Carpenters are skilled tradesmen who construct, install, and repair wooden structures and fixtures. In Nevada, carpenters must hold a state contractor license to legally operate. There are several carpenter license classifications based on the type of carpentry work performed.

The Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB) oversees licensing for carpenters in the state. Licensure ensures carpenters have the proper qualifications, training, and experience to provide quality workmanship. It also protects Nevada homeowners and business owners when hiring carpenters.

This guide will outline everything you need to know about becoming a licensed carpenter in Nevada, including:

  • Carpenter license classifications
  • Requirements for licensure
  • Applying for a new license
  • License renewal
  • Reciprocity with other states
  • Bond requirements
  • Insurance requirements

Carpenter License Classifications

There are several license classifications for carpenters under the C-3 subclassification:

  • Carpentry and Repairs (C3-A): Construction of concrete forms, framing, rough carpentry, installation and repair of subflooring, siding, stairs, railings, roof decking, trusses, doors, windows, cabinets, and wood fixtures.
  • Finish Carpentry (C3-B): Installation, repair, and finishing of cabinets, sash, casings, doors, flooring, countertops, and millwork. Does not include tile, marble, or artificial marble installation.
  • Insulation and Weather Stripping (C3-C): Installation of insulation, weather stripping, fire stopping, and caulking.
  • Overhead Doors (C3-D): Installation of overhead doors, including guides, counterweights, tracks, weather stripping, and automatic/manual controls.
  • Drywall (C3-E): Installation, taping, and finishing of drywall, sheathing, acoustical tile, and metal studs.

Requirements for Licensure

To become a licensed carpenter in Nevada, the following requirements must be met:

  • Be 18 Years or Older: Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • Business License: Obtain a Nevada business license and tax ID number.
  • Experience: Have at least 4 years of experience at a journeyman level or as a foreman, supervisor, or contractor. Up to 3 years of education at an accredited college or technical school can substitute for work experience.
  • Exams: Pass the trade exam and contractors management survey exam.
  • Bond: Obtain a license bond between $1,000 – $50,000.
  • Insurance: Carry workers’ compensation insurance. Sole proprietors may be exempt with an affidavit.
  • Application: Submit a completed carpenter license application with all documentation to the NSCB.
  • Fees: Pay all licensing, application, and exam fees.

Applying for a New Carpenter License

Follow these steps to obtain a new carpenter contractor license in Nevada:

  1. Determine eligibility. Make sure you meet all experience, training, and age requirements.
  2. Get a Nevada business license. File for a state business license and tax ID number.
  3. Prepare documentation. Have ready all necessary documents – resume, certificates, transcripts, IDs, etc.
  4. Submit application. Complete the contractor license application and mail it with supporting documents to the NSCB.
  5. Pay fees. The application fee is $300. Licensing and exam fees will also apply.
  6. Get bonded. After approval, obtain a continuous license bond for the required amount.
  7. Prove insurance. Show proof of workers’ compensation insurance or file an exemption.
  8. Pass exams. Schedule and pass the trade exam and business/law exam.
  9. Get licensed. Once all steps are completed, the NSCB will issue your wall certificate and pocket card.

It typically takes 4-6 weeks to get licensed after submitting an application. The NSCB will notify applicants throughout the process if any additional items are needed.

Renewing a Nevada Carpenter License

Carpenter licenses must be renewed every 2 years in Nevada before the expiration date. To renew, follow these steps:

  • Review the renewal notice sent by NSCB 45 days before expiration.
  • Log in to the NSCB online portal to renew electronically or by mail.
  • Pay the $600 renewal fee.
  • Maintain continuous bonding and required insurance.
  • Complete all continuing education requirements. 8 hours per license term are required.

Renewal notices will be sent to the address on file with the NSCB. Make sure your contact information is up to date or you risk having your license suspended. Late fees apply for renewals up to 90 days past expiration. After that, licenses are cancelled and a new application must be filed.

Reciprocity with Other States

Nevada has license reciprocity agreements with Arizona, California, and Utah for general building, electrical, and plumbing contractors. This allows for waiver of certain licensure requirements if applicants hold an active license from one of these states.

To apply for reciprocity:

  • Obtain license verification from your home state.
  • Submit a completed application, verification, and fees to NSCB.
  • Prove you’ve been licensed for 4+ years with no disciplinary action.
  • Pass the Nevada business management exam.
  • Meet all Nevada licensing standards besides testing/experience.

Carpenters licensed out-of-state should review the state equivalency chart to determine eligibility for reciprocity in Nevada. Certain carpenter classifications may qualify while others may not.

Bond Requirements

All licensed carpenters in Nevada must carry a $1,000 – $50,000 surety bond or cash deposit based on their license type, proposed work, and financial standing.

Bonds must be continuous with no lapse in coverage. If a bond is cancelled, carpenters have 60 days to obtain a new one before their license is suspended. Cash bonds are held for 2 years after license termination.

The NSCB determines exact bond amounts upon approval of a license application. Higher risk work such as swimming pools may require additional consumer protection bonding.

Insurance Requirements

Nevada requires licensed carpenters to carry active workers’ compensation insurance. This provides coverage for jobsite accidents and injuries.

Sole proprietors without employees may file an exemption affidavit to waive this requirement. Partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies must carry workers’ comp even if they have no employees.

Proof of current workers’ comp coverage or an affidavit must be kept on file with NSCB at all times. Policies are subject to audit so proper classification and premium payments can be validated.


Becoming a licensed carpenter in Nevada ensures consumers are working with qualified trade professionals. It also allows carpenters to legally bid, contract, and perform carpentry projects in the state.

Major steps for licensure include gaining on-the-job experience, passing state exams, obtaining a business license and bond, carrying required insurance, and maintaining licensing through renewal. Certain reciprocity exists for carpenters already licensed in other states.

The Nevada State Contractors Board provides resources and support to aspiring carpenters. Following the proper licensing process protects carpenters, homeowners, and the community at large. Reach out to the NSCB with any questions.