New Hampshire Contractor Licenses

Getting a contractor license in New Hampshire isn’t really required if you’re simply planning on doing general repairs, or even constructing a building! But when it comes to specialty services like plumbing and electricity, the requirements get a little bit complicated.

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Here’s a guide on how to navigate the confusing world of licensing in New Hampshire. While all the information here is updated, there may be occasional discrepancies since local agencies can rapidly change their policies and guidelines.

Why you should get a contractors’ license?

If you plan on becoming a general contractor in New Hampshire, you don’t have to worry about getting any special kind of license. While there have recently been calls to establish a state-wide contractors licensing board, home contractors are generally polarized about the benefits of such an institution. Nonetheless, specialty classifications are still regulated by the state government. So if you’re an electrician, plumber, or an asbestos and lead abatement practitioner, this article will walk you through the steps on obtaining your license.

Generally, getting a license might seem a bit too tedious for contractors. I’m confident with my craft, I’ve had a lot of experience to back my work up, and most importantly, I know I’m the best! So why do I still need to get that license, which basically is just a piece of paper? Well, there are many reasons for you to still pursue that license! But here are two of the more important points that’ll surely convince you:

1. Licenses are a proof that you’re among the best

With that license under your belt, your customers will have no doubt that they’re dealing with one of the most qualified contractors in the area! That experience and work you said made you the best? Think of this license as the most convincing way to persuade your customer that you really are the best. Your project portfolio and references will definitely appear more attractive when you show them that fancy-looking license as well!

2. Obtaining a license opens up lots of contracting opportunities

For most electricians, plumbers, and asbestos and lead abatement workers, there’s simply no other way to start your practice other than obtaining the state-issued license first. If you plan on being a home construction and renovation contractor, these licenses may still come in handy, especially if you want to provide a specialty service that your competitors don’t offer. You’d also probably find employment in all-around contractor agencies easily as well. These establishments need skillful, qualified, and LICENSED practitioners to complement the general services they provide. This just proves you can’t go wrong with being state-certified!

What kind of license should I get?

Ponder on the kind of services you excel at, or those which you are passionate about and would like to make a living of. The following contractor classifications require a license before you can pursue your own project:

  1. Electricians
  2. Plumbers
  3. Asbestos Abatement Workers
  4. Individual Sewage Disposal Workers
  5. Elevator Mechanic
  6. Manufactured Housing Installer

Don’t want to get a license yet?

If you’re really not yet ready to get a license, you don’t have to force yourself to get one. Compared to other states, being a contractor in New Hampshire is less burdensome in terms. of license requirements. Maybe you can start with smaller projects, experiment with some general skill-based developments, before finally settling on a career path which would definitely require a license. Think everything through very carefully, though; obtaining a license would require time and effort on your part, and it’d be a shame to see all of that go down the drain because you suddenly realized you’re really not comfortable with dealing with other peoples plumbing predicaments.

The importance of hiring a contractor with a license

Hiring a licensed contractor will surely give you assurance and peace of mind! How? Well, hiring a licensed contractor would give you the following perks!

1. Licensed contractors are the best skilled workers you’ll find!

Getting a license is no easy work! Your licensed contractor had to comply with numerous requirements before he could start practicing his specialty. At the very least, you avoid ignorant contractors who have not been able to prove their ability to provide quality products and services. If you do experience any unfortunate incidents with your contractor, you can basically just report them to their professional organization and be sure that they would be reprimanded or sanctioned for their complications. More about licensing boards, their functions, and their contact details .later in this. article.

2. Licensed contractors will handle all those permits for you!

Contractors will handle the processing and paperwork of any pertinent regulations and permits your project needs to abide by. If you’re extremely busy and really can’t skip work to line up for a permit at your local building regulation office, your licensed contractors can handle all of that for you! Getting a licensed contractor is really worth it when you think of all the convenience you get, right?

3. Licensed contractors got you covered!

This part generally applies to contractors who are also business proprietors. Keeping in mind the possibility for damage or injury that can occur to both workers and customers, New Hampshire State Law mandates businesses to acquire a general liability insurance. This means that if an accident occurs in the premises of your home that was caused by a contractor who works in the agency whose services you acquired, they will be responsible for paying any damages. Considering that electricity and other specialty contracting services are high-risk occupations, the insurance might really come in handy when an accident strikes.

