A mechanical contractor is anyone who performs a mechanical repair, alteration or installation for a building or structure, according to the City of Boulder, Colo. The Mechanical Contractors Association of America states that mechanical contracting companies engage in plumbing, piping, heating, refrigeration and air conditioning work. Anything that involves mechanical parts or machinery may need a mechanical contractor to install or repair such items.
The MCAA reveals that roughly 2,500 companies are registered with the trade association. State and local governments sometimes require licenses for mechanical contractors in order to operate within certain jurisdictions. In Michigan, contractors must take an examination within their specialties after showing three years of experience in a certain field. Mechanical contractors also must pay fees to maintain their certifications. Contractors who are not current on certifications are not permitted to advertise as a mechanical contractor and may be fined by government agencies.
Mechanical contractors can hire specialized subcontractors to do extra work related to their service such as electricians, carpenters and bricklayers. An example of such needs include an air conditioning contractor who requires a concrete pad to be laid in order to facilitate a condenser outside a building. Extra electrical wires may have to be run from a circuit box into a room for a thermostat for a new air conditioning unit, so an electrician is needed.