MI  

Michigan

Contractors working on residential or a combination of residential and commercial buildings must be licensed. Electricians, plumbers and HVAC contractors also have to be licensed.

maglass.gif (1144 bytes)To find out if a contractor or tradesman is licensed, click on http://www.cis.state.mi.us/verify.htm.



Michigan contractors are licensed by: 

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Builder's Unit
Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau
Licensing & Regulatory Affairs
P.O. Box 30018
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 241-6470
http://www.michigan.gov/dleg/0,1607,7-154-35299_35414_35455---,00.html

The Department issues Residential Builder and Maintenance and Alteration Contractor's licenses. But before you can apply for a license, you must first pass an exam. The exam is given by PSI Examination Services. So you need to get an application for an exam from them. You can contact them at:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) PSI Examination Services
3210 East Tropicana
Las Vegas, CA 89121
(800) 733-9267
Fax: (702) 932-2666
http://www.psiexams.com 

Before you can take the exam, you must complete 60 hours of approved prelicensure education. A list of approved courses is available on the Builders website at http://www.michigan.gov/builders under a section called "Spotlight".

Residential Builder's License

Let's look first at the Residential Builder license. This license will let you work in these trades:

Basement waterproofing Carpentry
Concrete Excavation
Gutters, downspouts House wrecking
Insulation Masonry
Painting, decorating Roofing
Siding Storms, screens
Swimming pools Tile, marble
Replacement windows/doors/garage doors Laying wood floors

This license doesn't let you do plumbing, electrical, or mechanical work. See below for information on those trades.

You must pass a two-part exam to apply for this license -- a business and law part and a trade part.  The business and law exam has 50 multiple choice questions and lasts 75 minutes. Here are the subjects on the business and law part and the number of questions on each subject:

Subject Number of questions
Regulator and statutory requirements 13
Business organization 2
Bidding and estimating 3
Contracts 8
Project management and supervision 2
Accounting and finance 6
Personnel 6
Insurance, bonds and liens 4
Payroll taxes 6

The trade exam has 100 questions and you will have 150 minutes to complete the exam. Here's a summary of the subjects on the trade part and the number of questions on each subject:

Subject Number of questions
Layout 5
Plans, specification and estimating 15
Excavation and sitework 4
Footings and foundation walls 7
Concrete 4
Carpentry 20
Masonry 7
Roofing 7
Insulation 5
Ventilation 3
Windows, doors and skylights 2
Siding installation 4
Interior and exterior finishing 2
Specialties 3
Safety and employee protection 12

fees.GIF (442 bytes)Residential builder license fees: It will cost you $100 nonrefundable to take both exams. If you are taking the exams separately, the trade exam is $70 and the business and law is $60.

Recommended Reading for Residential Builder's License

Business and Law:

Stille-Derossett-Hale Single State Construction Code, Michigan Depertment of Labor & Economic Growth, Bureau of Construction Codes and Fire Safety, Office of Management Services, P.O. Box 30255, Lansing, MI 48909

Michigan Residential Code, Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth, Bureau of Construction Codes and Fire Safety, Office of Management Services, P.O. Box 30255, Lansing, MI 48909

Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act 154 of 1974, as amended, and Administrative Rules for All Industries, Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services, Safety Standards Division, P.O. Box 30643, Lansing, MI 48909

Worker's Disability Compensation Act and General Information Regarding Rights and Responsibilities Under the Act, Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth, Bureau of Workers' Disability Compensation, Compliance Division, P.O. Box 30016, Lansing, MI 48909

Michigan Single Business Tax Booklet for Individuals, Partnerships, and Fiduciaries, State of Michigan, Department of Treasury, Treasury Building, P.O. Box 15128, Lansing, MI 48901

Circular E Employer's Tax Guide, Internal Revenue Service, Tax Forms and Publications, 1111 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC

Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, Michigan Civil Rights Commission, Victor Office Center, Suite 700, 201 N. Washington Square, Lansing, MI 48913

Residential Builders Laws and Rules Relating to Residential Builders and Maintenance and Alteration Contractors, State of Michigan Residential Builders and Maintenance and Alteration Contractor Board

Construction Contracting, R. Clough, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158

Builder's Guide to Accounting, Thomsett, Craftsman Book Company, 6058 Corte del Cedro, P.O. Box 6500, Carlsbad, CA 92018 http://craftsman-book.com

Americans with Disabilities Act, U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division, Americans With Disabilities, Disability Rights Section, 800-514-0301

