Construction contractors in the state of Alabama are governed by the:
- Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors
The following trades have their own specific licensing boards:
- Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board (All Residential Construction)
- Alabama Board of Heating, Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration
- Alabama Electrical Board
- Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board
- Department of Agriculture (Landscaping)
Who Needs a Contractor's License in Alabama?
Anyone charging over $50,000 for a project.
If you are applying for a Residential, HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, or Landscaping license and do not plan on taking on projects over $50,000 you may simply apply with the respective board.
If you do plan on doing projects over $50,000 in one of those categories you must get licensed with the your specific trade board AND the Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors
Alabama Contractors License Classifications
License classifications in Alabama are separated into 5 categories:
- Building Construction
- Highways & Streets
- Municipality & Utility
- Heavy & Railroad
- Specialty Classifications
- Construction of commercial or industrial building structures intended for use for shelter, protection, comfort or convenience;
- Excavation and Foundations for building construction; and work incidental to Building Construction.
Highways & Streets
- Construction of Roads, Streets, Alleys, and Sidewalks
- Curb & Gutter, Guardrails, and Fences
- Parkways, Parking Areas, and Runways
- Bridges, Grading, Drainage, and Landscaping
- All work incidental to Highway and Street Construction
Municipality and Utility
- Clearing, grubbing, and grading
- Paving, curbs, gutters, walks, and driveways
- Swimming pools, sewer projects, and water projects
- Gas projects, electric projects, and telephone projects
- All work incidental to Municipal and Utility Construction
Heavy and Railroad
- Construction of Railroads, Bridges, and Foundations
- Pile Driving, Piers, Abutments, and Retaining Walls
- Viaducts, Tunnels, Subways, Drainage Projects, and Aqueducts
- Irrigation and Flood Control Projects
- Water Power Development, Hydro-Electric Development, Transmission Lines, and Pipe Lines
- Locks, Dams, Dikes, Levees, Revetments, Channels, Breakwaters, Docks, and Harbors
- Industrial Projects, Excavation, Clearing, and Grubbing
- all work incidental Heavy and Railroad Construction
- Swimming Pools
- Sprinkler Systems
- Sheet Metal
- Underground Piping
- Golf Course
- Recreational Areas
- Maintenance & Repair
- Earthwork and Excavation
- ROW Maintenance
- Traffic Control and Safety
- Structural Steel
- POL dispensing systems
Alabama Contractor's License Requirements
You must meet the following requirements:
- 18 Years of Age
- Valid Drivers License OR USA Issued Identification
- Social Security Number
- Not Currently on Probation Parole
You must also have:
- 3 Work Job References verified by either a licensed general contractor, registered professional engineer, registered architect, or qualified person
- Minimum $10,000 net worth and working capital
Journeyman Level Experience
Alabama does not have an experience requirement for Contractors. However the trade examination you will be required to pass will present questions to you as if you are a journeyman.
While different regions may have varying definitions for what a journeyman is, typically this is someone who:
- Can perform all of the duties associated with their trade
- Has worked un-supervised performing their trade
- Has supervisory level experience
- (in some cases) has completed a Journeyman certification
Prime Contractor vs. Subcontractor
A prime contractor is anyone looking to perform commercial or industrial projects over $50,000 in labor or materials. OR someone seeking to do residential projects more than $10,000.
A subcontractor that performs work for a licensed general must also hold a subcontractor license if the project total is more than $50,000.
Alabama Contractors License Application Processing
The application process is as follows:
- Step 1:
- Step 2:
Complete a Qualifying Party Form
- Step 3:
Complete a Financial Statement
Applications must be sent 30 days prior to schedule board meeting. Check check board meeting dates & deadlines
Upon acceptance from the Alabama Contractors Board, you will then be allowed to register for an examination.
Fees & Insurance
- $300 Application Fee (non-refundable)
- Proof of current liability insurance
Completed Applications and fees can be sent to:
2525 Fairlane Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36116
Proving Your Financial Solvency
You will need to prepare a financial statement demonstrating your net worth.
- Financial Statement demonstrating net worth of at least $10,000
- Statement must be prepared by a Certified Public Accountant or Licensed Public Accountant
- Statement must be no more than 12 months old
- Click here to download the Financial Statement Booklet
Alabama Contractors License Examination
All contractors must pass the Alabama Law and Business exam:
- 50 Questions
- Open Book
- Computerized Test
- 70% Score Required to Pass
- 120 Minutes
The business and law test covers a range of topics including:
- Estimating and Bidding
- Payroll and Taxes
- Personnel and Labor
- Project Management
- Business Organization
- Risk Management
- Record keeping
- Environmental regulations
Alabama currently accepts the NASCLA examination for General Commercial Building Contractors and Electricians.
This means that if you are applying for general building or electrical licensure from out of state, you may be able to waive your Alabama trade examination.
