How To Become A Licensed Contractor In Ontario (2024)

A contractor is an essential party in any construction project. He/she serves as an intermediary between the developer and the subcontractor and also does the planning and supervision of a project from the very beginning to the end.

To become a licensed contractor in Ontario, you will have to take courses in seven core competence as required by Tarion, register online on Tarion and pay a fee of $2,500  after which you will be scheduled for a mandatory interview and information session with a Tarion representative.

Having a license as a contractor has many advantages including getting a higher chance of being hired as well as having the freedom to bid on big projects such as government-owned projects.

How To Become A Licensed Contractor In Ontario?

To become a licensed contractor in Ontario, you will have to be registered under the Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA), and to achieve this, you must meet the requirements of Tarion Warranty Corporation.

Tarion Warranty Corporation is a non-profit consumer protection corporation established in 1976 and is responsible for administering the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (ONHWP Act).

Here are the steps you should follow if you are looking into getting licensed as a contractor in Ontario

1. Training Courses

To begin your registration as a licensed contractor, you must first fulfill the educational requirements based on the Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s National Education Benchmarks for residential construction by taking pre-registration courses in the seven required core competencies.

The seven core competencies include;

  • Business Planning and Management
  • Financial Planning and Management
  • Project Management and Supervision
  • Legal Issues in Housing
  • Building Codes in Ontario
  • Construction Technology
  • Customer Service and Tarion Requirements

These courses can be taken through companies such as Training Ontario and MMI Professional Services. If you however have knowledge on the above-highlighted skills and can prove your knowledge,  you may register to write an assessment exam through Algonquin College.

Tarion also considers exemption from taking the pre-registration courses if you fall into any of the following categories;

  • Applicants who were Principals, Officers, or Directors for five or more years with a registered builder
  • Applicants who were employees engaged in the customer service, construction or business management of a registered builder and who have five or more years in that capacity;A
  • Applicants who have obtained comparable core competencies with another Canadian warranty program;
  • Applicants who have achieved a professional designation or obtained formal education in an area related to an area of competency;
  • Applicants who have achieved Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing recognition for competency in Part 9 of the Ontario Building Code.

If you meet the above criterion for exemption, you may thereby need to apply for equivalency and get a response in about 30 days.

 2. Registration

After completing the requirements in step 1, you may proceed to submit an online application and you must complete sections A to O on the Application for Registration form and pay an application fee of $2,500. Payment can be made by credit card, cheque, bank draft, and money order.

It is very important to note that a partially filled application will result in a delay in the registration process. It is also very important to ensure that all details filled in the application form are correct.

After submitting your online application, you can go ahead to sign up for Tarion’s web-based portal, BuilderLink to track the status of your application.

3. Interview

If your application is approved, you will be scheduled for an interview and information session with a Tarion representative who evaluates your business and gives you information on your responsibilities and requirements.

The purpose of this mandatory business interview and information session is to:

  • Establish an understanding of Tarion’s expectations
  • Evaluate your planned business venture and your background to
  • Review your responsibilities, timelines, and customer service standard requirements.

After the completion of the interview, you have successfully completed your registration process.

Requirements of a contractor in Ontario

  • Must complete the seven required core competencies
  • Must submit an online Tarion application form
  • Must pay an application fee of $2,500
  • Must be interviewed by Tarion representative

How do I find out if a contractor is licensed in Ontario?

It is very important to find out if the contractor you want to hire is licensed so as to know if they are legitimate business owners and to have a general insight on how the contractor operates.

To know if a contractor in Ontario is licensed under Tarion, you can search the Ontario Builder Directory by simply entering your contractor’s name in the search box, then you will see a list of contractors that matches hat name, their umbrella group if they belong to one, the location they work in, their registration number, and their registration status.  Doing so will help you ensure that they have the right certifications to offer the services required and also reduce the risk of being scammed.

How much does a licensed contractor earn in Ontario?

The amount of money a contractor earns varies based on skill level, location, and years of experience.

There is no fixed payment but The average pay for a Contractor is $53,784 a year and $25.86 an hour in Ontario. Although, some contractors earn salaries as high as $116,000 and others earn as low as $22,500, however, majority of Contractors in Ontario earn salaries currently between $34,500 to $61,000 per year.


Is Tarion warranty mandatory?

Yes, a Tarion warranty is mandatory.  Tarion is a non-profit consumer protection organization established in 1976 by the Ontario government and is responsible for administering the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act  (ONHWPA). Any contractor building or selling a new home in Ontario is required to be registered with Tarion and must renew the warranty annually. Each new home must be enrolled with Tarion and the properties must be inspected to ensure that the home “is constructed in a workmanlike manner and is free from defects in material, is fit for habitation, and is constructed in accordance with the Ontario Building Code.”

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