EPA Publication: The Lead-Based Paint Pre-Renovation Education Rule, Environmental Protection Agency, Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460

Home Solicitaion Sales, Michigan Legislative Council, 124 West Allegan, Michigan National Tower, 3rd Floor, Lansing, MI 48909

Uniform Commercial Code, Formation & Readjustments of Contracts, Michigan Legislative Council, 124 West Allegan, Michigan National Tower, 3rd Floor, Lansing, MI 48909

Employing Minors in Michigan, Wage & Hour Division, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth, 7150 Harris Drive, Lansing, MI 48909

Minimum Wage Law of 1964, Wage & Hour Division, Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth, 7150 Harris Drive, Lansing, MI 48909

Payment of Wages and Fringe Benefits, Wage & Hour Division, Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth, 7150 Harris Drive, Lansing, MI 48909

U.S. Department of Justice, Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9, Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250

Trade Exam:

Stille-Derossett-Hale Single State Construction Code, Michigan Depertment of Labor & Economic Growth, Bureau of Construction Codes and Fire Safety, Office of Management Services, P.O. Box 30255, Lansing, MI 48909

Michigan Residential Code, Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth, Bureau of Construction Codes and Fire Safety, Office of Management Services, P.O. Box 30255, Lansing, MI 48909

Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act 154 of 1974, as amended, and Administrative Rules for All Industries, Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services, Safety Standards Division, P.O. Box 30643, Lansing, MI 48909

Pipe and Excavation Contracting, Dave Roberts, Craftsman Book Company, P.O. Box 6500, Carlsbad, CA 92009, http://www.craftsman-book.com 

Carpentry and Building Construction, Feirer, Hutchings & Feirer, McGraw-Hill, P.O. Box 182605, Colombus, OH 43218, http://www.mcgrawhill.com 

The Guide to Good Practice for Handling, Installing & Bracing of Metal Plate Connected Wood Trusses, Wood Truss Council of America & the Truss Plate Institute, One WTCA Center, 6300 Enterprise Lane, Madison, WI 53719

The Contractor's Guide to Quality Concrete Construction, American Concrete Institute, P.O. Box 9094, Farmington Hills, MI 48333

Modern Masonry, The Goodheart-Wilcox Company, 18604 West Creek Drive, Tinley Park, IL 60532

Roofing Construction and Estimating, Daniel Atcheson, Craftsman Book Company, P.O. Box 6500, Carlsbad, CA 92009, http://www.craftsman-book.com 

Walkers Insulation Techniques and Estimating Handbook, Harry Hardenbrook and Gary D. Cook, Frank R. Walker Company, 1989 University Lane, Unit C, Lisle, IL 60532

Building Trades Print Reading, Thomas E. Proctor, American Technical Publishers, Inc., 1115 W. 175th Street, Homewood, IL 60430

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Maintenance and Alteration Contractor's License

Now let's look at the Maintenance and Alteration Contractor license. Like the Residential Builder license, you must pass the business and law part of the exam to apply for this license. However the Maintenance and Alteration Contractor license lets you work only in the trades you pass a trade exam in. You can be licensed in as many trades as you like but you must pass an exam for each one. Each trade exam has 25 to 50 multiple choice questions and lasts one and one hour. Here are the subjects on the trade exams and the number of questions on each:

Trade Number of questions
Basement waterproofing 50
Carpentry 50
Concrete 55
Excavation 40
Gutters, downspouts 35
House wrecking 25
Insulation 50
Masonry 50
Painting, decorating 50
Roofing 50
Siding 45
Storms, screens 35
Swimming pools 50
Tile, marble 50

This license also doesn't let you do plumbing, electrical, or mechanical work. See below for information on those trades.

fees.GIF (442 bytes)Maintenance and alteration contractor's license fees: It will cost you $90 nonrefundable to take the business and law part of the exam and two trades. It will cost $80 to take the business and law part of the exam and one trade.

After you pass all the required exams, it will cost you $205 for either license. A license is good for two years. The license will come from the Builder's Unit of the Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs. You can contact them at:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Builder's Unit
Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau
Licensing & Regulatory Affairs
P.O. Box 30018
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 241-6470
http://www.michigan.gov/dleg/0,1607,7-154-35299---,00.html

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Electrician's Licenses

To do electrical work in Michigan you need a license. Some communities license electrical contractors at the local level. To find out if your city or county licenses at the local level, check the Electrical Administrative Board's web site.

