It’s not enough to know you want to oversee construction projects in the state of Virginia. You also need to know what type of Virginia contractor license you’ll need for the type of work you plan to do. Your contractor license type affects everything from the testing and pre-license education you need to complete in order to get your license to the monetary value of projects on which you can act as a contractor.
It’s a fairly big decision, and we want to help you feel confident about making it. Use this guide to educate yourself about the different types of Virginia contractor licenses so you can choose the right class and specialty for you.
First up, you need to decide which class of contractor license best aligns with the work you plan to do. You make this decision based on the scale of projects you plan to oversee. It’s better to aim high here. The monetary value of projects you can oversee is capped based on the license class you choose. Here are the per-project and annual dollar limits placed on you by each license class:
Class C: Choose this class and you’ll be limited to projects with a value of less than $10,000 with a maximum of $150,000 for your performed contracts throughout the entire year.
Class B: With a Class B license, you’re restricted to projects with a value of less than $120,000 per project. Your annual cap for performed contracts is $750,000.
Class A: Don’t want to be limited? Get a Class A license, which comes with no monetary restrictions.
If there are no limits with a Class A license, why doesn’t everyone choose it? For starters, it’s a more expensive license type and it requires you to pass the “Advanced” portion of the Virginia contractors exam. Class A licenses also come with a net worth/equity requirement of $45,000.
Once you pick your Virginia contractor license class, there’s still more work ahead. You also need to choose your specialty.
When you choose your specialty, you essentially pick the type of work you’re going to be performing with your Virginia contractor license. On the third page of the Contractor License Application, you’ll see a list of your various specialty options. If you want more than three letters and a short descriptor to help you choose your specialty, don’t worry.
The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) lists license specialties in detail in the “18 VAC 50-22-20. Definitions of license classifications” section of this Regulations document. Scroll the page 3 (page 8 of the overall document) for these descriptions.
Once you know your Virginia contractor license class and specialty, you’re ready to get your license. Oftentimes continuing education is required for licenses, for instance if you are a licensed plumber, then you would need to take a Virginia plumbing continuing education course. However in Virginia there is no requirement for contractor CE classes at this time that can be satisfied online.
Now, it’s time to start the process to get your license. This process varies depending on the license class you chose. For example, the pre-license education for Class C licensees differs from the pre-license education for Class A/B licensees.
To help you get started, we have a five-step guide that walks you through the process of getting the Virginia contractor license type you chose.