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Virginia Handyman License: How to Get Certified as a Handyman in VA

March 10, 2023 6 min. read
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In an uncertain job market, becoming a handyman is a great way to secure your financial situation long-term, especially if you get a contractor’s license to take on larger projects. 

The demand for skilled trades and contractors is growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 76K general maintenance and repair jobs will be added across the country over the next 10 years, an increase in labor of 5% for general maintenance and repair workers for the entire country.

The average salary for a Virginia handyman sits at $39,497 for those with under 5 years experience. But that number jumps to $61,140 for those with over 20 years experience, and you can increase it further by starting your own business.

There’s no better time to become a handyman and capitalize on the increase in demand over the coming decade. 

Interested in taking on larger projects? This post has everything you need to know about getting your contractor license in Virginia:

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 Virginia require a handyman license?

No, you don’t need a handyman license in Virginia. However, you’ll be limited by the total cost of projects you can take on. If your project costs exceed $1,000, you must have a general contractor license.

The difference between a handyman and contractor can sometimes be blurred. As a handyman, you are able to complete small residential projects, like home repairs and maintenance. Sometimes you may want to take on bigger jobs, and these would be covered by having a contractor license.  

Below are some typical types of handyman work that requires a license: 

  • Asphalt and concrete paving
  • Drywall 
  • Electronics installation and repair
  • Rough and finish carpentry
  • Structural framing
  • Boiler and piping installation
  • Roofing

The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) regulates professional licenses, including the general contractor license.

Types of handyman licenses in Virginia

Although a license isn’t required to perform handyman services in Virginia, you’ll want to check with your local jurisdiction to be sure you can perform handyman work in your region. 

You’ll also want to keep an eye on your total project costs. If your project costs exceed $1K, you’ll need a Class C contractor license to complete the work (and more importantly, avoid any penalties from working without a license).

License TypeDescription
Class C ContractorLicense holders can perform or manage jobs that are valued between $1K-10K.
• The total value of all projects over a 12-month period is less than $150,000.
Class B ContractorLicense holders can perform or manage jobs that are valued between $10K-120K.
Class A ContractorLicense holders can perform or manage jobs that are valued at $120K or higher.

Virginia handyman license requirements

To work on projects valued over $1K and below $10K, contractors must meet certain requirements in order to obtain their Class C license: 

  • Minimum 2 years technical experience 
  • Mandatory 8 hour pre-license course 
  • Pass the required exams
  • Submit your application to the DPOR

How to get a handyman license in Virginia?

In order to become a Class C licensed contractor in Virginia, you need to complete the following steps outlined by the DPOR

  1. Contractor licenses are issued to business entities and not individuals, so you will need to create either a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity. 
  2. Name and register your handyman business with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
  3. If you are going to have more than one employee, identify who will be responsible for managing the business, your qualified individual to supervise the work, and the designated employee to complete the work.
  4. Complete and submit the contractor license application indicating that you need a Class C license.

All forms are mailed to the Virginia Board of Contractors Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. All forms must be sent to the following address:

The Perimeter Center, Suite 400
9960 Mayland Drive
Richmond, Virginia 23233

Virginia handyman license exam

You don’t need to write an exam to obtain a Class C license in Virginia.

Does Virginia reciprocate licenses?

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

The DPOR currently does not provide reciprocity for contractor licenses.

Virginia handyman license costs

There is no handyman license in Virginia, but if you need a Class C contractor license, there will be some fees you’ll need to pay. 

The cost of getting your contractor license in Virginia varies depending on the type of contractor license you want (but we’re focused on Class C).

Here’s an overview of the fees associated with getting your Class C contractor license in Virginia:

Licensing StageClass C Contractor

Virginia handyman license renewal

To maintain your contractor license in Virginia, you must renew it every 2 years. Licenses expire on the last day of the month they were initially issued. For example, a license issued on October 7th, 2021 would expire on October 31st, 2023.

Class C licensed contractors must complete three hours of continuing education in order to qualify for renewal. The DPOR provides online resources so you can also identify any continuing education courses you can take before renewing your license.

What happens if my license expires?

If you think your Virginia Class C contractor license may be expired, the first thing you need to do is stop all your work on projects valued over $1K. You can then go to the DPOR website’s online services portal for a contractor license lookup to determine whether yours needs renewal.

Working under an expired or revoked license is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia, so it’s crucial that you renew your license. 

Also, if your license has expired for more than 30 days, you will need to apply for reinstatement and pay the necessary $140 fee.

Requirements for business owners

Once you have what you need to work as a handyman, it’s time to decide if you’re ready to take the next step to securing your financial future—opening your own business. 

But first, what exactly do you need to do to own and operate a handyman business?

The Virginia state government has online resources that outline what business owners need to do to operate legally, including:

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

Does a handyman license in Virginia increase your earning potential? 

As a handyman in Virginia, your earning potential increases as you gain more experience and as you gain more experience and get a contractor license to take on bigger jobs. 

When starting out as a handyman, you’ll earn about $40K per year, and this can grow to over $60K within the first 5 years.

Are you 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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