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South Dakota Contractor License Classifications

Are you thinking about elevating your career in South Dakota? Are you good at constructing, fixing, or installing different things? Then, you need to become a contractor.

It is a well-known fact that South Dakota is one of the most expansive states. Thus, you will need to earn more. Being a contractor gives you that chance. And never let the contractor’s duties scare you.

Besides, you will have freedom. It is up to you whether to do the job or not.

Here, we collected everything you need to know. The knowledge you will gain from the article will help you not to be scared any longer.

Important Things to Know about SD Contractor Licenses

There is a misstatement that South Dakota does not issue state licenses. In reality, it does. But not in all cases. For example, South Dakota, just like New Hampshire, does not license general, HVAC, elevator contractors. The duty falls on counties and cities. Thus, each place may have a different approach to licensure.

The requirements, however, may be completely different. There are some common things. For instance, exams, experience, education, and so on.

South Dakota does issue state licenses to many contractors. For instance, plumbers, electricians, water conditioning contractors, and so on. Hence, there is no truth in the statement that contractor’s licensure is not statewide.

In terms of payment, it is rather beneficial. There are many companies for contractors. The annual salary for a general contractor may be more than $100,000.

Now, let’s look through the licensure process in the state. First, let’s understand 3 statewide licenses. After that, we will talk about county licenses.

Plumber Licenses

SD Department of Labor and Regulations issues plumbing licenses. Particularly, SD Plumbing Commission is responsible for the process. There are 3 plumbing licenses. They are apprentice, journeyman, and contractor plumber licenses.

The plumbing contractor license is the highest level. Before that, you should pass some stages. Only after that, you may be a plumbing contractor.

There is one general form for all plumbers. You should complete the Plumber Application form.

Apprentice Plumber License

Starting as an apprentice plumber is a good option. You work with a professional plumber. Thus, you learn many things. Besides, you get a chance to practice them in real life.

So, what do you need to be an apprentice plumber?

  1. Find the plumber to work for.
  2. Be a responsible apprentice.

Yes, yes you need that little to be an apprentice plumber. There is another good news, too. After 2 years, you may work independently. But there are 2 things to remember. You can do this only if you passed the exam. Also, you can work in residential buildings for one family.

The license fee is $10.

Journeyman Plumber License

The Journeyman plumber is already considered a professional. We can consider it as the next step for being a contractor.

You should have a minimum of 4-year experience. You should have been working as an apprentice. Besides, at least 1,900 hours of work per year is a must. You should pass the exam, as well.

The license fee is $205. It also includes the exam fee.

Plumbing Contractor License

Finally, we reached the highest peak: plumbing contractor. You reach it step by step. The thing is that it is full of responsibilities.

There are basic requirements for a contractor license.

  1. You should have a minimum of 6-year experience. During that years you should work as an apprentice or journeyman plumber.
  2. Working as a plumbing contractor is a must. You should spend 2 years out of 6 as a contractor.
  3. Overall, 11,400 hours of experience is a must. Therefore, you should dedicate 1,900 hours a year to your job.
  4. Eventually, you should pass the exam.

The license fee is $375. It also includes the exam fee.

Appliance Technician Licenses

Do you want to fix problematic appliances? Then, the appliance license is what you need. Moreover, it is a specialty that is always in demand. South Dakota has 3 types of appliance licenses.

The Appliance Application form is the same for all license types.

Appliance Apprentice License

Appliance apprentices should work under guidance. Particularly, the work should manage the appliance installer.

You should pay a little fee. The fee for the license is $10.

Appliance Installer License

As we mentioned before, appliance installer trains apprentices. But before that, the installer should also be an apprentice.

Besides, you should pass the exam. It is a must to get an appliance installer license. Overall, the fee will be $165.

Appliance Contractor License

You need not have that much experience to get a contractor license. 1-year experience as an appliance installer is enough.

The exam is also a must for appliance contractors. Overall, the license fee will be $260.

Mobile Home Specialist Licenses

Do you like work connected with homes? Then, you should start preparing your career path from now on.

South Dakota is not one of the most populated states. However, there are still many mobile homes. Thus, mobile home contractors are in demand, too.

