How To Get Your General Contractor’s License in New Hampshire

Disclaimer Note: The content in is blog is just for informational purposes ONLY. We ARE NOT licensed, certified, or a party/entity to provide licensing. Please refer to your state’s board on current processes for where and how to get your license.

From remarkable autumn foliage to abundant forest trees, every season in New Hampshire showcases a beautiful nature scene. With proximity to the ocean, mountains, lakes, or rivers, New Hampshire’s land is more vast than you expect.

In this state, you can truly experience all four seasons. Construction is a fantastic field to consider in New Hampshire, so long as you don’t mind working out in the elements from time to time.

Furthermore, if you’re interested in construction, you should consider applying to be a general contractor. General contractors manage construction, hire employees, and order construction materials.

At OnePointe Solutions, we have worked with numerous general contractors to meet the needs of their various projects. From industrial furniture and laboratory casework to commercial cabinets and custom solutions in between, our expertise is at your disposal. 

It’s important to note that New Hampshire is among a mere handful of states that does not require a state license, but you will need to check with the local city or county in which you plan to operate. In this guide, we’ll share some insight into a general contractor’s application process in New Hampshire.

Job Description: General Contractor

Before discussing New Hampshire’s specific requirements, we should understand a general contractor’s daily routine. General contractors are construction managers, meaning they control an entire construction project.

Before general contractors get to manage a job site, they must make a detailed bid. In collaboration with construction estimators, general contractors compile a bid under an itemized list of estimates including materials, tools, equipment, labor, and more. 

Bidding for a project is a bit complicated, so you should familiarize yourself with it beforehand. Numerous issues may arise during construction.

With any project, you must anticipate any possible issues that could require additional financing. Upon a bid getting accepted, you’ll then be able to coordinate scheduling, purchase and rent materials, and hire subcontractors for the job site. 

As a well-trusted vendor for general contractors across the country. For the purpose of this guide, let’s say a general contractor won a bid for an e-commerce warehouse.

In this setting, we would supply the general contractor with a range of industrial furniture, for instance, packing stations with shelving, roll holders, and drawers to keep items within arms reach to pack and ship out orders effectively. We would also provide high-quality metal cabinets or laminate casework to hold and keep materials organized too.

Finally, we would supply durable countertops (i.e. stainless steel, epoxy resin, phenolic resin, maple block) to handle the day-to-day tasks of the workplace. For virtually any job, we’ve got you covered.

Coming back to a general contractor’s work preference, some like to work on or off a job site. Other general contractors prefer to hire on-site construction managers to take over daily tasks.

Regardless of preference, all general contractors should monitor the safety and efficiency of a construction site. General contractors manage the following: 

  • Crew safety
  • Equipment and site safety
  • Permits and street closures
  • Anticipating weather conditions and scheduling accordingly
  • Enforcing quality and safety standards

Special Skills & Qualifications

Every state has unique requirements for the construction industry. For any industry, however, having special skills is always beneficial.

While special skills are often innate, you can learn some over time, particularly as you acquire experience. Some special skills and qualifications ideal for general contractors include: 

  • Ability to read building plans and blueprints
  • Building/construction skills
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Budget and purchasing experience
  • Comfortable working with new people
  • Able to learn quickly and in stressful situations
  • Concern for the wellbeing of others and a touch of perfectionism

Qualifications to Become a General Contractor in New Hampshire

Generally, New Hampshire does not require a state license for construction or renovation projects but may hold certain requirements at the city or county level. With that, you will need to check the general contracting requirements for your city or county within the State of New Hampshire.

Furthermore, New Hampshire only requires state licensing for specific specialties, including electricians, plumbers, and asbestos and lead abatement practitioners. Those specialties involve an official licensing process.

The licensing process includes applying to the appropriate board, exams, obtaining formal education, and paying the necessary fees. If you plan to hire any employees and own a contracting business, you will also need to be bonded and insured.

As New Hampshire is unique from other states in its application process, let’s proceed with outlining the entire process of becoming a general contractor in the state. 

Education

New Hampshire may require formal education for certain specialties in general contracting, such as plumbing. Check your specialty’s department or board website for more information on the trade licensing process.

Many general contractors do not have college degrees. For most states, you must be over the age of 18 and have a high school degree or equivalent. Upon meeting those requirements, you may apply to positions in the construction industry.

