Article Index

North Carolina Contractor Licenses

State Licenses

Select a license to view its requirements, definition, exams, books, and classes.

North Carolina general contractors can have one of five license classifications: Building, Residential, Highway, Public Utilities, and Specialty. Specialties include asbestos, boring and tunneling, concrete construction, insulation, interior construction, marine construction, masonry construction, railroad construction, roofing, metal erection, swimming pools, and wind turbines, while Public Utilities include communications, electrical – ahead of point of delivery, fuel distribution, water and sewer lines, or water purification and sewage disposal.

North Carolina electrical contractors can have one of ten license classifications: limited electrical, intermediate electrical, unlimited electrical, single family detached, fire alarm low voltage, plumbing, heating, and air conditioning electrical, elevator electrical, ground water pump electrical, electric sign, or swimming pool electrical. The State of North Carolina has electrical endorsements agreements with: California, Colorodo, Georgia, NASCLA®, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.

North Carolina plumbing, heating, and fire sprinkler contractors can have one of the following license classifications: plumbing class I or II; plumbing restricted limited; plumbing tech; fuel piping; fuel piping tech; heating group 1 class I, II or tech; heating group 2 contractor or tech; heating group 3 class I, II, or tech; fire sprinkler installation, inspection technician; fire sprinkler installation residential or limited maintenance technician; and state/local government tech for heating groups 1, 2, or 3 or plumbing.

North Carolina refrigeration contractors can have one of five license classifications: commercial, industrial, service, or transport refrigeration.

NASCLA© exams are accepted in North Carolina. All NASCLA© exams accepted by NC are listed below.

Asbestos

Renovation or demolition of Regulated Asbestos Containing Materials (RACM)

Boring and Tunneling

Digging or Boring for underground or underwater passageways

Building

Commercial and residential building construction

Commercial Refrigeration

Install, service, and maintain commercial refrigeration equipment

Communications

Distribution cable and pole lines for telephone systems, aerial and underground cable for cable TV, fiber optic cable, microwave systems, and cellular telephone towers

Concrete

Foundations, pre-case silos, concrete tanks, pre-stressed components, gunite (does not include bridges, streets, side-walks, curbs, gutters, driveways, parking lots, and highways)

Electric Sign

Electric sign wiring (isolated from the building wiring system)

Electrical- Ahead of Point Delivery

Electrical wiring systems, including sub-stations, to be operated by electric power supplier for the purpose of providing electrical services to one or more customers

Elevator Electrical

Electrical wiring incidental to the operation of elevators, dumbwaiters, escalators, moving walks, or personnel hoists

Fire Alarm/Low Voltage

Low voltage wiring only

Fire Sprinkler Installation

Installation of water-based automatic fire sprinkler system. Must have a current certification by NICET for "Fire Protection Engineering, Level III, Automatic Sprinkler System Layout"

Fire Sprinkler Inspection

Inspection and testing of water-based automatic fire sprinkler system. Must have a current certification by NICET for "Fire Protection Engineering, Level III, Automatic Sprinkler System Layout"

Fire Sprinkler Inspection Technician

Inspection and testing of water-based automatic fire sprinkler systems. This is not a contractor’s license. To obtain the license without examination, an applicant must hold a current certification by NICET for "Inspection and Testing of Water-Based Systems, Level II"

Fire Sprinkler Installation Residential

Residential water-based automatic fire sprinkler systems only

Fire Sprinkler Limited Maintenance Technician

Inspection and maintenance of water-based automatic sprinkler systems on the premises of the employer. This is not a contracting license.

Fuel Distribution

Distribution pipelines for petroleum fuels, natural gas, chemicals and slurries. Includes all related excavating, trenching, and backfilling, as well as replacement of fuel storage tanks

Fuel Piping

Fuel gas piping source to any point within premises

Fuel Piping Technician

Fuel gas piping source to any point within premises while employed by a Contractors

Grading and Excavating

Dig, move, place, excavate, grade, trench, and backfill

Groundwater Pump Electrical

Electric water incidental to groundwater pumps (cannot exceed 600 volts, phase-to-phase)

Heating Group 1 Class I

"Wet" or "water-based" comfort heating systems in any building (residential, commercial, industrial)

Heating Group 1 Class II

"Wet" or "water-based" comfort heating systems in single-family detached dwellings only

Heating Group 1 Technician

"Wet" or "water-based" comfort heating systems. Must be a sub-licensee of a H1-I or H1-II Contractor. This is not a contracting license

Heating Group 1 State/Local Gov. Technician

"Wet" or "water-based" comfort heating systems. Must be an employee of a state or local government. This is not a contracting license

