Virginia Contractor Licenses

Contractors who want to earn a competitive income won’t find a shortage of contracting opportunities in the State of Virginia. But before performing your trade within the state’s borders, you’d best read up on the state’s requirements and policies, which you can find on the DOPR (Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation) website.

As mandated by the Code of Virginia, the Department regulates the professional licenses through its nineteen regulatory boards. The Board for Contractors, in particular, is responsible for issuing licenses to businesses or contractors engaging in the construction, removal, repair, or improvement of facilities or properties within the state.

Construction Licenses – Who Needs a License?

Certain types of construction licenses are regulated on a state-level in the state of Virginia. These currently include asbestos abatement, work with lead, gas fitting, HVAC, and electrical, although we always encourage you to research your specific trade since the contractor requirements are ever-changing. The reason also being that local requirements may differ from the state-wide ones.

Advantages of Getting a Contractors License

You’re probably on this page because you’ve been wondering if it’s in your best interests to obtain a contractor’s license in the State of Virginia.

To cut to the chase: the answer is YES. For one thing, holding a contractors license in Virginia  offers you numerous benefits, including

  • Getting more opportunities to bid on more profitable projects
  • Being able to work independently
  • Being able to start and run your own construction company
  • Giving your contracting business more opportunities for growth
  • Becoming a more respected member of your community
  • Having other contractors or workmen work for you
  • Giving yourself protection from financial and legal liabilities
  • Being able to work more flexible hours
  • Becoming eligible for tax exemptions when purchasing materials and equipment for contracting projects

There are no two ways about it: Obtaining a contractor’s license is the first great step to achieving success in your chosen trade. And we’ll show you how to make that first great step.

For Homeowners: Why you must hire a licensed contractor

Even if you pride yourself as the handyman around the house, you can’t simply make major remodeling or repairs in your home just because you think you are capable of doing so. In the same vein, you just can’t hire someone else to do the work for you just because that person claims he is capable of pulling it off or because he is offering a generous discount.

Sure, choosing the above options may sound cheaper and practical. But then again, cheaper and practical don’t necessarily translate to a good investment.

The point here is obvious: You’re better off hiring a licensed contractor. Every single time. Why? Let me count the ways.

You get quality service

In a world of diminishing trust, credibility has become the great equalizer. When hiring a contractor, you want someone who has credibility and has something to show for it. That something can be in the form of a license. When a contractor has one, you know he or she has undergone the proper procedures and training to perform work that’s at least on par with industry standards.

Ensures that the work is done systematically

Licensed contractors also don’t cut corners, making sure that they’re performing work in a systematic manner. This, of course, should give you the peace of mind knowing that your house is well-maintained and will hold up in the face of natural calamities.

They offer insurance

Contractors are required by law to obtain insurance and bonding coverage before becoming eligible for a contractors license. This ensures that your assets will be protected and compensated for if injuries or property damages occur during the course of the project.

Full compliance with federal policies

As a homeowner and a citizen of the state, you’d do well to follow all the rules and policies set by the federal government. By hiring a licensed contractor, you get the assurance that your property meets all state requirements By complying with state laws, you can rest easy in knowing that you’re not going to incur any violations or penalties somewhere down the road. It’s also more practical in the long run. For one thing, meeting every single requirement during the course of the project makes it easy for you to sell your house down the line.

Contractor License Search & Lookup in Virginia

You’re about to hire someone who claims that he can do the job. But is he licensed? What you can do, of course, is to verify if that contractor’s license is legitimate or active. How exactly can you do that? By going to the DPOR website, of course.

Simply go to the License Lookup page, and then enter any of the following search items: name, license number, address, and license type.

You can also do a more advanced search by selecting the “Advanced License Search” tab at the top.

How to Obtain a Contractor’s License in Virginia

Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. The steps on how to apply for a contractors license in the state of Virginia can be broken down into 11 steps, which we’ll be exploring right about now.

Step One: Register your business with the state

As a contractor, you are also a business owner, and you will need to register your business with the state before you can set up shop. To do that, you need to visit the State of Virginia’s government website and apply through their online registration system.

Step Two: Determine which type of contractor license you’ll need

In the State of Virginia, contractor licenses are classified into two types: the class of license (A, B, or C) and the specialty licenses. The Board of Contractors regulates, manages, and enforces various functions involving the licensure process of businesses, contractors, and tradesmen. As such, contractors who wish to perform certain trades in Virginia have to obtain the proper licenses.

Here’s a brief explanation of their differences.

Class of License (A, B, or C)

A classification of licenses defined by the monetary value of contracts or projects a contractor may bid on.

