Frequently Asked Questions
Who needs an Alabama contractor license?
A license is required for any new residential construction over $50,000 that is three stories or less.
What types of contractor licenses are offered in Alabama?
In Alabama, licenses are divided into two types:
- General Contractors
- Home Builders – exam prep available here!
Home Builders are further divided into two categories:
- Unlimited Home Builder – New Residential Buildings and Repair:
"One who constructs a residence or structure for sale or who, for a fixed price, commission, fee, or wage, undertakes or offers to undertake the construction or superintending of the construction, or who manages, supervises, assists, or provides consultation to the homeowner regarding the construction or superintending of the construction, of any residence or structure which is not over three floors in height and which does not have more than four units in an apartment complex, or the repair, improvement, or re improvement thereof, to be used by another as a residence when the cost of the undertaking exceeds ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00). Nothing herein shall prevent any person from performing these acts on his or her own residence or on his or her other real estate holdings. Anyone who engages or offers to engage in such undertaking in this state shall be deemed to have engaged in the business of residential home building." – per the Ala. Code 34-14A
- Limited Home Builder – Repair and Improvement of Current Buildings:
"A residential home builder who holds a current and valid residential home builders license with a limitation may only engage in the business of residential home building, as referred to in Ala. Code § 34-14A-2(10), when the scope of the construction is limited to the repair, improvement, or re improvement, as such term is defined herein, of a residence or structure." – per the Ala Admin. Code R. 465-X-3-.04(2)
- Unlimited Home Builder – New Residential Buildings and Repair:
How do I get my General Contractor license in Alabama?
- Request a license application form
- Complete the application and return it to the State.
- Once the State approves your application. Residential builders will be required to pass a Home Builders License Exam. Commercial Builders (General Contractors) are required to pass a Business and Law exam along with the NASCLA Accredited exam.
Visit Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors: How to Apply for more detailed instructions.
How do I get a Home Builders license in Alabama?
- Obtain an application package
- Complete and return the application package with the fee to the board
- Pass the Alabama Home Builders Exam
- Provide a credit report to the board
- Provide information on tax compliance to the board
- Provide proof of citizenship to the board
Visit Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board: How to Get Licensed for more detailed instructions.
What exams do I have to take to become licensed as an Alabama Home Builder?
To become licensed as a Home Builder you must take the Home Builders exam through ProV.
What are the Alabama Home Builder exam fees?
If both tests are taken on the same day: $130.00
If taken on separate days, each test is $80.00
What exams do I have to take to become licensed as a General Contractor in Alabama?
To become licensed as a General Contractor you must take the NASCLA Accredited exam and the Alabama Business & Law exam, both through PSI.
What are the Alabama General Contractor exam fees?
Business & Law portion: $96.00
NASCLA portion: $106.00
Both portions together: $202.00
The fees to retake the exams are the same as above.
What is the NASCLA Accredited Examination Program?
The NASCLA Accredited Examination Program is designed to help participating states by providing one trades licensing examination that is accepted by all participating jurisdictions.
The NASCLA Accredited Examination Program is NOT a nationally recognized license. Contractors will still have to meet additional state licensure requirements within each participating state to obtain their licenses.
Why take the NASCLA Accredited Exam?
The NASCLA Accredited exam benefits contractors who need licenses in multiple states. If your business will expand into any of the participating states, you will save time and money by passing the NASCLA exam.
By passing the NASCLA exam, you will avoid having to take multiple trades exams in other states. You will still need to pass a Business & Law exam in each of the States (except Arkansas). Arkansas will accept the NASCLA Accredited exam as both the Trades and Business/Law.
What states is the NASCLA exam accepted in?
The NASCLA exam is accepted in AL, AR, AZ, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, NV, OR, SC, TN, UT, US Virgin Islands, VA, & WV. For your convenience, we have included links below to our FAQ pages for each of these states to help you find further information.
- Alabama Builder FAQs
- Arizona Contractor FAQs
- Arkansas Contractor FAQs
- Florida Contractor FAQs
- Georgia Contractor FAQs
- Louisiana Contractor FAQs
- Mississippi Contractor FAQs
- Nevada Contractor FAQs
- North Carolina Contractor FAQs
- Oregon Contractor FAQs
- South Carolina Contractor FAQs
- Tennessee Contractor FAQs
- Utah Contractor FAQs
- Virginia Contractor FAQs
- West Virginia Contractor FAQS
Do I have to be approved to take the NASCLA exam?