Heating Group 2

Forced air heating / cooling system with cooling capacity in excess of fifteen (15) tons in any building (residential, commercial, industrial)

Heating Group 2 Technician

Forced air heating / cooling system with cooling capacity in excess of fifteen (15) tons. Must be a sub-licensee of a H2 Contractor

Heating Group 2 State/Local Gov. Technician

Forced air heating / cooling system with cooling capacity in excess of fifteen (15) tons. Must be an employee of a state or local government. This is not a contracting license

Heating Group 3 Class I

Forced air heating / cooling system with cooling capacity of fifteen (15) tons or less in any building (residential, commercial, industrial)

Heating Group 3 Class II

Forced air heating / cooling system with cooling capacity of fifteen (15) tons or less in single-family detached dwellings only

Heating Group 3 Technician

Forced air heating / cooling system with cooling capacity of fifteen (15) tons or less in any building. Must be a sub-licensee of a H3-I or H3-II Contractor. This is not a contracting license

Heating Group 3 State/Local Gov. Technician

Forced air heating / cooling system with cooling capacity of fifteen (15) tons or less. Must be an employee of a state or local government. This is not a contracting license

Highway

Everything involved in highway construction, including grading, all types of paving (including athletic surfaces), and ancillary relocation of public and private utility lines, bridge construction and repair, culvert construction and repair, parking decks, sidewalks, curbs, gutters and storm drainage. It also includes installation and erection of guard rails, fencing, signage and ancillary highway hardware; covers paving and grading of airport and air-field runways, taxiways, and aprons

Industrial Refrigeration

Commercial refrigeration using ammonia as a refrigerant gas

Insulation

Residential and commercial building insulation. It does not include mechanical insulation

Interior Construction

Acoustical ceilings, drywall walls (load bearing and non load-bearing), lathing, plastering, finishing, flooring, interior surfaces (countertops), windows, doors, fixtures, cabinets, and millwork

Intermediate Electrical

Can engage in a single electrical contracting project of no more than $130,000 USD in value

Limited Electrical

Can engage in a single electrical contracting project of no more than $50,000 USD in value where the installed equipment is rated at no more than 600 volts

Marine Construction

Pilings, piers, decks, slips, docks, and bulkheads in deep-water installations and in harbors, inlets, sounds, bays, and channels. It does not include other structures required on docks, slips and piers.

Masonry

Brick, concrete block, gypsum partition tile, pumice block, other lightweight and facsimile units, fire clay, refractory units, rough cut and dressed stone, marble panels, slate units, structural glazed tile or block, glass brick or block, and solar screen tile or block

Metal Erection

Architectural and structural shapes like tubing, pipe and bars, not limited to steel or aluminum, including curtain walls, tanks of all types, hoppers, structural members for buildings, towers, stairs, conveyor frames, cranes and crane runways, canopies, carports, guard rails, signs, steel scaffolding as a permanent structure, rigging, flagpoles, fences, steel and aluminum siding, bleachers, fire escapes, and seating for stadiums, arenas, and auditoriums

Plumbing Class I

Potable water and drain/waste/vent piping systems in any building (residential, commercial, industrial).

Plumbing Class II

Potable water and drain/waste/vent piping systems in single-family detached dwellings only.

Plumbing Restricted Limited

Exterior building sewer piping, exterior water service piping 2 inches or less, exterior backflow preventers on 2 inches or less piping, water filtration systems.

Plumbing State/Local Gov. Technician

Potable water and drain / waste / vent piping systems. Must be an employee of a state or local government. This is not a contracting license.

Plumbing Technician

Potable water and drain / waste / vent piping systems. Must be a sublicensee of a P-I, P-II or RLP Contractor. This is not a contracting license.

Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning Electrical

Electrical wiring related to plumbing, heating, and ac equipment where voltage does not exceed 120 volts to ground

Railroad Construction

Includes the clearing and filling of rights-of-way, setting of road beds, setting ties, tie plates, rails, connectors, frogs, switch plates, switches, signal markers, retaining walls, dikes, fences, and gates. Also includes the construction and repair of tool sheds and platforms

Residential

Construction of residential units, including sitework, driveways, sidewalks, and water/waste water systems, insulation, interiors, masonry, roofing and swimming pools

Residential Dwelling (Single Family Detached) Electrical

Electrical work on single-family detached residential dwellings

Roofing

Installation and repair of roofs and decks on residential and commercial buildings. It covers cedar, cement, asbestos, clay tile and composition shingles, all types of metal coverings, wood shakes, single ply and built-up roofing, protective and reflective roof and deck coatings, sheet metal valleys, flashings, gravel stops, gutters and downspouts, and bituminous waterproofing

Service Refrigeration

Service of refrigeration equipment

Swimming Pools

Construction, service and repair of swimming pools. Includes concrete, gunite, plastic-type pools, pool decks, walkways, tiling and coping, and installation of pumps, filters and chemical feeders.