  • Class A – this license authorizes contractors to bid on single contracts worth $120,000 or contracts totaling $750,000 and above.
  • Class B – this license allows contractors to work on single contracts worth $10,000 or more but not exceeding $120,000 and contracts performed within a 12-month period worth $150,000 or more, but less than $750,000.
  • Class C – this license allows contractors to work on single contracts worth $1,000 or more but not exceeding $10,000 and contracts undertaken within a 12-month period worth less than $150,000.

Specialty License:

A classification that determines the type of work a contractor is allowed to perform.

  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • HVAC
  • Building
  • Etc.

Step Three: Fill out license applications forms

  • Forms for Class Licenses can be found here.
  • Forms for tradesmen/specialty licenses (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc.) can be found here.

If you have any questions about the Board’s licensing regulations, please read through the Board’s Contractor Individual Regulations document.

You can also contact the Board for Contractors through:

Licensing Section: (804) 367-8511

Education Section: (804) 367-2224

Email: [email protected]

Board Office: (804) 367-2785

FAX: (866) 430-1033

Step Four: Specify Responsible Management

A licensed contractor is primarily a business owner, and therefore required by law to identify or appoint individuals as officers, members, partners, or owners, etc. for the business. As appointed representatives of your business, they are responsible for ensuring that all policies and statutes concerning the license are followed and upheld.

The partners or members you appoint will depend on the type of business you are running.

  • Sole proprietorships can appoint the individual who owns the business (in this case the licensed contractor)
  • Partnerships, on the other hand, may appoint the partners, managers, officers, corporations, etc.

Note: When appointing responsible management, make sure to include in the application their names, birth dates, Social Security Numbers or Virginia DMV Control Number, address, and a copy of their government-issued photo ID.

Step Five: Specify your Qualified Individual (s)

You will be required to appoint a Qualified Individual (QI) for each specialty on the license. QIs must hold an additional license or certification OR should have completed a technical exam related to the specialty they are appointed for. They must have sufficient experience for the specialty as well.

Qualified Individuals could either be:

  • A full-time employee (minimum of 30 hours per week)
  • A member of the Responsible Management mentioned in Step Three.

Experience requirements for each class license are:

  • QIs for Class A license are required to have at least five years of experience in the specialty they’ve been appointed for.
  • QIs for Class B license must have at least three years of experience in the specialty they are linked to.
  • QIs for Class C must have at least two years of experience.

For tradesman specialties, the QI should be a holder of a valid Master Tradesman license obtained from the Board for Contractors. For a list of specialties that have additional QI requirements, please refer to the Trade Related Examinations and Qualifications Information sheet included in the application packet.

In appointing your QIs, make sure to enter their names, birthdates, Social Security Numbers or Virginia DMV Control Number, address, and a copy of their government-issued photo ID.

Step Six: Appoint your Designated Employee/s

Class A and B contractors are required to appoint a Designated Employee who has passed relevant sections of the trade exam. All Designated Employees should be a full-time employee (30 hours a week). Designated Employees for Class A licenses should have completed the General, Virginia, and Advanced sections of the exam while those for Class B licenses should have completed the General and Virginia portions. Please bear in mind that Class C contractors don’t need to appoint a Designated Employee.

In completing the application, don’t forget to enter the Designated Employee’s name, birthdate, Social Security Numbers/Virginia DMV Control Number, address, and a copy of their government-issued photo ID.

Step Seven: Take the Mandatory Pre-license Education Course

All applicants, regardless of class and type of license they’re applying for, are required to have a member on their team who has completed a pre-license education course that’s been approved by the Board for Contractors. You can access the list of approved course providers here. Please note, however, that these providers hold the right to set their own fees, exam schedules, and test locations.

Step Eight: Complete your Virginia Contractor’s License Application

You need to make sure that all required fields on the application have been filled out before submission. Skipping any of them may cause the application process to be delayed. Should you have any questions concerning your application, you may contact the Board for Contractors via their email address at [email protected] or the licensing staff phone number at (804) 367-8511.

Some fields may require supporting documents, such as:

  • Contractor Experience Verification Forms
  • Financial Verification Forms – Class A and B applicants are required to submit proof of financial responsibility. If you’re applying for a Class A license, you must secure a total amount of $45,000 in net worth. Those applying for a Class B license need to document $15,000 worth of equity. Applicants without these requirements may apply for a Class C contractor’s license.
  1. Surety bond form
  2. Financial statement form

Again, you can access the required forms through the following pages:

Step Nine: Submit the application to the Board with the appropriate fee

Again, make sure that all required fields have been filled out and that all supporting documents were included before submission. You must also submit the appropriate fee along with your application. Without doing any of the above, your application will be returned to you. Sending the wrong amount will cause your application to be delayed as well.

