MA  

Massachusetts

Anyone who supervises construction work or demolition (even a crew of one) needs a license.

maglass.gif (1144 bytes)To find out if a home improvement contractor is licensed in Massachusetts, click http://www.state.ma.us/bbrs/Hicsearch.htm To find out if an electrician, plumber, or gas fitter is licensed in Massachusetts, click http://license.reg.state.ma.us/pubLic/licque.asp?color=green. To find out if an asbestos abatement or lead contractor is licensed, click http://www.mass.gov/dos/forms/index.htm#Lists


There are two types of Construction Supervisor's license, unrestricted and restricted. The Restricted Construction Supervisor's License limits work to one- and two-family dwellings and accessory buildings. The Unrestricted License allows work on structures up to 35,000 cubic feet. To apply for either license, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) State Board of Building Regulations and Standards
McCormack State Office Building
One Ashburton Place, Room 1301
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 727-3200
Fax: (617) 227-1754
http://www.state.ma.us/bbrs/hic.htm

You must pass an exam to be licensed, and you must have at least three years of full time work experience to take the exam. The exam is three hours long, open book with 50 multiple choice questions. It covers:

Subject Number of questions
Code administration 7 - 9
Quality, strength, safety of materials and designs 3 - 5
Site work and foundations 3 - 5
Concrete 3 - 5
Masonry 3 - 5
Metals 2 - 4
Wood 7 - 9
Thermal and moisture protection 4 - 6
Doors, windows, and passages 2 - 4
Finishes 1 - 2
Mechanical systems 2 - 4
Fire protection 2 - 4

Candidates must take a copy of the Massachusetts State Building Code, 6th edition including a copy of Chapter 36 (Massachusetts State One- and Two-Family Dwelling Code, 6th Edition) to the test center. The State Building code may be purchased by contacting The State Bookstore, State House, Room 116, Boston, Massachusetts 02133 or by calling (617) 727-2834.

For information on the test, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Experior
Massachusetts Construction Supervisors Licensing Examinations
2 Mount Royal Avenue, Suite 250
Marlborough, MA 01752
(800) 626-0750
http://www.experioronline.com 

fees.GIF (442 bytes)Contractor's license fees: The exam costs $100. The license costs $150. 

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Home Improvement Contractor's Licenses

If you work on existing residential structures that are one- to four-unit owner-occupied buildings, you also need to register with the state. To do this, contact the State Board of Building Regulations and Standards and ask for an application to register as a Home Improvement Contractor or Subcontractor. There's no exam connected with this registration.

Home Improvement Contractor's registration will cost you $100. But you may not have register if you have a Construction Supervisor license in Massachusetts.

There's also a Guaranty Fund that you may have to contribute to the first time you register. The amount you need to contribute will depend on how many employees your company has:

Number of employees Required fund contribution
0 - 3 $100
4 - 10 $200
1 - 30 $300
More than 30 $500

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Asbestos or Lead Abatement Licenses

To do asbestos or lead abatement work in Massachusetts, you need a license. To get an application, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Department of Labor & Workforce Development
Division of Occupational Safety
100 Cambridge St., Room 1106
Boston, MA 02202
(617) 727-7047
(800) 425-0004 (in Massachusetts only)
http://www.state.ma.us/dos 

Forms are available online at http://www.state.ma.us/dos/pages/Forms.htm

Here are the licenses the Department issues and the nonrefundable yearly fee for each one:

License Fee
Asbestos contractor license $2,050
Asbestos project designer certificate $625
Asbestos inspector certificate $625
Asbestos project monitor certificate $625
Asbestos management planner certificate $625
Asbestos supervisor certificate $225
Asbestos worker certificate $75
Deleader contractor license $575
Deleader supervisor license $150
Deleader worker certificate $50

There may also be a surcharge due along with your license fee.

Before you can get any of these licenses you must have completed the training the Department requires.

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Electrician's Licenses

To do electrical work in Massachusetts you need a license. All electrical licenses are good for three years. To get an application click http://www.magnet.state.ma.us/reg/boards/el/forms.htm, or contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Division of Professional Licensure
Board of State Examiners of Electricians
239 Causeway St., Ste. 500
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 727-9931
http://www.magnet.state.ma.us/reg/home.htm

The Board issues journeyman, master, system contractor, and system technician licenses. You must pass an exam for any of these licenses. To take the journeyman exam you need three years of electrical work experience (four years if you started in the profession after September 1, 1981), and 300 hours of Board-approved education. You need to hold a journeyman license from the Board at least one year before you can take the master exam. 

All the electrical licensing exams are given by:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) PSI Examination Services
3210 E. Tropicana Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89121
(800) 733-9267
http://www.psiexams.com

Both master and journeyman exams are open book. The master exam has 80 questions and a time limit of 240 minutes. The journeyman exam has 70 questions and a time limit of 180 minutes. 

Number of questions
Subject Journeyman Master
State specific electrical requirements 0 4
General knowledge 8 6
Services 11 11
Grounding and bonding 7 10
Wiring methods and devices 18 15
Motors 4 7
Transformers 1 1
Low-Voltage distribution 2 2
Special occupancies and equipment 5 10
Overcurrent protection 6 6
Lighting 2 2
Alarm systems 6 6

For a master license you will need to take the Business and Law exam. The open-book exam has 40 multiple choice questions. 

Content area Number of questions
Massachusetts licensing 16
Estimating and bidding 4
Lien laws 1
Financial management 3
Tax laws 3
Labor laws 3
Project management 3
Contracts 6
Business organization 2
Risk management 4
Environmental and safety 5

You need to pass a practical exam to get a journeyman license. The exam has 30 questions. Here's a breakdown of its contents:

Subject Approximate number of questions
Circuit calculations 5
Electrical schematics and plans 5
Materials and components 6
Troubleshooting and testing 6
Massachusetts amendments 6
Licensing laws and regulations 2

You can take this exam the same day you take the journeyman exam.

