Qualified vs Licensed

I am currently taking the Defect Recognition and Report Writing course and I am on the Roof Defect section. Sometimes a recommendation for a defect will call for a qualified roofing contractor, and other times the recommendation for a defect will call for a licensed, qualified roofing contractor.

I guess my question is… whats the difference between a qualified roofing contractor and a licensed roofing contractor if any?

Thank you

Welcome to our forum, John. Enjoy! :smile:

  1. A qualified roofing contractor is one that is capable to do the work. IMHO

  2. A Licensed, qualified roofing contractor is one that is not only capable of doing the work but holds a state license as a roofing contractor, too. IMHO

Qualified means exactly what it says - qualified to execute the work. Licensing can vary state to state, or even city to city in the same state. In my state, they have state-wide licensing for contractors, which is a widely-accepted bar to clear, and assures the consumer that the contractor is in good standing, insured, and has a good track record. I recommend you become familiar with how your state or area does it, and word your report recommendations accordingly.

It largely depends on where you are. A lot of trades are licensed in most states, but not all are, and it will vary place to place. If the trade is licensed in your area report comments should ask for a licensed tradesman to do the work. For example, if there are defects in the electrical panel then you call for a licensed electrician.

Beyond that Qualified is a nice way to suggest more than a handyman is required for a fix. A “qualified” roofer is who I would recommend when I feel there may be a more complex issue present than can be articulated in a report, and which requires assessment by a specialist. Another good example is a “qualified deck contractor” since building or repairing a deck is not something that all contractors have experience with.

I’ve seen many licensed contractors that I did not consider to be qualified or competent, so I never used licensed as a singular reference. I usually said “qualified, licensed contractor” for licensed professions.

In many states, certain professions are not licensed. In Texas, for instance, it would be silly to recommend a “licensed roofer” as no such thing exists. In that case I would recommend a “qualified roofing contractor”.

I always used qualified. That way if the screwed it up, obviously they were not qualified.

Just a thought… :smile:


“Qualified” means capable, and if licensing is required it would also mean licensed. That said, terms vary from place to place and by personal interpretation. And the person might be an attorney or a judge. Best to ask your attorney what term might work best on your area.

Thank you everyone! The feedback has been quite helpful to say the least. Until next time!

My default in narratives is: Recommend licensed professional repair/correct as needed.

Calling them a professional is similar to qualified.

Recommend repairs and/or corrections does not specify what the repair should be it defers to the specialist.

I don’t personally use the word contractor very often because I feel like the word contractor carries a (negative) stigma. This is coming from someone with a contractors license.