Please bear in mind that all paid fees are non-refundable. This means, of course, that you won’t receive a refund if your application is rejected. There may be cases where you’ll be eligible for a refund through a Recovery Fund assessment.

Licensure and Application Fees

Class A exam: $60

Class B exam: $40

Class A license: $230

Class B license: $205

Class C license: $150

Tradesmen examination fee: $130

Tradesman reciprocity fee: $130

Please note that payments should be in the form of a money order or check made payable to the “Treasurer of Virginia.”

You can submit your completed application along with supporting documents to the following mail address:

Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation

9960 Mayland Drive

Suite 400

Richmond, Virginia 23233-1485

Step Ten: Take the Examination and Crush It!

Once your application is pre-approved by the Board, you may sit for the technical exam. The exam will be administered by PSI. All tests are open-book so feel free to bring your own reference materials. However, you can’t bring reference materials with writing on it, nor are you allowed to make notes on them during the exam.

Exam locations for the technical exam include:

  • Charlottesville
  • Richmond
  • Roanoke
  • Vienna
  • Virginia Beach

If you have questions about the exams, you may refer to the Candidate Information Bulletin. You may also contact PSI at (800) 733-9267 or at [email protected].

After you’re done with the exam, you may receive updates on your application by contacting the Board at (804) 367-8511 or at [email protected].

Step Eleven: Obtain your Contractor’s License

Here comes the easy part (or the hard… part depending on who you ask): waiting for your contractor’s license to be delivered to your doorstep. Note that the Board processes applications on a first in- first out basis, which means you’ll have to wait approximately 30 days for the processing to be finished. If your application is incomplete, the Board will send you a letter informing you of what’s missing and what you need to do to ensure a quicker processing of your application. Once your application has gone through the initial review, your license will be mailed to you.

Non-routine applications

Applications involving applicants with legal issues (past criminal records, unfavorable financial history, past disciplinary records, etc.) are considered non-routine applications. Such applications require more time to be processed and are reviewed by the Board. You will be notified if the Board determines that your application will be requiring a review.

Electrical Contractors

In the State of Virginia, electrical contractors are considered “tradesmen,” and therefore required to obtain a contractor’s license under the Board’s Tradesmen Program.

The Board for Contractors issues three types of electrician licenses.

  • Journeyman Electrician
  • Master Electrician
  • Electrical Contractor (Classes A, B, and C)

To become a licensed electrician in Virginia, you need to apply with the Board for Contractors and then take and pass the technical exam. You can’t sit in for the exam unless your application has been approved by the Board. You must pay an application fee of $130 via money order or check made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia prior to the exam.

For more information on the Electrician exams, please visit the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Journeyman Electrician License Requirements

Do you want to become a journeyman electrician in Virginia? You need to meet any of the following requirements first:

  1. Four years of hands-on experience and 240 hours of formal training in the electrical trade.
  2. Five years of hands-on experience and 160 hours of training in the electrical trade.
  3. Six years of hands-on experience and 80 hours of training in the electrical trade.
  4. Seven or more years of hands-on experience and 40 hours of training in the electrical trade
  5. An Associates degree or certificate of completion from a two-year program in a related field or from an accredited community college or technical school and at least two years of hands-on experience in the electrical trade
  6. Holds a Bachelor’s degree or certificate of completion from an accredited educational institution in a curriculum related to the electrical trade and one year of hands-on experience in the electrical trade.
  7. Ten years of hands-on experience in the electrical trade with verification from individuals who have observed the applicant’s work
  8. Holds a journeyman electrician license issued by another state

Applying for a Virginia Journeyman Electrician License

To apply for a Journeyman Electrician license in the State of Virginia, you need to submit the following:

For a full list of forms and applications, along with their interactive versions, go to the Tradesmen Program page.

Once your application is approved, the Board will send you a notification along with the instruction to go to www.psiexams.com where you can pay and schedule the exam. The examination fee for the Journeyman Electrician Exam is $100. You can also pay the fee and set a schedule by calling PSI at 800-733-9267 or by submitting the completed registration form found at the bottom of the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Taking the Journeyman Electrician Technical Exam

To pass the Journeyman Electrician technical exam, you need to get a score of 49 out of 70 items. The exam has a 210-minute time limit.

