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Oklahoma Contractor Licensing Guide
Last Updated Nov 16, 2023
Oklahoma has fairly relaxed rules for contractor licensing, but it's still important to determine whether you need one. For example, while general contractors don't need a state-issued license, specialty contractors working as electricians, plumbers, and HVAC technicians definitely do. And there are several municipalities that have their own licensing rules.
If you know you need a contractor license in Oklahoma — or you're still looking into it — read on to learn all of the requirements so that your contracting business stays above board.
Table of contents
How to get a contractor license in Oklahoma
General contractors do not have to carry state-issued licenses in Oklahoma, but other contractor types do. And each of the specialties has a unique path to take to secure a license. Other than business registration, all licenses go through the Construction Industries Board.
Registering your business
The State of Oklahoma requires businesses operating as limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations to register with the Secretary of State. The list of applications for registration can be found on the Secretary of State’s website.
General requirements include:
- Federal Tax Identification Number
- Personal information for all officers of the company
Companies will need to create a login and fill out their application online for the fastest registration.
Electrical contractor licenses
Instead of a traditional master electrician license, Oklahoma offers an Unlimited Electrical Contractor license as well as an Unlimited Electrical Journeyman license. Both licenses utilize this application and will require an examination.
In order to carry the contractor license, you must carry the Unlimited Journeyman license first, and the requirements are:
- 8,000 hours of on-the-job experience in electrical construction work while employed by an electrical contractor
- 4,000 hours of the 8,000 must be in commercial or industrial electrical work
- 2,000 hours may be satisfied by formal electrical education
Once you carry an Unlimited Electrical Journeyman license, you can apply for the Contractor license. The requirements are:
- 12,000 hours of on-the-job experience in electrical construction work while employed by a licensed electrical contractor
- Proof of 4,000 hours and two years experience as a licensed unlimited electrical journeyman
- 6,000 hours of the 12,000 hours must be commercial or industrial work
- 2,000 hours may be satisfied by formal electrical education
The cost for the journeyman license is $75, and the cost for the contractor license is $330.
Make it easier to manage construction.
Plumbing contractor licenses
Plumbing contractors have similar hoops to jump through. There are two main licenses: plumbing journeyman and plumbing contractor. Both licenses require filling out this application and taking an examination.
In order to apply for a contractor license, you’ll first have to carry the journeyman license. The requirements include:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Have three years of experience in either:
- The plumbing trade while employed by a licensed plumbing contractor
- Plumbing trade experience while in the military
- Or a verifiable out-of-state license that’s both current and in good standing
The requirements for the contractor license include the requirements for journeyman and one additional year of experience in the plumbing trade. An associate degree or Career Tech diploma consisting of 1,000 classroom hours may take the place of two years of experience. A Career Tech diploma consisting of 500 hours can take the place of one year of experience.
Once the contractor applicant passes the exam, they can activate their license by providing proof of a $5,000 Corporate Surety Bond payable to the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board. They also need to provide a certificate of insurance proving a minimum of $50,000 commercial general liability insurance.
The fee for the journeyman license is $75, and the fee for the contractor license is $330.
Mechanical and HVAC contractor licenses
The Construction Industries Board offers three journeyman-type licenses and a contractor license. All three licenses will use this application.
The three journeyman-type licenses include an HVAC/R Limited license, an HVAC/R Unlimited license, and a Limited Residential Journeyman license. The requirements for all three of these licenses are:
- Three years of verifiable experience in the mechanical trade, of which the following can act as a substitute:
- Completion of an approved education program consisting of 1,000 hours or more (substitute for two years of experience)
- Completion of an approved education program consisting of 500 hours or more (substitute for one year)
- Completion of an approved education program consisting of a minimum of 375 hours (substitute for ¾ of a year)
- Completion of an approved educational program consisting of 334 hours (substitute for ⅔ of a year)
- Completion of an approved education program consisting of 245 hours (substitute for ½ year)
Contractor applicants have the same requirements to meet as journeyman applications, with the addition of one more year of experience.
The test for the journeyman license is basically technical trade, while the contractor’s licensing exam consists of technical trade as well as business and law. Also, contractors have to provide proof of a $5,000 Corporate Surety Bond payable to the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board. They’ll also have to provide proof of a general liability insurance policy with $50,000 of coverage.
The fee for the journeyman licenses is $75, while the fee for contractor applicants is $330.
Roofing contractor registration
Most of the rules around Oklahoma contractor licensing are pretty similar, but when it comes to roofers, registration is all the state requires. Roofing contractors will use this application to register their business, and the requirements are:
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Applicant must be an officer or owner of the corporation, member of the LLC, or general partner in a limited liability partnership
- Commercial roofing contractors must:
- Secure a commercial endorsement by taking the appropriate exam
- Provide proof of worker’s compensation insurance
- Complete four hours of continuing education every three years
The fee for the application is $75, with increasing fees for late renewal, reinstating revoked licenses, and more.
Penalties for unlicensed contracting in Oklahoma
Oklahoma contractor licensing can be relatively easy and straightforward — but that means the state expects all contractors to play by its rules. The penalties for breaking them can be stiff.
As an example of how seriously Oklahoma takes contractor licensing, it considers unlicensed electrical contracting as a misdemeanor offense. This means working as an electrical contractor without the appropriate license will garner a fine at a minimum and one year in jail at a maximum. Expect the penalties to get stiffer with subsequent instances.
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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