a quick look at the Colorado contractor license and the process specific to denver

Colorado does not currently have a state wide contractor license.There are only two trades which are regulated at the state level:

 

For other licenses, the laws differ depending on the county. 

However, several Contractor Licenses are offered in Denver through the Department of Community Planning and Development.

essential guide for contractors looking to get licensed in Colorado

What are the Available Denver Contractor License Classifications?

All Contractors in Denver must hold a Supervisor's Certificate which represents your trade proficiency.

Your application for licensing will be rejected if you do not hold a supervisor's certificate.

Licensing in Denver is separated into 6 categories:

1. Construction

To get licensed under the construction classification, you must submit the following documentation and pass the ICC Exam for your specific trade:


  • General Contractor A - Able to erect, add to, alter, demolish, or repair any building or structure
  • General Contractor B - Structures classified as less than a high rise, as defined by the International Building Code (IBC)
  • Residential Contractor Class C - One and two family dwellings, U Occupancy buildings and attached single-unit dwellings (IRC townhouses).

2. Demolition

To get licensed for a classification under the demolition specialty, you must complete the following documentation ​and pass the ICC exam for your trade:


  • Demolition Class A Supervisor - May demolish any building or structure. 
  • Demolition Class B Supervisor - May demolish any building or structure not more than 30 feet in height, measured to highest point of the roof
  • Moving Supervisor - May move all types of buildings or structures.

3. Electrical

To get licensed for a classification under the electrical specialty, you must complete the following documentation and pass ​​the ICC exam for your trade:


  • Access Control System Supervisor - Install, add to, alter or repair control units, electric door hardware, wiring and raceways electrically interconnected to control and regulate ingress and egress. Voltages shall not exceed 48 volts or the system shall be power limited, as defined by the National Electrical Code.
  • Electrical Signal Journeyman - Allows for the installation of electrical wiring and equipment for fire alarm, fire detection, emergency voice communication system, and electrical signaling and control wiring. Voltages shall not exceed 48 volts 
  • Electrical Signal Supervisor - May install, add to, alter or repair electrical wiring and equipment for fire alarm, fire detection, emergency voice communication systems, electrical signaling and control wiring.

4. Fire Protection

To get licensed for a classification under the fire protection specialty, you must complete the following documentation and pass ​​an ICC exam:


  • Fire Protection Class A Supervisor - May install, add to, alter or repair fire-extinguishing systems of all types.
  • Fire Protection Class B Supervisor - May install, add to, alter or repair automatic fire sprinkler and standpipe systems of all types.
  • Fire Protection Class C Supervisor - May install, add to, alter or repair approved non-water, factory-engineered extinguishing systems. 

5. Mechanical

To get licensed for a classification under the mechanical specialty, you must complete the following documentation and pass the ICC exam for your trade:


  • Boiler Maker Journeyman - Installation and erection of steam and hot water boilers, pressure vessels, precipitators, incinerators, breeching, chimneys, plate and casings
  • Boiler Operator Class A/B - May take charge of and operate all steam boilers and appurtenances, steam pumps, steam turbines and steam engines.
  • Boiler Supervisor Certificate - May install, assemble or repair steam and hot water boilers, all pressure and non-pressure vessels, precipitators, breeching, metal stacks, plates and casings. 
  • Heating and Ventilating Journeyman - May install Heating and Ventilating 2) Air Conditioning – refrigeration systems and appurtenant cooling towers, pipe insulation and low voltage wiring. See full description
  • Heating and Ventilating Class A - May install, add to, alter or repair warm air heating, venting, ventilation, evaporative cooling, exhaust systems and their appurtenances, ductwork, dust collection systems, domestic and commercial range hoods, water heaters not exceeding 100 Mbtu input.
  • Heating and Ventilating Class B - May install, add to, alter or repair, in one- or two-family dwellings, IRC townhomes or U Occupancies only
  • Heating, Ventilating A/C Residential Only - May install, add to, alter or repair, in one- or two-family dwellings, IRC townhomes or U Occupancies only
  • Hot Water Supervisor - May install, add to, alter or repair, in one- or two-family dwellings, IRC townhomes or Group U Occupancy only. See full description
  • Refrigeration Class A/B Supervisor - May install, add to, alter or repair refrigeration systems and appurtenant cooling towers, pipe insulation and low-voltage wiring that does not exceed 48 volts 
  • Refrigeration Journeyman / Operator - Refrigeration systems consisting of self-contained refrigeration systems of 5 tons or less
  • Stationary Engineer - Allows the holder to take charge of and operate all steam boilers and appurtenances hereto, steam pumps, steam turbines, steam engines and mechanical refrigeration systems.
  • Steam & Hot Water Supervisor - install, add to, alter or repair steam and hot water heating systems, solar water heating; process piping and related appurtenances. See full description
  • Steamfitter Journeyman - Allows for the installation of steam and hot water heating systems; solar water heating; process and industrial piping and related appurtenances. See full description

