Getting an Arizona landscaping license can appear daunting in the beginning, but with a little guidance, it can be a simple process.
This article will explain everything you need to do from start to finish!
In Arizona, anyone charging over $1000 for landscaping services has to have a contractor license.
There are 3 landscaping license options available:
Residential Landscaper – (also known as R-21)
Commercial Landscaper – (also known as C-21)
Dual License – (also known as CR-21)
Arizona Landscaping License Requirements
To get an Arizona contractor license you must meet the following basic requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of Age
- Form of USA Issued Identification
- Social Security Number
- Not Currently On Probation or Parole
You Must also have
- 4 Years of Journeyman Level Experience
- Be able to verify work experience in at least 7 recent landscaping projects
- Be able to verify work experience in at least 8 maintenance projects
- Be able to document your experience at the request of the ROC
- A Business Entity
What is a Journeyman?
Arizona has no journeyman roofer certification. The definition of a journeyman can vary based on your region.
The universal expectation of a journeyman is that they can perform all of the duties associated with their trade un-supervised.
A Journeyman is someone who has demonstrated a level of mastery in their trade.
The Arizona Registrar of Contractors may request to see the documentation of your experience.
It is important that you have some way to prove your claim of being a journeyman.
Acceptable landscaping and gardening work experience documentation includes:
- Tax Returns
- Check Stubs
- Letter from a licensed contractor
Forming a Business Entity
Arizona LAW requires all landscaping contractors to have a business entity set up before applying for the CR-21 license.
You must first choose a name and then you can choose the type of entity you want.
Typically, construction companies choose either:
- Sole Proprietor
For a complete explanation of the difference between these types of entities and which one makes the most sense for someone applying for the Arizona landscaping license, check out this free guide!
Once you have chosen an entity, simply follow these steps:
- Check Name Availability with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors
- Apply with the Arizona Corporation Commission
- Apply for an EIN #
Responsibilities of a Landscaping Contractor in Arizona
To get the Arizona landscaping license, you must be familiar and experienced in the following areas:
- Trees and Shrubs
- Grass and Ground Cover
- Non load-bearing Concrete
- Uncovered Patios and Walk Ways
- Driveways made of Brick, Stone, Pavers and Gravel
- Wooden Decks no higher than 29 Inches from Finish Grade
- Retaining Walls up to 3 feet
- Free Standing Fire Pits, Fire Places and Barbecues
- Grading and Drainage
- Soils amendments and Chemicals
- Desert plants
- Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
- Water features not attached to Swimming Pools
- Irrigation Systems
- Necessary electrical wiring 120 volts or less
- Outdoor misting systems and Outdoor Kitchens
Arizona CR-21 License Exam for Landscaping
To get the CR-21 landscaping license in Arizona you will need to pass a two-part exam. The first part of the exam covers business management. All contractors must pass this exam.
As a contractor, you must have a basic knowledge of proper business practices and accounting.
These laws are put in place to protect the consumer public.
Business Management Exam
The Arizona business management exam will cover the following topics:
- Contracts and Agreements
- Insurance and Bonding
- Safety, Record Keeping and Employment Regulations
- Financial Management
- Tax Laws
- Arizona Registrar of Contractors Statutes
- Arizona Registrar of Contractors Rules
- Workmanship Standards
- Business Management
- Business Mathematics
- Environmental Regulations
The second part of the exam will cover the landscaping, hardscaping and irrigation.
ROC Landscaping Exam
- 110 Questions
- Passing Score: 70%
- Time Allowed: 240 Minutes
- $66 per exam
- 80 Questions
- Passing Score 70%
- Time Allowed: 180 minutes
- $66 per exam
Arizona Registrar of Contractors Test Locations
The Contractors license exam is facilitated by a 3rd party company called PSI.
They have test locations in the following cities:
- The exam is multiple choice and taken on a computer
- On test day you must bring two forms of identification
- You will be given a piece of scratch paper and pencil
- Non-programmable calculators are permitted
- No electronic devices are allowed inside the testing area
- If you do not pass after 3 attempts you have to wait 180 days to take the exam again
Learn more about the Arizona Registrar of Contractors!
Request an Arizona Contractor License Application
First apply for a test date here
After you receive your passing scores. Fill out one of theses applications
and send it to:
The State of Arizona Registrar of Contractors
1700 West Washington Street, Suite 105
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Arizona Contractor License Reciprocity Agreement
Contractor License reciprocity is an agreement between the Contractor licensing boards of two different states.
It can mean that they have similar building standards, allowing contractors to work freely between states.
In the context of licensing, it means that a contractor who is licensed in one state, may not need to retake an exam to get licensed in another state.
Learn more about California’s Contractor License reciprocity agreement with Arizona!
Landscaping Apprenticeships in Arizona
If you are looking to get into the construction industry but don’t have any experience, there are several pathways you can take to get started. There are many different avenues people take in construction.
It is no secret that learning a construction trade can be incredibly lucrative.
More and more young people are turning to the trades over pursuing corporate careers. It is becoming incredibly clear that a degree just doesn’t hold the weight with employers that it used to.
In all fields, employers are looking for specific skills.
By learning a construction trade you can separate yourself from the back and bring a valuable set of skills to the table that companies are willing to pay top dollar for.
Apprentice vs. Journeyman?
One of the best ways to build a solid foundation in your career is by looking into an apprenticeship program.
If you are new to the world of construction and have heard the term “journeyman” or “apprentice” and are not sure what these terms mean, or perhaps where to even start.
Learn more about the step by step path from an Apprentice to Journeyman!
Blueprint Reading Course
Those looking to get an Arizona landscaping license should be able to read construction blueprints and identify basic lines and symbols.
Construction 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 for those looking to get the CR-21 license for landscaping. 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.
Landscaping can be dangerous, especially if you or your workers are not properly trained.
For employment with a landscaping contractor, you may be asked to complete some level of Arizona OSHA Safety Training. Learn more about OSHA Certifications!
Getting the Arizona landscaping license can be a huge step up in your career if you are looking to start your own business or become an RMO for an existing company! The key is to take action and follow these steps 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.