State-Level vs City-Level Regulations

As mentioned previously, there are no state-wide general contractor licenses issued by New Hampshire, both for construction or home renovation purposes. Nonetheless, don’t forget to contact your city or county governments for any regulations that may apply within your jurisdiction. There may be specific requirements depending on your location so abiding by them is of utmost importance. Contracting policies of the major cities in New Hampshire will be discussed later in this article.

How to verify a licensed issued by the State of New Hampshire?

The New Hampshire Online Licensing database generally provides residents of the state a platform to confirm the validity of the licenses of their contractors. There are two ways of checking an issued license: first is through the business license lookup, and second is through the individual license lookup. The business license lookup, it deals with establishments that offer a specific kind of service like real estate services, geological services, or electrical services. If you’re getting your contractor services from an agency, this platform is extremely helpful. To use the platform, you must, at the very least, have the business name of the establishment that provides your contracting needs. Having the name of their owner or the license number itself might prove helpful to narrow down your search. On the other hand, the individual license lookup, assists you with verifying the licenses of freelance or individual practitioners. Have the complete name of your contractor and their license number ready to utilize this platform!

If you’re looking for reputable home builders and renovators, then it might be useful to access the database of the New Hampshire Home Builders Association. Associations are usually formed by establishments who offer similar services, for the purpose of elevating industry standards, or even professionalizing entire segments of service provision. So while New Hampshire really doesn’t regulate their general contractors, you can be sure that the New Hampshire Home Builders Association requires their member-contractors to abide by a certain level or standard of service provision.

Contractor license classifications

The following license classifications are pertinent to home construction or renovation projects:

1. Electrician’s license

a. Apprentice Electrician

b. High/Medium Voltage Electrician

c. Journeyman Electrician

d. Master Electrician

2. Plumber’s license

a. Apprentice Plumber

b. Journeyman Plumber

c. Master Plumber

3. Asbestos Abatement license

a. Asbestos Abatement Worker

b. Asbestos Abatement Site Manager

4. Individual Sewage Disposal System Installer

5. Elevator Mechanic

6. Manufactured Housing Installer

Licensing Boards in New Hampshire

There is no statewide licensing board for general contractors. Nonetheless, there exists a number of licensing boards that deal with each field of contracting. Let’s discuss them one by one.

New Hampshire Electricians’ Board

Based in the Office of Professional Licensure and Certification, the New Hampshire Electricians’ Board serves as the sole professional and regulatory agency of electrical professionals in the State of New Hampshire. The primary function of the Board is to implement all applicable state law regarding the profession of electricians. Thus, the Board has the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Issuance of authorizations and licenses to all qualified practitioners.
  • Formulation of policies regarding proper inspection measures to promote safe and quality wiring practices with the primordial aim of keeping the citizens of New Hampshire safe from harm as a result of inappropriate electrical facilities.
  • Perform consistent assessment of facilities managed by electricians to ensure utmost compliance with installation and repair procedures.
  • Maintenance of all records on apprentice, high/medium voltage, master, and journeyman electricians, including all their necessary identification, licensing history, and certifications.

The New Hampshire Electricians’ Board can be contacted via phone at (603) 271-2219. You can also send an email to the Board’s Administrative Assistant, Ms. Pamela Olin, at pamela.olin@oplc.nh.gov. For more urgent matters, you can opt to drop by their office at 121 South Fruit Street, Concord, New Hampshire 03301.

Mechanical Licensing Board

Based at the New Hampshire Division of Fire Safety, the Mechanical Licensing Board is primarily concerned with ensuring the safety of the citizens of New Hampshire by regulating the practice of all professions related to plumbing, gas fitting, oil heating technicians, and water treatment technicians. In addition, the Mechanical Licensing Board is also empowered to establish an appropriate number of units for purposes of continuing education of all the aforementioned professionals.

Located at 110 Smokey Bear Boulevard, Concord, New Hampshire 03305, you can ring them at (603) 223-4314, or email them at Jeffrey.cyr@dos.nh.gov.