6. D Specialty Classification

Licenses that fall under the D-Specialty Classification require only 2 years experience and do not include an examination.

To get licensed you must complete the following documentation:


Classifications include:

  • Antenna Installer
  • Building Insulation
  • Concrete and Foundations
  • Concrete Reinforcing Steel Placers
  • Curtain Walls
  • Custom Size Window Replacement
  • Drain Layer Supervisor
  • Drywall
  • Fence Structures
  • Fire Door Installer
  • Fireproofing
  • Handicap Accessible Ramp Installer
  • High Piled Storage Racks
  • Inside Tap and Back Flow Preventer
  • Lath and Plaster
  • Masonry
  • Lawn Irrigation
  • Metal Roof Installer
  • Open Deck Installer
  • Outdoor Stage Erection
  • Overhead Door Installer
  • Power Operated Door Installers
  • Pre-Cast Concrete Building Installers
  • Pre-Cast Concrete Building Units
  • Prefabricated Patios, Carports, Canopies and Awnings
  • Retaining Walls
  • Roof Covering and Waterproofing
  • Roofing 
  • Scaffold Erection
  • Security Bars, Grills and Gates
  • Siding
  • Structural Metals
  • Swimming Pools
  • Tenant Finish 
  • Wood Framing


See full descriptions here

Denver Right of Way Contractor License Types 

Right of way license (ROW) types allow work on public right of way. They are the only contractor licenses that require bonds in Denver.

There is no exam required to obtain these classifications, but you will need to provide 5 years of verifiable trade experience.

The classifications available are:

Cement Sidewalk Contractor - Work relating to laying sidewalks and driveways, making of curb cuts, laying of curb and/gutter, installing minor drainage structures within or connected to the public ways and places, in the right-of-way or other public property of the City

Sewer Contractor - Work relating to the opening, uncovering, or laying of public or private sanitary or storm sewers in the right-of-way or other public property of the City 

Excavation Contractor - Work relating to excavation in public, street or alley or other public property of the City.

General Contractor - Work relating to sewer layer, sewer contractor, sidewalk contractor, structural contractor, paving contractor, excavator contractor and special contractor in the right-of-way or other public property of the City under this license.

Paving Contractor - Work relating to street and/or alley paving to include the work of laying of gravel base course, asphalt or concrete paving, laying of concrete curb and/or gutter, concrete sidewalks, driveways, and installation of drainage structures and other items of work incidental to said street or alley paving in the right-of-way or other public property of the City. 

Special Contractor - Work relating constructing or installing traffic control devices, fencing, lighting projects, water lines, sprinkling systems

Structural Contractor - Work relating to constructing bridges, viaducts, public buildings and any and all other public and private structures in the right-of-way or other public property of the City.