Content Outline

  1. Standards of Practice (3 Items)
  2. Standards of Conduct (2 Items)
  3. Renewal and Reinstatement (2 Items)
  4. Definitions (1 Item)
  5. Qualification for Licensure (1 Item)
  6. Revocation of Licensure (1 Item)
  7. General Electrical Knowledge (3 Items)
  8. Requirements for Electrical Installations (3 Items)
  9. Electrical-Electronic Fundamentals (2 Items)
  10. Services, Feeders, and Branch Circuits (7 Items)
  11. Service and Feeder Requirements (2 Items)
  12. Grounding and Bonding (7 Items)
  13. Conductors and Cables (7 Items)
  14. Raceways and Boxes (8 Items)
  15. Special Occupancies (3 Items)
  16. Special Equipment (2 Items)
  17. Electrical Signs and Outline Lighting (1 Item)
  18. Motors and Controls (5 Items)
  19. Utilization Equipment (5 Items)
  20. Lighting (2 Items)
  21. General Low Voltage Requirements (1 Item)
  22. Communication Systems (1 Item)
  23. Fire Detection and Alarm Systems (1 Item)

To access the complete guide for the exam, please visit the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Master Electrician License Requirements

  1. One year of practical experience as a licensed Journeyman Electrician.
  2. Ten years of practical experience in the electrical trade with verification from qualified individuals.
  3. Holds a Journeyman or Master Electrician license issued by another state.

Applying for a Master Electrician License

Applicants must submit the following documents.

To access the full list of forms including the Interactive versions of each form, please go to the DOPR’s Tradesmen Program page.

The Board will notify you once your application has been approved. You will receive the instruction to visit www.psiexams.com and set a schedule for the exam. You have to pay an exam fee of $130.

Taking the Master Electrician Exam

To pass the exam, you need to get 63 correct answers out of 90 items. PSI will give you 270 minutes to complete the exam.

Content Outline

  1. Standards of Practice (3 Items)
  2. Standards of Conduct (2 Items)
  3. Renewal and Reinstatement (2 Items)
  4. Definitions (1 Item)
  5. Qualification for Licensure (1 Item)
  6. Revocation of Licensure (1 Item)
  7. General Electrical Knowledge (4 Items)
  8. Requirements for Electrical Installations (4 Items)
  9. Electrical-Electronic Fundamentals (5 Items)
  10. Services, Feeders, and Branch Circuits (9 Items)
  11. Service and Feeder Requirements (6 Items)
  12. Grounding and Bonding (9 Items)
  13. Conductors and Cables (7 Items)
  14. Raceways and Boxes (8 Items)
  15. Special Occupancies (4 Items)
  16. Special Equipment (2 Items)
  17. Electrical Signs and Outline Lighting (2 Items)
  18. Motors and Controls (8 Items)
  19. Utilization Equipment (6 Items)
  20. Lighting (2 Items)
  21. General Low Voltage Requirements (1 Item)
  22. Communication Systems (1 Item)
  23. Fire Detection and Alarms Systems (2 Items)

Electrical Contractor License Requirements

Electrical contractors who wish to work on contracts or projects worth over $1,000 are required to obtain a Virginia Contractors License from the Board for Contractors.

Falling under the class of license (A, B, or C) category, electrical contractors are classified according to the financial value of the contracts or projects they are allowed to perform.

To apply for an electrical contractor’s license in Virginia, simply follow the steps enumerated in the “How to Obtain a Contractor’s License in Virginia” section. You can also review the procedure through the DPOR’s step-by-step PDF guide.  Make sure that you specify the specialty designation while filling out the application. Each specialty is identified by a three-letter code as shown in the License Classifications and Specialty Designations table in the application form. The three-letter code for Electrical Contractors is “ELE.”

Plumbing Contractors

Plumbing contractors, similar to electrical contractors, are referred to as “tradesmen” in the State of Virginia. As such, those who wish to become one and perform work in the state are required to acquire a contractor’s license under the Board of Contractors’ Tradesmen Program.

The Board of Contractors issues two types of plumbing licenses, which are:

  • Journeyman Plumbing License
  • Master Plumbing License
  • Plumbing Contractor (Class A, B, or C)

To earn any of the plumbing licenses mentioned above, you need to apply with the Board of Contractors. Once approved, you’ll become eligible to take the technical exam. You will be required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $130. You can only pay via money order or check made payable to the “Treasurer of Virginia.”

For a comprehensive guide on the plumbing technical exams, you can visit the Candidate Information Bulletin published by PSI Exams.

Journeyman Plumber License Requirements

So you want to be a Journeyman Plumber in the beautiful State of Virginia? Make sure you meet any of the following requirements first before applying.

