how to get the Arizona painting contractor license

Complete Guide to the Painting License in Arizona!

Table of Contents

Do painters need to be licensed in Arizona?

The answer is yes.

Getting an Arizona painting 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 know to get licensed and bonded in Arizona!

image shows a main painting using a sprayer. guide breaks down everything you need to know to get the arizona painting license

In Arizona, anyone charging over $1000 for residential and commercial painting services has to have a contractor license.

There are 3 painting license options available:

Residential Painting – (also known as R-34)

Commercial Painting – (also known as C-34)

Dual License – (also known as CR-34)

Arizona Painting 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 painting projects
  • Be able to document your experience at the request of the ROC
  • A Business Entity

What is a Journeyman?

Arizona has no journeyman painting 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.

tow painting contractors using roof spray coating, you must have journeyman level experience to get licensed in arizona

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 residential and commercial painting experience documentation includes:

  • W2’s
  • Tax Returns
  • Check Stubs
  • Contracts
  • Letter from a licensed painting contractor

Forming a Business Entity

Arizona LAW requires all painting contractors to have a business entity set up before applying for the CR-34 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
  • Partnership
  • LLC
  • S-Corporation

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 painting 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 Licensed Painting Contractor in Arizona

To get a painting license in Arizona you must be familiar with the following areas of expertise:

  • Applying and Repairing Wallpaper
  • Wall Covering Cloth 
  • Wall Covering vinyl 
  • Surface Preparation
  • Estimating
  • Painting Materials
  • Decorative Texture
  • Paint application
  • Liquid Floor and Wall Coating
  • Application
  • Safety and Containment of lead paint
  • Painting Tools

Arizona License Exam for Painting

To get the CR-34 painting 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
  • Liens
  • 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 residential and commercial painting.

ROC  Painting Exam

  • 110 Questions
  • Passing Score: 70%
  • Time Allowed: 240 Minutes
  • $66 per exam

Business Management

  • 80 Questions
  • Passing Score 70%
  • Time Allowed: 180 minutes
  • $66 per exam

Registrar of Contractors Test Locations

Logo of the Arizona registrar of contractors which are members of the california contractor license reciprocity agreement

The Contractors license exam is facilitated by a 3rd party company called PSI.

They have test locations in the following cities:

  • Yuma
  • Tempe
  • Glendale
  • Flagstaff
  • Phoenix
  • Tucson

  • 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 these applications

and send it to:

The State of Arizona Registrar of Contractors

1700 West Washington Street, Suite 105

Phoenix, AZ 85007

Phone: 602.542.1525

Arizona Contractor License Reciprocity Agreement

image shows an illustration of the state of california. article talkes about contractor license reciprocity between arizona and califronia for those looking to get the arizona painting license

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!

Painting Apprenticeships

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?

two contractors looking down at something on the ground. blog post breaks down the difference between a journeyman and apprentice

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

free online blueprint reading course for general contractors

Those looking to get an Arizona painting 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 a contractor license for painting. See our Free Blueprint Reading Course!

OSHA Certifications

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.

two contractors high up on a steel beam. for those looking to get the arizona painting contractor license, there are certain safety regulations set by OSHA which will help you pass the test

Painting can be dangerous, especially when working with scaffolding. If you or your workers are not properly trained this can be very hazardous work.

For employment with a painting contractor, you may be asked to complete some level of Arizona OSHA Safety Training. Learn more about OSHA Certifications!


Getting the Arizona painting 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.