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author RocketCert Staff
date 01.24.2024

Becoming a building contractor generally means meeting state requirements to obtain a license in your chosen field. This could include completing education, training, apprenticeship, work experience, or some combination to prove knowledge and skill.

You may have to show proof of insurance or meet other financial or legal obligations. Often, you’ll need to pass a state-administered exam. Requirements for maintaining a license, including continuing education and/or periodic license renewal, are common.

However, there are also organizations, like the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA), that set national standards for trade professionals. Several states participate in this organization and accept a passing score on a NASCLA exam in lieu of state-administered exams for certain types of licenses.

There are a couple of benefits to taking a NASCLA exam instead of a state exam. For one thing, this national test is recognized and accepted in multiple states, although you may still have to meet other requirements to become licensed, as they vary from one state to the next.

In addition, all materials used to prepare for the NASCLA exam may be referenced during this open-book exam. This can be a real boon for nervous test-takers, especially in states that don’t offer open-book exams.

Where can you take the NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors? Where is it accepted? And what can you expect when you take the test?

Where Is NASCLA Accepted?

Several states administer and/or accept NASCLA exams, but it may vary by the type of skilled trade, so it’s important to check with your state licensing board before taking the exam. States that administer and accept the NASCLA general building contractor exam include:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Mississippi
  • South Carolina

The U.S. Virgin Islands is also on this list. States that accept but do not administer this test include:

  • Florida
  • Louisiana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

It’s important to understand that passing the NASCLA exam is generally not the only requirement for licensure. Many states still have education/experience and other requirements, and you may have to apply before completing testing. 

You might also have to take a Business & Law Exam, depending on the state. Check with your state licensing board to ensure that you meet all criteria for obtaining your professional license.

What’s Covered on the NASCLA Exam?

The NASCLA general building contractor exam includes 115 questions covering topics like:

  • General requirements
  • Site construction
  • Concrete
  • Masonry
  • Metals
  • Wood
  • Thermal and moisture protection
  • Doors, windows, and glazing
  • Finishes
  • Mechanical and plumbing systems
  • Electrical systems
  • Procurement and contracting requirements

You will have 300 minutes (5 hours) to complete this open-book exam. You must answer a minimum of 70% (81 questions) correctly to pass. The right exam prep program gives you the best chance to pass on the first try.

Are you ready to move forward with your career by taking the NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors? Contact RocketCert today to learn more about exam prep programs designed for working professionals