Minnesota Residential Builder and Remodeler License Renewal Simplified

Residential building contractor and remodeler licenses are issued for two years at a time, and the renewal deadline is always March 31st.  Half of the licensees renew one year and half the next.  You need 14 hours of continuing education that has been approved by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) in order to renew.  You must have at least one hour of energy code included in the 14 hours of education.

All continuing education courses must be approved by the Minnesota DLI, whether they are online or in a classroom.  The provider that you take your continuing education through has to report your completion to the DLI.  If you are acting as the qualifying person for a residential building contractor or remodeler license, you are assigned a “registration number” that begins with a prefix of QB or QR, also referred to as the “Q” number.  This number is used to track your completed education, so be sure that the provider you take your education through has this number.

If you do not renew your license by March 31st, your license will be expired and a late fee of $80 is assessed in order to reinstate it.  If your license remains expired for more than two years, it cannot be renewed and you will have to reapply.

Minnesota has been requiring any building contractor or remodeler who contracts directly with a homeowner to provide building construction services in more than one special skill to be licensed since 1992.  All residential roofers must be licensed.  Minnesota requires the business entity to be licensed, not the individual, although the business owner can be the qualifying officer. 

To get your company licensed, the qualifying officer will need to follow ALL OF THE STEPS provided in the information packet provided by the DLI, including passing a 110-question licensing exam. 

You can obtain this packet HERE http://www.dli.mn.gov/ccld/PDF/rbc_residential_contractor_remodeler13.pdf


For the fastest and most economical way to complete this education, visit www.licensetobuild.com or give the friendly staff a call at 1-800-727-7104.

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What the Heck is an M&A License?

No, the M is not for Mason!

Before getting licensed in Michigan, builders need to decide whether to apply for a Michigan Residential Builders license or an M&A Contractor license.  But many builders don’t even know what an M&A license is.

M&A stands for Maintenance and Alteration, but that does NOT mean the M&A Contractor can do renovations or remodeling.  This means each separate trade has it’s own license that falls under the M&A category.

For example, you can get an M&A contractor license to do roofing, or you can get an M&A Contractor license to do masonry, etc.  Here are the 14 individual trades that require an M&A license.

  • Insulation
  • Basement Waterproofing
  • Carpentry
  • Concrete
  • Excavation
  • Gutters
  • House Wrecking
  • Masonry
  • Painting & Decorating
  • Roofing
  • Screen & Storm Sash
  • Siding
  • Swimming Pools
  • Tile & Marble

We recommend that if you are working in three or more building trades, or if you are remodeling homes, go the gamut and get the full residential builders license. It covers all 14 trades, as well as allows you to build from the ground up. (NOTE: Electrical, plumbing and mechanical are not covered under this license.)

No matter which license you choose, the Michigan Builders 60-Hour Pre-license Course is still required and is the first step in the licensing process. Step #2 is sending your licensing application to the State of Michigan and this is where you will select which type of license you would like to apply for.  Once the State approves your application, they will give you permission to take step #3 which is scheduling and passing your licensing exam.


Be Productive During Holiday Down Time

For many states the architect license renewal deadline is December 31st, and if you’re anything like me, you procrastinated on completing your continued education. Make sure your license is going to stay valid as we count down 2016.

If you live in Alabama, Alaska, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, and Wyoming you may be risking your license validation starting January 1st 2017 if you haven’t fulfilled your state requirements. So, while at home between cups of hot cocoa, finish off the required continued education to start the new year right.

Continued education requirements for states with December 31st  2016 deadlines:


  • 12 hours of continued education per year all related to Health, Safety, and Welfare
  • Additional 6 hours for American Institute of Architects members


  • 24 hours of continued education all pertaining to Health, Safety, and Welfare
  • This will also complete the AIA requirement of 18 hours


  • 12 hours of continued education on Health, Safety, and Welfare
  • An additional 6 hours for American Institute of Architects members

Missouri (biennially depending on when the license was issued):

  • 24 hours of continued education, 16 of which pertaining to Health, Safety, and Welfare
  • This will also complete the AIA requirement of 18 hours

Nebraska (if your last name begins with a letter between L through Z):