Asbestos Licensing and Certification Office

The Asbestos Licensing and Certification Office generally pursues policies which aim for the reduction of asbestos in all public areas, .such as asbestos, including but not limited to schools and government offices, and ensure the proper disposal of asbestos, .including asbestos siding. In pursuit of this, the Office shall also maintain standards to limit possible exposure of the public from such harmful substances. Included among these standards is the proper licensing of professionals who shall spearhead the abatement and proper disposal of these materials. The office is empowered by law to charge their own fees not only for licensing, but also for activities which would require asbestos dispensation, including in structures and properties owned by private individuals.

For more information, contact the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, which is the home office of the Asbestos Licensing and Certification Office at (603) 271-1373. You can also visit them personally at 29 Hazen Drive, Concord, New Hampshire 03302-0095.

Subsurface Systems Bureau

Before undertaking any activity relate to the apportionment of land and installation and design of new septic systems, appropriate permits must first be secured from the Subsurface Systems Bureau. Thus, the Bureau also often requires practitioners in the field to obtain licenses before they can create design or install equipment relating to sewerage and septic systems. The primary aim of these policies is to prevent any possible environmental dilapidation from befalling public waters within state limits.
To know more details as it relates to your professional practice, you can call them at (603) 271-3501, or visit them at 29 Hazen Drive, Concord, New Hampshire 03302-0095.

New Hampshire Manufactured Housing Installation Standards Board
The board is mandated to establish policies that govern the production of manufactured housing systems, which include not only safety and product excellence, but also the accessibility and fair pricing of such products. In addition, the Board is also empowered to grant and revoke licenses of manufactured housing installers and designers based on their performance.

Based at the Office of Professional Licensure and Certification, you can visit them at 121 South Fruit Street, Concord, New Hampshire, or contact them via landline at (603) 271-6775 or via email through Ms. Linda Balich at linda.balich@oplc.nh.gov

New Hampshire Electrical License

The New Hampshire Electrical license is regulated at the state level. Nonetheless, there is a bit of complexity here as it involves different levels of electrical licenses. The most basic license that can be obtained is the Apprentice Electrician license, followed by the High/Medium Voltage Electrician license, then the Journeyman Electrician license, and finally, the Master Electrician license. We’ll discuss them step-by-step.

1. Apprentice Electrician license

Apprentice electricians are permitted to mount, fix, change, or maintain electrical devices or appliances, in compliance with the National Electric Code. To qualify for consideration, the applicant must be:

  • a holder of a secondary school diploma

OR fulfill any one of the requirements below:

  • enrolled in an internship program for secondary school students, duly approved by the New Hampshire Electricians’ Board.
  • obtain field experience below 1500 hours under the service of a master or journeyman electrician.

If the applicant is able to fulfill the aforementioned requirements, he must supply the following information needed for the application form to be given by the Electrical Board:

  • Name and contact details, including home address, email address and telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • Name and contact details of current and former employers, and of three (3) character references unrelated by affinity or consanguinity to the applicant.

If application is accepted, the applicant must pay $30, subject to renewal every 12 months.

2. High/Medium Voltage Electrician

High/Medium Voltage electricians basically fulfill the duties of the Apprentice Electrician, but deal with a different subject matter, which are power circulation facilities greater than 600 volts, including the metering and regulation of such facilities. To be considered for a license, an applicant must be able to produce a document that certifies that he has completed a certification program conducted by his employer, or the government. Afterwards, he must supply the following information needed for his application:

  • Name and contact details, including home address, email address and telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • Name and contact details of current and former employers, and of three (3) character references unrelated by affinity or consanguinity to the applicant.

An initial application fee of $50 is needed. If the application is successful, he must pay an additional $270 for a license with a validity of three years.

3. Journeyman Electrician

The journeyman electrician is permitted to mount, fix, change, or maintain electrical devices or appliances, in compliance with the National Electric Code. In order to practice his profession, he must also be under the supervision of a Master Electrician, while being a supervisor of an apprentice electrician himself. Before he can apply, he must have had 8,000 hours, or equivalent to four (4) years of applied experience as a trainee to a licensed electrician, and receive at least four (4) years to education involving electricity. The following information are needed for his application form:

  • Name and contact details, including home address, email address and telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • Name and contact details of current and former employers, and of three (3) character references unrelated by affinity or consanguinity to the applicant.

