Does New Mexico Require a Contractor License?

Yes. Construction licensing in New Mexico is regulated by 

image of a rock formation in new mexico. Getting the new mexico contractor license is an excellent idea for tradesman looking to expand their services

Who Needs To Be Licensed in New Mexico?

Anyone doing construction work that requires pulling a building permit.

Construction projects that involve building, altering, repairing, installing or demolishing:

  • Roads, highways, bridges, parking areas, and concrete
  • Buildings, stadium or other structures
  • Airports, subways, power plants, and pump stations
  • Parks, trail, athletic fields, landscapes, and excavating earth
  • Sewage, water treatment, plumbing, gas 
  • Air conditioning, mechanical and electrical systems
  • Any system or structure covered under the Construction Industry Licensing Act

New Mexico Contractor License Requirements

  • 18 years of age
  • Valid USA Identification 
  • Social Security Number or ITIN #
  • Not currently on probation or parole

You must also have:

  • 2 or 4 Years of Journeyman level experience (depending on trade)
  • Passed a LAW Exam + Trade Exam
  • Active Contractor Bond
  • Registered Legal Entity (Sole, Partnership, LLC, or Corporation)

What is Journeyman Level Experience?

The New Mexico Construction Industries Division (NMCID) will require that you have journeyman level experience in a construction trade.

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

How Do I Prove My Experience to the NMCID?

a demolition contractor breaking a wall with a sledge hammer. to get a new mexico contractor license you will need to prove experience

You will need to provide:

  • A description of your work experience 
  • Signature from either a supervisor, contractor, employer or journeyman
  • The dates when your experience was gained

New Mexico Contractor License Application Processing 

The steps to get licensed in New Mexico are as follows:

1. Qualifying Party Certificate

2. Work Experience Affidavit

3. Get approved for exam

4. Pass Exam

5. Submit Contractor License Application Packet. Must include:

  • Contractor License Application Fee - $36.00
  • Licensing Fee - $150.00 (all fees)
  • Additional Classification Fee - $150.00
  • Contractor Bond
  • New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Registration 
  • Copy of Qualifying Party Certificate and Test Scores


Applications can be sent to:

PSI – New Mexico Construction Licensing Services
2820 Broadbent Pkwy NE, Suite E&F
Albuquerque, NM 87107
(877) 663-9267

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New Mexico Contractor License Classifications

 If you are not sure about which license you need, you may submit a classification determination request.

The following are the contractor license classifications available in New Mexico:

General Building - GB98

Residential Building Contractor - 2 Years experience (4,000 Hours)

General Building Contractor - 4 Years experience (8,000 Hours)

Building Specialty

4 Years experience required:

  • Acoustical or insulation construction, including installation of urethane foam
  • Awning and canopy construction
  • Caissons, piers, pile driving
  • Ceramic tile, marble, terrazzo
  • Concrete, cement, walkways, driveways
  • Concrete coring, drilling, slab sawing
  • Construction and technical specialties
  • Demolition
  • Door installation
  • Drywall
  • Earthmoving, excavating, ditching
  • Elevators, escalators, conveyors
  • Fencing
  • Fixtures, cabinets and millwork
  • Floor covering, seamless and wood floors, finishing
  • Framing
  • Glazing, weatherstripping, storm doors, window installation
  • Gunite
  • Masonry
  • Ornamental iron, welding
  • Painting, decorating
  • Plastering, stucco, lathing
  • Remodeling
  • Roofing
  • Sandblasting
  • Sheet metal
  • Siding
  • Sign construction (nonelectrical)
  • Structural steel erection
  • Swimming pools (non mechanical/electrical)
  • Trenching and backhoe owner/operator
  • Vaults, depositories

Electrical Specialty

  • Residential and Commercial Electrical Wiring 
  • Electrical Distribution and Transmission Systems 
  • Residential Electrical Wiring
  • Electrical Signs and Outline Lighting 
  • Cathodic Protection and Lightening Protection Systems 
  • Low Voltage Special Systems 
  • Telephone Communication Systems 
  • Water Well Pump Installer 
  • Residential Water Well Pump Installer

