The North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors handles the applications and examinations for receiving a general contractors license in the state. Whether or not you need a license to be a handyman in North Carolina depends on the maximum cost of any individual project you undertake and, in some cases, what areas you work in, such as installing fire sprinklers.

Value of Projects

If you work on a project worth at least $30,000 then you must obtain a general contractors' license in North Carolina. To obtain such a license, you must complete an application form and take the necessary examinations for your desired classification. North Carolina has reciprocal general contractor license agreements with South Carolina and Tennessee.

Electrical Work

If you engage in any electrical installation, wiring or repair work, you must have a license from the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors, which offers multiple license types. If you are a handyman on both residential and commercial projects, you can apply for a "Limited" license to work on a single project that does not exceed $40,000 in value, an "Intermediate" license to work on a single project that does not exceed $110,000 in value or an "Unlimited" license to work on multiple electrical projects of no maximum value. If you focus only on residential dwellings, you can apply for a "Residential Dwelling" license that permits you to work on residential electrical projects worth no more than $40,000. Each license is good for one year.

Plumbing, Heating or Fire Sprinklers

Anyone who works on plumbing, heating or fire sprinkler systems in North Carolina must receive a license from the State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors. The board offers two types of licenses: Class I, which covers all plumbing, heating and fire sprinkler projects across all types of properties, and Class II, which covers these activities for single family residential homes only. You must have at least 4,000 hours of experience to qualify for a plumbing or heating license and you must have a plumbing license to qualify for a fire sprinkler license.

Other Work

If your handyman services do not include plumbing, electrical, heating or fire sprinkler work, and you do not accept any one job that exceeds $30,000 in value, you do not have to obtain a license from the state of North Carolina.