@HomePrep Blog

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Why Skilled Trades Are Essential

Skilled trade jobs are in high demand right now. During the pandemic, many construction projects were put on hold and many workers were laid off. Projects are finally getting the green light, increasing the demand for skilled trades. In the last 5 years, the commercial construction industry grew by over 4%.

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Requirements for Getting Your NC Building Contractor License

  In North Carolina, getting a building contractor license is the next step in elevating your career as a contractor. To work on any project that exceeds $30,000, you must have a building contractor license. If you’re ready to take the next step and become a licensed contractor in North Carolina, check out the requirements below.

Requirements For a Building Contractor License

To get a license in North Carolina, you first have to complete the Application for License to Practice General Contracting in the State of North Carolina. You can find the application on the Boards’ website. The following are the rest of the requirements to get your license.
  • Complete the applicationBe at least 18 years old
  • Possess good moral character
  • Meet the minimum financial requirement for the license
  • Successfully pass a North Carolina Classification Exam
Once you meet these requirements and get your application approved, you will get pre-approval from the State Licensing Board to schedule your licensing exam.

Getting Ready for Your Exam

To earn your building contractor license, you must take the NASCLA exam. The NASCLA is the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies. They offer the National Accredited Building Exam. The North Carolina Board accepts this exam to obtain the building classification contractor,s license. When you’re getting ready for your exams, @HomePrep offers test prep and other resources to help you. Once you have your application and exam schedule, check out our resources to ensure your success and ace that building exam.

License Limitations

General contractor licenses in North Carolina have different classifications and limitations. There are three license limitations.
  • Limited License: Good for projects valued up to $500,000
  • Intermediate License: Good for projects valued up to $1,000,000
  • Unlimited License: Good for projects of any value, unrestricted
  Be sure to choose which license would work best for you and your future projects. Obtaining your license can take a good chunk of time. New applications take about two weeks to process. Once you attach your exam to your approved application, it will go on a list for Board Approvals. The lists for Board Approvals go out twice a month, and once you get approved by the board, you will get your license. Make sure you plan out what type of projects you have coming up and ensure you will have your license before they begin.

Continuing Education

To keep your license valid, you must take 8 hours of continuing education courses per year. This includes a 2-hour mandatory course by the Board about updated information regarding general contracting laws and rules. You can fill the other 6 hours with elective courses of your choice. Once you have all of your requirements together it is time to prepare for your exams. AtHomePrep offers a course on the North Carolina Building Contractor License, which takes you step-by-step through reference books and offers an online practice exam. We also offer plenty of continuing education courses to help keep your license valid and keep you on the job.  
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CE Requirements for Texas Electrical NEC Contractors 

  To keep your electrician’s license valid in Texas, you must meet state continuing education requirements. Many electrician licenses in Texas must be renewed every year and include continuing education requirements. Here are the requirements you need to know about if you’re an electrician or electrical contractor in Texas.   

What Level Electrician Needs Continuing Education?

  From apprentice to master electrician and everything in between, you must complete four hours of continuing education annually. To be an electrical contractor in Texas, you need to have your Master Electrician license as well. So no matter if you are just starting out, or are ready to take on work as a contractor, you are required to take four hours of continuing education courses before you renew your license.   

Continuing Education Requirements

  Your four hours of continuing education must address the following topics from the Texas Department of Regulation and Licenses.  
  1. National Electrical Code 
  2. Texas Electrician Law
  3. Texas Electrician Administrative Rules
  4. Electrical Safety as defined in the National Fire Protection Association 
  When completing your continuing education requirements, you must take courses with information pertaining directly to Texas Electrician Law and Rules, even if you have already taken four hours of NEC requirements. Your courses must also be from a registered Texas Department of Regulation and License provider and you cannot receive credit for attending the same course more than once. Partial completion of education requirements are not accepted by the Texas Department of Regulation and License However, some providers may let you finish the credit at a later date.    You must finish your continuing education requirements within the term of the license that you are renewing. For example, if your license expires on January 1st, 2022, you must complete your continuing education requirements between January 1st, 2021, and January 1st, 2022.    If you have multiple licenses, you only need to complete a total of four hours of continuing education.   