To get an application for a state license, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Michigan Department of Labor
Bureau of Construction Codes
Electrical Administrative Board
7150 Harris Drive
P.O. Box 30255
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 241-9320
Fax: (517) 241-9308
http://www.michigan.gov/cis/

Master and Journeyman Licenses

You'll have to pass an exam to get a license. To qualify for the master exam you need:

If you're licensed in another state which has licensing requirements about the same as Michigan, you can qualify to take the exam. Also if you don't fulfill these requirements you can still present evidence of your experience to the Board and possibly get permission to take the exam.

The master exam covers knowledge required to plan and supervise electrical installation, read plans and drawings, and apply knowledge of relevant safety procedures and requirements. Here are the subjects on the exam:

Grounding and bonding Overcurrent protection
Branch circuits, wire connections and devices Raceways
Conductors Special occupancies and equipment
General knowledge of electrical trade Boxes, cabinets, panelboards, non-raceway enclosures
Motors and control of motors and equipment Low voltage circuits and equipment
Services and feeders Lighting and lamps
General use equipment State laws, rules, code amendments

fees.GIF (442 bytes)Electrician's license fees: It will cost you $25 to apply for the master exam. The license costs $25 and it's good for one year, expiring on December 31 each year. 

To qualify for the journeyman exam you must be 20 years old, have 8,000 hours of electrical work experience over at least four years working under a master electrician. If you're licensed in another state which has licensing requirements about the same as Michigan, you can qualify to take the exam.

The journeyman exam is on the same subjects as the master exam but it covers only entry level knowledge. It will cost you $25 to apply for the journeyman exam. The license costs $20 and it's good for one year, expiring on December 31 each year.

Fire Alarm Specialty and Fire Alarm Contractor Licenses

To be eligible for the exam, you must be 20 years of age and certified by NICET as an associate of engineering technician, level II or equivalent as determined by the Board. Exam subjects are the same as the master and journeyman exams.

Sign Specialist License

You must be 18 years of age, show completion of a sign specialist training course and have 4,000 hours of related experience. Exam subjects are the same as the master and journeyman exams.

Electrical Contractor License

To qualify you must hold a master electrician's license or have at least one master electrician in your employ. The master electrician will be charge of and responsible for code compliance of all installations of electrical wiring and equipment.

Contractor licenses are issued in 3-year cycles. Electrical and fire alarm contractor licenses will cost $200 if the license is issued for three years, $134 in the second year of licensing, and $67 in the third year. The Sign specialty contractor license will cost $120 if the license is issued for three years, $80 in the second year of licensing, and $40 in the third year.

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Mechanical Contractor's License

To do mechanical work in Michigan you need a mechanical contractor's license. To get an application for a license, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Michigan Department of Labor
Bureau of Construction Codes
Board of Mechanical Rules
7150 Harris Drive
P.O. Box 30254
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 241-9325
http://www.michigan.gov/cis/

The Board issues contractor licenses in these classifications:

Hydronic heating, cooling, process piping
HVAC equipment
Ductwork
Refrigeration
Limited heating service
Unlimited heating service
Limited refrigeration, air conditioning service
Unlimited refrigeration, air conditioning service
Specialty
Fire suprresion

There are six types of specialty licenses: solar, solid fuel, LP tank and pipe, underground tank and pipe, gas piping, and gas piping and venting.

You will have to pass an exam to get a license. You need at least three years of experience or Board-approved equivalent in one or more of these classifications to qualify to take the exam. If you have Board-approved education you can apply up to one year of that education to the three-year work experience requirement. 

The exams are based on the provisions of the state mechanical code, related laws, instructions, rules, general theories and practices.

Also if you want to take any of the unlimited service exams, you must first pass the limited service exam for that trade. 

All of the exams use the Michigan Mechanical Code as a reference. This book is available for purchase. Check with the Board for price details.

fees.GIF (442 bytes)Mechanical contractor's license fees: It'll cost you $25 for an exam but you can take as many trade exams at one time as you want for that fee. A license will cost you $75. You'll also have to pay $50 to the Construction Lien Recovery Fund to get licensed after you pass the exams. A license is good for one year, but all expire December 31 each year.

If you can prove you have a valid license in a state with qualifications at least equal to Michigan's (and your home state extends reciprocal licenses to Michigan mechanical contractors), you may be eligible for a Michigan license without taking the exam. You'll still need to pay the fee.

