Licensing Requirement

Last Updated in 2021

Whether you’re a contractor or a homeowner hiring a local electrician, you should know the licensing requirements for your state.

Otherwise, you could face fines, removal of your project without compensation, or a dangerous situation at your home. These consequences are usually cheaper than the cost of a permit, which qualified pros aren’t likely to forget. Contractors can face jail time, and unlicensed pros may not have any legal recourse if their client refuses to pay.

In general, licenses are required for:

Licensed vs. Registered vs. Certified

Some states require contractor licensing while others require registration or certification. While there are some differences between the three, the exact definitions typically vary by state. This overview should shed some light on the usual differences:

  • Licensing involves passing exams and meeting certain criteria to prove reasonable competency in a trade.
  • Registration is a written record of who is performing the work. It doesn’t guarantee expertise or competency.
  • Certification is usually voluntary, but some states may require it for certain jobs or practices. It can be obtained in place of a license in some states, or in addition to licensure.