In addition to these requirements, the applicant must also take an examination consisting of 110 questions. The composition of the examination is enumerated below:

  • Fifty (50) questions testing the applicant’s mastery on practical installations.
  • Fifty (50) questions testing the applicant’s knowledge of the National Electrical Code.
  • Ten (10) questions testing the applicant’s knowledge on administrative rules.

If the applicant receives at .least 70%, he shall pass the exam. Before all else, the applicant must first pay an application fee worth $50, and if his application is approved, must pay an additional $150 for a three-year license.

3. Master Electrician

The master electrician is permitted to mount, fix, change, or maintain electrical devices or appliances, in compliance with the National Electric Code. In addition, he is permitted to employ other electricians. A main requirement for licensure is 2,000 hours or one year of applied experience as a licensed journeyman electrician. Afterwards, he must supply the following information for his application:

  • Name and contact details, including home address, email address and telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • Name and contact details of current and former employers, and of three (3) character references unrelated by affinity or consanguinity to the applicant.

Like the journeyman electrician, he must also take an examination. However, the exam for the master electrician is composed of 125 questions on the following subjects:

  • Fifty (50) questions testing the applicant’s mastery on practical installations.
  • Fifty (50) questions testing the applicant’s knowledge of the National Electrical Code.
  • Twenty-five (25) questions testing the applicant’s knowledge on administrative rules.

If the applicant receives at .least 70%, he shall pass the exam. Before all else, the applicant must pay $50 for his application fee, and if his application is approved, must pay an additional $270 for a three-year license.

New Hampshire Plumbing License

1. Apprentice Plumber

The apprentice plumber is allowed to deal with the restoration, installation, and assembly of all machines and devices relating to drainage systems, including the transportation of water into a structure, and its subsequent removal from a certain structure. Apprentice plumbers must practice their profession under the management of either a Journeyman or Master plumber. Additionally, he must also submit an application with a document certifying the agreement between the applicant and his employer.

Upon the accomplishment of an apprenticeship program approved by the Mechanical Licensing Board, the applicant is required to take an examination. As of May 2018, an applicant need not pay the registration fee worth $90 before the exam. You can access the announcement of the Mechanical Safety Board regarding this matter here. The said registration fee can be paid if the applicant passed the exam. A renewal fee of $80 is charged every year.

2. Journeyman Plumber

The journeyman plumber is allowed to deal with the restoration, installation, and assembly of all machines and devices relating to drainage systems, including the transportation of water into a structure, and its subsequent removal from a certain structure. In addition, he must execute this work under the supervision of a Master Plumber. Possession of the following are required for licensure:

  • Completion of an 8,000 hour or four (4) year apprenticeship in plumbing, with a document attesting to the completion of the program.
  • Age requirement of 18 years old.

If these requirements are met, the applicant is then permitted to take a written examination, the coverage of which are listed below:

  • Plan Reading: 19 items
  • Drainage requirements: 11 items
  • Vent requirements: 11 items
  • Foundations of Plumbing: 10 items
  • Water distribution: 8 items
  • Local Amendments: 5 items
  • Terminology and Fittings of Plumbing: 4 items
  • Cleanouts, Traps, and Interceptors: 4 itemsSpecial Requirements: 3 items

If the applicant passes the exam, he must pay $190 for his initial license, and $180 two-yearly, thereafter.

3. Master Plumber

The apprentice plumber is allowed to deal with the restoration, installation, and assembly of all machines and devices relating to drainage systems, including the transportation of water into a structure, and its subsequent removal from a certain structure. More particularly, the master plumber can be a person or establishment that primarily acts as a commercial entity, with the capacity to employ another person to organize other activities related to plumbing.

Basically, the master plumber has the same set of requirements with the journeyman plumber. But in addition, the applicant for a master plumber license must also have held a journeyman plumber license for a minimum of six months. The composition of the exam for the master plumber is as follows:

  • Plan and Investigation: 23 items
  • Drainage Requirements: 19 items
  • Vent Requirements: 17 items
  • Foundations of Plumbing: 13 items
  • Water Distribution: 11 items
  • Traps, Cleanouts and Interceptors: 7 items
  • Terminology and Fittings of Plumbing: 7 items
  • Special Requirements: 3 items
  • Local Amendments: 5 items

If the applicant passes the exam, he must pay $310 for his initial license, to be subject to renewal biennially for $300.