Swimming Pool Electrical

Swimming pool electrical bonding work, including a common bonding grid, as well as forming shells for lighting fixtures and underwater audio equipment, and junction boxes

Transport Refrigeration

Installation, maintenance, and repair of transport refrigeration

Unlimited Electrical

Can engage in any electrical contracting project regardless of value.

Water Lines and Sewer Lines

Water and sewer mains, water service lines, house and building sewer lines, water storage tanks, lift stations, pumping stations, and appurtenances to water storage tanks, lift stations and pumping stations. Includes incidental patching and backfill.

Water Purification and Sewage Disposal

Water and wastewater systems, including treatment facilities. Includes incidental grading, paving, sidewalk, curb and gutter work, as well as work specific to waste water treatment facilities like concrete, insulation, interior construction, masonry, roofing, and metal erection

Wind Turbine

Wind turbines, generators, and power units. It also includes ancillary foundation work, field fabrication of metal equipment, and structural support components.


North Carolina General Contractor's Board Contact Information

Office of the Board
5400 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh, NC 27612
Telephone: 919 571-4183
Fax: 919 571-4703

Which licenses Are Issued by the NC General Contractor's Board?

  • Asbestos
  • Boring and Tunneling
  • Building
  • Communications
  • Concrete Construction
  • Electrical – Ahead of Point of Delivery
  • Fuel Distribution
  • Grading and Excavating
  • Highway
  • Insulation
  • Interior
  • Marine
  • Masonry
  • Metal Erection
  • Public Utilities
  • Railroad
  • Residential
  • Roofing
  • Swimming Pools
  • Water and Sewer Lines
  • Water Purification and Sewage Disposal
  • Wind Turbine

What's the Difference Between Unlimited, Intermediate, and Limited Licenses?

Unlimited, intermediate, and limited are all limitations on the license, you can select which type of limitation you want on your license when you submit your application to the General Contractor’s Board. Unlimited contractors have no restrictions as to the value of any single project; intermediate contractors can work single projects with a value of up to $1 million; and limited contractors can work on single projects with a value of up to $500,000.

What determines which of those limitation status you can get is the amount of working capital in your financial statements. The working capital requirements are $17,000, $75,000, and $150,000 for Limited, Intermediate, and unlimited respectively.

In lieu of demonstrating the level of working capital as required, an applicant may obtain a surety bond. Surety bonds must meet the following requirements.

  • Be provided by a surety authorized to transact surety business North Carolina.
  • The surety provider shall maintain an AM Best rating of Superior (A++ or A+) or Excellent (A or A-).
  • The bond shall be continuous and maintained for as long as the applicant maintains the license. If the bond is cancelled, the license will go invalid after 30 days unless an Agreed-Upon Procedure Report, an audit or a bond is submitted.
  • List the State of North Carolina as the oblige.
  • Be for the Benefit of any person who is damaged by an act or omission of the applicant constituting a breach of construction contract, breach of a contract for the furnishing of labor, materials, or professional services to be undertaken by the applicant, or by an unlawful act or omission of the applicant in the performance of a construction contract.
  • Be for the following amounts based on limitation.
    • Limited: $175,000
    • Intermediate: $500,000
    • Unlimited: $1,000,000

How to Apply for a General Contractor's License in North Carolina

You must submit the License Application to the board so they can send you an approval so you can sit for examination. Once you have been approved you will recieve an Examination Eligibility Letter with instructions to schedule your exam. You only need a Trade exam, Business is not required in North Carolina through the General Contractors Board.

License Applications are now done through an Online Portal.

Reciprocity for NC General Contractors

North Carolina has reciprocity with Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee and West Virginia. Click a state below to view the License by Reciprocity Application for that state.

PSI© Testing for the NC General Contractor's Board

PSI© Examination Services, Construction Programs
100 Broadway, Suite 1100, Glendale, CA 91210
Telephone: (800) 733-9267 (toll free)
Fax: (818) 247-3853

More information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions


Electrical Contractor's Board Contact Information

North Carolina Electrical Contractors Board
3101 Industrial Drive, Suite 206 Raleigh, NC 27609
Telephone: (919) 733-9042
Fax: (800) 691-8399

Which Licenses Are Issued by the Electrical Contractor's Board in North Carolina?

