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Nevada Handyman License: How to Get Certified as a Handyman in NV

February 23, 2023 14 min. read
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In an uncertain job market, getting your Nevada handyman license is a great way to secure your financial situation long-term. 

The demand for skilled trades and contractors is growing across the country. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase in labor of just 5% for general maintenance and repair workers for the entire country over the next 10 years. 

That increase in demand can mean secure work and higher pay for qualified professionals.

The salary for a Nevada handyman sits at $44,183 for those with under 5 years experience. But that number jumps to $56,656 with 8-12 years experience, and you can increase it further by starting your own business.

There’s no better time to get your license and capitalize on the increase in demand over the coming decade.

If you’re interested in learning how to get your handyman license in Nevada, this guide covers everything you need to know:

Make sure you bookmark this page so you can return to this guide if you have any questions about the specifics of the licensing process or starting your own business.

Does a handyman need a license in Nevada?

Yes, you need a license in Nevada to perform the installation, repair, and maintenance work of a handyman. 

The only exception is for repair or maintenance work totalling less than $1,000 that does not involve plumbing, electrical, HVAC, or refrigeration, and that does not require a building permit. 

The Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB) uses the term contractor to describe the work of a handyman. They are in charge of handing out licenses for both general and specialty contracting work. These licenses cover fabrication, installation, and repair work on the following: 

  • Plumbing systems, pipes, and boilers
  • HVAC systems, ducts, and vents
  • Electrical components of structures and appliances
  • Structures made from concrete, masonry, and plaster
  • Frames, trusses, and millwork products
  • Solar panel systems and components
  • Fire detection and prevention systems

The NSCB also offers exemptions from licensing requirements for individuals that fit the following criteria: 

  • Those performing work as authorized by the United States government, state government, or municipalities and regional districts. 
  • An officer of the court acting within the scope of their office
  • Work performed exclusively by a public utility
  • A property owner who is building or improving a residential structure for their own occupancy

More details on contractor licensing exemptions in Nevada are available on the Board website

Types of handyman licenses in Nevada

The NSCB provides 3 different types of contractor licenses that allow you to perform handiwork and other tasks requiring technical skill: 

License TypeLicense Description
Class A—General Engineering ContractorLicense holders are permitted to work on projects that require specialized engineering knowledge and skills.
Class B—General Building ContractorLicense holders are permitted to work on projects where the primary objective is the construction or remodeling of buildings or structures. These projects must require more than two unrelated specialty trades for completion.
Class C—Specialty Contractor
License holders can work as specialty contractors,  which can include up to 36 primary classifications. These licenses apply when construction work involves the need for a specific skilled trade.

Class A and B license holders can perform a range of services that fall within the domain of their license. 

Class C specialty license holders must hold at least one additional  license in any of the specialty classifications for which they qualify. These contractors can hold multiple sub-classifications under their primary contractor license. 

Here is a list of the sub-classifications for the Class C contractor license: 

Specialty License TypeDescription
Boilers (C-1A)License holder can install boilers and their fittings, piping, gauges, pumps, radiators, tanks, and other system components
Fire Sprinklers (C-1B)License holder can fabricate, install, and repair sprinkler systems for protection from fire
Pipe and Duct Insulation (C-1C)License holders can insulate pipes and ducts to reduce heat loss.
Plumbing Contractor (C-1D)License holder install and maintain the following systems: 