Required Documents:

Contractor License Requirements in Denver

To hold a license in Colorado, you will need to meet the following basic requirements:

  • Not Currently on Probation or Parole

You must also have:

  • 2 or 4 Years of experience
  • Hold a Supervisor's Certificate 

What is Journeyman Level Experience?

you must have journeyman level experience to get a contractor license in denver and colorado

The definition of a journeyman may vary depending on the region you are in, however, typically a journeyman level tradesman:

  • 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

Will I Be Asked to Prove My Experience?

you may be asked to prove your experience when applying for a contractor license in denver colorado

You will need to provide:

  • A description of your work experience 
  • Signature from either an employer or supervisor
  • The dates when your experience was gained

Application Processing for Contractor Licenses In Denver

The process of applying for a Contractor License in Denver is as follows:

  1. Complete a Supervisor's Certificate
  2. Complete a Contractor License Application


You can apply Online

or 

In person at:

Contractor Licensing desk on the 2nd floor of the Webb Municipal Building

201 W. Colfax Ave.,Denver, CO 80202

or

By mail at:

Contractor Licensing,

201 W. Colfax Ave., Dept. 205, 

Denver, CO 80202.

Application Fees

Fee for General Contractor Class A$250.00
Fee for Building Contractor Class B $250.00 
Fee for Residential Contractor Class C$250.00 
Fee for Specialty Class D$250.00 
Fee for all Mechanical License Types$250.00

PLUMBING LICENSE - Renewed every two years

Fee for Plumbing A License                     $160.00

 

ELECTRICAL LICENSE - Renewed every three years

Fee for Electrical License                                    

   $0.00


CERTIFICATES - Renewed every three years

Supervisor Certificate

$60.00

Journeyman Certificate                                       

$40.00

Engineer Certificate

$40.00

Operator Certificate

$40.00



OTHER FEES

Duplicate License

$25.00

Duplicate Certificate

$25.00

Change of Name (Personal) on License or Certificate

$25.00


Construction Bonds in Colorado

Laws may differ throughout the state, however in Denver payment or performance bonds are required for projects with construction improvements made within the public right-of-way that total more than $20,000.00. You may also use a letter of credit.

​You may submit completed Bonding forms to:

2000 W 3rd Ave
3rd Floor
Denver, CO 80223

Colorado Business License

Colorado allows those applying for the Contractor License to choose if they would like to set themselves up as a business entity. 

If you already have a registered business entity and you would like to apply for a license in Denver, than you must include the following documentation about your business along with your application.

Typically, there are 4 common business structures among construction professionals:

  • 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 complete look at the differences between these business structures, check this guide.

For more information about getting a business license in Colorado and the nature of your business you can contact any of the following agencies:

Worker's Compensation

Colorado requires all business that have employees to carry worker's compensation insurance, regardless of their construction trade.

Worker's Compensation requirements for Colorado contractor license applicants can be found on the website of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Colorado Contractor License Look-up

For consumers or homeowners looking to search an active Colorado contractor license, you may access information on the Department of Regulatory Agencies search portal

Construction Apprenticeships in Colorado

to get a colorado contractor license you must have a journeyman knowledge of construction trades

Whether you are looking to become a journeyman in Colorado or begin a career in the construction industry, you will want to begin by mastering a trade.

One of the best ways to build a solid foundation in your career is by looking into an apprenticeship program.

These types of schools can provide you with valuable training in a trade.

Denver contractor license requirements, like the other classifications require a skillset beyond just trade knowledge. 

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.

Each state has different requirements and standards for certifications. To Learn more about the step by step path from an Apprentice to Journeyman!

Blueprint Reading Course

blueprint reading is a fundemental skill for those looking to get the colorado contractor license

For those looking to do pursue a career in construction or get the Colorado General Contractor license, reading construction blueprints is fundamental. 

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 contractor license.

See our Free Blueprint Reading Course!

Osha Safety Certifications

two contractors working high up on a beam. to get a colorado contractor license, or licensed in denver you may be asked to know osha safety regulations

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 a huge part of managing a construction site. General Contractors should know everything about safely supervising a project.

If you or 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 in Colorado, you may be asked to complete some level of Osha Safety Training.

Get Started

Getting the Colorado contractor license can be a huge step up in your career if you are looking to start your own business or become an RMO for a construction company!

The Construction industry is highly lucrative. Whether you are looking to get licensed in other states or offer handyman services in Colorado.

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.

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