Recommended Reading for the Mechanical Trade Exams

Hydronic heating, cooling, process piping:

Michigan Mechanical Code and Michigan Residential Code

HVAC equipment:

Michigan Mechanical Code and Michigan Residential Code

ACCA Manual D, Duct Design for Residential Winter and Summer Air Conditioning Equipment Selection, Air Conditioning Contractors of America, 2800 Shirlington Road, Ste. 300, Arlington, VA 22206, 703-575-4477

Manual J - Load Calculation for Residential Winter and Summer Air Conditioning, Air Conditioning Contractors of America, 2800 Shirlington Road, Ste. 300, Arlington, VA 22206, 703-575-4477

HVAC Duct Construction Standards-Metal and Flexible, SMACNA (Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association), 3221 W. Big Beaver, Suite #305, Troy, MI 48084, 248-649-5450

Fibrous Duct Construction Standards, SMACNA (Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association), 3221 W. Big Beaver, Suite #305, Troy, MI 48084, 248-649-5450

International Fuel Gas Code, International Code Council, 4051 W. Flossmoor Road, Country Club Hills, IL 60478, 800-214-4321

Ductwork:

Michigan Mechanical Code and Michigan Residential Code

Manual D- Duct Design for Residential Winter and Summer Air Conditioning and Equipment Selection, Air Conditioning Contractors of America, 2800 Shirlington Road, Ste. 300, Arlington, VA 22206, 703-575-4477

Manual J, Air Conditioning Contractors of America, 2800 Shirlington Road, Ste. 300, Arlington, VA 22206, 703-575-4477

Standard HVAC Systems - Testing, Adjusting and Balancing, SMACNA (Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association), 3221 W. Big Beaver, Suite #305, Troy, MI 48084, 248-649-5450

HVAC Duct Construction Standards-Metal and Flexible, SMACNA (Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association), 3221 W. Big Beaver, Suite #305, Troy, MI 48084, 248-649-5450

Refrigeration:

Michigan Mechanical Code and Michigan Residential Code

Safety Code for Mechanical Refrigeration, American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc., 1791 Tullie Circle NE, Atlanta, GA 30329

Limited heating service

Michigan Mechanical Code and Michigan Residential Code

Unlimited heating service

Michigan Mechanical Code and Michigan Residential Code

Limited refrigeration and air conditioning service

Michigan Mechanical Code and Michigan Residential Code

Unlimited refrigeration and air conditioning service

Michigan Mechanical Code and Michigan Residential Code

Fire suppression:

Michigan Mechanical Code and Michigan Residential Code

NFPA 13 - Installation of Sprinkler Systems, National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269, 800-344-3555

Solid fuel:

Michigan Mechanical Code and Michigan Residential Code

NFPA 211- Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents and Solid Fuel Burning Appliances, 1992, National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269

Solar:

Michigan Mechanical Code and Michigan Residential Code

Gas piping:

Michigan Mechanical Code and Michigan Residential Code

International Fuel Gas Code, International Code Council, 4051 West Flossmoor Road, Country Club Hills, IL 60478, 800-214-4321

L.P. Tank & Pipe

Michigan Mechanical Code and Michigan Residential Code

LP Gas Code, National Fire Protection Association, Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02269

Underground Tank & Pipe

Michigan Mechanical Code and Michigan Residential Code

International Fire Code, National Fire Protection Association, Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02269

Additional helpful references:

Construction Lien Recovery Fund Consumer Guide, 517-241-9241

Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA), 517-322-1845

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Plumber's Licenses

To do plumbing work in Michigan you need a master or journeyman license. To get an application for a license, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Michigan Department of Labor
Bureau of Construction Codes/Plumbing Board
7150 Harris Drive
P.O. Box 30255
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 241-9330
http://www.michigan.gov/cis/

You will have to pass an exam to get a license. To qualify for the master exam you need two years of work experience as a Michigan licensed journeyman plumber. You must have completed the experience just before you apply for the exam. If you got your experience in another state or in some other way, you can appear before the Board and present your case to take the exam. 

The written part of the exam is on the general theory and practice of plumbing and Michigan plumbing laws and regulations. The practical part of the exam will test your ability to do various mechanical tasks connected with the plumbing trade.

fees.GIF (442 bytes)Plumber's license fees: It will cost you $100 to apply for the master exam. The license costs $300 and it's good for three years. If you can prove you have a valid license in a state with qualifications at least equal to Michigan's, you may be eligible for a Michigan license without taking the exam. You still need to pay the fee though.

To qualify for the journeyman exam you must have at least three years experience as an apprentice plumber working under a master plumber. If you have Board-approved education you can use it for up to one year of the three years experience requirement. If you got your experience in another state or in some other way, you can appear before the Board and present your case to take the exam. 