• Sanitary water supply and drainage
• Roof drainage 
• Hydronic heating (under 200,000 BTUs)
• Landscape irrigation
• Hot water systems
• Residential and industrial gas supply
• Compressed air piping
• Any other water and gas piping that begins at the edge of the building and ends at the utility meter
Sheet Metal (C-1E)License holder can fabricate and install sheet metal for the following building components:
• Flashing
• Gutters
• Leaders
• Downspouts
• Ducts
• Flues
• Metal roofs
Heating, Cooling, and Circulating Air (C-1F)License holders can fabricate and install systems for heating, evaporative cooling, and circulation of air, excluding refrigerant cooling systems.
Pipes and Vents for Gas (C-1G)License holders can install pipes connecting sources of liquid petroleum and natural gas to a building or structure.
Water Heater (C-1H)License holders can install and repair water heaters and the lines connecting to potable water and gas.
Chilled-Water Piping (C-1I)License holders can fabricate, install, and repair pipes, pumps, valves, and other system components used to transfer chilled water for temperature-control purposes.
Air Replenishment Systems (C-1J)License holders can install, replace, and repair systems used to replenish air for firefighters.
Industrial Piping (C-1K)License holders can install, repair, and remove pipes and other equipment used to move water, steam, gas, chemicals, or food for industrial purposes.
Electrical Wiring (C-2A)License holders can install, adjust, and repair electrical wires, fixtures, appliances, and other structural systems
Fire Detecting (C-2C)License holders can install, alter, and repair electrical sensors and alarms used to detect both heat and smoke.
Low Voltage (C-2D)License holders can install, alter, and repair fiber optic systems that do not exceed 91 volts.
Lines to Transmit Electricity (C-2E)License holders can install, alter, and repair overhead and underground secondary electrical transmission lines.
Residential Wiring (C-2F)License holders can install, alter, and repair electrical wires, fixtures, appliances, and components that do not exceed 600 volts.
Photovoltaics (C-2G)License holders can install, alter, and repair photovoltaic batteries, cells, and inverters that convert solar energy into electricity.
Carpentry and Repairs (C-3A)License holders can install or repair framing systems, subflooring, siding, exterior staircases, railings, roof decking, trusses, sheathing, and individual wooden products. 
Finish Carpentry (C-3B)License holders can install, repair, and finish cabinets, casings, flooring, baseboards, countertops, and other pieces of millwork.
Painting (C-4A)License holders can apply paint, varnish, protective coating, and other compounds with brushes, rollers, or sprayers.
Concrete (C-5)License holders can perform all related tasks to the construction of concrete systems including constructing forms, reinforcing, mixing, pouring, and finishing.
Signs (C-6B)License holders can fabricate and install electrical signs and their related wiring components.
Elevation and Conveyance (C-7)License holders can fabricate and install transportation systems like elevators, escalators, conveyors, and dumbwaiters.
Landscaping (C-10)License holders can perform all tasks related to architectural horticulture including planting gardens, building walkways and patios, and installing irrigation
Sheet metal (C-13)License holders can install sheet metal anywhere that does not involve the use of refrigeration.
Steel Reinforcing and Erection (C-14)License holders can place and tie-in bars, rods, and other steel components to strengthen buildings and structures.
Roofing (C–15A)License holders can install and repair watertight and waterproof materials for roofs.
Lathing and Plastering (C-17)License holders can apply plaster coatings to lath made of wood, metal, and other material.
Masonry (C-18)License holders can select, cut, and lay brick and manufactured products to build structures.
Tiling (C-20)License holders can apply stone and ceramic tiles to prepared surfaces.
Refrigeration (C-21A)License holders can construct, install, and repair refrigeration devices to control air temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Air Conditioning (C-21B)License holders can install, repair, and maintain devices that use various methods to control the air temperature of structures through ductwork.
Refrigeration and AC Maintenance
License holders can repair and replace parts of existing AC and refrigeration systems, as long as they do not alter the initial system design.
Solar Air Conditioning (C-21E)License holders can install various systems that convert solar energy and use it to control air temperatures.
Chilled and Hot Water Systems
License holders can install boilers, chillers, coils, and various other devices that help produce and transfer water to control temperature.
Industrial Piping (C-21G)License holders can fabricate, install, and repair pipes used to move water, steam, gas, food, and other chemicals for industrial purposes.
Drilling Wells (C-23)License holders can install water wells, tanks, and pumps that control clean water supply through the use of boring, drilling, and other excavating methods.
Solar (C-37) LicensesSolar (C-37) License Descriptions
Solar Water Heating (C-37A)License holders can install systems that collect, store, and convert solar energy to heat water for potable uses.
Solar Space Heating (C-37B)License holders can install systems that collect, store, and convert solar energy to heat water which is used to heat a structure.
Solar Air Conditioning (C-37C)License holders can install systems that collect, store, and convert solar energy to control air temperatures.
Solar Pool Heating (C-37D)License holders can install systems that collect, store, and convert solar energy to heat swimming pools and spas.
Gas Equipment (C-38)License holders can install pipes and other related components that connect a natural gas or petroleum supply source to a building or structure.
Fire Protection (C-41) LicensesFire Protection (C-41) License Descriptions
Automatic Fire Sprinklers (C-41A)License holders can fabricate, install, and repair fire protection systems that use water.
Fixed Fire Extinguishing Systems
License holders can fabricate, install, and repair fire protection systems that use foam, gas, or other chemicals.
Fire Detection (C-41C)License holders can install, alter, and repair heat- and smoke-detecting electrical alarms and sensors. 
Constructing, Altering, and Improving Video Service Networks (C-42)License holders can construct, alter, or improve networks for video service. 

