Starting in 2021, residential contractors in Tennessee will be required to obtain continuing education hours each year. This requirement will take effect in part during the first year, which reduces the continuing education requirement to four hours.
In future years, you will need to participate in eight hours of residential continuing education before you can renew your license. Without it, you can be subject to fines and be unable to renew your license. The eight hours of continuing education must be completed every two years.
What is the Purpose of Continuing Education?
The purpose of continuing education is to improve the quality of contracting services throughout the state. Unlike commercial contractors, residential contracting companies often have fewer checks and balances in place to ensure quality and safety. That is a large driver behind Tennessee’s decision to introduce continuing education requirements for residential contractors only.
Continuing education can be extremely beneficial to contractors and their employees. Mistakes on the job site or mishandling employee relations can result in major fines or worse, serious injuries. Staying aware of the latest legal requirements and safety practices can help to limit the risk of such an event.
Who Needs Continuing Education?
The continuing education requirements mentioned above are limited to residential contractors. Specifically, residential contractors that obtained their license after January 1, 2009 will be subject to the new law. If you have stayed current with your license and obtained it before 2009, you will be exempt from the changes.
The following licenses are subject to the continuing education requirement:
Even though the third license listed above permits the holder to work on light commercial projects, it is still considered to be a primarily residential license. That is why licensees must complete the continuing education requirements.
However, people who hold a general BC or BC-b classification will not need continuing education. This holds true, even if you are involved in residential projects.
How to Complete the Continuing Education
Fortunately, Tennessee has made the process of obtaining continuing education hours very easy for license holders. They provide several approved avenues of completing the required hours, including in-person and remote courses.
The continuing education can be met by attending classes hosted by the state, as well as those provided by an approved vendor. This flexibility can be extremely beneficial when obtaining your hours.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, most training courses were solely offered in-person. While a live classroom setting can be beneficial to some learners, it can also be incredibly inconvenient. Attending a proctored course means that you have to attend during set hours, which are often in the middle of your workday.
In addition to disrupting your normal schedule, classroom education requires a commute. If you are working on a project out of state, obtaining your hours can be extremely difficult. That is why many contractors are opting to use virtual continuing education courses.
Virtual courses are by and large the way of the future. Virtual coursework is extremely convenient and allows you to complete your continuing education from the comfort of your own home. It does not require you that you interrupt your workday. Many courses are even self-paced, which allows you to break up the hours over several days.
Tennessee allows contractors to complete their continuing education with an approved vendor, like RocketCert. We are a fully virtual contractor education and test prep organization that offers hundreds of online courses.
You can complete your educational hours from anywhere at your own pace. Once you finish the course, we will provide you with the verification documents necessary to renew your license, too.