  1. Four years of practical experience and 240 hours of formal vocational training in the plumbing trade.
  2. Five years of practical experience and 160 hours of formal vocational training in the plumbing trade.
  3. Six years of practical experience and 80 hours of formal vocational training in the plumbing trade.
  4. At least seven years of practical experience and 40 hours of formal vocational training in the plumbing trade.
  5. An Associates degree or certification from at least a two-year program in a tradesman related field from an accredited educational institution and two years of practical experience in the plumbing trade.
  6. A Bachelor’s degree or certificate from an accredited educational institution in an engineering curriculum related to the plumbing trade and one year of practical experience in the plumbing trade.
  7. Ten years of practical experience in the plumbing trade with verification from individuals who observed the applicant’s work in the trade.
  8. Holds a valid journeyman license issued by another state (if the applicant is an out-of-state contractor).

Applying for a Virginia Journeyman Plumber License

You need to submit the following documents to apply for a Virginia Journeyman Plumber license.

You can get access to all tradesmen related applications and forms by visiting the Tradesmen Program page.

After your application is approved, the Board will send you the instructions on how to pay for and schedule the exam with www.psiexams.com. The Journeyman Plumber exam is $100. You can also schedule an exam with PSI Exam by calling 800-733-9267 or submitting the registration form found at the bottom of the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Taking the Journeyman Plumber Technical exam

You need to get 60 correct answers out of 80 items to pass the Journeyman Plumber technical exam. The test has a time limit of 210 minutes.

Content Outline

  1. Standards of Practice (3 Items)
  2. Standards of Conduct (2 Items)
  3. Renewal and Reinstatement (2 Items)
  4. Definitions (1 Item)
  5. Qualification for Licensure (1 Item)
  6. Revocation of Licensure (1 Item)
  7. Drainage Waste and Vents (24 Items)
  8. Water Supply Systems (10 Items)
  9. Backflow Prevention (10 Items)
  10. Storm Drainage Systems (10 Items)
  11. Plumbing Fixtures (7 Items)
  12. General Regulations (5 Items)
  13. Interceptors and Traps (4 Items)

For the complete guide on the Journeyman Plumber exam, please go to the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Master Plumber License Requirements

You can apply for the Master Plumber license if you meet any of the following requirements.

  1. One year of practical experience as a licensed Journeyman Plumber
  2. Ten years of practical experience in the plumbing trade with verification from persons who have observed the applicant’s work in the plumbing trade.
  3. Individuals holding a Master Plumber license issued by another state.

Applying for a Master Plumber License

You’re required to submit the following documents to apply for a Master Plumber License

You can get access to the full list of forms and applications, including the interactive versions, by visiting the DOPR’s Tradesmen Program page.

Again, the Board will contact you once your application is approved, and provide you with the instructions on how to pay for and schedule the exam via www.psiexams.com. The exam is worth $130.

Taking the Master Plumber Exam

You need to get 60 correct answers out of 80 items to pass the Master Plumber Exam. You’ll be given 210 minutes to complete the exam.

Content Outline

  1. Standards of Practice (3 Items)
  2. Standards of Conduct (2 Items)
  3. Renewal and Reinstatement (2 Items)
  4. Definitions (1 Item)
  5. Qualification for Licensure (1 Item)
  6. Revocation of Licensure (1 Item)
  7. Drainage Waste and Vents (24 Items)
  8. Water Supply Systems (10 Items)
  9. Backflow Prevention (10 Items)
  10. Storm Drainage Systems (10 Items)
  11. Plumbing Fixtures (7 Items)
  12. General Regulations (5 Items)
  13. Interceptors and Traps (4 Items)

Plumbing Contractor License Requirements

Are you a professional plumber who wishes to land those big contracts or projects? In that case, you need to contact the Board of Contractors and apply for a Virginia Plumbing Contractor’s License. To do that, simply follow the steps enumerated in the “How to Obtain a Contractor’s License in Virginia” section. You can review the steps by accessing DPOR’s PDF guide here.

As mentioned in the previous sections, the class of your license will be determined by the monetary value of the projects or contracts you are allowed to perform. So make sure that you specify the correct class of license while filling out the license application. To that end, you need to enter “PLB” as the 3-letter code for the plumbing specialty.

HVAC Contractors

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors count as tradesmen in the State of Virginia. If you want to operate as an HVAC contractor in the state, you need to apply for a license under the Board’s Tradesmen Program.

Below are the three types of HVAC licenses offered by the Board of Contractors.

  • Journeyman HVAC
  • Master HVAC
  • HVAC Contractors (Class A, B, or C)

Journeyman HVAC License Requirements

You need to meet any of the following requirements to apply for a Journeyman HVAC license.

