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Texas Roofing License: How to Become a Roofer in TX

October 26, 2023 8 min. read
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Thinking about getting a roofing license in Texas? Now is the perfect time to get your foot in the door of this booming industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are over 6,000 roofing professionals employed in the Lone Star State, which ranks third among states with the highest employment levels of roofers.

On average, Texas roofers earn an annual salary of $39,162, but you can expect that amount to increase to more than $48,000 with time and experience. 

In this licensing guide, we’ve broken down everything you’ll need to know to get licensed as a roofing contractor in Texas. Make sure you bookmark this page so you can check back in whenever you have questions about the roofing license process in Texas.

Do I need a roofing license in Texas?

No, technically, you don’t need a roofing license to work as a roofer in Texas. The Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR) is in charge of licensing in the Lone Star State, but roofing is not included in the industries it regulates. Texas also does not require a general business license to work.

However, an organization separate from the TDLR that licenses commercial and residential roofers is called the Roofing Contractors Association of Texas (RCAT). 

The RACT Licensed Roofing Contractor Program “was developed to increase consumer protection and secure public confidence in the roofing industry by elevating the roofing contractor’s knowledge and professionalism through voluntary self-regulation.”

RCAT licenses professionals who are skilled in using various materials to construct, repair, replace, and maintain residential and commercial roofs, ensuring they are sealed and secured with waterproof and weather-resistant materials. 

Note that RCAT licenses individuals, but you must own, operate, or manage a roofing business to qualify. Once approved by RCAT, you’ll be able to market your business as a licensed roofing contractor.  

The remainder of this guide will cover the RCAT licensing procedure and requirements, should you choose to pursue it. But note that you can legally and successfully run a roofing business in Texas without this license.

Types of roofing licenses in Texas

RCAT has three licensing options when applying to be a roofing contractor. The option you choose will depend on the type of properties you want to work on:

License TypeDescription
Residential Roofing License (RRL)License holder can work on residential properties
Commercial Roofing License (CRL)License holder can work on commercial properties
Commercial and Residential Roofing License (CRRL)License holder can work on both residential and commercial properties

Roofing Contractors Association of Texas roofing license requirements

Roofing contractors in Texas have the option to apply for licensure through RCAT to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to the trade.

For any type of RCAT license, the applicant must have:

  • Been employed as a principal in a Texas roofing company for at least two continuous years prior to the date of application (a principal is someone involved in the day-to-day management of the business, such as a sole proprietor, general partner, or executive officer)
  • The ability to submit credit and business references upon request
  • Proof of good standing with the Better Business Bureau
  • Proof of workers’ compensation insurance or other insurance plan in compliance with Texas laws or a current Employer Notice of No Coverage form or Termination of Coverage form

In addition, applicants must meet the following financial requirements for each license type: 

License TypeRequirements
Residential Roofing License (RRL)Proof of $300,000 in combined single-limit general liability insurance or evidence of a $100,000 surety bond, property bond, or irrevocable letter of credit
Commercial Roofing License (CRL)Proof of $500,000 in combined single-limit general liability insurance or evidence of a $100,000 surety bond, property bond, or irrevocable letter of credit

How do I get a roofing license in Texas?

Once you meet all the requirements to apply for licensure with RCAT, follow these steps to get your license:

  1. Download the program guidelines and application
  2. Complete the application and sign it in the presence of a notary
  3. Pay the required application fee

Mail the completed, notarized application and all required documentation to the Roofing Contractors Association of Texas at:

6080 S Hulen St., Ste 360 PMB 396
Fort Worth, TX 76132

Once your application has been approved, you’ll be provided with access to an online portal. The portal contains instructions for taking the online exams, preparation and study materials, and access to the exams themselves.

RCAT also highly recommends you purchase the National Roofing Contractors Association (NCRA) Roofing Manual set from which the residential and commercial roofing exams are created. If you’re not an NCRA member, you can have RCAT order the books on your behalf for a discounted price. 

