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The National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies is a non-profit organization whose purpose to establish license uniformity for state agencies that regulate the construction industry.
Founded in 1962, NASCLA is dedicated to assisting contractor licensing, trade associations and enforcement agencies promote quality standards and safety across the United States.
Is not a license, it is an examination.
NASCLA is composed of several state licensing agencies that all share the same standards for construction standards.
Passing the NASCLA exam allows you to get licensed in multiple states without taking a trade examination, however depending on the state you are applying to, you may still be required to pass a Law & Business exam.
Currently there are 18 states which accept the NASCLA exam:
NASCLA currently offers only two examinations:
Once you pass your NASCLA exam you will be entered into a national database allowing you to request that your exam scores be sent to other jurisdictions bypassing redundant trade examinations.
Accepting States: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia
Contents of Exam:
Accepting States: Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Alabama, and Virginia
Contents of Exam
For states that choose to become apart of the NASCLA Accredited Electrical Examination Program, there are (3) distinct examinations.
One for each job type:
Electrical Contractors - Installation, maintenance and repair of electrical work conforming to applicable standards and codes
Journeyman Electricians - Capacity in the knowledge and skills needed to properly perform the installation, maintenance and repair of electrical work conforming to applicable standards and codes
Residential Electrical Contractors - Competency in performing electrical installations, service, repair and maintenance typically encountered in a permanent dwelling unit
Available to candidates through administering state agencies only
NASCLA facilitates meetings of experts within various construction fields to analyze trade examinations at the state level.
National surveys are conducted on a regular basis among general contractors and electricians to create a consistent examination that accurately represents regional standards.
Questions are continuously vetted, updated and re-assessed to ensure the highest national psychometric standards.
The NASCLA examination is administered by a third party testing company PSI Services LLC
You can apply with NASCLA here
Several states have reciprocity agreements with each other independent of NASCLA
Meaning, they allow contractors to wave trade examinations because they have decided their trade standards are similar enough.
California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona currently have a reciprocity agreement.
You can review California's Reciprocal Classification's list to be sure that the trade you specialize in, qualifies.
When it comes to how contractors are regulated, each state is different.
Some states simply require contractors to hold liability insurance to work… while some states require you to prove your experience and pass an exam.
It is important to also understand the distinction between residential and commercial construction work. While states like California offer one license classification that covers residential and commercial work.
States like Arizona, Louisiana, Nevada and others require applicants to apply for separate licensing for Residential and Commercial construction work.
The following blog posts provide the most critical information for contractor licenses by state:
Contractor License Courses
There are several online resources which can help you prepare for your contractor license examination.
It is important to remember that some states will not require you to prove your experience, however when it comes time to take the examination...
You may be tested on building codes and trade specific concepts that only a journeyman level tradesman would know about.
For general building licenses, knowledge of blueprint reading is very important.
If you plan on getting licensed as a general contractor you will want to find a blueprint reading course which covers the fundamentals of:
For a complete online course, click below:
Sharpening your trade knowledge before an exam can be the difference maker on test day.
There are several online courses and continuing education classes designed to teach the fundamentals as well as review key construction trade concepts.
For our full online library of classes
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