Project licensing

What licensing requirements and procedures apply to construction projects in your jurisdiction (eg, planning consents)?

The applicable licensing requirements and procedures for construction projects vary depending on the type of construction (e.g., residential, commercial, or industrial) and the particular state. Licensing requirements are generally not stringent. Certain construction projects may also need to satisfy governmental inspection and permitting requirements, which again vary by state and municipality. 

Professional licensing and qualification

What licensing requirements and procedures apply to construction professionals, including any required qualifications?

Most construction professionals are not required to have specific qualifications, as the primary gauge in the industry is years of experience and past projects successfully completed. Construction project owners and contractors may establish their own qualification requirements.

Certain types of professional may need licenses or certifications, such as electricians, installers of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and non-destructive testing professionals.

Design professionals wishing to become licensed may do so by becoming professional engineers. The requirements for such licensure are state-specific, but often include a four-year college degree, years of work experience, and passing one or more exams. In some circumstances, again regulated on a state-by-state basis, a professional engineer may be required to sign, seal, or stamp technical documents.

Do any special rules and restrictions apply to foreign construction professionals?

Foreign construction professionals are not subject to any special rules and restrictions, apart from needing work authorization under U.S. immigration law. Several different visas are available to foreign workers, such as the H-2B Visa (for temporary non-agricultural labor) or the E-B3 Visa (for skilled workers, professionals, or non-temporary unskilled workers). From a practical standpoint, foreign construction professionals must be able to communicate fluently with the workforce, although some even rely on interpreters to assist in communications.

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