Yes. Effective November 1, 2016, applicants must get pre-approval from the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) to take the NASCLA exam.
Applicants can apply for approval online at ned.nascla.org. Once approved, the individual’s name will be forwarded from NASCLA to PSI. PSI will then send the applicant an email with information about how to schedule their exam.
What books can I bring to the NASCLA exam?
All of these books can be found in our book store. Click Here to take a look!
- ICC A117.1 - 2017 Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities
- BCSI: Guide to Good Practice for Handling, Installing, Restraining, and Bracing of Metal Plate Connected Wood Trusses, 2013 or 2018 Edition
- Carpentry and Building Construction, 2016 Edition
- Code of Federal Regulations -29 CFR Part 1926 (OSHA), with latest available amendments
- Construction Jobsite Management, 4th Edition, 2017
- Construction Project Management, 4th Edition, 2014
- NASCLA Contractors' Guide to Business, Law and Project Management, Basic, 12th or 13th Edition
- Erectors' Manual - Standards and Guidelines for the Erection of Pre-Cast Concrete Products, 2nd Edition, 1999
- Green Building Fundamentals, 2nd Edition, 2011
- Gypsum Construction Handbook, 7th Edition, 2014
- Technical Digest No. 9 –Handling and Erection of Steel Joists and Joist Girders, 3rd Edition, 2008
- International Building Code, 2015 or 2018 Edition
- ACI 318-14 (2014): Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete and Commentary
- Training and Certification of Field Personnel for Unbonded Post-Tensioning -Level 1 Field Fundamentals, 3rd Edition, 2003
- Modern Masonry - Brick, Block, Stone, 8th Edition, 2015
- Pipe and Excavation Contracting, 2011 Edition
- Principles and Practices of Commercial Construction, 9th Edition, 2014
- Roofing Construction and Estimating, 1995 Edition
- Placing Reinforcing Bars, Recommended Practices, 2011
- SDI (Steel Deck Institute) Manual of Construction with Steel Deck, 3rd Edition, 2016
- The Contractor's Guide to Quality Concrete Construction, 4th Edition, 2018
For more information, view the PSI Candidate Bulletin
Can I write in my reference books and still bring them to the exam?
References may be highlighted, underlined, and/or indexed (tabbed with permanent stick tabs), however they may NOT otherwise be written in or marked in any way. Temporary tabs, such as Post-It notes, are not allowed and must be removed from the reference before the exam will begin.
What subject areas will be covered on the NASCLA Accredited Exam?
There are 115 questions and you must get 81 answers correct. You will have 330 minutes to complete the exam. The subjects covered in the exam are listed below, however, the questions are taken at random from a large pool of questions making sure that all contractors are taking a different exam.
Subject Areas and # of Questions:
- General Requirements: 25 questions
- Site Construction: 15 questions
- Concrete: 6 questions
- Masonry: 4 questions
- Metals: 6 questions
- Wood: 5 questions
- Thermal and Moisture Protection: 5 questions
- Doors, Windows, and Glazing: 4 questions
- Finishes: 5 questions
- Mechanical and Plumbing Systems: 6 questions
- Electrical Systems: 3 questions
- Procurement and Contracting Requirements: 31 questions
The exam is based on information found in the reference materials we have listed above as well as trade knowledge or general industry practices. Except for Code books, you may base your answers on later editions of references as they become available. For Code questions, the examinations will be based only on the edition of the Code book listed on the candidate bulletin.
Is the NASCLA exam an open book exam?
The NASCLA exam is an open book exam. All of the books listed on the candidate bulletin may be brought into and used during the exam. Books will not be provided to you at the exam center. If you are in need of books, we offer all of the references listed on the Candidate Bulletin for sale in our Bookstore, or in our complete NASCLA Prep Package.
What can I expect from the NASCLA Exam Prep course?
Our NASCLA Exam Prep course is designed to help you maximize your study time.
The remainder of the lessons are devoted to each book on the Candidate Bulletin. Each of these lessons help you get to know the layout of the books and key information that can be found within. Each book has a quiz dedicated solely to the material in that book.
