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Alaska Contractor Licensing: Guide to Requirements
Last Updated Nov 16, 2023
If you’re starting a new construction business in Alaska, it's important to know the regulations for Alaska contractor licensing requirements inside and out.
Alaska requires everyone who performs contracting work for hire to carry a contractor license of some type, and many general contractors may even need an additional residential license. Keep reading to find out what is required to be properly licensed as a contractor in Alaska.
Contracting in another state? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Contractors License Requirements in Every State.
Table of contents
Who needs a contractor license in Alaska?
The State of Alaska wants every contractor performing work to carry a license of some kind. Even handyman-type contractors performing work valued at less than $10,000 need to carry general contractor-type licenses, though they are slightly different from the typical GC’s.
How to get a contractors license in Alaska
Alaska contractor licensing requirements are serious, but luckily, they aren’t overly confusing. Licensing is a function of the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development’s Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing.
The main license types include general contractor, mechanical contractor, electrical contractor, handyman contractor, and specialty contractor. The requirements for each license type are different from one another, but the process is relatively straightforward. Do understand that many of these licenses require passing a business and trade exam.
Unlike many states, Alaska sees general contractors as regulated professionals, and they need to carry a general contractor license. These contractors can build new homes as well as perform both commercial and residential work.
There are three main types of general contractor licensing:
- General Contractor Without Residential Contractor Endorsement: This license type is for general contractors who perform primarily commercial work or residential work worth less than 25 percent of the home’s value. These contractors will use the General Contractor without Residential Endorsement Application on this page.
- General Contractor With Residential Contractor Endorsement: This license type is for general contractors who perform work on residential structures valued in excess of 25 percent of the home’s value. These contractors will use the General Contractor with Residential Endorsement Application on this page.
- General Contractor Handyman: This license is for handyman-type contractors who only take commercial or residential contracts valued at under $10,000. Handyman contractors will use Handyman Contractor Application on this page.
Beyond choosing the appropriate license, applicants also have other requirements they must meet, including:
- A complete and notarized copy of the application
- Proof of general liability insurance:
- $20,000 coverage for property damage
- $50,000 injury or death to one person
- $100,000 for injury or death to more than one person
- Proof of workers' compensation insurance
- A FEIN Number
- A surety bond in the amount of:
- $25,000 for General Contractors Without Residential Endorsement
- $20,000 for General Contractors With Residential Endorsement
- $5,000 for General Contractor Handyman
Regardless of the license type, the fee for applying is $350, which includes the non-refundable application fee and the license fee.
Residential Contractor Endorsement
Before you can apply for a General Contractor With a Residential Contractor Endorsement license, you have to secure the endorsement. To do so, applicants must take the 16-hour cold climate course. They must also take and pass the residential contractors endorsement exam through a third-party contractor, PSI.
Make it easier to manage construction.
Specialty contractors and subcontractors must also carry licenses issued by the Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing. Most of the requirements are the same, though applicants can choose up to three specialties for which to apply. Those specialties include:
- Access Flooring
- Acoustical and Insulation
- Asbestos Abatement
- Carpentry Rough
- Carpentry Finish
- Concrete and paving
- Elevator and Conveying Systems
- Fence and Guardrail
- Floor Coving
- Liquid or Gas Storage Tank
- Low Voltage Alarm
- Mechanical Contractor
- Road Construction
- Security Systems
- Sheet Metal
- Solid Fuel Appliances
- Steel Erection
- Tile and Terrazzo
- Water and Sewer
Depending on the license, specialty contractor applicants will have to take and pass an exam through PSI.
Applicants will use the Specialty Contractor Application on this page. The same requirements apply for specialty contractors as general contractors, including worker’s compensation insurance and contractor general liability insurance. However, when it comes to bonding, specialty contractors must only secure $10,000 bonds. The fee for applying and license is $350, just as it is with general contractors.
While there is a mechanical specialty license, the Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing also offers a Mechanical Contractors License. This license is a requirement for the installation of any mechanical equipment.
Mechanical contractors will use the Mechanical Contractor Application on this page, and they will have to take and pass the applicable exams through PSI. Beyond the exam, many of the same requirements apply as specialty contractors, including the $10,000 bond amount and the $350 in total fees.
There is an electrical specialty license, but it’s not enough for full-fledged contractors who install wiring and electrical equipment. Electrical contractors in Alaska must carry or employ someone who carries an Electrical Administrator’s License.
The electrical administrator may carry a license in:
- Unlimited Commercial Wiring
- Residential Wiring
- Controls and Control Wiring
- Inside Communications
- Outside Communications
- Unlimited Line Work Outdoors
Electrical administrator applicants will use this application, and there are two ways to apply: By examination (through PSI) and through credentials. The requirements for applying include:
- Complete, notarized application
- Complete resume detailing education and experience in the electrical trade
- “Certificate in Support of Applicant’s Experience and Qualifications” from three people licensed in the industry in any state
- Official transcripts from college or trade school
- For those applying through examination, a passing score of a trade exam held through PSI
- For those applying through credentials, verification of a current, active license in another state, as well as verification of a passed examination
The fee for both application types is $320.
Penalties for unlicensed contracting in Alaska
Alaska takes its contractor licensing requirements seriously. There are steep fines and penalties for not playing by the rules.
The fines are serious: the first offense for getting caught without the appropriate license is $1,000 for the first offense. Subsequent offenses will cost $1,500 each. Plus, each day is a separate violation.
Tom Scalisi is a writer with over 15 years of experience in the trades. He is passionate about educating contractors and specialty contractors about the best practices in the industry. He has seen first-hand how education, communication, and preparation help construction professionals overcome challenges to build a strong career and thriving business in the industry.View profile
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