top of page

Empowering Women in Construction: How Earning a Contractor License Boosts Career Opportunities

by Samreen Sheikh

More women join the construction industry every day.

While previously this field was male-dominated, people of any gender are now finding lucrative career opportunities within it. The key to success in construction is knowledge, skills, and networking. Obtaining a license is a great way to prove those skills, knowledge, and dedication to the craft. There are many benefits to obtaining a general contractor license, especially as a woman in the construction industry. This guide highlights the most important ones.


Anyone with a construction career, including women in the industry, understands the value of a good education. More training allows you to gain better expertise and access to more projects. You’ll have a better understanding of construction, building permits, construction laws, building codes, and more. This allows for safer and better-quality work in the construction field. For women in the field, licensed certification presents easy proof of job qualifications if met with any pushback.


When a construction worker is licensed, their access and ability to handle more projects increase. You can take on bigger, more detailed projects, which leads to added experience, portfolio additions, and more money. The range of clients you can take on increases as well. Depending on the type of licensing you obtain, you can have unlimited opportunities for any type of project. This is a smart path for anyone who is looking to make a name or career in the construction business. Licensing just makes sense.

Licensing allows a worker to combine their understanding of overall project goals with their technical expertise in the construction process to provide a smoother, quicker project experience. Understanding permit laws, construction processes, building codes, and other details ensures that the project is completed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Knowing the processes within allows tasks to be divided properly and adequately.


Licensing adds certification to your name. It’s physical proof of qualifications, which can be handy for any woman in a predominantly male-dominated industry. There’s prestige in formal licensing, showing you can put in the hard work, time, and skill to achieve goals. Licensing is great for networking and marketing, proving you have what it takes to partner with other professionals or take on a range of construction clients. It’s also one of the most important ways to get hired in the construction industry!


Construction sites are dangerous places. Licensing ensures that you know all the risks and dangers of tools, equipment, and other hazards. This allows proper safety procedures to be followed by you and your staff or coworkers. Familiarity with permit procedures and building codes also provides a safe building or construction zone for clients. There is no such thing as too many safety precautions in the construction industry.


Licensing expands your access to better jobs, clients, and opportunities. All of these can translate to better pay. Whether you own your own business or are an employee, obtaining a license guarantees an increase in pay or salary. It also adds job security, as most people will want to hire an officially licensed and certified contractor, especially for important projects like construction.


In general, obtaining a contractor license typically involves taking proper courses, completing certified construction hours, and passing a contractor exam. There are several types of contractor licenses, and what you need depends on the type of work you aim to do. As a professional, you will likely need a license that allows you to work on most types of projects. Specific qualification requirements depend on the state in which you are obtaining a license.


Florida licensing requires four years of relevant experience, passing a background check, and passing the state certification exam. Swimming pool contractors are typically exempt from taking this exam.


New York requires a contractor license for certain types of construction work, such as crane operation, elevator maintenance, or asbestos abatement. Some counties and municipalities may require further licensing and exams.


California requires applicants to be at least 18 years old. They need at least four years of relevant experience in the construction field within the past ten years. Then, they must take and pass the California contractor exam, which consists of two parts.


To obtain a contractor license in Oregon, you need to be at least 18 and have at least 16 hours of approved training before taking and passing the Oregon contractor license exam.

There is a growing number of women in the construction field. Licensing and certification are vital steps to growing a stable and promising career in construction. With more knowledge, skills, and formal training, women in the field can see more career opportunities, diversity, and the potential for upward mobility. Obtaining a license depends on the state you’re located in, but typically involves pre-licensing training and passing a contractor exam.


bottom of page