The Contractor and Technician examination has are based on the content areas listed below:

Number of questions
Subject Contractor Technician
General electric and electronic theory and knowledge 9 -
NEC alarm requirements 15 20
Intrusion detection and notification 15 -
Fire detection and notification 31 30

Technician candidates are required to pass the practical examination. The examination consists of 30 questions on:

Subject Approximate number of questions
Circuit calculations 6
Electrical schematics and plans 6
Materials and components 8
Troubleshooting and testing 8
Licensing laws and regulations 2

If you have a journeyman or master electrician license in New Hampshire, Vermont or Maine you can apply to get a license from the Board by reciprocity.

Here are the licenses available, and fees for each:

License Exam  and license fee
Journeyman (both written and practical) $312
Master $402
Systems contractor $402
Systems technician
 
$312
 
Recommended Reading for the Electrical Exams

Master and Journeyman Exams

These materials are allowed for use during the examination: 

NFPA 70 - National Electrical Code, current edition, National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269, http://www.nfpa.org 

National Fire Alarm Code, National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269, http://www.nfpa.org 

Massachusetts Electrical Code, Board of Fire Prevention Regulations, http://www.mass.gov/dfs/osfm/fireprevention/cmr/index.htm 

Systems Contractor Exam

These materials are allowed for use during the examination: 

NFPA 70 - National Electrical Code, current edition, National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269, http://www.nfpa.org 

Massachusetts Electrical Code, Board of Fire Prevention Regulations, http://www.mass.gov/dfs/osfm/fireprevention/cmr/index.htm 

National Fire Alarm Code, National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269, http://www.nfpa.org 

Systems Technician Exam

NFPA 70 - National Electrical Code, current edition, National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269, http://www.nfpa.org 

National Fire Alarm Code, National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269, http://www.nfpa.org 

237 CMR 12.00-23.00 - Rules and Regulations of the Board of State Examiners of Electricians, State House Book Store, Rm 116, Boston, MA 02133

You can get the reference books from:

Builders' Book Depot
1033 Jefferson, Suite 500
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(800) 284-3434
http://st15.yahoo.com/buildersbookdepot/

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Plumber's and Gasfitter's Licenses

To do plumbing work in Massachusetts you need a license. All plumbing licenses are good for three years. For an application, click http://www.state.ma.us/reg/boards/pl/forms.htm or contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Division of Professional Licensure
Board of State Examiners of Plumbers
239 Causeway St., Ste. 500
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 727-9952
http://www.state.ma.us/reg/boards/pl/default.htm

Every applicant for a journeyman plumber’s license shall have worked at least three years in Massachusetts as an apprentice before being eligible to take the examination. At least 300 hours plumbing theory is also required. Every applicant for journeyman gasfitter’s license shall have worked at least two years in Massachusetts as an apprentice before being eligible to take the examination. At least 150 hours of gasfitting theory is also required. You must pass an exam for either of these licenses. All exams are closed book, multiple choice format. The exams each costs $117. This covers the application fee and the examination fee.

Exams are given by Experior. You can contact them for information on the exams at:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Experior
2 Mount Royal Avenue, Suite 250
Marlborough, MA 01752
(508) 624-0826
http://www.experioronline.com

Plumbing Exam:
The plumbing exams consist of 2 parts. You will have 4 hours to complete both parts.

Part I - Written

Subject Percent of exam
Installation practices 15
Science and theory 5
Math 20
Blueprint reading and design 5
Code 55

Part II - Practical

This part consists of multiple-choice questions referenced to plumbing such as sizes, dimensions, clearances, capacities, etc. as they apply to the drawings presented in the exam. Some questions may ask you to recognize compliance with, or a violation of, the code as shown in the drawing and as they relate to fittings and  appurtenances.

Gas Fitting Exams:
The gas fitter exams consist of one part. The exams are closed book, multiple-choice format. Time limit is 2 hours.

Subject Percent of exam
Combustion air and venting 20
Piping installation practices 20
Materials 15
Sizing and estimating 10
Equipment locations 10
Code definitions 10
Testing 5
Troubleshooting and adjustment 5
Pressure limitations 5

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Department of Transportation (DOT)

You must be prequalified to bid on Massachusetts Department of Highways work. Prequalification is good for up to 24 months. To get an application, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Massachusetts Highway Department
Prequalification and Contract Office
10 Park Plaza, Room 7373
Boston, MA 02116-3973
(617) 973-7620
http://www.state.ma.us/mhd/

Forms are available online at http://www.mhd.state.ma.us/default.asp?pgid=InfoIndex2&sid=info2

The application will ask you:

Here are classes of work the Highway Department uses:

Asbestos removal Landscaping and roadside development
Bridge construction Electrical lighting
Catch basin cleaning Marine construction
Chemical storage sheds Mowing and spraying
Crack sealing Structural painting
Demolition Pavement marking
Drawbridge maintenance Processing, recycling, transporting excavated soils
Drilling and boring Reclamation
Impact attenuators Sewer and water
Intelligent transportation systems Structural signs
Guardrail and fencing Surfacing
Hazardous waste remediation Traffic signals
Highway construction Tunnels
Highway maintenance Underground tank removal and replacement
Highway sweeping Utilities

For those contractors who are incorporated outside of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts it also requires a Certificate of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Secretary of State Office.

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Out-of-State Corporations

You must register with the Massachusetts Secretary of State and get a Certificate of Good Standing to do business in the state. To get an application, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Office of the State Secretary
One Ashburton Place, Room 1717
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 727-9640
http://corp.sec.state.ma.us/portal/portalpage.htm

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