What Education Do I Need to Get a Michigan Residential Builders License?

Starting a new career is always both exciting and scary. Your new professional path opens up a whole world of possibilities — but how do you make sure you’re ready to handle them? Fortunately, if you’re choosing a career as a residential builder in the state of Michigan, you’ll have the opportunity to educate yourself before you jump in. That’s because the state requires some pre-license education.

Specifically, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) mandates that all residential builders complete a specific number of education hours from a LARA-approved education provider. And, sure, it might seem like a drag to have this major to-do standing in the way of getting your residential builder license. But in reality, completing this residential builder pre-license education sets you up for success by training you in a number of areas that will help you thrive in your new profession. Plus, you’ll need to pass an exam to get your license and these education hours are basically studying. 

So let’s talk details. What, exactly, is required to get your residential builder’s license in Michigan? How many hours do you need? This guide will teach you everything you need to know. 

The required pre-license education hours

LARA gives clear direction when it comes to their education requirements for people interested in becoming residential builders. The short version: they mandate that you complete 60 hours of pre-license education.

But this isn’t a time to revisit calculus or brush up on your Spanish. Those 60 hours are specifically allocated to the topics that will be most relevant to you as a residential builder. They require at least six hours in each of the following topics:

  • The Michigan Residential Code
  • MIOSHA construction safety standards
  • Design and building science
  • Business management, estimating, and job costing
  • Contracts, liability, and risk management
  • Marketing and sales
  • Project management and scheduling

That leaves you with 18 hours to dedicate to other approved topics to hit the full 60-hour requirement. All told, by the time you finish your 60 hours, you should be well-briefed in all of the topics relevant to your new career.

What’s more, you should be prepped for your next step toward licensure: completing the Michigan residential builder exam. You can find more info on the specifics of your pre-license to-dos — including the exam — on LARA’s site. Or you can use our step-by-step guide

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Considerations when finding your education provider

Now, there’s another issue when you’re thinking about your Michigan residential builder pre-license education requirements. In order for your hours to count, you need to take them from an education provider that’s been approved by LARA. The good news? LARA keeps a running list of approved education providers. 

Some of them will require you to attend a class in person, but if you’d prefer to complete your hours at your pace and at your convenience, you can take them online. (Scroll down to see our approval letter from LARA.) 

When you’re shopping your options for education providers, look at how they breakdown the hours, too. Some will offer separate classes that you have to keep track of to make sure you hit your 60 hours. Others offer a full 60-hour LARA-approved class package so you can rest easy knowing that you’re hitting all the required topics without having to do any extra work to keep track. 

Also, be sure to look at reviews before you pick an education provider. You want — and deserve — one with straightforward classes, good support, and an easy-to-use interface. 


Now, go forth. Find your education provider and start knocking out your 60 hours to get closer to getting your residential builder license.