Choose a state

Construction Work Regulated?

Who Regulates Construction?


NASCLA Exams State Business & Law Exam State General Contractor Exams "A" Classification Exams State Engineering Exams State Plumbing Exams State Subcontractors Exams State Electrical Exams State Mechanical Exams National Exams

Construction Work Regulated?

Virtually every aspect of construction work $2,500 or more (including materials and labor) is regulated at the state level.

All electrical work must be performed by a licensed electrician.

All non-exempted plumbing work must be performed by a certified plumber.

All non-exempted HVAC work must be performed by a certified HVAC technician.

A person operating a crane with a lifting capacity of more than 2,000 pounds is required to obtain a crane operator certification.

Who Regulates Construction?

All contractors must register with:

West Virginia State Tax Department Office of Business Registration
Post Office Box 2666
Charleston, WV 25330-2666
(304) 558-3333 or (800) 982-8297

Prequalification information may be obtained from:

West Virginia Department of Transportation Division of Highways - Contract Administration
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Building 5, State Capitol Complex, Room 748
Charleston, WV 25305
(304) 558-9553 Fax (304) 558-2815

Contractor licensing information and applications may be obtained from:

West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
State Capitol Complex, Building 3, Room 200
Charleston, WV 25305
(304) 558-7890/Fax (304) 558-5174

Contractor testing information may be obtained from:

Prov, Inc.
200 Association Drive, Suite 190
Northgate Business Center
Charleston, WV 25311
(866) 720-7768

Electrician licensing information may be obtained from:

West Virginia State Fire Commission
Office of the State Fire Marshal
Regulatory & Licensing Division
1207 Quarrier Street, 2nd Floor
Charleston, WV 25301
(304) 558-2191/Fax (304) 558-2537

Crane Operator Certification, HVAC Technician Certification and Plumber Certification information may be obtained from:

West Virginia Division of Labor
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
State Capitol Complex, Building 3, Room 200
Charleston, WV 25305
(304) 558-7890 I Fax (304) 558-5174


All applicants must pass an open book examination on business and law. Major trade classifications must also pass a trade specific examination. A minimum score of 70% is required in order to qualify for licensure. Proof of workers'
compensation, tax registration and employment security coverage are required. Licenses are good for 1 year from date of issuance.

Exam Fee / Application Fee / Renewal Fee

$51.95 / $90 / $90

Highway Prequalification:
Contractors must submit experience records and audited financial statements for projects more than $200,000. Bid limits are based upon a formula applied to the financial statements. Applications must be submitted 15 days before the bid letting date, and the average processing time is 2 weeks. Prequalification is good for 16 months from fiscal year end date. All highway projects require 102% performance bonding.

All commercial contractors who do not qualify for an exemption or waiver according to §21-5-14 are required to post a wage bond equal to 4 weeks gross payroll, at full capacity, plus 15% for fringe benefits.

Nonresident contractors must register with the State Tax Commissioner prior to performing contracts and shall deposit 6% of the contract price in cash in the contractors' use tax fund or provide a corporate surety bond.

A bond equal to the cost of materials and labor is required for public works, other than highway projects.

Crane Operator Certifications:
A person operating a crane in West Virginia is required to have a certification with the proper designation issued by the West Virginia Division of Labor.

A person must have National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) exam scores for both the written and practical examinations.

A physician's certificate prior to initial certification and will be required every 5 years. The certificate must certify that you are qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle as required by 49 C.F.R. §391.41.

Crane Designations:
Lattice boom truck; Lattice boom crawler; Fixed cab-telescoping boom; Swing cab-telescoping boom; and Tower. Crane operator certification initial and renewal fee is $75.00.

Applicants must pass an open book examination based upon the 2017 National Electrical Code with a minimum score of 80%. The applicant is allowed 4 hours to take the examination. All work-related experience MUST be verifiable when submitting an application for examination.

Electrician experience requirements are as follows:

5 years or 10,000 hours of actual hands-on electrical work experience. Must document some residential, some industrial and some commercial electrical work.

Completed 1,080 hour approved West Virginia Electrical Vocational Program or US Dept. of Labor approved Electrical Apprenticeship Program or 4 years or 8,000 hours of hands-on electrical work experience.

Must be 18 years or older.

2 years or 4,000 hours of hands on work experience in the area for which the applicant is applying. One year may be obtained through educational programs.

Electrical Classification / Exam Fee / License Fee* / Renewal Fee
Master / $25 / $50 / $50
Journeyman / $25 / $50 / $50
Apprentice / $10 / $50 / $50
*Specialty / $25/ $50 / $50

*Specialty includes: HVAC, electric sign, single family residential dwelling, low voltage-fire & burglar alarm system and elevator.

HVAC Technician:
A person certified to install, test, maintain and repair heating, ventilating and cooling systems. At least 2,000 hours of experience and/or training working on heating, ventilating and cooling systems and at least 6,000 hours of
experience and/or training in heating, ventilating and cooling or relating work, to
include other sheet metal industry tasks.

HVAC Residential Technician:
A person certified to install, test, maintain, and repair residential heating, ventilating, and cooling systems: Provided that such persons may perform work on non-residential heating, ventilating, and cooling systems subject to rules promulgated by the commissioner pursuant to §21-16-3 of this code. (May qualify for the grandfathering process until December 31, 2019.)

HVAC Technician in Training:
A person with interest in, and an aptitude for, performing installation, maintenance, and repair work to a heating, ventilating, and cooling system as defined in this article, but who alone is not capable or authorized to perform heating, ventilating, and cooling system work unless directly supervised by an HVAC technician or HVAC residential technician. (No exam required to obtain.)

Certification Type / Exam Fee / Initial & Renewal Fee
HVAC Technician / $51.95 / $75
HVAC Residential in Training / $51.95 / $60
HVAC Technician in Training / N/A / $50


Persons performing or offering to perform plumbing work must acquire a license. This license is to assure competence of those who perform plumbing.

The classifications and experience necessary to license are listed below:

Master Plumber:
A person with at least 12,000 hours of plumbing work experience and who is competent to design plumbing systems, and to instruct and supervise the plumbing work of journeyman plumbers, and plumbers in training.

Journeyman Plumber:
A person qualified by at least 8,000 hours of plumbing or related experience and who is competent to instruct and supervise the work of a plumber in training.

Plumber in Training:
A person with interest in and an aptitude for performing plumbing work but who alone is not capable of performing plumbing work, and who has fewer than 8,000 hours of plumbing experience. (No exam required to obtain)

License Type / Exam Fee / License Fee
Master Plumber / $51.95 / $75
Journeyman / $51.95 / $75
Plumber in Training / N/A / $50


The Contractor Licensing Board may, in its discretion, create reciprocity agreements with other states where equivalent classifications and licensing requirements exist. The following is current reciprocity agreements:

Alabama - HVAC classification.
North Carolina - Electrical classification, including Business & Law.
Ohio - Electrical, HV AC and Plumbing classifications, including Business & Law

A person can only acquire a license via reciprocity once the applicant actually passes the required exam(s) in the other state.

The board accepts NASCLA Accredited Examination for commercial General Building exam scores administered by their testing agent, if acquired after September 1, 2013.

The State Fire Marshal allows reciprocal agreements for electricians, where equivalent requirements exist. Currently, agreements exist with Kentucky (master and journeyman), Maryland (master), North Carolina (master), Ohio (master) and Virginia (master and journeyman). Reciprocity licenses can only be obtained if the applicant
actually passed a state exam in the other state.
American Contractors Exam Prep - WV