To obtain a license in Pennsylvania, contractors must secure approval for a Contractor License Bond from the authorities. This bond guarantees that contractors will uphold their construction responsibilities and comply with state regulations, providing financial protection for both the public and the state of Pennsylvania.
Please take a look at the below table for bond amounts and starting prices for various Pennsylvania counties. Regulation and rules change all the time, so if your county is not listed here, just give us a call. We'll still be able to get you bonded.
State-issued licenses are specifically required for only two types of contractors in Pennsylvania:
In Pennsylvania, aside from the two specific contractor types mentioned earlier, most contractors fall under the classification of "home improvement contractors.” If you do any of the following for more than $500, then you are considered a home improvement contractor in Pennsylvania:
Most common contractors who are considered home improvement contractors are drywallers, carpenters, plumbers, and electricians.
Licensing for home improvement contractors in Pennsylvania is primarily managed at the municipal level. Contractors are responsible for verifying the licensing prerequisites with the relevant local authorities. For instance, in the city of Pittsburg, general, plumbing, sign, and electrical contractors are required to obtain a contractor license.
We recommend you check the licensing requirements in the areas where you intend to work in Pennsylvania.
The State Board of Crane Operators oversees applicants in Pennsylvania looking to apply as registered crane operator contractors. While there is no degree requirement for applicants, the following requirements must be met:
The Department of Labor and Industry is in charge of applicants in Pennsylvania looking to apply as registered asbestos and lead removal contractors. For asbestos and lead removal contractors, the application process is quite simple. The steps involve:
Mail the application to:
PA Department of Labor & Industry
Certification, Accreditation & Licensing Division
651 Boas Street, Room 1606
Harrisburg, PA 17121
Every home improvement contractor generating an annual income exceeding $5,000 must register with the Pennsylvania State Attorney General's Office.
Here are the steps involved in registering as Home Improvement Contractor in Pennsylvania:
Mail and submit the application and licensing fee to:
Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
Bureau of Consumer Protection
15th Floor, Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Contractors are advised to utilize the online application process for faster processing. Apply conveniently online at https://hic.attorneygeneral.gov.
For reference, a licensing reciprocity occurs when states recognize a license obtained in another state, enabling the contractor to skip the entire process of obtaining a new license. It works similarly to how your driver's license is accepted in different states, saving you from proving your driving abilities each time you visit a new state because they acknowledge the validity of your license from your home state.
For Pennsylvania, the state does offer licensing reciprocity under Act 41 stated in the Pennsylvania Department of State. If you are a contractor licensed from these states, then you have licensing reciprocity:
The municipalities hold the authority to impose penalties and fines for unlicensed work, which can differ depending on the location. However, engaging in work without registration with the Attorney General's Office is considered a violation and may result in $1,000 or more fines.