Taking Continuing Education Courses

  When you are ready to get your courses under your belt, At Home Prep is here to help. We offer a complete four-hour continuing education course. The course covers all of the required material in one course to make it easy for you to meet your requirements. If you are looking to renew your electrician license, we offer resources and exam prep. Check out all of our resources for Texas electricians to keep your licenses current.   
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Tips for Passing the Georgia Contractors Licensing Exam

  Getting ready for licensing exams is always stressful. Between your work as a contractor and keeping your clients happy, it may feel challenging to find time to prepare for your exam. But we all know how important it is to pass that exam as you continue to invest in yourself to advance your career. That’s why we put together some tips for passing the Georgia Contractors Licensing Exam.

1. Schedule Your Exams

You need to complete an exam application form, which you can download right from the state’s website. The state will confirm your eligibility for testing and then you can register with with PSI Exams. Before registering with PSI, you can check the available exam dates.

2. What Will You Be Tested On?

To get your Georgia Contractors License, you must complete two tests, Business and Law, and the Construction Exam. These are the tests if you are working in Residential, Residential Light Commercial, and General Contractor. If you work in Electrical, Conditioned Air or Plumbing, you only need to take the Business and Law/Trade exam.

3. Exam Prep!

To have the best chances of passing your Georgia contractors licensing exam, allow enough time to prepare. Here at AtHomePrep, we offer plenty of ways to help get you ready for this license exam. These include:
  • Online Exam Prep (No-Pass, No-Pay)
  • Reference Books
  • Pre-Printed Permanent Tabs
  • Application Processing
  • Instructor Support
  • Guaranteed Best Pricing
You can find more information and test prep resources here: Georgia Contractors Licensing. With our vast amount of online resources and state-specific prep materials, we can help you gain the confidence and skills you need to walk into that exam room and come out with a Georgia Contractors License.
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5 Construction Certifications to Earn More Money

Every worker comes to a point in their construction career where they wonder if they could make more money. This is where education and certifications come in handy. By earning different types of certifications, you can easily bump up your paycheck and become more skilled in your field. With different types of technologies in the construction industry, it is always a good time to brush up on your skills and look into certifications you may be qualified to obtain. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these 5 construction certifications to help you earn more money. 

Green Business Certification (LEED)

More and more businesses and projects are trying to turn towards green projects to help the environment. With new legislation and plans potentially being put into place, more construction jobs are looking for workers that can lead green projects. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program recognizes proficiency in green building and design. Creating more sustainable buildings is a new priority for many businesses, so gaining certifications for sustainable building is a great way to learn a new skill and become incredibly valuable in modern construction.

Trade Specific Certifications That Showcase Expertise

Each trade has its own hierarchy of expertise, which correspond directly with pay. For example, Master Plumbers make more money than Journeymen. To improve your career within any trade, earning a new certification goes a long way to increasing your earning potential. Search trade licensing certifications by state here.

National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)

The first step to any construction project is surveying properties. Engineering is also a vital part of every build. Obtaining a certification from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying can help you begin your career path in engineering and surveying. This certification can not only help you jump-start your career but can help you brush up on your skills to stay up to date with your engineering and surveying career. 

Heavy Equipment Certifications 

There are a couple of different types of heavy equipment certifications that can help you bring your construction career to the next level. You can get a Crane Operation Certification to be able to operate cranes on job sites. You can also get your Aerial Lift Certification. Aerial lifts or boom lifts are necessary on almost all job sites to reduce the risk of injury. Gaining certifications to work any heavy machinery will help you find jobs with higher pay and will always be useful on a job site.

Construction Management Certifications 

If you have spent years working on the floor and learning the ins and outs of construction, construction management is a logical next step in career progression. Consider going for the CCM by the Construction Management Association of America. This construction certification requires either a mix of a college education and construction experience or full construction experience to obtain.    No matter what path you are on in construction, there are always ways to elevate your career. AtHomePrep can help you find the right certification for your field. With continuing education and information on certifications in every state, our resources will help you bring your construction career to the next level.       
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Construction Trends and Opportunities

    This is a great time to check out the trends and opportunities in the construction industry. After a tough year of labor shortages and supply chain stresses, it’s important to see if the trends are shifting or staying the same throughout 2021. Take a look at some of this year’s trends and how they can help you find opportunities in the construction industry. 