  1. Four years of practical experience and 240 hours of formal training in the HVAC trade.
  2. Five years of practical experience and 160 hours of training in the HVAC trade.
  3. Six years of practical experience and 80 hours of training in the HVAC trade.
  4. Seven or more years of practical experience and 40 hours of training in the HVAC trade.
  5. An Associates degree or certificate of completion from a two-year program in a related field or from an accredited community college or technical school and at least two years of practical experience in the HVAC trade
  6. Holds a Bachelor’s degree or certificate of completion from an accredited educational institution in a curriculum related to the HVAC trade and one year of hands-on experience in the HVAC trade.
  7. Ten years of hands-on experience in the HVAC trade with verification from individuals who have observed the applicant’s work in the HVAC trade.
  8. Holds a journeyman HVAC license issued by another state

Applying for a Virginia Journeyman HVAC License

Want to get your hands on a Virginia Journeyman HVAC license? Below are the documents you need to submit to the Board before you can get one.

You can access the interactive versions of the forms above by going to the Tradesmen Program page.

The Board will notify you with the instructions on how to schedule an exam with PSI Exam once your application is approved. You have to pay an examination fee of $100.

Taking the Journeyman HVAC Technical Exam

To pass the HVAC technical exam, you need to get 60 correct answers out of 85 items. You will be given 210 minutes to complete the exam.

Content Outline

  1. Standards of Practice (3 Items)
  2. Standards of Conduct (2 Items)
  3. Renewal and Reinstatement (2 Items)
  4. Definitions (1 Item)
  5. Qualification for Licensure (1 Item)
  6. Revocation of Licensure (1 Item)
  7. Warm Air Heating (8 Items)
  8. Ventilation Systems (8 Items)
  9. Air Conditioning Systems (8 Items)
  10. Duct Systems (6 Items)
  11. Chimneys, Flues, and Vents (6 Items)
  12. Boilers (5 Items)
  13. Hot Water Piping (4 Items)
  14. Combustion Air (4 Items)
  15. Controls/Low Voltage (4 Items)
  16. Fuel Oil Piping and Storage (3 Items)
  17. Insulation (3 Items)
  18. Commercial Kitchen Venting (5 Items)
  19. Refrigerants (3 Items)

Master HVAC License Requirements

You need to meet any of the following requirements to apply for a Master HVAC License

  1. One year of practical experience as a licensed Journeyman HVAC contractor.
  2. Ten years of practical experience in the HVAC trade with verification from qualified individuals.
  3. Holds a Journeyman or Master HVAC license issued by another state.

Applying for a Master HVAC License

You need to submit the following documents to apply for the Master HVAC exam.

To access the full list of forms including their interactive versions, please go to the DOPR’s Tradesmen Program page.

The Board will notify you with instructions on how to schedule the HVAC technical exam with PSI Exams upon approval of your application. You have to pay an exam fee of $130 as well.

Taking the Master HVAC Exam

You need to get 60 correct answers out of 85 items to pass the Master HVAC exam. You’ll be given 210 minutes to complete the test.

Content Outline

  1. Standards of Practice (3 Items)
  2. Standards of Conduct (2 Items)
  3. Renewal and Reinstatement (2 Items)
  4. Definitions (1 Item)
  5. Qualification for Licensure (1 Item)
  6. Revocation of Licensure (1 Item)
  7. Warm Air Heating (8 Items)
  8. Ventilation Systems (8 Items)
  9. Air Conditioning Systems (8 Items)
  10. Duct Systems (6 Items)
  11. Chimneys, Flues, and Vents (6 Items)
  12. Boilers (5 Items) M. Hot Water Piping (4 Items)
  13. Combustion Air (4 Items)
  14. Controls/Low Voltage (4 Items)
  15. Fuel Oil Piping and Storage (3 Items)
  16. Insulation (3 Items)
  17. Commercial Kitchen Venting (5 Items)
  18. Refrigerants (3 Items)

HVAC Contractors License Requirements

Do you prefer working on big contracts as an HVAC contractor? If your answer is yes, then you’d do well to apply for an HVAC Contractors License from the Board of Contractors. Why? For one thing, you need to register as a Class C HVAC contractor to qualify for projects that are worth at least $1,000. You can even bid for higher-paying projects by registering as a Class A or B HVAC contractor. To review the procedure on how to apply for a contractors license in Virginia, simply go to the DPOR’s PDF guide here.

Since you’re applying as a licensed contractor for the HVAC specialty, you need to enter the 3-letter code specified for the trade (HVA).

Gasfitter Contractors

Gasfitter contractors are classified under the “tradesmen” program as per the Tradesmen regulations established by the Board for Contractors. As such, you’ll have to apply for a Gasfitter license under the Tradesmen Program to render your services in the state. Let’s go over the specific procedures.

