Arkansas Contractor Licenses

To bid and work on construction projects in Arkansas that cost $20,000 or more, you must get a contractor’s license.

Contractor License Lookup in Arkansas

Where do you go when you want to lookup the license of a contractor in Arkansas? To find out if a contractor is licensed, click or call (501) 372-4661. To find out if a plumber is licensed in Arkansas, call (501) 661-2642. To find out if an electrician is licensed in Arkansas, call (501) 682-4549 or click To find out if a boiler installer is licensed in Arkansas, call (501) 682-4514 or click To find out if an asbestos abatement contractor is licensed and certified in Arkansas, call (501) 682-0719 or click To find out if an alarm system installation contractor is licensed in Arkansas, call (501) 618-8600.

Arkansas licenses both commercial and residential contractors. To apply for the license to work on construction projects, contact:

Contractors Licensing Board
4100 Richards Road
N. Little Rock, AR 72117
(501) 372-4661

The application will ask you for:

  • a financial statement
  • a statement of your experience
  • professional references

Commercial Contractor’s Classifications

You’ll also be asked which classifications of work you want to do in the state. Here’s an outline of the commercial classifications Arkansas uses:

Heavy construction:

Marine Mining surface and underground
Tunnels and shafts Oil field construction
Dams, dikes, levees, canals Oil refineries

Highway, railroad and airport construction:

grading, drainage railroad construction
base, paving miscellaneous and specialty items
bridges, culverts cofferdams
erosion control gunite
concrete tower & stack construction
steel, alloy metal fabrication, welding foundation drilling & construction, pile driving, stabilization

Municipal and utility construction:

underground piping, cabling, trenching grading, drainage
water, sewer plants & water disposal base and paving
HRA miscellaneous & specialty water wells

Building contracting:

acoustical treatments awnings, canopies, gutters
base & paving blinds, draperies
bulk storage facilities carpentry framing millwright, cabinets
car washes caulking, waterproofing, special coatings
ceiling, wall systems chimneys, fireplaces
concrete control towers
conveyors, cranes, material handling systems drywall
elevators, escalators, dumbwaiters, chairlifts erosion control
excavation fencing
floors and floor coverings foundation, pile driving, stabilization
glass windows, doors, glazing, storefronts golf courses
grading & drainage greenhouses
HRA miscellaneous & specialty indoor, outdoor advertisements
institutional & recreational equipment insulation
interior work landscaping, irrigation, streams, rock
lathe, plaster, stucco, dryvit, EIFS masonry
mausoleums medical shielded enclosures
metal buildings metal studs, walls
microwave systems, satellite dishes, towers overhead doors
paint spray booths painting
passenger boarding bridges poultry houses
remodeling, renovations, restoration, alterations retaining walls
roofs & roof decks sandblasting & hydroblasting
sheet metal, ducts siding, soffit, facia
skylights & solar systems steel, alloy, metal fabrication, welding
substations swimming pools, spas
tennis courts tile, terrazzo, marble
tower & stack construction underground storage tanks
wall coverings water & sewer plants, sewer disposals

Light building:

This classification includes all of the specialty classes listed under the Building classification, but are limited to projects that do not exceed $250,000 and do not exceed two stories in height.

Mechanical contracting (master plumber and class A or B HVACR licenses required for this classification):

boiler construction and repairs pollution & dust control systems
sprinklers, fire protection process piping, valve repair
HVAC sheet metal, duct
plumbing control systems & instrumentation
pneumatic tube systems

Electrical contracting (master electrician license required for this classification):

cable TV electrical signs
electrical temperature control systems electrical transmission lines
electrical work for buildings and structures fire detection systems
communication lines & ducts underground conduit installation
control systems & instrumentation signal & burglar alarm systems
substations communication, computer & sound systems, cabling

You can pick any of these trades as a specialty except heavy construction, highway, railroad and airport construction, municipal and utility construction, light building and building contracting. The Board considers these as general contracting classifications of work. To qualify for any trade you need five years of experience in it. You also have to give the Board a list of equipment you have available to use in the trade.

The Board requires you to have minimum business related net worth for any classification. For heavy, highway, railroad, airport, municipal & utility and building contracting it’s $50,000, for light building, mechanical and electrical it’s $20,000. The specialty trades are $5,000. The Board also requires contractors to post a bond for $10,000.

Residential Contractor’s Classifications

The Residential Contractor’s Committee regulates licensing for the residential classifications.

Residential builder:

You need four years of experience and have two verifiable references to qualify. The license will authorize you to do both residential building and residential remodeling work.

Residential remodeler:

You will need proof of two years experience and two verifiable references to qualify. A contractor holding a commercial license from the Board with either the Building or Light Building classifications is considered to be qualified to perform residential building. However, a Residential Building class must be requested in writing prior to performing the work.

Both commercial and residential classifications require that you pass an exam.