For more information, check out this complete guide to NASCLA
Exam Site Locations
- Birmingham (Vestavia Hills)
100 Center view Drive, Suite 100
Vestavia Hills, AL 35216
4900 University Square, Suite 4
Huntsville, AL 35816
Dorsey Center 6051-B Airport Blvd.
Mobile, AL 36608
500 Interstate Park Drive, Suite 530
Montgomery, Alabama, 36109
Alabama Business License
If you are applying for an Alabama contractors license as a business, the state board will require you to have an established business entity.
This can be set up through the Alabama Secretary of State
You will choose a name and then select the type of entity you want. Typically, construction companies choose either:
- Sole Proprietor - License held through an individual
- Partnership - License held through a partnership
- LLC - License held through a company that exists as its own entity
- S-Corporation - License held through a corporate entity
For a deeper look at the advantages and disadvantages of each business entity, check out this free guide!
Worker's Compensation laws for Alabama Contractors
Alabama requires all construction companies with 1 or more employees to hold workers compensation insurance.
This also includes LLC's. However, If you apply as a sole proprietorship and have no employees you may be exempt.
Contractors must be insured through a commercial provider, self insured carrier or through the Alabama Department of Labor
Alabama contractor license search
The Alabama Licensing Board for Contractor's number one responsibility is protecting the consumer public.
The agency exists not only to enforce rules on construction contractors, but also to ensure that homeowners are not being over charged by unlicensed contractors.
If you are looking to verify a contractor license in the state of Alabama, you can check a license here
Alabama contractor license renewal
Once your Contractor license is active, you will be responsible for renewing it on an annual basis. Make sure that you begin the renewal process 30 days in advance to make sure there is no gap in your licensing.
If you are entering the construction industry without any experience, you should absolutely explore starting out in an apprenticeship!
One of the best ways to build a solid foundation and position yourself to earn an excellent living in a short time frame is by investing in your education.
Apprenticeships can provide you with valuable training in a variety of different trades including: Electrical, Plumbing, Concrete, Landscaping, Painting, HVAC, Roofing, Carpentry and much more!
If you are one day looking to get the Alabama General Contractors license, you must demonstrate skillsets beyond just your specific trade.
Check out our online course library:
If you are new to construction industry and have heard the term “journeyman” or “apprentice” and are not sure what these terms mean, or perhaps where to even start.
Each state may have different requirements and standards for what is considered a journeyman, check your state laws.
To Learn more about the step by step path from an Apprentice to Journeyman!
What You Need To Know About Contractor License Schools
If you are looking to prepare for your Alabama contractors license exam, taking contractor classes could be a huge help.
Schools typically provide
- Home study materials
- Online classes taught by industry professionals
- Application assistance
- Insurance and Business services
Many tradesman find themselves a bit confused when faced with questions about construction accounting, balance sheets, workers compensation, employee rights, job site safety and Alabama state construction law.
These topics can be learned quickly. Studying consistently on the weeks leading up to your exam day will help you greatly.
Practice exams and study guides breaking down everything you need to know can be found here.
Blueprint Reading Course
For anyone looking to become a licensed general contractor, learning how to read blueprints is critical...
Blueprints communicate important information about the way in which a structure is built as well as what materials are necessary or have been used for its construction.
Being comfortable with construction blueprints is an invaluable skill especially for those looking to get into engineering or architecture.
See our Free Blueprint Reading Course!
Statistically, 21% of all work-related fatalities are in construction.
That equals about 1 and 5 worker deaths on average.
In the construction industry, the leading cause of worker deaths is reported as falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between.
Safety is taken very seriously by construction authorities in Alabama.
Whether it be HVAC, roofing, painting, landscaping, carpentry, electrical or any other trade.
If your workers are not properly trained, it can place unnecessary risk to not only your personal safety but your bottom line as a business.
For employment with a licensed general contractor, you may be asked to complete some level of Alabama OSHA Training
Alabama Contractor's License Reciprocity
You may qualify for reciprocity:
If you have had a license for three (3) consecutive years, which is still in good standing, with any of the following Boards, you may qualify for reciprocity:
- North Carolina State Board of Electrical Contractors
The Qualifying Party for Alabama must be the same as the Qualifying Party for the reciprocal state.
Applications for Reciprocity in Alabama must be on file, with a completed Out of State License Verification form. Applicants must also meet all of the basic licensing requirements
Learn more about Contractor License Reciprocity
Get Started on Your Construction Career
Applying to the Alabama Board of General Contractors can be a huge first step up in starting your own business.
The construction industry is very lucrative. There will be more and more opportunities for skilled tradesman in the future.
The key is to use the information you have now and take action from beginning to end.
If you have found this article, be sure to let us know! and check back for more updates in the future.