Finally, you will find the practice test at the end of the course. This practice test consists of a pool of over 1,000 questions, to help you practice taking an exam as well as determine which areas you need to brush up on further.
How long does it take to complete your NASCLA Exam Prep course?
That question is almost entirely up to you!
There are 16 hours of videos, which walk you through each reference allowed in the exam. There are also over 1,000 practice questions, to help you gauge your knowledge and practice using your references in an exam-like setting.
We recommend going through the entire course at least once. After that it is up to you. Some may want to go through the whole course multiple times. You might also find yourself taking note of particular topics you would like to devote more time to, and just going back later to study those areas.
We recommend for you to spend as much time with the course as is necessary to really get to know your reference materials, and be comfortable finding answers with the texts--this will ensure your success on the exam!
Does the NASCLA exam work for residential construction?
The following states allow NASCLA accreditation for residential contractors: AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, NV, OR, SC, TN, UT, Virgin Islands, WV.
What continuing education is required to renew my Alabama Home Builder license?
Beginning in the 2022 renewal year, all licensees and/or designated qualifying representatives for a corporation, limited liability company, or partnership under the age of 60 must obtain six (6) credit hours of continuing education before being issued a 2022 license.
Must complete at least two (2) credit hours of approved Alabama specific courses such as Contracts, Business Organizations and Law, Financial Management, Consumer/Customer Relations and Management, State of Alabama Home Builders Licensure Law and Regulations and Risk Management: Avoiding Common Violations.
When do I need to renew my Alabama Home Builder license?
Online renewals and the mail out of traditional paper renewal packages begin October 1 of the current year. Renewals are considered timely when received or postmarked before 11:59 PM on November 30. All renewals received from December 1 through 11:59 PM December 31 are considered late and will be charged a $50 late fee. Any renewal application received on or after January 1 will be considered expired.
About the Courses
Once I order the course, how long before I can start?
You may begin immediately! Simply click the Login button in the upper right-hand corner on your desktop or in the upper-right menu on mobile. Once you’ve entered your login and password, you will be taken to your courses. Follow the instructions and enjoy!
Once I start an online course, will I be able to start and stop at anytime?
Our courses are available online 24/7 and you are able to log in and log out at any time during the course. If you are going to be away from your computer for more than 10-15 minutes, simply log out. When you log back in, you will be able to re-enter the lesson you were last in.
How long do your continuing education courses take to complete?
Continuing education requirements vary by state. Each course lists a minimum number of credit hours required to complete the course.
How long do your exam prep courses take to complete?
Each course lists the total amount of hours for the course. However, we cover materials quickly and many contractors like to re-watch materials. In other words, this question really depends on your learning style. We recommend that you go through the course as many times as you need to be comfortable with the material and any applicable reference books. The more familiar you are with the materials, the better you will do on your exam!
How long do I have the courses?
We allow up to 6 months for you to complete the courses. During the six months you have unlimited, 24/7 access. If you need additional time, please contact our offices to arrange an extension (please note: a fee may apply).
Are there tests in the courses?
This varies depending on whether the course is continuing education or exam prep.
There are no quizzes for continuing education courses in Michigan. All other states with continuing education require quizzes to check completion progress.
In exam prep courses there will be a short quiz at the end of each lesson and there is also a longer practice test at the end of each course. These quizzes and tests will help you practice taking an exam and identify areas you may wish to study more.
If I fail a practice test, do I have to take it again?
Practice tests are just that: for practice. You will have the opportunity to retake the practice tests until you do pass. The practice tests are there to help you get used to the process of using your reference materials and finding the correct answers during an exam. If you don’t pass on the first try, take the time to note what sections of the material you need to review.
Once I complete a course, can I still go back and review the lessons and quizzes?
You are able to review the lessons and quizzes at any time during the six months you’ll have access to the courses.
State & Testing Contact Info
Alabama General Contractors Board
Alabama Home Builders Board
Contact PSI for information regarding the Alabama General Contractors exam
3210 East Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89121
Where can I find help studying for my exam?
We have a tutoring program designed to help you get one-on-one time with a licensed instructor. With this program you will get answers to questions you are still struggling with and advice on how to study for and pass your exams. Visit our Career Plus Services page to get more information.
Where can I find help with getting licensed in my state?
We have a licensing application consultant who can help you navigate the ins and outs of state licensing regulations. Visit our Career Plus Services page to get more information.