  • Limited Electrical
  • Intermediate Electrical
  • Unlimited Electrical
  • Single Family Detached (SP-SFD) (Residential Dwelling Electrical)
  • Fire Alarm Low Voltage (SP-FA/LV)
  • Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning Electrical (SP-PH)
  • Elevator Electrical (SP-EL)
  • Ground Water Pump Electrical (SP-WP)
  • Electric Sign (SP-ES)
  • Swimming Pool Electrical (SP-SP)

Application Process for Electrical Contractors in North Carolina

You must first submit the Examination Application Form and successfully pass the qualifying examination. Then you must submit the application for the desired Electrical Classification. For the fastest and most convenient examination scheduling process, PSI recommends that you register for your examinations using the Internet. You register online by accessing PSI’s registration website at www.psiexams.com.

Reciprocity Agreements for Electrical Contractors in NC

You can find the reciprocity agreement here. They have reciprocity with Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Ohio, Florida, Mississippi, Virginia, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

PSI© testing

PSI© Examination Services, Construction Programs
100 Broadway, Suite 1100, Glendale, CA 91210
Telephone: (800) 733-9267 (toll free)
Fax: (818) 247-3853

More information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions


Contact Information for Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractor's Board

Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractor Board
1109 Dresser Court, Raleigh, NC 27609
Telephone: 919-875-3612
Fax: 919-875-3616
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors Board Website

Which Licenses Are Issued by the Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors Board in North Carolina?

  • Plumbing Class I (P-I)
  • Plumbing Class II (P-II)
  • Restricted Limited Plumbing (RLP)
  • Plumbing Technician
  • Fuel Piping Technician (FP)
  • Heating Group 1 Class I (H1-I)
  • Heating Group 1 Class II (H1-II)
  • Heating Group 1 Technician (H1-T)
  • Heating Group 2 (H2)
  • Heating Group 2 Technician (H2-T)
  • Heating Group 3 Class I (H3-I)
  • Heating Group 3 Class II (H3-II)
  • Heating Group 3 Technician (H3-T)
  • Fire Sprinkler Installation (FS)
  • Fire Sprinkler Inspection
  • Fire Sprinkler Inspection Technician (FS-IT))
  • Plumbing State/Local Gov. Technician (SLGT-P)
  • Heating Group 1 State/Local Government Technician (SLGT-H1)
  • Heating Group 2 State/Local Government Technician (SLGT-H2)
  • Heating Group 3 State/Local Government Technician (SLGT-H3)
  • Fire Sprinkler Installation Residential (RFSIC)
  • Fire Sprinkler Limited Maintenance Technician (FS-M)
  • Fuel Piping (FP)

Application and Examination Process for NC Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors

All applicants are required to obtain a current copy of the Board's Laws and Rules Book prior to making application to the Board for any examination or license. Once you order the Board's Laws and Rules Book you must submit your application to the Board. There are different applications for the different licenses, they can all be found. Once you pass your exams (This board requires some licenses to take a Business and Law Exam) you need to send a License Activation Application Form to Activate your license. Send the activation form within 45 days of passing the exam. It is much faster to email the form to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. than it is to mail it to Raleigh.

Reciprocity for Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors in NC

There are no reciprocity agreements with any other state. All persons desiring to obtain licensure with this Board must meet the requirements listed herein and satisfactorily complete the applicable examination(s). For more information please go to http://www.nclicensing.org.


NC Refrigeration Contractor's Board Contact Information

Refrigeration Contractors Board
1027 US 70 Hwy W, Suite 221 Garner, NC 27529
Telephone: (919)779-4711
Fax: (919)779-4733
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Which licenses are issued by the Refrigeration Contractor’s Board?

The refrigeration contractor’s board in NC issues the following licenses:
  • Commercial Refrigeration Contractor
  • Industrial Refrigeration Contractor
  • Service Refrigeration Contractor
  • Transport Refrigeration Contractor

Application and Examination Information

In order to pass the qualifying examination, an applicant is required to pass all parts of the examination within the same one-year period and within no more than three consecutive attempts. Each time an applicant takes the examination, he shall take all parts for which he does not have currently valid passing grades. If the applicant fails to pass all parts within one year or within three consecutive attempts (whichever period is shorter), any passing grades for individual parts shall no longer be valid and the applicant must start over by re-taking all parts of the examination. You can find the application for refrigeration examination by visiting the NC refrigeration examination page.

Reciprocity for North Carolina Refrigeration Contractors

This type of Certifications is valid in all 50 states and US territories and they do not expire

CFC Testing Centers

Their testing is done through community colleges, click here for a list of colleges and testing centers that offer the CFC Certification tests.

More information can be found here in the Frequently Asked Questions

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