyman in Michigan does not require a specific handyman’s license to work in the state; however, there are many jobs that a handyman may do that you would require a license for, such as carpentry, laying concrete, painting or decorating, or tiling. These all require a Maintenance and Alteration Contractor License. To be eligible for the license, you’ll need to complete 60 hours of educational courses and pass an exam.

Mississippi

A handyman does not require a license in Mississippi unless the residential remodeling job costs more than $10,000. In this case, you’ll need a Residential Remodeling license issued by the Mississippi Contractor Licensing Board. You’ll need to pass the residential trade exam, as well as the business and law exam, and show proof of general liability and worker’s compensation insurance.

Missouri

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A handyman does not need a state license to work in Missouri. But you must check the local handyman license requirements as there may be regulations at the local level.

Montana

A handyman doesn’t require to hold a license to work in Montana.  However, if you have employees working under you then you will be required to register with the Department of Labor and Industry, Contractor Registration Unit. To register, you must show proof of worker’s compensation insurance.

Nebraska

You can work as a handyman in Nebraska without a state license; however, you will need to register with the Nebraska Department of Labor. This requirement applies to all general contractors, subcontractors, or people who perform construction, alterations, renovations, additions, installations, or repairs.

Nevada

As a handyman, you will need a contractor license if you plan to do any work worth more than $1,000 or work that requires a building license in Nevada. To be eligible for a license, you’ll need to show four years of work experience. Moreover, you’ll need to pass a trade exam, as well as a business and law exam and you must show proof of insurance.

New Hampshire

Handymen do not require a state license to work in New Hampshire. However, those who perform electrical, plumbing, or asbestos abatement work requires a license.

New Jersey

A handyman does not require a license to work in New Jersey, but is required to register with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

New Mexico

As a handyman, you will require a state license to work in New Mexico. You will need four years’ experience and have to pass a trade exam, as well as a business and law exam to get this license.   

New York

There are no state licensing requirements for handymen or general contractors in New York; however, there are laws and regulations at a local level. You must check these handyman license requirements with local government before you do any work.

North Carolina

A handyman doesn’t require a state license in North Carolina, where licenses are only required if the projects are worth more than $30,000. If you are a subcontractor working under the supervision of a general contractor, you also don’t need a license.

North Dakota

A handyman must need a contractor license to do any jobs in North Dakota that are worth more than $4,000. The contractor license is awarded by the Secretary of State of North Dakota. There are four classes of licenses based on the size of the jobs you plan to work on.

Ohio

As a handyman, you don’t require a handyman license on the state level to work in Ohio, but there may be regulations at the local level so make sure to check these before you start working.

Oklahoma

As a handyman, you don’t require a state license to work in Oklahoma. However, check with local governments to see if there are any regulations on the local level before you begin work.

Oregon

A handyman must hold a state license in Oregon in order to work on jobs that are worth more than $1,000. You’ll need to pass pre-license training and pass a test, and show proof of general liability and worker’s compensation insurance.

Pennsylvania

You do not need a state license to work as a handyman in Pennsylvania; however, if you do more than $5,000 worth of home improvement work per year, you must register with the Attorney General’s Office.

Rhode Island

As a handyman, you won’t need a license to work in Rhode Island, but if you provide service in home construction, alterations, remodeling or repairs to residential properties, you’ll need to register with the State of Rhode Island Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board.

South Carolina

A handyman does not require a license to work in South Carolina; however, you will need to register with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.

South Dakota

Handymen do not need a state license to work in South Dakota; however, there may be handyman license requirements at the local level so make sure to check these before you start working.

Tennessee

In Tennessee, a handyman does not need a state license. Contractors only require a license if the cost of their project is valued at more than $25,000. If the job is worth between $3,000 and $24,999 then a home improvement license is required. You’ll need to pass a trade exam and a business and law exam. You must also show proof of general liability and worker’s compensation insurance.

Texas

There are no state handyman license requirements for handymen in Texas. However, local regulations may require you to be licensed or registered in order to work as a handyman in Texas.

Utah

In Utah, a handyman does not need a state license. Contractors only require a license if the cost of their project is valued at more than $3,000. To get this license you’ll need to show two years of experience under a licensed contractor, and pass a trade exam as well as a business and law exam.

Vermont

You do not need a state license to work as a handyman in Vermont; however, there may be regulations at the local level that you need to check before you begin working there.

Virginia

A handyman will need a contractor’s license in Virginia to do work worth more than $1,000. There are three classes of licenses, depending on the monetary value of the projects you plan to work on. They are:

  • Class A (a single contract or project worth $120,000 or more)
  • Class B (a single contract or project worth between $10,000 to $120,000)
  • Class C (a single contract or project worth between $1,000 to $10,000)

Washington

There is no state license in Washington. However, all contractor and specialty contractors must register with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. This does not include work that requires a building permit and all work must be completed personally.

West Virginia

The state of Virginia does not issue a specific handyman license or have handyman license requirements; however if you plan to do any work that is part of a project worth more than $2,500, but less than $10,000, you’ll need a contractor’s license from the WV Division of Labor. You will need to pass an exam and show proof of worker’s compensation insurance.

Wisconsin

To work as a handyman in Wisconsin you’ll need to hold a Wisconsin Dwelling Contractor Qualifier license. It is a contractor license and it is issued to individuals. You’ll need to complete and pass a 12-hour course to be eligible for a license from the Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Wyoming

As a handyman, you do not need a state license to work in Wyoming. However, there may be local regulations which you need to check before you start working there.

Bottom Line

Finally, make sure you check with local authorities before making any business decisions. Requirements and regulations are subject to change at any time.

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