Mechanical  

4 Years experience required:

Mechanical Specialty

2 Years experience required:

  • Residential plumbing
  • Residential natural gas fitting
  • Cesspools, septic tanks, sewers
  • Appliance installation, service
  • Evaporative coolers
  • Lawn sprinklers
  • Swimming pool piping
  • Water conditioners
  • Refrigeration
  • Boiler installation, repair, service
  • Controls (mechanical systems)
  • Fire protection sprinkler systems
  • Pneumatic tube systems
  • Dry chemical fire protection

Public Works

2 Years experience required:

  • Airports 
  • Bridges
  • Canals, reservoirs or irrigation systems
  • Drainage or flood control systems
  • Railroad and tunnel construction
  • Recreation areas (golf courses, miniature golf, tennis courts, playgrounds, campgrounds, etc.)
  • Tanks, towers
  • Transmission lines, tanks, and substations (non-electrical)
  • Utility lines and systems (including natural gas, sewage, water treatment and underground telephone cables)

New Mexico Contractor License Exam

All applicants must pass the New Mexico Business & Law Exam. The exam is administered by a third party company called PSI.

The test is:

  • 50 Questions
  • 75% Required to pass
  • 130 Minutes
  • Computerized Multiple Choice Test
  • Bring 2 forms of Identification

The test covers the following topics:

  • Licensing Requirements
  • Estimating and Bidding
  • Business Organization and Financial
  • Management 
  • Tax Laws
  • Labor Laws
  • Project Management and Lien Law
  • Contracts
  • Risk Management 
  • Environmental and Safety

How Do I Get a Business License In New Mexico?

Contractor licenses in New Mexico can only be issued to a legal business entities.

You will have to form a legal entity through the: New Mexico Secretary of State

For additional information about business licenses in New Mexico, consult the New Mexico Economic Development Department.

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
to get a new mexico contractor license

For a complete explanation of the difference between these types of entities and which one makes the most sense for someone applying for a contractor license, check out this free guide!

Workers Compensation

New Mexico requires all contractor license applicants to hold workers compensation insurance. However, If you apply as a sole proprietorship and have no employees you may be exempt.

If you are applying for a contractor license in New Mexico and have workers or employees, you will disclose this on your application.  

You will need to include:

  • Name of your provider
  • Policy Number
  • Expiration on your renewal form

Check out the New Mexico Workers Compensation website, for a deeper look at state insurance requirements.

New Mexico Contractor License Look Up

The New Mexico Construction Industries Department, ultimately exists as a consumer protection mechanism.

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 a homeowner or business owner looking to verify a contractor license in the state of New Mexico, you can check a license here

Construction Apprenticeships in New Mexico

a contractor looking at a job site. apprenticeships are an excellent way to begin a career in the trades.

Whether you are looking to become a journeyman in New Mexico or begin a career as a contractor, you will want to begin by mastering the trade.

One of the best ways to build a solid foundation and position yourself as a professional in the construction industry is by looking into an apprenticeship program or training course.

These types of schools 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 New Mexico General Contractor license, you will need to demonstrate a skillset beyond just construction. Learn about project management and other business skills.

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

an image of a flustered journeyman level tradesman. understand what the pros and cons of contractor license schools in new mexico

If you are looking to prepare for your New Mexico Contractor License exam, taking contractor classes could be a huge help. Most contractor resources include:

  • Bilingual 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 New Mexico 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.

Construction LAW vs Construction TRADE

A contractor license school's main focus should be on the law.

Most states offer several different types of licenses, so if a school is telling you it can teach you your trade, be wary... as that is not realistic.

You can however review trade concepts you may have forgotten. Depending on which state you are applying for a license in, trade skills may be transferrable.

Many excellent online resources cover the basics of electricity, HVAC, Masonry, Carpentry and much more

Blueprint Reading Course

blueprint reading is an excellent skill for contractors looking to get licensed and bonded in new mexico

For those looking to do pursue a career in construction or get a New Mexico 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 especially for those looking to into engineering or obtain construction licensing.

See our Free Blueprint Reading Course!

OSHA New Mexico 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.

new mexico osha regulations are important for contractors looking to get licensed in new mexico

Safety is a huge part of engaging in construction.

Whether it be roofing, painting, landscaping, carpentry, electrical or any other trade.

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, you may be asked to complete some level of New Mexico OSHA Training.

Get Started!

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

The construction industry is very lucrative. There will be more and more opportunities for skilled tradesman in the future.

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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