.Roofing License

Roofing licenses are not regulated at the state level in New Hampshire. Check with your city or county governments to learn more about their roofing installation or repair policies.

New Hampshire Asbestos Abatement License

1. Asbestos Abatement Worker

Working under a duly certified Asbestos Abatement Site Manager, the Asbestos Abatement Worker is expected to ensure that all parts of a building, including ceilings and walls, are free from asbestos. He must also prepare the collected asbestos for proper disposal. To be certified, the applicant must first accomplish a 32-hour training course on asbestos handling as approved by the Asbestos Licensing and Certification Office. Afterwards, he is expected to take and pass a 50 item, multiple choice test. In order to pass, the applicant must obtain correct answers equivalent to at least 70% of the exam. The license costs $50, which must be renewed annually for a fee of $50 as well.

2. Asbestos Abatement Site Manager

The Asbestos Abatement Site Manager is expected to supervise projects on the reduction and proper disposal of asbestos. To qualify for a license, the applicant must possess the following:

  • A work certification from an employer or other institution which affirms the applicants’ experience of working in asbestos abatement projects for at least one (1) year.
  • A certification confirming the applicants’ attendance and accomplishment of a preparatory course designed for asbestos abatement supervisors.

Upon the evaluation of the aforementioned documents by the Asbestos Licensing and Certification Office, the applicant may take the written examination comprising of 100 questions, in multiple-choice format. If he obtains at least 70% correct answers, he shall pass the said exam. Initial licensing fee costs $200, subject to annual renewal for $200 as well.

Individual Sewage Disposal System Installer License

Septic and sewerage systems, which are responsible for the connection of water supply in a certain area, and the subsequent disposal of waste material, can only be installed by a practitioner duly licensed by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Subsystems Bureau. Upon the applicants’ payment of $80, he will be allowed to take the written examination, the results of which will determine whether he will be granted a license. If he passes the exam, the license is subjected to regular biennial renewal for $80.

Manufactured Housing Installer License

Manufactured housing is any portable structure that can transported in segments, and is erected on a stable chassis to be occupied for primarily for residential purposes. Only licensed Manufactured Housing Installers are permitted by law to install such units in their places, which includes the securing of electrical and plumbing systems. To be considered for a license, the applicant must:

  • Be 18 years old or older.
  • Satisfactorily complete requirements for a six (6) hour manufactured housing installation training.
  • Provide bond of $25,000 from any company authorized by the State Government of New Hampshire.

Since there is no examination required, the application is licensed as soon as he meets these requirements. Initially, the applicant must pay $75 for his first license. Afterwards, he must pay $50 every three years to ensure the renewal of his license.

General contractors

General contractors are not regulated at the state level. The NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building is also generally not accepted as a license in New Hampshire.

Biggest cities in the State

City of Rochester

Applicants for Water and Sewer License in Rochester, New Hampshire do not have to obtain any special training aside from state-mandated requirements. The main basis of the granting of a Water and Sewer License by the City of Rochester is the assurance of the applicant to abide by all regulations regarding excavations and local bond requirements. The city charges $100 each for water and sewer licenses.

For a list of some licensed contractors in Rochester, click here.

City of Nashua

Plumbing licenses must be obtained by any individual who wishes to conduct the following projects or repairs on residential premises:

  • Sanitary sewer connection
  • Drainage, vent, and sewer pipes
  • Irrigation arrangement
  • Installation of plumbing fixtures such as washing machines, showers, or sinks.

A minimum fee of $65, half of which is non-refundable, must be paid by the applicant. If a licensing permit is obtained after the start of a project the applicant must pay a surcharge of $275.

New Hampshire License reciprocity

License reciprocity means that there is an agreement between two states recognizing the validity of the licenses that each has issued. For New Hampshire, license reciprocity is as follows:

Name of License

Reciprocity

Apprentice Electrician

Not permitted

High/Medium Voltage Electrician

Not permitted

Journeyman Electrician

Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin

Master Electrician

Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont

Apprentice Plumber

Not permitted

Journeyman Plumber

Not permitted

Master Plumber

Not permitted

Asbestos Abatement Worker

Permitted occasionally; call office for details

Asbestos Abatement Site Manager

Permitted occasionally; call office for details

Individual Sewage Disposal System Installer

Not permitted

Manufactured Housing Installer

Not permitted