The Board of Contractors issues two types of gasfitter licenses, including:

  • Journeyman Gasfitter License
  • Master Gasfitter License
  • Gasfitter Contractor (Class A, B, or C)

Journeyman Gasfitter License Requirements

Applicants for the Journeyman Gasfitter License are required to meet any of the following requirements:

  1. Four years of practical experience and 240 hours of formal training in the gasfitter trade.
  2. Five years of practical experience and 160 hours of training in the gasfitter trade.
  3. Six years of practical experience and 80 hours of training in the gasfitter trade.
  4. Seven or more years of practical experience and 40 hours of training in the gasfitter trade.
  5. An Associates degree or certificate of completion from a two-year program in a related field or from an accredited community college or technical school and at least two years of practical experience in the gasfitter trade.
  6. Holds a Bachelor’s degree or certificate of completion from an accredited educational institution in a curriculum related to the gasfitter trade and one year of practical experience in the gasfitter trade.
  7. Ten years of hands-on experience in the gasfitter trade with verification from individuals who have observed the applicant’s work in the gasfitter trade.
  8. Holds a journeyman gasfitter license issued by another state.

Applying for a Virginia Journeyman Gasfitter License

You need to submit the following documents to apply for a Virginia Journeyman Plumber license.

To access all tradesmen related forms including their interactive versions, please visit the DOPR website’s Tradesmen Program page.

Once your application is approved, the Board of Contractors will send you with the instructions on how to schedule a Gasfitter technical exam with PSI Exams. You’ll need to pay an exam fee of $130 to schedule the exam.

For the complete guide on the Journeyman Gasfitter exam, please refer to the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Taking the Journeyman Gasfitter Exam

To pass the Journeyman Gasfitter technical exam, you have to get 35 correct answers out of 50 questions. You’ll be given 150 minutes to complete the test.

  1. Standards of Practice (3 Items)
  2. Standards of Conduct (2 Items)
  3. Renewal and Reinstatement (2 Items)
  4. Definitions (1 Item)
  5. Qualification for Licensure (1 Item)
  6. Revocation of Licensure (1 Item)
  7. Natural and LP Gas Piping (12 Items)
  8. Pipe Sizing (11 Items)
  9. LP-Gas Tanks (9 Items)
  10. Gas Piping Controls (5 Items)
  11. Testing (3 Items)

Master Gasfitter License Requirements

You can apply for the Master Plumber license if you meet any of the following requirements.

  1. One year of practical experience as a licensed Journeyman Gasfitter
  2. Ten years of practical experience in the gasfitter trade with verification from persons who have observed the applicant’s work in the gasfitter trade.
  3. Individuals holding a Master Gasfitter license issued by another state.

Applying for a Master Gasfitter License

You’re required to submit the following documents to apply for a Master Gasfitter License

For a more comprehensive list of forms related to the tradesmen program, you can visit the DOPR’s Tradesmen Program page.

The Board will contact you upon your application’s approval, providing you with instructions on how to schedule the Master Gasfitter technical exam with PSI Exams. You must pay an exam fee of $130 to schedule a technical exam.

Taking the Master Gasfitter Exam

To pass the Master Gasfitter Technical  Exam, you have to get 37 correct answers out of 50 questions. The exam will have a 150-minute time limit. For a comprehensive guide on the gasfitter exam, please visit the Candidate Information Bulletin published by PSI Exams.

Content Outline

  1. Standards of Practice (3 Items)
  2. Standards of Conduct (2 Items)
  3. Renewal and Reinstatement (2 Items)
  4. Definitions (1 Item)
  5. Qualification for Licensure (1 Item)
  6. Revocation of Licensure (1 Item)
  7. Natural and LP Gas Piping (12 Items)
  8. Pipe Sizing (11 Items)
  9. LP-Gas Tanks (9 Items)
  10. Gas Piping Controls (5 Items)
  11. Testing (3 Items)

Gasfitter Contractors License

If you prefer performing work over $1,000, you must contact the Board of Contractors to acquire a Virginia Gasfitter Contractors License. Simply follow the same procedures enumerated in the “How to Obtain a Contractor’s License in Virginia” section of this article. You can also go over the procedures again by visiting DPOR’s PDF guide on how to apply for a Contractor’s License.

Since you’re applying as a contractor for the gasfitter specialty, you need to enter the proper 3-letter code (“GFC”) when filling out the License Application.

Biggest Cities

City of Norfolk

Do you plan on performing contracting work in the City of Norfolk? You need to go through the following steps first:

  1. Get approved by the City Planning Department.
  2. Submit a completed State Contractor License or Affidavit/Workers Comp Form
  3. Register your business name, trade name, DBA, etc.
  4. Pay the Business License fee
  5. Pay the Business Tangible Property Tax

You need to bring with you the following when you apply in person:

  • Identification (Picture ID included)
  • Federal Tax ID# issued by the IRS
  • Lease of business location
  • A copy of the certificate obtained from the Virginia State Corporation Commission (if the business entity is a corporation, LLP, or LLC).
  • Report of gross receipts through December 31

All fees must be made payable to the Norfolk City Treasurer.