The exam is given by:


The exam covers law and business. It’s an open book exam with 50 multiple choice questions. Here’s a breakdown of the content of the exam:

Content area Number of questions
OSHA recordkeeping 2 – 4
Contract management 7 – 9
Project management 5 – 7
Financial management 4 – 6
Tax laws 4 – 6
Insurance and bonding 2 – 4
Business organization 1 – 2
Personnel regulations 7 – 9
Lien laws 2 – 4
Licensing 3 – 5
Estimating and bidding 3 – 5

Contractor’s license fees: It will cost you $100 nonrefundable to file an application for a commercial license. The business and law computerized testing costs $75. The commercial license is good for one year. The residential application and license fee is $100. The license is good for one year.

The laws and business subjects in the exam come from the Arkansas Contractor’s Reference Manual. To buy the book, call 1-877-622-8191.

Arkansas has reciprocity with Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. You must complete a Request for Verification of License and Affidavit form. The reciprocity is for exam waiver only.

Plumber’s Licenses

You must have a license to do plumbing work in Arkansas unless you work only on your own residence or agricultural buildings. The agriculture buildings must be outside city limits and they mustn’t be connected to a public water line, sewer, or gas line. To apply for a license, contact:

Arkansas Department of Health
Plumbing and Natural Gas Section
Division of Protective Health Codes
4815 West Markham Slot 24
Little Rock, AR 72205-3867
(501) 661-2642

Arkansas issues master, journeyman, restricted, plumber and/or gas inspector and apprentice licenses. You’ll have to take an exam to get a master or journeyman license. To take the master exam you need to have five years of plumbing experience or be a professional engineer in plumbing engineering. For the journeyman plumber exam you need four years of plumbing experience. If you’ve had a journeyman license for a year, you can take the master exam.

Plumber’s license fees: The master plumbing exam costs $125, and the license costs $200. The journeyman exam costs $75, and the license $75. An apprentice license costs $25. All licenses are good for a year, but they all expire on December 31 each year.

There are no reciprocal agreements with any other states.

Electrician’s Licenses

You’ll need a state license to do electrical work in Arkansas.

These classes of license are issued by the board:  master electrician, journeyman electrician, industrial maintenance electrician, residential master electrical, residential journeyman electrician, and air-conditioning electrician. To apply, contact:

Arkansas Board of Electrical Examiners
10421 West Markham
Little Rock, AR 72205
(501) 682-4549
Fax: (501) 682-1765

An applicant for a state electrician’s license must pass an exam, in addition to meeting experience or education requirements. Requirements for each classification are listed below.

Master electrician:

  • a degree in electrical engineering plus two years construction experience
  • six years experience (both residential and commercial) including two years as a licensed journeyman
  • a combination of board-approved related training and experience

Journeyman electrician:

  • four years or 8,000 hours electrical work experience
  • a four-year combination of board-approved related training and experience
  • a “Notice of Apprenticeship Committee Action – Released for Test” form from the applicant’s training program
  • maintenance experience in electrical work may be considered by the Board

Industrial maintenance electrician:

  • four years experience under supervision of an engineer, master electrician, journeyman electrician or industrial maintenance electrician in the maintenance of electrical conductors or equipment
  • a combination of board-approved related training and experience

Residential master electrician:

  • three years experience in wiring of one or two family dwellings including one year experience as a licensed residential journeyman
  • a combination of board-approved related training and experience

Residential journeyman:

  • two years experience in wiring of one or two family dwellings
  • a combination of board-approved related training and experience

Air conditioning electrician:

  • two years experience in wiring HVACR equipment
  • a combination of board-approved related training and experience

The exam for industrial maintenance license is given by the Board. All other exams are given by:


Exam content:

Content area Number of questions
Master Electrician, open-book, 3 hours
General knowledge and calculations 5
Grounding and bonding 10
Services, feeders,  branch circuits, overcurrent protection 10
Raceways and enclosures 6
Conductors 6
Motors and controls 6
Utilization and general use equipment 7
Special occupancies and equipment 5
Low voltage circuits, including alarms and communications 2
Safety 3
Journeyman Electrician, open-book, 3 hours
General knowledge and calculations 9
Grounding and bonding 6
Services, feeders,  branch circuits, overcurrent protection 8
Raceways and enclosures 8
Conductors 7
Motors and controls 7
Utilization and general use equipment 6
Special occupancies and equipment 4
Low voltage circuits, including alarms and communications 2
Safety 3
Residential Master Electrician, open-book, 3 hours
General theory 9
NEC – Chapter 1 3
NEC – Chapter 2 15
NEC – Chapter 3 12
NEC – Chapter 4 9
NEC – Chapter 5 3
NEC – Chapter 6 3
NEC – Chapter 7 3
Safety 3
Residential Journeyman, open-book, 2 hours
General theory 5
NEC – Chapter 1 4
NEC – Chapter 2 18
NEC – Chapter 3 4
NEC – Chapter 4 2
NEC – Chapter 5 2
NEC – Chapter 6 2
Safety 3
Electrical Heating & A/C Installation, open-book, 3 hours
General theory 9 – 11
NEC – Chapter 1 0 – 2
NEC – Chapter 2 9 – 11
NEC – Chapter 3 9 – 11
NEC – Chapter 4 18 – 22
NEC – Chapter 9 1 – 3
Service 0 – 2
Voltage Drop 0 – 2
Motors – branch circuits 0 – 2
Motors – feeders 0 – 2
Motors – protection 0 – 2
Efficiency, power factor and neutral loads 0 – 2
Box fill 0 – 2

The reference material for all exams is the NFPA 70 – National Electrical Code, available from the National Fire Protection Association.

