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Utah Handyman License: How to Get Certified as a Handyman in UT

December 13, 2022 7 min. read
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With remote work being the new norm, people are spending more time in their houses. The increase in home time offers more opportunities for renovations, repairs, and modifications, which means the need for handymen is on the rise. 

Getting your Utah handyman license is the perfect way to capitalize this uptick in demand and kick off your career as a handyman. Not only that, but there is a low barrier to entry, few costs to get started, and the take home pay is pretty decent. A handyman in the state of Utah can earn $51,235 on average. 

Interested in getting your handyman license but not sure where to start? Don’t worry. We’ll cover everything you need to know below:

Don’t forget to bookmark this page as an easy reference for all Utah handyman questions

Do you need a license to be a handyman in Utah?

No, you don’t need a license to be a handyman in Utah unless a project’s value exceeds $1,000. The handyman license, issued by the Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing, will cover you for projects up to $3,000. For even larger projects, you’ll need to earn your contractor’s license. 

The handyman license and general contractor license differ in what projects you’re allowed to work on. Handymen focus on smaller maintenance and repair projects, such as floor installation, whereas contractors take on larger, specialized projects, like building home additions. 

With a handyman license, individuals can make alterations, repairs, remodels, additions, or improvements to a building. A handyman license does not allow individuals to work on plumbing, electrical, or HVAC work

Types of handyman licenses in Utah

Utah only offers one handyman license type, the handyman license, but the contractor license is available to those wanting to work on larger projects.

It’s important to remember that the project total includes all costs associated with completing the work, including materials and your own pay. 

  • Handyman license: projects that cost $1,000-$3,000
  • Contractor license: projects that cost more than $3,000

Utah handyman license requirements

Becoming a licensed handyman is straightforward and relatively easy, and will allow you to take on larger, more profitable projects.

Requirements for the handyman license:

  • Provide proof of general liability insurance
  • Show proof of worker’s compensation insurance (for employers) or a Worker’s Compensation Coverage Waiver (if you don’t have employees)
  • Register with the state of Utah
  • Submit an affirmation of exemption 
  • Submit a processing fee

Requirements for the contractor license:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • A minimum of two years’ worth of professional experience
  • A passing grade on an exam
  • Proof of general liability insurance 
  • Proof of workers compensation insurance (for employers) or a Worker’s Compensation Coverage Waiver (if you don’t have employees)
  • Pay registration fees
  • Proof of payment for outstanding citations or residence lien recovery fund payouts, if applicable

For a full list of requirements you can reference the pre-registration checklist.

How do I get a handyman license in Utah?

The process to receive your license varies based on the type of license you’re applying for: the handyman or the contractor license. The steps are detailed below.

To receive your handyman license, you’ll need to complete the following: 

  1. Reconcile any citations: You’ll need to clear any fines or citations before applying for your license. You won’t be able to receive your license if you have any outstanding citations.
  2. Submit an application: Applicants must fill out an application form and submit it to Utah’s Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing with a $35 fee.
  3. Complete the necessary registration: Handymen must have a Workforce Services Unemployment Insurance Registration Number and Utah State Tax Commission Withholding Tax Account Number. If you’re working for an employer on the Professional Employer Organization list, you can show a signed contract with them for registration.
  4. Submit an affirmation of exemption: Complete the exemption form and submit it for approval
  5. Get the necessary insurance: To receive your license, you’ll need to obtain the required liability insurance. You’ll need a minimum coverage of $100,000 for each incident and total coverage of $300,000.
  6. Register your business: If you’ll be working on projects with a total cost of over $1,000, you’ll need to register your business with the state of Utah.

Application forms can be mailed to:

Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing
Heber M. Wells Building  
160 East 300 South
P.O. Box 146741
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6741 

To get your contractor license, you’ll need to pass two exams:

  1. The exam pre-course: Applicants must complete the 25 hour pre-course to be eligible for the exam 
  2. The contractor exam: Applicants must successfully complete the contractors exam, earning at least a 70% to pass

Utah handyman license exam

There is no exam to get the handyman license in Utah, but you’ll only need to take an exam if you’re applying for your contractor license. 

Before taking the contractor license exam, you’ll need to complete the required pre-license course offered by both the Associated General Contractors of Utah and the Utah Home Builders Association.

After successfully completing the pre-license course, you’ll be eligible to take the contractor Business and Law exam. The Business and Law exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions on the following topics:

  • Business Organizations
  • Licensing
  • Estimating and Bidding
  • Contract Management
  • Project Management
  • Labor Laws
  • Financial Management
  • Risk Management
  • Tax Laws
  • Safety
  • Subject Area
  • Lien Laws

You’ll have 2 hours to complete the test and must earn at least a 70% to pass.

Utah handyman license reciprocity

Some states have reciprocity agreements in place that allow a state license to be valid in other states. Utah has no reciprocity agreements, meaning your handyman license will only be valid in Utah.

You might be eligible for a license endorsement if you have a contractor license from another state. License endorsements allow contractors who have held their license for a minimum of one year to earn their Utah contractor license without completing the entire application process.

How much does it cost to get a handyman license in Utah?

The cost to earn your handyman license is fairly cheap. The only costs associated with earning your license are:

  • Application fee: $35
  • Insurance: varies, but plans can start as low as $29/month

Do I need to renew my handyman license?

Yes, you need to renew both your handyman and contractor licenses by November 30th of odd years to keep them active. Renewal costs vary based on your license type:

  • Handyman license renewal: $40
  • Contractor license renewal: $113

In addition to paying a fee, contractors will need to complete 6 hours of continuing education in order to be eligible for renewal. You can find accredited courses using the Continuing Education Registry portal.

License holders will receive a notice from the Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing 60 days before their license expires. They can renew online using the DOPL’s license renewal portal

What happens if my license expires?

Expired licenses will be considered invalid and you won’t be allowed to complete any work on projects over $1,000. Contracting without a license can put you at risk of financial consequences. If found to be working without a license, you’ll face a $1,000 fine. This fine jumps up to $2,000 if it’s your second offense and will continue to rise if you continue to work without a license, reaching up to $2,000 for every day you work unlicensed. 

Requirements for business owners

Looking to start your own handyman business? You’ll need to take a few steps to get your business up and running:

  1. Earn your contractor license: to be eligible to start a handyman business, you must have a contractor license. 
  2. Choose your business structure: you’ll need to decide what structure you want to use to run your business. You can operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). Once you decide what structure you want, you’ll need to register your business with your local jurisdiction.
  3. Get the necessary insurance: the specific insurance requirements will depend on your location, but in general, you can expect to need general liability, commercial property, and worker’s compensation insurance. 

On average, starting a handyman business costs about $1,390–2,930+ (USD).

Does a handyman license in Utah increase your earning potential?

Yes, getting your handyman license increases your earning potential. Obtaining your license allows you to take on larger projects, which results in higher take-home pay. Wondering how much you can earn as a handyman? Our Essential Handyman Salary Guide shows how much your earning potential increases based on your title, geographical location, and years of experience.

The average salary for a handyman in Utah is $51,235. The more experience you gain, the higher your earnings. After 5 years, handymen see a salary increase of 18%, which is an additional $7,334 in your pocket each year!

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