The exam willl consist of oral, written, and practical tests and will cover the theory and practice of plumbing and knowledge of the state plumbing code, rules, and regulations.

fees.GIF (442 bytes)Journeyman's license fees: It will cost you $25 to apply for the journeyman exam. The license costs $20 and it's good for one year, expiring on December 31 each year. If you can prove you have a valid license in a state with qualifications at least equal to Michigan's, you may be eligible for a Michigan license without taking the exam. You still need to pay the fee though.

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Elevator Contractor License

To do elevator contracting work in Michigan you need a license. To get an application for a license, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Michigan Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs
Bureau of Construction Codes
Elevator Safety Division
P.O. Box 30255
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 241-9337
http://www.michigan.gov/cis/

The Division issues the following licenses:

Class A - Unlimited
Class B - Maintenence and repair
Class C - Special types of elevators

To qualify for the contractor exam you must have at least 5 years experience as an elevator constructor or journeyperson. To qualify for the journeyman exam you need 3 years of continuous experience in the type of elevator work that you wish to be licensed in. A degree in electrical or mechanical engineering may be substituted for 1 year of experience.

fees.GIF (442 bytes)Elevator license fees: It will cost you $100 to apply for the contractor exam. The license costs $100 and it's good for one year, expiring on December 31 each year. It will cost $100 to apply for the journeyman exam and $40 for the initial license.


Boiler Installer's License

To do boiler installation or repair contracting work in Michigan you need a license. To get an application for a license, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Michigan Department of Labor
Bureau of Construction Codes
Boiler Division
P.O. Box 30255
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 241-9334
http://www.michigan.gov/cis/

Click here to get applications online. 

You will have to pass an exam to get a license. To qualify for the installer or repair contractors exam you must have at least 5 years experience in all phases of boiler installation or repair. 

Here are the Boiler Installer's License classifications:

Class 1B - installs low-pressure boilers that don't exceed a firing rate of 1,000,00 Btu per hour
Class 2B - installs low-pressure boilers of any capacity or firing rate
Class 3B - installs power boilers that have a capacity of not more than 5,000 pounds of steam per hour
Class 4B - installs boilers that have a capacity of not more than 300,000 pounds of steam per hour
Class 5B - installs boilers of any capacity or firing rate, except for nuclear heat source boilers
Class 6B - installs boilers that utilize a nuclear heat source or their parts, appurtenences, or system components

Here are the Boiler Repair Contractor's License classifications:

Class I - repairs boilers by means other than welding, riveting, or other fabrication process
Class II - repairs low pressure boilers, hot water supply boilers, and fire tube boilers of any pressure and performs work covered by class I license
Class III - repairs water tube boilers designed for a maximum allowable working pressure of not more than 700 psi and boilers covered by a class II license
Class IV - repairs or field-erects boilers of any pressure, except for boilers that have a nuclear heat source
Class V - repairs and field-erects boilers that have a nuclear heat source or their parts, appurtenances, or system components

fees.GIF (442 bytes)Mechanical contractor's license fees: It will cost $75 to apply for the exam. If you pass the exam the Division will issue you a license.


Department of Transportation (DOT)

You have to be prequalified to bid on Michigan Department of Transportation projects. To get an application, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Michigan Department of Transportation
Contract Services Division
Prequalification Unit
P.O. Box 30050
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 335-4281
www.michigan.gov/mdot/

Forms are available online at http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,7-151-9625_23109---,00.html

Some of the details the Department will ask you about are your organization, personnel, financial condition, equipment, and experience. You'll be asked what type of work you want to be qualified for. Here are the types of work the Department uses:

Aggregate construction Plant-mixed bituminous pavement
Bridges, special structures Producing aggregate material
Building moving, demolition Pumphouses
Concrete curbs, gutters, driveways, sidewalks Seeding and sodding
Concrete pavement Structural steel
Concrete pavement patching, widening Structure concrete repair
Electrical construction Structural steel and prestressed concrete
Grading and drainage structures Special contracts
Landscaping Tunneling, jacking
Non-skid bituminous pavement Water mains, open cut sewers

Your prequalification rating is good for 15-1/2 months after the end of the fiscal year your prequalification application is based on.

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Out-of-State Corporations

An out-of-state corporation needs to register with the Corporation Division to do business in the state. For information, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Corporation Division
Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs
Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau
P.O. Box 30018
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 241-6470
Fax: (517) 241-9280
bcsinfo@cis.state.mi.us
 
www.michigan.gov/corporations

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