Are you planning to get a handyman license in the state of Texas, but you don't know where to start? Perhaps, you've asked someone you know or visited tons of websites already, but the process is still not clear?
You've come to the right place, and I got you covered. I'll explain everything that you need to know on how you'll be able to get that Texas handyman license that you are dreaming of!
Let's go straight to the point.
Do You Need a Handyman License in Texas? Here is the answer.
In a nutshell, depending on the handyman work involved, a handyman license in Texas is not required, but I'll explain why there's an exception to this.
Usually, you don't need a handyman license when you operate in Texas for simple jobs like repairs and aesthetic improvements. But handyman contract jobs such as Plumbing and HVAC may be required.
Major cities in Texas require a specific license to operate as a handyman. If you plan to run a handyman business in Texas or do extensive home repairs and renovations, then a license will be required. You can access your license from the local municipality.
If you want to know further how to start a handyman business in Texas, continue reading this article so I can explain the certifications you need.
What are works that don't require a Texas Handyman License?
Absolutely! Here are some jobs that you can comfortably do without a license:
- Home siding repairs
- Interior and exterior home painting
- Window repairs, cleaning, and replacements
- Fence repairs
- Furniture building and installation
- Door screen and locks repairs
The above are just general guidelines; your city could have stricter requirements to cover some of the above. To avoid inconvenience or unwanted fines, confirm with your local municipal authorities, and establish what tasks demand a license, contracting, and even handyman insurance.
How about works that require a Handyman License in Texas?
Complicated and extensive handyman jobs may demand licensing. Such types of jobs could include the following:
- Electrical works
- HVAC works
- Elevator repairs
- Fire equipment installation
- Well Water Services
How much does it cost to get a Specialty License in Texas?
Acquiring a specialty license in Texas depends on which city you are in. Here are the major cities in Texas and their corresponding cost:
- Dallas: A contractor registration (and annual renewal) cost is $120.
- San Antonio: If you're doing non-structural work on a home (door replacements and outdoor swimming pool installation), you should register as a Home Improvement Contractor. The cost of registration and renewal is $150. Any work involving structural changes to a home requires a Home Builder Contractor registration for an annual cost of $170.
- Austin: For general contractors, a license is not a requirement in Austin. However, registration is required before you get your first permit. You can download the free permit form. Use the city's official Residential Building Plan Review and Permit Fees schedule to learn more about the typical costs.
- Houston: You do not need a contractor or general business license to operate in Houston. Per the city, permits are always pulled on a job-by-job basis. Permit fees are assessed based on the valuation of the property. For instance, for properties valued up to $150,000, the permit cost is $40.86 for the first $7,000 and $4.66 for every $1,000 in additional valuation. Review the full permit fee schedule for more information.
How can I get a Handyman-Related License in Texas?
You do not need a license to operate as a handyman in Texas. However, for business expansion, you can get a handyman license in Texas for other handyman-related fields. You do not want to be limited to doing simple repairs or small insignificant jobs. Remember how much a handyman can make is down to the scope of your expertise.
A quick disclaimer:
As of mid-2019, the future of plumbing licenses in Texas is in flux. In May of 2019, the state legislature eliminated the state plumbing code and made plans for a wind-down of the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners. However, the governor later extended the board's operation through May 2021. While the future of the plumbing licensure in Texas is uncertain, you can rely on current licensing requirements for the short term.
Essential Handyman-related licenses in Texas: Plumbing, HVAC, and Electrical.
Electricians and Plumbers
If you want to pursue obtaining a handyman license in Electrical and Plumbing, I recommend you to complete the following career milestones:
1. Start as an Apprentice: Apprentices are less experienced starters. They are required only to have high school diplomas; a college education is not needed. They are, however, required to register with the local municipality and be sponsored by an employer.
As an apprentice, you work under an experienced professional electrician or plumber. You also pay an application fee of about $20.
2. Be a Journeyman: With an experience of 8000 hours, you qualify to obtain a journeyman license. However, you will be required to have a General Education Diploma (GED), high school diploma, and take and pass an official examination. Plumber Journeyman prospects must also complete 48 hours of approved course training.
3. Be a Master Electrician or Plumber: Having been a journeyman for a minimum of one year, you now qualify to take a master plumber examination. However, to take a master electrician exam, you need to have been a journeyman for two years and 12,000 certified hours of experience working under a Master or Master Sign Electrician.
You can get the state's electrician licensing online. The cost to take both portions of the master exam is $78. Plumbing licensure forms and applications for the state of Texas are available online, and the cost to take the master exam is $175.
These requirements are needed to operate as an HVAC service provider or a handyman in Texas:
HVAC requirements come into two sections; exam and licensing. To be eligible for licensure, you must:
- Have air-conditioning and refrigeration work experience under a licensed contractor. The experience should be at least 48 hours and taken in the last 72 months, OR
- A 12-month-old technician certification with at least 36 months of air-conditioning and refrigeration work practical experience under a licensed contractor. You must also gain practical experience in the last 48 months.
- However, you might be exempted from the above requirements if you have a mechanical engineering degree, an HVAC degree or certificate, or have military training in refrigeration works or air-conditioning.
After submitting your application for a license, the state board will then provide you with information about the official examination. HVAC licenses come into classes with different examinations. You can work on units of any size with a class A license, while class B limits you to heating systems of a maximum of 1.5 million BTUs/hour and cooling systems of under 25tons.
The exam's pass mark is 70% or above. Class A exams cost $74, and Class B exams cost $60.
How to Use My Texas Handyman License to Get a Job?
There's a big advantage over your non-licensed competitors when you already have your Handyman License.
There are a lot of opportunities in the state of Texas when you are a licensed handyman contractor. Using the right handyman tools will give you an edge over your handyman competitors. You can leverage your relationship with former mentors to get job openings if you pass through an apprentice program. One example is the city of Austin, which posts its job opportunities on its official website.
Building a good reputation on Yelp and Angie's list, on the other hand, is the perfect way for an unlicensed handyman to find new work in new locations.
Is My Out-of-State License Valid in Texas?
You might not require your out-of-state license to operate in Texas, but having an image copy in your handyman blogs could come in handy to help you advertise your business and win new clients. In careers that demand taking exams to earn licensing, your out-of-state will not count.
Plumbing: Texas considers reciprocity on a case-by-case basis for plumbers with an out-of-state license. You can use your Texas plumbing license in other states, but you should consult your new state's plumbing board.
Electrical: Texas has Master Electrician reciprocity with North Carolina and Louisiana, and Journeyman Electrician reciprocity with Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
HVAC: Texas has reciprocity with Georgia and South Carolina.
How Often Do I Need to Renew My Handyman License in Texas?
Most businesses' trade license renewals in the state of Texas are done annually.
These are done through the state's Department of Licensing and Registration. If you need to access the renewal forms for AC professionals and electricians, check their website. You can get your plumbing license renewal through the State's Board of Plumbing Examiners online. Moreover, if you lose your license, you can order a duplicate.
After successfully acquiring your license, running the business may require some help. While you focus on the hard practical aspect of your business, many dependable handyman apps such as ServGrow can help you with other tasks such as scheduling and invoicing.
Need more tips?
Are you an amateur handyman seeking to bag your business license or an experienced veteran looking to expand your business entity? Learn how ServGrow's all-in-one handyman software can help your endeavor the fastest and easiest way. Remember, a successful handyman business is more than a catchy handyman slogan.