  • 24 hours of continued education, 16 of which pertaining to Health, Safety, and Welfare
  • This will also complete the AIA requirement of 18 hours


  • 8 hours of continued education pertaining to Health, Safety, and Welfare with 2 of which pertaining to architectural code
  • An additional 10 hours for AIA members


  • 12 hours of continued education per year all related to Health, Safety, and Welfare
  • An additional 6 hours for American Institute of Architects members


  • 24 hours of continued education with 12 pertaining to Health, Safety, and Welfare
  • This will also complete the AIA requirement of 18 hours

 Wyoming (biennially depending on when the license was issued):

  • 24 hours of continued education all pertaining to Health, Safety, and Welfare
  • This will also complete the AIA requirement of 18 hours

With only two weeks left in the year, if you haven’t completed your architect continuing education, you still have an opportunity with the online courses. Be sure to look for schools that have interesting, up-to-date topics to offer, as well as those that are approved by the State in which you are licensed.  If you are an AIA member, look for architect license renewal courses or course packages that apply to both.

One last note of advice, consider schools that offer a variety of learning options, such as video, narrated or text courses.



Alaska Architect License Renewal for 2016

This is the year Alaska Architect license requirements need fulfilling! 2016 is approaching its end and licensed architect have just 12 more days to complete 24 hours of continued education. These hours must be in the category of health, safety and welfare (HSW) according to the Alaska Architect State requirements.

Members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) need to complete 18 unit hours of AIA Approved Continued Education each calendar year. Out of these 18 hours only 12 must be designated HSW. This leaves 6 hours open for personal interests or “electives”.

There are schools that enable you to fulfill both the State and AIA architect requirements in one fell swoop.  Some even offer premade packages with bundled classes that fulfill all requirements.

What to look for when selecting courses

Be sure to look for schools that have their courses approved by both the State of Alaska and through the AIA.  Also, be sure to look for architect license renewal packages that have the appropriate HSA designations.

Look for interesting and new topics, such as Drone Technology, or courses that assist in design, such as weatherization design or successful site/building design.

When choosing online course, you may prefer to watch videos rather than read. Or you may want to have the course read to you while you drive or relax.  Look for schools that offer a variety of teaching methods.

If you are a member of the AIA, make sure the school in which you take your education follows through with notifying the AIA of your course completion.

How Do I Renew My Architect’s License?

The State of Alaska sends out renewal forms in November of odd numbered years.  If you have not received yours, give the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development a call.  It is your responsibility to notify the State of your Continued Education, but the school in which you completed your continuing education is responsible for notifying the AIA.


Is Wintertime Building More Expensive?

It used to be said, “If you can’t get the roof on by the first snowfall, wait until spring”, but not anymore. There are now many new products and technologies that allow builders to work all year long. New expanded lighting systems compensate for the shorter daylight hours. Portable heaters and lighter, warmer clothing allows builders to move easier in colder temperatures. But be prepared to get out your wallet. Staying warm can be expensive.

One advantage may be that you get faster service because builders aren’t as busy, but the disadvantages can add up:

Snow Removal – Find a reputable company that will keep the construction job site and all accesses clear so your crew can keep going and your materials can be delivered.  It may cost a few more dollars for reliability but you will be glad you did it. Be sure you build additional time for snowstorms into your time estimates.

Heating Expenses – Temporary heaters are not only expensive to buy, but expensive to run.  And you not only need to keep your crew warm, but some of the building materials also need more care.  Shingles turn brittle and become hard to handle in the cold, plus they may not seal as well. Ground heaters and blankets may be necessary for concrete work.

Lighting Expense – Shorter daylight hours either cut building time from the workday or require the expense of additional lighting.

In times when the country is leaner, these additional costs can be offset by reduced labor expenses because skilled workmen may not be as busy and can be more easily obtained. Also, building materials are very often less expensive in low demand times like the winter. However, these are things you can’t always count on, so…

… be sure to build additional wintertime expenses and time into your bid. They can add up, dramatically biting into the profit margin. And you don’t want to have to go back to your client asking for more money to cover the added costs. For more tips to think about when building your construction bids, consider taking an online course on Construction Estimating and Bidding.

