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There seems to be a lot of confusion on the part of home owners about what being licensed, bonded and insured in Illinois actually is. The most upsetting thing about the construction trades is pretty much anyone can become a licensed contractor in Illinois. There are NO schooling requirements to obtain a license except plumbing!
The state actually only regulates 2 trades (plumbing & roofing) as far as state licensing goes. The rest is regulated by each individual municipality/city/county. As far as education goes, plumbers are the only trade regulated by the state and need to have 4 years of an apprenticeship prior to applying for a license. In order for a roofer to be licensed in Illinois, all they need to do is pass a test, show proof of liability insurance, workers comp and post a 10k bond. To do a permitted project in a particular city, all contractors need to register (get a 1 year license to work there). Electricians are the only ones who need to take an exam at the local level to get the license for the town they will be doing work in. Every other trade including general contractors only need to show proof of liability insurance on the registration application. They do not even need to show proof of workers comp insurance!
Bonds are required by the local municipalities/cities and are just produced by the business’s insurance company. This is to ensure that the contractor comply’s with local and state building codes.
Liability insurance in Illinois is fairly simple, as a home owner you just need to make sure the contractor is not doing any work out of the scope of his trade. Then you