Construction has always been a highly regional industry. Even if you work for a national or international company with satellite offices in multiple states, you’re still focused on the building needs of the community close to home. This can really complicate things if you’re working on a certification but you’re not planning to remain in the state. Here are a few things you should do, if you’re working toward becoming a licensed contractor in California but you don’t intend to stay here to build your career.
- Research State Regulations
Although there are international and federal regulations on the way you build things and the types of work you can do with a license, most rules you will have to follow are set at the state level. This means that if you move to a different state, you can expect that you will need to follow different guidelines. Well in advance of your move, you should invest the time to research the common guidelines you can expect for your particular field and the kind of services you plan to provide. This will help you avoid confusion or problems after you move and start working to set up your business.
- Learn About Licensing Requirements
Every state has its own licensing requirements. Some states only require a license for certain types of services, while others may have much higher expectations. The last thing that you want is to get in trouble because you didn’t have a license when you needed one. Look into the licensing requirements for the state that you plan to go to and make sure that you understand each step. With the experience that you gained in California, you may be able to bypass some of those requirements. But there’s a good chance that you will need to take a different exam and submit an application with different requirements than what you can expect here in California.
- Look at Limitations for Reciprocity Agreements
Reciprocity agreements for contractor licensing can be a wonderful benefit when they exist. For example, the state of California has reciprocal licensing agreements with:
This means that you may have a much shorter path to securing a license in these states. Make sure that you know all the details. Consider contacting the California State Licensing Board or the licensing authority for the state in which you plan to move. This will help you confirm that you understand your responsibilities and the best way to use this benefit.
- Talk to People Who Have Moved
With a state the size of California, it’s not difficult to find people who have moved from California to another state in the country. If you have the opportunity, talk to people in your field who moved from California to the state you plan to go to. It might be worth checking out a construction conference in that area to meet people and network. This will help you get a better sense for what the workload is like to establish a business in that state, as well as what you can expect to find in your field as a whole.
- Consider Regional Supply and Service Differences
A lot of your focus may be on how you can meet the requirements needed to provide services in your chosen state. It’s also worth finding out about regional differences in supply chains and services. For example, you may find that inland states take longer to get supplies that require international shipments, especially those made by boat. You might also discover that the demand for your services is significantly different in another region than it is in California. This might be a benefit for you, if there are more people who need skilled workers in your field in that state. But it might also change the way that you offer services, so it’s good to have a plan in advance.
California is a great place to live, but it’s also a good place to get your construction education for a career somewhere else. To find out how you can become a licensed contractor, visit CSLS today!