The wintertime is also a great time to get your builders or contractors license continued education out of the way. There are bound to be a snow day or two throughout the season, so having online courses ready and waiting for those times when you need something to do is a prudent move.


7 Ways to Stay Safe and Save Money This Winter

The word SAVE on a digital room thermostat wearing wooly hat.

Even though it seems a bit late this year, winter will eventually be upon us.  The freezing temperatures will not only make your heating bill rise, they could also cause potential hazards to your safety.  By taking the time to follow these seven tips, you will not only save money this winter, but reduce your exposure to hazards.

  1. Seal all air leaks in ductwork with foil faced tape. Duct tape does stick securely to galvanized metal. Add insulation wherever needed.
  2. Install a programmable thermostat and set it at 68 degrees or lower. You will easily save the cost of the thermostat the very first winter.
  3. Make sure all heat registers are not covered up with rugs, furniture or drapes. Air flow is important in maintaining optimum temperatures.
  4. Replace your furnace filter every three months at a minimum and every month during heavy use.
  5. Reverse the blade direction of your ceiling fans in order to circulate the heated air.
  6. Install a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in your home and place it on the wall 2-3 feet above the floor rather than by the smoke alarms. Carbon monoxide is a heavy hazardous gas that you cannot see, taste or smell.
  7. Make sure your natural gas meter is always clear. Leaves, snow and ice can interfere with the operation and even cause a safety hazard.  Build up can also block natural gas exhaust and air intakes, increasing your risk of CO exposure.

It’s always good practice to conserve energy, but when you can combine it with saving money, it’s even better; not to mention protecting yourself. Weatherization and Energy Efficient Building is just one of the course options we provide to builders and contractors across the nation that will fulfill their builder or contractor license continuing education.


Nevada Architects, Spend the Holiday Down Time Catching Up on Your CEU’s

drawing of nevada state on chalkboard, drawn by chalk

Nevada Architects have an annual renewal cycle that ends on December 31 of each calendar year.  For many, the holidays can be a slower time of year because clients are more worried about Christmas shopping than planning a new house or addition. That would be a great time to complete the 8 hours of required Health, Safety and Welfare continued Education that goes along with your license renewal.

How do I renew my license?

As an Architect, you will receive an email in November of your renewing year from the Nevada State Board of Architecture, Interior Design and Residential Design notifying you of the deadline. The State has made it easy for Architects to renew their licenses online, but the mail-in form is also still available.

To Renew, Architects Will Need To:

Submit a current renewal form via online or mail for the State of Nevada

Pay the required renewal fee, including any applicable late fees

Submit all required Certificates of Completion

How many hours of CE are required to renew my Nevada Architect License?

Nevada Architects are required to complete 8 hours of approved continuing education courses that are in the topics of Health, Safety and Welfare (HSW). At least two of those hours must be related to architectural code such as ADA Standards. Architects Training Institute offers many different course packages and individual courses that are AIA approved and fulfill Nevada Architect license renewal requirements.


Medical Marijuana — IBEW and NJATC Release Special Bulletin

Photo of dry medical marijuana buds with shallow DOF

The Electrical Training Alliance, formerly known as the NJATC, is the main training and apprenticeship platform for Union Electricians of the IBEW. Through the law firm of Sherman Dunn, which has served as general counsel for the IBEW for nearly 60 years, a bulletin was released clarifying IBEW and National Training Alliance’s stance on medical marijuana and it’s use by electricians in the Union.

In their statement, the National Training Alliance references their longstanding substance abuse policy which does not protect an applicant or apprentice who tests positive for medical marijuana. This means that any electrical apprentice or applicant who tests positive for marijuana, under any circumstance, would be subject to suspension of duty and required to attend a rehabilitation program before re-entering the workplace. They also state that regardless of any state law, marijuana is still considered illegal at the Federal level. In their organization, federal law remains in control.

Marijuana is still considered illegal at the Federal level.