Below are the accepted payment methods:

  • Cash
  • Check (advisable to bring separate checks for each step mentioned above)
  • Credit Card (most major card companies accepted)
  • Debit Card (card must display either a MasterCard or Visa logo)

For any other questions, you may contact the Business Tax Team at (757) 664-7886.

City of Richmond

Contractors who wish to perform work in the city of Richmond are required to obtain a business license from the municipal office. To get one, you need to complete the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Insurance regulations. If a contract or project you’re about to work on within city limits is worth $1,000 or more, you have to register with the State Board of Contractors first. You can’t work on projects with a monetary value exceeding $25,000 unless you provide receipts counted during the calendar year and obtain a business license with the City of Richmond.

City of Newport News

Contractors with a Virginia state license have to register with the Department of Codes Compliance before they can perform work in the city of Newport News.

Registration requirements

  • A copy of your Class A, B, or C Board for Contractors license.
  • Class C contractors or Master Tradesman license holders need to have a $5,000 bond.
  • Master Tradesman license holders should bring a copy of their license to be recorded.
  • Class C contractors or Master Tradesman license holders need to pay a $5 registration fee
  • In-city contractors with a business location in Newport News will be required to obtain a City of Newport News business license.
  • Out-of-city and Out-of-state contractors with gross receipts generated in Newport News exceeding $25,000 within a calendar year are required to obtain a City of Newport News business license.
  • Completed contractor registration

Specialty contractors who wish to operate in the City of Newport News have to obtain the appropriate permits before starting a project. Refer to the forms below to apply for the relevant permit.

Contractor License Reciprocity

Are you an out-of-state contractor looking to perform your trade in the State of Virginia? If you’re lucky, the Virginia Board for Contractors is offering reciprocal licensing to applicants from your home state.

But what is reciprocal licensing exactly? Simply put, it’s a privilege granted by a state board to an out-of-state contractor allowing him to obtain a state license without going through the usual application procedures. If your home state has entered into a reciprocal licensing agreement with the state of Virginia, then you are granted that privilege.

Those who want to apply for reciprocal licensing in Virginia can be exempt from the trade exam by submitting a complete application and a verification of licensure issued by the out-of-state board.

For more information about Virginia’s reciprocal licensing agreement, you can contact the Board for Contractors at [email protected] or 804-367-8511.

And with that, below are the reciprocal licensing agreements the Virginia Board for Contractors has entered into:

  • Alabama Electrical Contractor License and Virginia Master Electrical Tradesman License Examination Reciprocity
  • Kentucky Electrician and Master Electrician License and Virginia Journeyman and Master Electrical Tradesman License Examination Reciprocity
  • Maryland Master Electrical Tradesman License and Virginia Master Electrical Tradesman License Examination Reciprocity
  • West Virginia Journeyman and Master Electrical Tradesman License and Virginia Journeyman and Master Electrical Tradesman License Examination Reciprocity
  • Maryland HVAC Board Journeyman and Master HVA Tradesman License and Virginia Journeyman and Master HVA License Examination Reciprocity
  • North Carolina Unlimited (equivalent to Class A) and Intermediate (equivalent to Class B) Electrical Contractor License and Virginia Master Electrical Tradesman License and Class A or Class B Electrical Contractor Business License and Examination Reciprocity
  • Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) – Examination agreement for Journeyman and Master Plumbers and Gas Fitters
  • Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors – Examination agreement for Commercial Building, Electrical and HVA, Contractor License and Journeyman and Master Electrical and HVAC Tradesman (residency requirement).

General Contractor Licenses

Rather than having licenses for general contractors, Virginia has the license classes and classifications that you should be referring to.

Lead Abatement

Want to do lead abatement work in Virginia, then you’ll want to make sure you have the right certification to comply with the law. This type of certification is administered by the Board for Asbestos, Lead, and Home Inspectors. The board’s website can be accessed here. Their phone number is either 804-3367-0362 to reach the board office, or 804-367-8595 if you have licensing specific questions.

Asbestos Abatement

As with lead abatement, asbestos abatement, such as working on asbestos siding, also requires the necessary certification which is understandably also  handled by the Board for Asbestos, Lead, and Home Inspectors, and you simply need to go to the previous section in order to find their contact information, which is also where you will find the different forms that you will need to get properly certified.