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How to get a contractor license in Oklahoma

Aug 24, 2023 · 6 minutes to read

Considering how to become a contractor in Oklahoma? Every job, be it overseeing a large construction site or focusing on specialized work like roofing, comes with its own set of rules.

Woman contractor at building site

Oklahoma has a unique licensing process for contractors, each tailored to the specific job you’re aiming for. As you plan to start a contractor business, it’s vital to understand these nuances. While those looking to get a general contractor license might find a somewhat simpler path, specialists might have to tick off several boxes before they can begin.

This guide will walk you through the different types of contractor licenses in Oklahoma, breaking down what you need for each one. By the end, you’ll have a clear roadmap to help you get started in these fields.

Different Types of Contractor Licenses in Oklahoma

General Contractors

Oklahoma stands unique as it doesn’t require a license for general contractors. General contractors handle a broad range of construction projects, including building homes, commercial structures, and more. They usually manage the overall coordination of a project and may subcontract various parts to specialists.

Specialty Contractors

On the other hand, specialty contractors in Oklahoma are required to obtain specific licenses if they wish to start a contractor business. These contractors focus on areas like plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and roofing. Each of these specialties has its own set of licensing requirements, including examinations, experience, and fees.

If you’re looking to become a specialty contractor in Oklahoma, you may have to familiarize yourself with licensing requirements. While the specifics can change depending on the type of license, here’s a sneak peek into what to expect:

  1. Business Registration: If you’re planning to start a contractor business, remember to register with the state if you’re forming an LLC. Sole proprietors and partnerships can skip this.
  2. Experience and Education: Depending on the contractor license, you might need specific educational qualifications or hands-on experience.
  3. License Examinations: Specialty-based exams will be required. You can apply only after passing these.
  4. Insurance: Different specialties, like roofing and plumbing, have different requirements when it comes to getting contractor insurance in Oklahoma.
  5. Worker’s Comp: Employing people? Ensure you’re covered with Workers’ Compensation insurance and an unemployment tax account.
  6. Bond: Some contractor licenses demand bonds to cover unfinished projects. For instance, certain active contractors require a $5,000 Corporate Surety Bond.
  7. Application Procedure: Every specialty has its application form and fees. So, keep your credit card ready!

Getting an electrical contractor license

For those keen on becoming an electrician in Oklahoma, there’s a well-defined route to follow. The journey starts with an individual becoming an electrical apprentice, then advancing to an electrical journeyman, and ultimately achieving the title of an electrical contractor.

Within the realm of electrical contractors, there are three specific licenses available:

  • Unlimited electrical contractor
  • Residential electrical contractor
  • Limited electrical contractor

The type of contractor license one can apply for is largely determined by their educational background and accumulated experience.

How to get a mechanical and HVAC license

In Oklahoma, obtaining a mechanical and HVAC contractor license demands a series of specific steps and qualifications. To secure a journeyman license, candidates are required to either possess three years of hands-on experience in the trade or successfully complete an approved educational program. As for those seeking a contractor’s status, they will require additional experience in the field.

Furthermore, candidates are required to undergo an examination that encompasses trade, business, and law. As a protective measure, applicants should have a $5,000 Corporate Surety Bond and maintain a minimum of $50,000 in General Liability insurance. In terms of monetary expenses, applicants should anticipate a fee for the journeyman license and an additional one for contractor applications.

Obtaining a plumbing license

Here’s your roadmap to becoming a licensed plumber:

  1. The Plumbing Business and Law Exam: This exam dives deep into lien laws, plumbing regulations, and essential workers’ compensation rules.
  2. Oklahoma Plumbing Exam: Your technical acumen will be assessed here.

Journeyman hopefuls will require three years of working with a licensed plumber. Those eyeing a contractor license will require an additional year. However, having a career tech diploma will slice two years off your experience prerequisites.

Journey as a roofer

On a different note, roofing professionals in Oklahoma have their own set of unique demands. Due to the inherent risks involved, roofers have additional obligations to meet when getting contractor insurance in Oklahoma. Contractors are mandated to have a coverage of $500,000 in General Liability insurance, while those tackling commercial projects require a heftier $1,000,000 in contractor insurance coverage. Furthermore, the licensing fees for roofers are contingent on the nature of the projects they undertake.

Protect your business from the unexpected with BizInsure

Embarking on a career in construction in Oklahoma is an exciting journey. From the different paths available for general and specialty contractors to the varying requirements and licensing procedures, understanding the landscape is essential. Your success is built on adherence to these regulations, and it starts with being informed.

While the particulars of every contractor license in Oklahoma might differ, the need for dependable contractor insurance is a constant. Whether you’re stepping into electrical work or delving into plumbing, unexpected risks are a part of the profession. BizInsure understands these challenges and offers insurance options from leading insurers in the country.

Interested in learning more about how insurance can protect your contractor business in Oklahoma? Get free quotes for insurance solutions designed with US-based businesses in mind.

This information is a general guide only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Always check with your local licensing board when getting or renewing your contractor license to ensure you are meeting their current licensing requirements.
As with any insurance, coverage will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this guide is general only and should not be relied upon as advice. The number of quotes provided varies between products, occupations and other underwriting factors determined by the insurers.
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