In 2021, US construction output is set to grow by 1.4% and potentially 2.3% over that if President Biden can pass a second plan regarding infrastructure later this year according to BusinessWire. This plan includes more long-term investments in infrastructure and green energy products. Since the US is putting a lot of effort into vaccinating the population, there is a lot of hope that industries hit hard by the pandemic like hospitality, retail, and offices might come back swinging in the second half of 2021. 


For the construction industry, 2021 will likely see a shift in common types of projects. Now that more people are shopping online, there is a much smaller need for retail spaces and a much greater demand for warehouse properties. 


When it comes to bidding, bids for new construction sites in 2020 slowed or paused. Data collected from Digital Builder found that bidding activity has now surpassed pre-pandemic levels and reached its all-time high in January 2021. The construction industry should begin to see postponed or paused projects rescheduled throughout 2021. 


New policies from President Biden will also affect the rate at which new projects run this year. His plans involve building modern and sustainable infrastructure to help ease the effects of climate change. They also revolve around the repair of the country’s aging infrastructure. This includes roads, highways, and bridges.   


When it comes to spending in the construction industry, the latest data shows that total public spending in 2021 is projected to be $384 billion. This is an 8.5% increase in construction spending from 2020, according to Building Design + Construction.


So what does all of this mean for those of us that work in the construction industry? As more and more projects get the green light, companies will be looking for teams to go back to the job site. Since the early days of the pandemic, the industry relied on technology rather than manpower on projects. So new projects will most likely be adopting the use of these technologies. This means they will be looking for skilled employees and to upskill their own workers.    With bids for new projects happening every day, now is the best time to start a career path in the construction industry. Whether you are looking to brush up on your skills and get back out on the site, or want to learn more to become skilled in new technologies, At Home Prep has the resources you need. Be sure to check out our online resources on any area of the construction industry that interests you. Now is the time to get out there and build a great career in construction and we’re here to help.  
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CE Requirements for Contractors in Oregon

  As a contractor, it’s no secret that you know your stuff. But in some states, contractors need to make sure they are keeping up with continuing education requirements to keep working. Continuing education in construction allows you to stay up to date with your skills and learn new things to excel in your current position. Here are the continuing education requirements you need to meet state requirements as a contractor. Oregon Contractor Licensing. Continuing education courses in Oregon.

What are the Requirements?

The State of Oregon outlines that to keep your residential contractor status, you will need to meet one of these requirements for every two-year licensing period:
  • Option 1
    • 3 hours of CCB laws, regulations, and business practices classes AND
    • 5 additional hours of approved courses if you have been licensed by CCB for less than six years 
  • Option 2
    • 13 hours of other approved courses if you have been licensed by CCB for less than six years
  For approved courses, At Home Prep offers many courses. Check out our course catalog to see the different topics that are covered. No matter what you are interested in as a contractor, you can learn new and valuable skills when meeting your continuing education requirements. 

How Often Do You Need to Meet Requirements?

In the state of Oregon, if you’re a residential or commercial contractor, you need to meet continuing education requirements every two years when you renew your license. 

Requirements For Commercial Contractors

Commercial contractors have to meet the same requirements as their residential counterparts. They also must consider the continuing education of their employees.
  • Level 2 commercial or specialty supply contractors must have 32 hours of approved courses by key employees 
  • Level 1 contractors must have the following:
    • 5 or more key employees with 80 hours of approved courses
    • 4 or more key employees with 64 hours of approved courses
    • 3 key employees with 48 hours of approved courses
    • 2 key employees with 32 hours of approved courses
    • 1 key employee with 16 hours of approved courses

Maintain Good Records

Keeping records of continuing education for you and your employees is essential. The CCB can always ask for proof, so keeping your requirements documented and organized will save you from a headache later. 

Where To Find Oregon CE Courses

When you’re ready to take your continuing education course, AtHomePrep can help! With resources for every state, we supply information and courses that can help you complete your continuing education requirements and get you back out on the job site in no time. 
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