Like in previous cases, this license also has 3 types.

Mobile Home Apprentice License

Being a mobile home apprentice is a great way to start. You should find a mobile home installer. He/she would be your leader.

The license only costs $10.

Mobile Home Installer License

Being a mobile home installer is a rather serious job. In general, you are responsible for moving or installing homes. Thus, each detail is important.

Your apprentice experience leads you to that of an installer. The apprentice experience should be at least 2 years. Only after that, you can apply for an installer license. The exam is also a must.

The fee will be $165.

Mobile Home Contractor License

Mobile home contractors just like other contractors manage the whole process. That is why the contractor license is gained through passing various stages.

A mobile home contractor license requires 1-year experience as an installer. The exam is also a must. The license fee is $260.

Electrical Contractor License

South Dakota requires all electricians to get a license. The Electrical Commission is responsible for the licensure.

However, there may be cases when you need no license. For instance, if you have a home and wire it on your own. But there may be a need for a permit. It is only necessary if the price is more than $10.

Now, let’s look through the electrician licensure process.

There are again 3 electrician licenses. You must start as an apprentice and reach the contractor. In the middle, there is a journeyman license.

  1. First of all, find the electrical contractor. Then, register as an apprentice.
  2. After that, apply for a journeyman license. You must have at least 4-year of experience as an apprentice.
  3. Eventually, apply for an electrical contractor license. Having at least 2-year experience as a journeyman is a must.

Note: You will need to pass the exam for all stages.

Asbestos Abatement License

The state issues asbestos abatement licenses. Particularly, the SD Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DENR) is responsible for the licensure.

There are 5 types of asbestos abatement licenses.

  1. Asbestos abatement inspector
  2. Abatement project designer
  3. Abatement management planner
  4. Asbestos abatement worker
  5. Contractor of abatement

There are also some documents you should provide.

  1. You should provide your diploma.
  2. Complete asbestos training course. It can also be an EPA course.
  3. You should also provide a check. It is to pay DENR.

The same fee applies to all licenses. The fee will be $100.

General Contractor License

As we have already mentioned, the state has no state licenses for general contractors. Instead, individual cities decide their requirements.

However, there are some major rules for all counties. For example, having experience is important. There may be cases when specialized education is also a must. Besides, there are contractor excise taxes and insurance. Registering your business is another key point. Counties have general contractor exams, too.

If we look through major requirements, they are almost the same everywhere. However, the main differences apply to the fees and exam types. It may also apply to the required experience.

Let’s consider the examples of 2 major cities.

Rapid City

Rapid city has a special division to license contractors. Building Inspection Division is responsible for general contractor licenses.

You can find many sub-types of general contractor licenses. There are about 9 available sub-types. But there are some popular ones. For instance, a commercial and residential contractor license is one of the most popular ones. The license allows working with any kind of building.

Be ready to meet the following criteria.

  1. You should spend at least 6 hours in the special education program.
  2. You should also provide compensation insurance.
  3. Having general liability insurance is also a must.
  4. You should prove that you paid excise tax. It may be through a certificate.
  5. There are also exams to pass. The main exam is the ICC exam for a contractor. There may also be some universities suggesting exams.

In general, the license costs $200.

Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls also has a building division. The division is responsible for general contractor licenses.

There are some basic requirements.

  1. You should spend at least 1 hour in the special education program.
  2. You should have liability insurance. The minimum amount is rather high. It cannot be less than $300,000.
  3. Having a compliance bond is also a must.
  4. You should pay excise tax.
  5. There is also an exam you should pass. The exam is called the Construction Supervisor examination. The exam costs $75.

The fee for the license will gradually decrease with each renewal. It fluctuates between $100 and $300.

Manush K

Manush considers writing as a form of art. Mixing facts with good grammar and the right punctuation is not enough for having unique content. She is sure, that you can't be a good writer if you are not able to leave the traces of your individuality in your work. She is a freelance content writer, translator, and voice talent in Upwork. She also works as a freelance writer on and has written many academic essays and literature reviews. Her educational background in social studies and linguistics give her the chance to find the right approach for each written material.

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