Electrician’s exam fees: The exam costs $56 (paper and pencil) or $86 (computerized) for master or journeyman, and $25 for industrial maintenance electrician.

Electrician’s license fees: A master license will cost you $50 and it’s $25 for a journeyman or industrial maintenance license. All licenses are good for one year. Renewal costs $50 per year for master electrician, and $25 per year for journeyman and industrial maintenance electricians. It will cost $10 to register as an apprentice. The registration is good for one year.

If you’re already licensed in another state, Arkansas may accept your license. You’ll need to give them proof of your valid license and pay the fees they charge for the Arkansas license. Check with the Board on this.

Asbestos Abatement License and Certificates

To do asbestos removal in Arkansas you need to be licensed by the Arkansas Department of Pollution Control and Ecology. To work in abatement of asbestos materials you need to get a certificate from the Department. To apply for the license and/or certificate, contact:

Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality 
Air Division
Asbestos/Lead Section
P.O. Box 8913
Little Rock, AR 72219-8913
(501) 682-0752

The Department issues four types of certificates and three types of licenses.


  • air monitor
  • contractor/supervisor
  • worker
  • project designer
  • inspector
  • management planner


  • asbestos contractor
  • consultant
  • training provider

You need at least one year of experience to apply for a contractor’s license. You’ll have to pass a written exam with 100 multiple choice questions for a contractor’s license, and one with 50 multiple choice questions for a worker’s license. The Department also requires a training course — 40 hours for contractor/supervisors, 32 hours for workers, 24 hours for inspectors, 24 hours for management planners, 24 hours for project designers, 12 hours for air monitors (air monitors must first complete the 40 hour contractor/supervisor training). You also need at least $500,000 of liability coverage.

Asbestos abatement license and certification fees:  Check with the Division for exam fee details. The contractor, consultant and training provider licenses each cost $500. The fee will be prorated at $41.67 per month for the first fee, then will be $500 thereafter due December 31st. Air monitor, contractor/supervisor, inspector, management planner and project designer certificates cost $150. Worker certificates cost $35. A license or certificate is good for one year. You need to renew it by December 31 each year.

Boiler Licenses

If you sell, repair or install boilers, pressure vessels, or pressure piping in Arkansas, you must have an Installation License. To get one, contact:

Boiler Inspection Division
Arkansas Department of Labor
10421 West Markham, Room 310
Little Rock, AR 72205
(501) 682-5066
Fax: (501) 682-4513 
E-mail: [email protected]

The Division issues the following licenses:

  • low pressure boiler operator
  • high pressure boiler operator
  • boiler repair
  • sell & installation

Boiler license fees: There’s no exam for this license. The sell and repair and repair licenses each cost $75. Check with the Division for the operator license fees. Licenses are good for a calendar year, and you have to renew before December 31st each year.

Alarm Systems Installation License

To install alarms systems you need to be licensed by the state. To get an application for a license, contact:

Arkansas State Police
Special Services Section
#1 State Police Plaza Drive
Little Rock, AR 72209
(501) 618-8600

The state issues two types of licenses based on how many employees you have in your company. For more than five employees, the license is called a Class E license. For five or less, it’s called a Class F license. For either license, you need to pass an exam on Arkansas rules and regulations on alarm systems.

Arkansas requires all licensees to have a public liability insurance policy for at least $10,000. If your alarm system business issues Underwriters’ Laboratories certificates, you’ll need a $300,000 public liability insurance policy.

Alarm Systems Installation license fees: A Class E license costs $450 and a class F costs $225. Either license is good for one year.

Department of Transportation (DOT)

You must be prequalified by the Arkansas State Highway Commission to bid on projects as a prime contractor. If you’re licensed in Arkansas, you can send a copy of your Arkansas Contractor’s License instead of the Prequalification Questionnaire. There are a few extra requirements with this option, so contact the Commission for details before you use it.

To get a Prequalification Questionnaire, contact:

Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department
Programs and Contacts Division
P.O. Box 2261
Little Rock, AR 72203
(501) 569-2261

The Prequalification Questionnaire will ask you for:

  • your financial statement (prepared by a CPA)
  • a detailed list of your equipment
  • your experience record

The prequalification is good for one year, with a four-month grace period.

Essentially, you must be licensed by the Arkansas State Contractors Licensing Board before you can bid with the Department of Transportation. You can bid on a federal-aid highway project without it, but if you’re awarded the project, you’ll need the license to actually get the job.

Out-of-State Corporations

Any incorporated business must be registered with the Arkansas Secretary of State. To register, contact them at:

Secretary of State
State Capitol Room 058
Little Rock, AR 72201
(501) 682-3409

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