The bulletin also refers to the Colorado court case Coats Vs. Dish Case No. 13-SC-394. In this case, the state law provides that an employee cannot be terminated for engaging in any “lawful activities” while off premises. The case interpreted “lawful activities” to include those activities that are lawful under the state law (which deems marijuana lawful), and under federal law (marijuana is still illegal). According to this bulletin, any and all use of marijuana by IBEW apprentices or applicants going through the National Training Alliance is banned, and could lead to users being expelled from the program. To read the full bulletin released by the IBEW and National Training Alliance Click Here.

If you are planning a career in the electrical trades, you should know going in that medical marijuana will not be tolerated as a union member, regardless of the State’s views.


New Rules for the NASCLA Accredited Exam

contractor carpenter man on USA flag building America concept patriotism

Effective November 1, 2016, commercial general building contractors applying for NASCLA accreditation will need to be pre-approved by the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) before scheduling to take the NASCLA-Accredited exam.  Applicants will no longer be able to schedule the exam without pre-approval. Applicants can apply electronically ONLINE at ned.nascla.org.

Once an individual is approved, the individual’s name will be forwarded from NASCLA to PSI. PSI will then send the applicant an email confirmation with information to register to take the examination.

What is NASCLA Accreditation?

The NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors is an exam given by the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies that allows contractors to take one trade exam that qualifies in multiple jurisdictions or states.  This exam may not eliminate the Business and Law exam in each state, just the trades so be sure to check with each State agency to see if you still need to sit for the Business/Law exam.  Please note that this is NOT a National License.  It only eliminates the Trade Exam in participating state agencies.

Why did NASCLA make this change?

The purpose for this change to the NASCLA Accreditation procedure is to create a database to store applicant examination information for candidates, allowing jurisdictions to verify that an applicant has passed the NASCLA Accredited Examination.  Through the database, candidates are able to simultaneously apply to sit for the exam AND purchase (and send) a passed transcript to the state agencies that accept these examination.

What States Accept the NASCLA Accreditation?

There are currently 15 state agencies that accept the NASCLA Accreditation exam, so you if you are commercial building in more than one of the following, it would reduce your studying time for the commercial general contractor licensing exam by taking just one trade test.  For an up-to-date list, check the NASCLA website.

  1. Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. Georgia
  4. Louisiana
  5. Mississippi
  6. Nevada
  7. North Carolina
  8. Oregon
  9. South Carolina Contractors
  10. South Carolina Residential Builders
  11. Tennessee
  12. Utah
  13. Virgin Islands
  14. Virginia
  15. West Virginia

Be sure to check with each State Agency to see the specific rules for NASCLA and how they apply to that jurisdiction.  Contact information can be found on ned.nascla.org.


Did you get your 2016 Real Estate Con Ed Done?

Home button countdown - time to act

Most Michigan Real Estate Salespeople and Brokers are required to have 18 hours of continued education completed by the end of this licensing cycle, which is October 31, 2018.  What you may not know is that at least two hours have to be completed in each of the three years.  That means that two hours must be done by TODAY, October 31st, 2016.

What Do I Do Once I Complete the Education?

Be sure to get a Certificate of Completion if you go to a classroom course. If you take your class online, be sure you print out or have access to a Certificate of Completion proving that you’ve completed the required Michigan Real Estate Continuing Education. The Certificate or document needs to include the following:

  • Name and contact information of the provider
  • Your full name
  • Course title and field of study
  • Date the course was completed
  • How the course was taken (i.e. online, webinar, classroom, etc.)
  • Verification by a representative of the provider
  • Time statement showing course hours (based on 50-minute hour)

How Does the State Know I’ve completed the Education?

All license renewal applicants are subject to an audit by the Department of Compliance. This means if you receive a letter requesting proof that you completed the required education, then you must submit a document with the above information. If you did not complete the required hours of CE, you may be given a grace period to get it done, or the Department may add more hours to your requirement based on how late you are:

  • You may be given up to 59 days to complete the education and before your license is renewed.
  • If the deficiency period is between 60 and 119 days, 4 hours may be added.
  • If the deficiency period is 120 days or more, 8 hours may be added

Have no fear!  Even though you may not always be able to find a classroom course in your area that fits your schedule, you can always go online and complete your Michigan real estate continued education on  your time.