MoneyLife

How To Get a Handyman License (State by State)

By Jessica Crosby
handyman license

Have you thought about making the jump to a new job that pays more? Or maybe you have just dreamed about being your own boss no matter how much you make. Either way, we’re here to help! 

We’ve compiled the first steps you must take in each of the fifty states before you can get your handyman license. You may be closer than you think to making the jump into a new career. 

What qualifications do you need to be a handyman?

Getting a job as a handyman doesn’t require formal education, and it’s the perfect job for those who like to learn as they go. You can learn while being employed and getting paid by more experienced contractors. It’s the perfect side hustle for those willing to jump in and learn the ropes of becoming a handyman. 

Handyman vs contractor: what’s the difference?

A handyman is viewed as a general jack-of-all-trades who can do a little bit of everything. Typically, all of the tasks don’t require a specialist in the first place. For example, changing out a light fixture is the perfect task for a handyman whereas rewiring a house is best left to an electrician. 

Becoming a handyman is a great idea if you’re looking for a job that pays a lot per hour

Handyman requirements by state

We’ll walk you through the process of how to get your handyman license in each state. 

Handyman license Alabama

You only need a handyman license if you do a job for over $50,000 in Alabama. 

How to get started: Alabama Licensing Board

Handyman license Alaska

If you’re doing a job that costs more than $10,000, then you’ll need a handyman license in Alaska. You also need to have proof of liability and property damage insurance. 

How to get started: Divisions of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing

Handyman license Arizona

In Arizona, you must have a license to be a handyman if you are doing work over $1,000. However, if the work is under $1,000 and you are required to have a permit, then you also need a license. You will need to pass an exam and submit proof of bond as well. 

How to get started: Arizona Registrar of Contractors

Arkansas handyman license

You need a handyman license if you plan to do over $2,000 worth of work in Arkansas. The good news, there’s no exam. But you do need to show a financial statement and proof of insurance to get a license. 

How to get started: Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board

Handyman license California

You should start thinking about getting licensed in California if you plan on accepting jobs that pay $500 or more. You are exempt from this rule if you are working on projects that are not considered part of a permanent structure. You will need to pass an exam, show proof of four years experience in the field, have insurance, and submit proof of a bond over $15,000. 

How to get started: Contractor State License Board

Handyman license Colorado

There are no state requirements for a handyman or a contractor in Colorado. Local municipalities may have their own rules. 

Connecticut handyman license

You do not need a handyman license in Connecticut, but you still need to register as a handyman with the state. 

How to get started: Department of Consumer Protection

Delaware handyman license

Delaware does not require a handyman license, but Delaware does require a business license. You also need to register with the state to work on jobs over $50,000.

How to get started: Delaware One Stop

Florida handyman license

Florida only requires a handyman license for structural work. You will need to show four years worth of experience and proof of insurance as well as pass an exam. 

How to get started: Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Application Center

Georgia handyman license

You will need a license in Georgia once you start to take on over $2,500 worth of work. Georgia also requires insurance and two years of experience. 

How to get started: State Licensing for Residential and General Contractors

Hawaii handyman license

If you’re working on a project worth more than $1,000 or the project requires a permit, then you need a handyman license. You also need to pass a test, have four years of experience, and be insured. 

How to get started: Hawaii Contractor License Board

Idaho handyman license

You don’t need to be licensed in Idaho, but you do need to register. 

How to get started: Idaho Contractors Board

Illinois handyman license

The state of Illinois does not require a license, but cities like Chicago do. 

Indiana handyman license

There isn’t a handyman license requirement in Indiana, but be sure to check for local guidelines. 

Iowa handyman license

Good news! You don’t need to have a license to be a handyman in Iowa, but you will need to register with the state if you make over $2,000. 

How to get started: Iowa Contractor Registration

Kansas handyman license

There are no state requirements for handypersons in Kansas. Just be sure to check the rules at the local level. 

Kentucky handyman license

The state of Kentucky does not require a handyman license. However, as always, check the local rules. 

Louisiana handyman license

If you plan to work on projects totaling $7,500 or more in Louisiana, you will need a handyman license. If you plan to go into a specialty, there are specific exams that you’ll be required to take as well. You also need to have proof of insurance.

How to get started: Louisiana Licensing Board for Contractors

Maine handyman license

Maine has many requirements on a local level, but the state itself does not require you to take an exam. 

Maryland handyman license

You need a Home Improvement License to work as a handyman in Maryland. You’ll need to pass an exam, show two years of experience, and have proof of insurance. 

How to get started: Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Registration

Massachusetts handyman license

A person just working on home improvement projects in Massachusetts does not need a license, but higher-level tasks do require a license. You will need to register with the state and pay a fee. For more significant projects, you will need a Construction Supervisor License. 

How to get started: Home Improvement Contractor Registration And Renewal

Michigan handyman license

You don’t need a specific license to be a handyman in Michigan, but some adjacent industries, like carpentry, do require one. 