If you choose to attend college or a trade school, study an area that will support your future career in construction. Formal degrees in architecture, engineering, mechanics, and construction management are useful, but not necessary.

Similarly, attending a trade school can get you more experience and qualifications for a future career in contracting. 

Experience

The more exposure, the better. General contractors must be prepared for a myriad of obstacles on any job site.

To get experience in as many areas of construction as possible, shadow a higher-level general contractor and network within the construction industry. You may be required to tackle some difficulties during your days as an entry-level employee, but this is all part of learning.

Licensing

As previously stated, New Hampshire’s licensing process is unique. General contractors pursuing a specialty are the only ones who need to be licensed in the state.

The specialty trade licensing process will be handled via its department or board, but will typically include registration, application, exam and education requirements, and associated fees.  These specialties include:

  • Electrical 
  • Plumbing
  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Lead Abatement

Requirements

Not needing a general contracting license at the state level in New Hampshire may mean zero requirements. However, you should always check your local city or county for possible licensing requirements, as well as your specialty’s department or board, if you’re pursuing one.

Performing any type of building, construction, and renovation work may also contribute to possible licensing requirements in New Hampshire. Business and tax requirements may be included as well, particularly if you own a contracting business.

For more information, visit the New Hampshire Economic Development website.

Exam

Again, an exam may be required if you’re interested in a particular specialty trade. Check the specialty department and board to see what the specific application process will entail. 

Financial Documents

For information on necessary tax documents, visit New Hampshire’s Department of Revenue Administration website.

Surety Bond

If you’re hiring employees in the New Hampshire area, you need to at least be bonded and insured. Bond insurance reassures clients with a completed project or reimbursement. Check your local municipality for bonding costs and requirements.

Insurance

General liability and workers’ compensation insurance are also part of the registration process if you plan on having a contracting business.

New Hampshire General Contractor Licensing Fee Overview

Licensing fees don’t apply to general contractors in New Hampshire unless you’re performing specialty trade work. Visit the following websites for more information on necessary fees for each specialty:

Average New Hampshire General Contractor Salary & Benefits

There are plenty of construction opportunities for general contractors in New Hampshire. If becoming a general contractor in the state, you can expect to make $126,108 or $61 per hour.

This is 3% higher than the national average. An entry-level general contractor earns an average salary of $88,008. A senior-level general contractor earns an average salary of $156,773.

The Path to Become a General Contractor in New Hampshire

We just learned a lot about the unique process of becoming a general contractor in New Hampshire. So, let’s review.

1. Complete Basic Education

Complete your high school education or equivalent. However, be sure to contact your specialty’s department or board to see if you must take an exam or need a formal education.

2. Acquire Experience

Network often with professional contacts, gain exposure with entry-level construction jobs, and determine whether or not you’ll want to pursue a specialty trade. When gaining experience in construction, you also get the unique opportunity to understand the industry and feel more prepared going into entry-level work.

3. Register Your Business

If you own a general contracting business in New Hampshire, you may have to pay taxes. You will need to register for a business license in the state if you’re hiring employees, but not all contractor work qualifies as a business for tax purposes.

Visit the New Hampshire Economic Development website for further explanation. 

To learn more about starting a general contracting business, check out our guide below:

4. Check Licensing Registration and Fees (Per Specialty Trade)

New Hampshire doesn’t require a general contracting license unless you intend to perform specialty work. The application process for a specialty in New Hampshire could still include exams, education requirements, fees, liability insurance, and more.

Be sure to check your specialty’s website for any licensing requirements.

5. Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance

General contracting businesses with employees will need insurance in the State of New Hampshire. If the aforementioned applies to you, you must get Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage, get self-insured, or go through the state Workers’ Compensation program.

New Hampshire’s Department of Labor website has further details on Workers’ Compensation. 

6. Check Contractor License and Verification

The New Hampshire Online Licensing database shares public information about people or businesses who are officially licensed in the State of New Hampshire. If you need to verify a general contractor, check this important resource first to see who is licensed for specialty trade work.

Need Help With Your Next Project?

If you’re a general contractor in New Hampshire or another state in the U.S. and need metal casework, plastic laminate cabinets, or industrial furniture, give us a call at (866) 222-7494 to speak to a project consultant today.

Questions? Concerns? Want to start today? Get in touch. 866.612.7312

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