How Do I Earn a Construction Supervisor License?

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  • Written By: L.K. Blackburn
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2019
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A construction supervisor license is an authorization, issued in certain areas, to manage a general contracting job. In the areas where the license is required, it allows an individual to plan and construct buildings and projects under a certain size and square footage. Generally, the license can be obtained by completing a set number of years of experience working in building construction and by passing a knowledge based exam. The exam typically tests a contractor's knowledge of regional regulations and building codes. Construction safety and standard business practices may also be tested on the exam.

Specific regions may choose to regulate which contractors can construct buildings and work on improvement projects. Some areas may control who is able to manage building sites, while other regional governments oversee the licensing for anyone is who involved with the construction process. Generally, a construction supervisor license allows an individual to construct new structures and hire other workers.

In some areas, a construction supervisor license is the only requirement to begin working on a new project. The license may have restrictions on the type and size of the structures the individual who holds the permit can manage. For these cases, a supervisor may need to employ the services of a licensed architect or engineer who is authorized to design and control a large-scale construction project.


When a construction supervisor license is required in an area, the first step to begin the authorization process is generally to earn experience building new structures and working on project sites. The number of years of experience needed to obtain a construction supervisor license varies based on regional regulations. To determine any requirements or prerequisites needed to earn a license in an area, one place to check for information is the city, state, or region's licensing website.

Once experience in the field is gained, the next step towards earning a construction supervisor license is usually to take a comprehensive exam that tests knowledge of regional standards and construction safety practices. The material is generally comprehensive, and may require knowing specific information about building codes. Tests are typically multiple-choice and may be administered at a professional testing facility.

It may be possible to obtain a practice test and a study guide from the regional government office that administers the construction supervisor license test. Local private test preparation companies may offer courses and learning groups to help individuals study to pass the test and learn all relevant material. There are usually fees associated with registering for the test and obtaining a construction supervisor license.


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