A description of each of the sub-classifications can be found on the Nevada State Contractors Board website or in the candidate bulletin.

Nevada handyman license requirements

According to the NCSB, all applicants must meet specific experience requirements to qualify for a contractor license.

Mainly, applicants must be trade qualified, with at least 4 years of experience as a journeyman, forman, supervisor, or contractor in their specific classification out of the last 10 years preceding the filing of the application.

While post-secondary education and formal in-class training are not required for a contractor license, they can be substituted for work experience in the following ways

  • University, college, or equivalent training from a board-accredited program can be used to satisfy up to 3 of the 4 years of experience. 
  • Proof of transferable military training or a master’s certification from a government agency in a similar discipline may be used to satisfy work experience requirements.

You must also submit financial statements with your application with additional information depending on the desired monetary limit of your license: 

  • $10,000 or less
  • Between $10,000 and $50,000
  • Between $50,000 and $250,000
  • Over $250,000

To qualify for licensing you will also need to pass both the Contractor Management Survey Exam as well as the trade exam corresponding to your license type. A score of 75% is required for the CMS exam and 70% for the contractor exams. 

Additional information about financial requirements is available on the NSCB website

How do I get a handyman license in Nevada?

Here are the steps that the NSCB has outlined for getting a contractor license:

  1. Obtain your Nevada Business ID through Nevada’s business portal, SilverFlume. 
  2. Provide all necessary financial statements based on the monetary limit requested for your license. Review the financial statement requirements to ensure you have included all the necessary financial documents.
  3. Complete the background disclosure statement and fingerprint authorization form, along with any required accompanying documentation.
  4. Prove that you have 4 years of experience for the desired contractor classification within the last 10 years. You can use university, college, and other accredited program completion for up to 3 years of experience. 
  5. Choose whether you are applying for a Class A, B, or C contractor license. Class C applicants, identify which of the 36 primary classes and subclasses you have relevant experience for and submit individual applications for each. A comprehensive listing of all the classifications and subclassifications is listed in Chapter 624.140 of the Nevada Administrative Code. 
  6. Fill out the Nevada Contractor License Application for all applicable classes and subclasses, making sure to include all forms, accreditations, and work experience listed in the steps above. 
  7. Submit the application to the Nevada State Contractors Board location listed on the application. Along with the application, an initial non-refundable payment of $300 is required.
  8. Book and pass the Contractor Management Survey Exam and the relevant trade exam for the corresponding contractor license

All forms must be submitted to the Nevada State Contractors Board  office listed on the application, which will be one of the following locations:

Southern NevadaNorthern Nevada
8400 West Sunset Road, Suite 150
Las Vegas, NV 
5390 Kietzke Lane, Ste 102
Reno, NV 

Nevada handyman license exam

Contractor exams in Nevada are handled by the testing vendor PSI. All qualifying individuals need to write both the Construction Management Survey Exam and any corresponding trade exams unless they meet the criteria for waiving the trade exam. 