Minnesota handyman license

If you’re making at least $15,000 in Minnesota, you need to apply for a handyman license. Depending on the exact tasks at hand, there are separate remodeler and building licenses that you might need to apply for as well. 

How to get started: Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

Mississippi handyman license

You only need a handyman license in Mississippi if you are working on jobs over $10,000. To get a Mississippi handyman license, you will not only need to pass an exam but you must show proof of liability and insurance, too. 

How to get started: Mississippi State Board of Contractors

Handyman license Missouri

You don’t need a license in Missouri, but make sure you fit all regulations in the cities you are working in. 

Montana handyman license 

You don’t need a license to work in Montana unless you are doing electrical work, but you will have to register with the state if you have employees. If this applies to you, you’ll need to register with the Department of Labor and Industry, Contractor Registration Unit.

How to get started: Montana Department of Labor and Industry, Contractor Registration Unit

Nebraska handyman license

You don’t need a Nebraska handyman license, but you need to register with the state before beginning work. 

How to get started: Nebraska Contractor Registration

Nevada handyman license

If you plan to do work over $1,000 or need a permit, you will need to get licensed in Nevada. You must show proof that you have four years of experience, are insured, and have passed the necessary exams. 

How to get started: Nevada’s Contractor’s Board

New Hampshire handyman license 

You do not need a license in New Hampshire unless you do electrical work, plumbing jobs, or asbestos abatement. 

New Jersey handyman license 

Registration is the only thing required in New Jersey. No license is needed to be a home improvement contractor. 

How to get started: New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor Registration

Handyman license New Mexico

You need a license to be a handyman in New Mexico. Depending on the specific classification of your job, you will need to prove that you have two to four years of experience under your belt as well as pass a registration test.  

How to get started: New Mexico Licensing

New York handyman license

New York only has local licensing requirements. The State of New York does not require licensing. 

North Carolina handyman license

Once your projects reach a total of $30,000 or more, you will need a license in North Carolina. 

How to get started: NC Licensing Board for General Contractors

North Dakota handyman license

Make sure you have a license in North Dakota if you’re booking jobs over $4,000. There are different license classifications that are based on the magnitude of the jobs you book. 

How to get started: North Dakota Secretary of State

Ohio handyman license

All you need to do to become a handyman in Ohio is check local regulations. There are no state licensing requirements. 

Oklahoma handyman license

Oklahoma does not require a handyman license. It’s easy to get to work. 

Handyman license Oregon

Oregon requires a contractor’s license for jobs over $1,000. This means you will have to complete training, pass a test, and submit proof of insurance. 

How to get started: Oregon Licensing

Pennsylvania handyman license

There is no license required to become a handyman in Pennsylvania. However, if you make $5,000 or more, then you will need to register as a business. 

How to get started: Home Improvement Contractor Registration

Handyman license Rhode Island

No license is required to work as a handyman in Rhode Island, but don’t forget to register your business. 

How to get started: Rhode Island Contractor Registration

South Carolina handyman license

Residential contractors don’t need a handyman license, but you will need to register with the state if you want to specialize in a certain industry.  

How to get started: South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

South Dakota handyman license

You don’t need a license to be a handyman in South Dakota, but there may be local requirements for handymen. 

Tennessee handyman license

You’ll need a home improvement license for jobs over $3,000 in Tennessee. You will also need to pass an exam. Then, you must show proof of insurance and liability. 

How to get started: Tennessee Contractor’s Licencing 

Texas handyman license

Only local municipalities have licensing requirements, so check these out before you get started. 

Utah handyman license

You won’t need to get a handyman license in Utah until you book jobs over $3,000. From there, you will have to pass a test, show proof of insurance, and demonstrate two years of experience. 

How to get started: Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing

Vermont handyman license

There is no handyman licensure requirement in Vermont. However, check local laws just to be safe. 

Virginia handyman license

You need to apply for a license in Virginia if you are planning to work on projects that amount to more than $1,000. There are different classes of licenses based on the amount you receive for jobs, so make sure you select the one that suits you best. 

How to get started: Virginia Board of Contractors

Washington state handyman license

There is no state license requirement in the State of Washington, but you will need to register as a business and show proof of insurance. 

How to get started: Registration for Washington Contractors 

West Virginia handyman license

If you plan to work on jobs that pay between $2,500 and $10,000 in West Virginia, you will need a handyman license. You’ll also need to pass an exam and show proof of insurance. 

How to get started: West Virginia Contractor Licensing

Wisconsin handyman license

You need a license in Wisconsin. To be a handyman, you will need the Wisconsin Dwelling Contractor Qualifier license. This requires that you sit through a twelve-hour course. 

How to get started: Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services

Wyoming handyman license

You do not need a license to be a handyman in Wyoming. But be careful about local ordinances. 

MoneyLion helps get your business moving

Are you starting your journey as a handyman? Keep your money safe with a RoarMoney account from MoneyLion. We make it easy to save and budget your money. You will also have access to Instacash, which can give you access to up to $250 and help you get your business started today!

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