Texas roofing license exam

You’ll have one year from the date your RCAT application was approved to pass the required roofing exams:

License TypeExam Information
Residential Roofing License (RRL)Applicants must pass the business & safety exam first, then the residential roofing exam
Commercial Roofing License (CRL)Applicants must pass the business & safety exam first, then the commercial roofing exam
Commercial and Residential Roofing License (CRRL)Applicants must pass the business & safety exam first, then both the residential and commercial roofing exams

The online study and exam portal is only available for 90 days at a time. If you do not take and pass the exams in this amount of time, it will cost $50 for the RCAT office to re-register your profile. You’ll be allowed three attempts to pass the exams within your 90-day portal access, and you’re only allowed three 90-day access periods per year.   

All exams:

  • Are open book, allowing you to use the NRCA Roofing Manuals, the “Managing a Roofing Company in Texas” publication, and any study materials in the RCAT licensing portal
  • Are 1.5 hours long
  • Have 50 multiple-choice or true/false questions
  • Require a minimum passing score of 70% (35/50 questions)

Exam scores are provided immediately upon test completion and submitted to the RCAT office. After passing all exams, you’ll be issued your official license within one to two business days.

Does Texas reciprocate roofing licenses?

Reciprocal license agreements let professionals from out of state apply directly for a roofing license in the state they wish to work in. However, since Texas doesn’t require licensing for roofers at the state level, you’re free to work with any roofing license you have from another state. 

Remember to check with the municipalities in which you’re contracting work to see if any specific reciprocity agreements or permit requirements exist.

How much does a roofing license in Texas cost?

Depending on membership status with the RCAT, you will incur some fees—ranging from $1,045 to $1,945 for first-time applicants—if you choose to get licensed by RCAT and purchase the NRCA training materials. RCAT offers a discount to members, which can help offset costs. To apply for membership, see RCAT’s membership site and see if you qualify.

The fees include application processing, examinations, recording, licensing, and re-exam (if necessary):

Licensing StepFees
Residential Roofing License (RRL) Application• RCAT Member: $550
• Non-member: $850
Commercial Roofing License (CRL) Application• RCAT Member: $550
• Non-member: $850
Commercial and Residential Roofing License (CRRL) Application• RCAT Member: $750
• Non-member: $1,050
NRCA Roofing Manual Set• RCAT/NCRA Member: $495
• Non-member: $895
License Renewal• RCAT Member: $250 per • year
• Non-member: $250 per year

Texas roofing license renewal

RCAT licenses are renewed annually and don’t require re-examination as long as your license remains active.

To qualify for renewal, you need to provide evidence of eight units of continuing education (CEUs) from authorized workshops or seminars (e.g., RCAT, OSHA) during a license’s 12-month active period. You can petition RCAT for credit approval in advance if you identify any workshops or seminars that are not yet approved. 

After you have completed your continuing education, simply complete the renewal form and send it to RCAT with the required renewal fee.

What happens if my roofing license expires? 

If you think your RCAT roofing license has expired, you should begin the renewal process immediately. Otherwise, you open yourself up to penalties and fees and the loss of your license. 

For instance, if you do not meet the continuing education requirements for an on-time renewal, a $200 penalty fee will be assessed, after which you will have 30 days from the original renewal date to complete the CEUs. If you do not complete the CEUs in the extended time permitted, your license will be terminated.

Once a license is terminated, it cannot be reinstated. You will be required to begin the application and examination process from scratch, including paying the initial licensing fees again.

How to start a roofing business in Texas

Starting your own business can seem like a big undertaking, but the Texas Economic Development Department offers a handy start-a-business guide to help you along. It outlines seven basic steps, including:

  1. Writing a business plan
  2. Choosing your business location
  3. Financing your business
  4. Determining your business structure and registration
  5. Determining your business tax responsibilities
  6. Understanding business licenses and permits by business type
  7. Understanding business employer requirements

There are also some practical considerations to think about when starting your own roofing company, including: 

Does a roofing license increase your earning potential?

Yes, having a roofing license in Texas legitimizes your business in the eyes of potential customers, which can increase the number of contracts you secure. 

And as you build your skill set, your salary will increase. Experienced roofing contractors in Texas can earn up to $48,000 annually. You also stand to make even more than that if you open up your own roofing business.

Visit our roofing business resources page for more information, tips, and success stories.

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