Does Nevada reciprocate handyman licenses?

Reciprocal license agreements allow licensed contractors from one state to apply directly for the equivalent license in Nevada.

Nevada reciprocates contractor licenses with Arizona, California, and Utah, providing the applicants meet the following requirements:

  1. Applicants must have been actively licensed and in good standing in their state for 5 of the last 7 years.
  2. Applicants must have passed the equivalent trade exam in their home state.
  3. Applicants must show proof of licensure by completing the out-of-state license verification form in their application
  4. Applicants must pass the Contractor Management Survey Exam.

Nevada handyman license costs

The cost of getting your Nevada contractor license is subject to change, but you can expect to pay at least $395, depending on the number of licenses and sub-licenses you wish to hold. 

Here’s an overview of the fees associated with getting your contractor license:

Application$300 per license
Licensing/Renewal (Biennial)$600 per license
Exams$95 per exam

If you are a contractor providing services to construct, remodel, repair, or improve a single family residence, you will also need to pay a Residential Recovery Fund Assessment. The fund is created from assessments levied on  contractors based on the monetary limit placed on the license.

Currently, the residential recovery fund assessment fee schedule is as follows:

  • $200 for monetary limits up to $1,000,000
  • $500 for monetary limits over $1,000,000 but limited ?? to what
  • $1,000 for unlimited licenses

The fee is payable before the license is issued and every two years with renewal.

Nevada handyman license renewal

A contractor’s license is initially issued for a two-year period. It will expire two years from the last day of the month in which it was issued. Licenses are renewed every two years and include a $600 fee.

To renew your Nevada contractor license, you can visit the NSCB’s online license renewal portal. 

What happens if my license expires?

If you think your contractor license may be expired, the first thing you need to do is stop all your work. You can then go to the NSCB website’s license search page to determine whether your license needs renewal. If it does, you can then visit the online license renewal portal.

Working as an unlicensed contractor is a crime in the state of Nevada; the board website outlines the penalties associated with multiple offenses: 

  • The 1st offense is a misdemeanor. The unlicensed individual is subject to a fine of under $1,000 and may be imprisoned in the county jail for 6 months or less.
  • The 2nd offense is a gross misdemeanor.The unlicensed individual is subject to a fine between $2,000-$4,000 and may be imprisoned in the county jail for 1 year or less.
  • The 3rd or subsequent offense is a category E felony.The unlicensed individual is subject to a fine between $5,000-$10,000 and may be further punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 1-4 years.

Requirements for business owners

Once you’ve gained the necessary experience, submitted the applications, and passed the licensing exams to be a general or specialty contractor in Nevada, you’re ready to take the next step to securing your financial future—opening your own handyman business. 

But first, what exactly do you need to do to start a contractor business in Nevada?

The Nevada state website provides resource pages and checklists that outline all the additional licenses, permits, and registration requirements you’ll need to start your contracting business. These include: 

  • Registering with the Nevada Secretary of State through the online portal
  • Getting any local city or county business licenses
  • Filing for your fictitious business name with the County Clerk’s office
  • Familiarizing yourself with the tax forms and processes for Nevada businesses

For an in-depth look at the ins and outs of starting your own contracting business—including getting your financing, buying equipment, and hiring staff—check out our comprehensive guide to starting a handyman business.

Does a handyman license increase your handyman earning potential?

Getting your contractor license in Nevada is the first step towards drastically increasing your earning potential and control over your financial future. 

As you progress from a journeyman, foreman, or supervisor to a licensed contractor and begin to build experience, you can expect your salary to jump from $44,000 to well over $60,000. 

If you’re interested in learning more about this lucrative, flexible industry and what the financial prospects are across the country, check out our Essential Handyman Salary Guide and identify where you can put this in-demand skill set to use.  

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