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California Building Contractor License Information and Courses

To obtain a license in California, you must have at least 4 years of experience to qualify to take the examination. However, you may receive credit for your technical training, apprenticeship training or education instead of a portion of the required 4 years of practical experience.

Understanding the importance of professional ethics in the workplace, liabilities, safety concerns, and management style can affect the success of a business.

Online education is easy to use and affordable. The courses below will explore factors that contribute to the successful completion of any undertaking. With up to date information on elements that influence daily business activities, our courses will help to enhance your comprehension of current business aspects.

Click Here to see Industry Alert in California

New! 3-Hour Successful Site Design

This three hour, fully narrated online course will help you to navigate your entire team through the challenges and pit falls of site development, all the time with an eye toward building design.

Course Syllabus

Price: $29.00

New! 7-hour Manage Your Way To Big Profits

Online

Seven hour, online course will is an introduction to professional project management. The course will help prepare the student to understand the scope of responsibilities of a construction project manager.

Course Syllabus

Price: $69.00

New! 6-Hour Online Lead Paint Awareness

Online Video

Six hour, online video course will teach you how to perform or supervise lead-safe work practices safely and effectively.
This course is not a qualifier for RRP Certification.

Course Syllabus

Price: $69.00

1-Hour Online Advanced Module: Thermal & Moisture Protection: Keeping the Weather Out

Printable Text Online

One hour online course identifies moisture and weather related problems, and will identify practical solutions based on the Florida Building Code requirements. 

Course Syllabus

Price: $19.00

1-Hour Online Advanced Module: Gable End Anchoring and Framing for High Velocity Winds

Fully Narrated

One hour online course is based on the Florida Building Code changes that surround the most common causes of gable end failure during high velocity hurricane events.

Course Syllabus

Price: $19.00

1 hour Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards: Accessible Routes (video)

One hour online video course covering Chapter Four of the 2010 ADA Standards. You will be able to recognize adequate accessible routes for people with disabilities and identify requirements for doorways, ramps and platforms.

Course Syllabus

Price: $19.00

1 hour Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards: Special Rooms, Spaces and Elements

One hour online video course covering Chapter Eight of the 2010 ADA Standards. Know the importance of circulation pathways and ADA requirements for lodging, dining, courthouse and public transportation facilities.

Course Syllabus

Price: $19.00

1 Hour Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards: Plumbing Elements and Facilities

One hour online video course covering Chapter Six of the 2010 ADA Standards. Know the importance of adequate plumbing elements including drinking fountains, toilet facilities, bathtubs and showers, as well as applicable hardware.

Course Syllabus

Price: $19.00

1 Hour Tax Fraud and Abuse

One hour online video course will provide an overview of ethical and responsible tax reporting and payment that will help you establish and maintain hard earned business relationships.

Course Syllabus

Price: $19.00

2 Hour Ethics and Professional Development

Two hour online video course identifying the fundamental theories of ethics and their respective weaknesses.  You will learn how to effectively apply a Code of Ethics to current policies, rules and guidelines governing a business.

Course Syllabus

Price: $29.00

2 Hour Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards: Recreational Facilities

Two hour online video course covering Chapter Ten of the 2010 ADA Standards. You will be able to identify ADA requirements for amusement parks, fitness equipment, golf facilities, play areas and swimming/boating facilities.

Course Syllabus

Price: $29.00

3 Hour 2012 Energy, Residential and Building Code Updates (video)

This three hour course provides an overview of the most recent editions of the 2012 International Residential Code, International Building Code and the International Energy Conservation Code. 

Course Syllabus

Price: $39.00

3 Hour Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards: Exterior Building Blocks

Three hour online video course covering Chapters Three, Four and Five of the 2010 ADA Standards. Recognize how exterior exponents can and should comply with ADA requirements, including maneuvering space and accessible routes.

Course Syllabus

Price: $39.00

3 Hour Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards: Interior Elements

Three hour online video course covering Chapters Six, Seven, Eight and Nine of the 2010 ADA Standards. Know requirements of proper plumbing, communication, special rooms and built-in elements.

Course Syllabus

Price: $39.00

3 Hour Envelope Failure: A Better Weatherization Design

Three hour online video course identifying how a properly constructed building envelope will keep out weather related moisture and stop uncontrolled movement of energy due to loss of conditioned air.

Course Syllabus

Price: $39.00

3 Hour Harnessing Resources: New Construction Opportunities

Three hour online video course exploring new and innovative design considerations for resource and energy efficiency in new construction.

Course Syllabus

Price: $39.00

3 Hour Hazardous Work Zones: Implementing Occupational Safety I

Three hour online video course identifying construction related hazards and methods to reduce and eliminate them.

Course Syllabus

Price: $39.00

3 Hour Hazardous Work Zones: Implementing Occupational Safety II

This three hour online video course is designed to assist those in the industry to  identify, reduce, and eliminate construction-related hazards at a more in depth level.

Course Syllabus

Price: $39.00

3 Hour Technological Innovation: Building “Green” Into the Budget

This three hour online video course will bring attention to methods of green building that allow homes to have less impact on the environment, while providing a greater economic benefit to the homeowner.

Course Syllabus

Price: $39.00

3 Hour Preventing Foundation Failure: Soils, Concrete, Reinforcement and Layout

Three hour course explaining steps involved in foundation preparation and  design. Outlined through videos, text, diagrams and slides.

Course Syllabus

Price: $39.00

4 Hour Weatherization and Energy Efficient Building

This four hour online course will help professionals identify important considerations in weatherization and energy efficiency and then apply those principles to a specific project.

Course Syllabus

Price: $49.00

4 Hour Basic Project Management

Four hour fully narrated course focusing on the primary responsibilities of a project manager:  managing project costs and time, while completing the project to the expected degree of quality.

Course Syllabus

Price: $49.00

6 Hour Advanced Project Management

Six hour fully narrated course takes an in depth at the primary responsibilities of a project manager.  This course will teach a manager how to implement proven methods in order to manage most effectively.

Course Syllabus

Price: $69.00

6 Hour Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards: Real World Application

This six hour video course covers the second chapter of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.  Scoping Requirements and real world examples of problems and solutions are included in the course.

Course Syllabus

Price: $69.00

6 Hour Construction Safety Standards

Six hour online video course reviewing sefety codes required for construction, and responsibilities of both the employer and employee in observing established safety practices.

Course Syllabus

Price: $69.00

6 Hour Weatherization and Renewable Energy

This six hour course will explore factors that contribute to exterior shell failure, and identify practical  solutions that will preserve the integrity of the building envelope and add to the buildings efficiency.

Course Syllabus

Price: $69.00

6 Hour Contracts, Liabilities and Risk Management

This six hour video course explains the principles of contract law  and the important elements of a home building and remodeling contract.

Course Syllabus

Price: $69.00

7 Hour Estimating and Bidding for Success (video)

This 7 Hour course is excellent for both junior estimators entering the field or architects, engineers and contractors becoming more familiar with how bids are prepared.

AIA Approved and fulfills Builders License Continuing Education in several states.  View Course Syllabus for more details.

Course Syllabus

Price: $99.00

7 Hour Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards: Key Features and Elements

This seven hour video course covers the fourth through tenth chapters
of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

Course Syllabus

Price: $79.00

7 Hour Financial Responsibilities: Effective Business Strategies (video)

This course provides new and growing business owners with a solid foundation in effective financial management.  Learn how to keep accurate records, understand basic accounting principles and manage bookkeeping and data through the use of computers.

Course Syllabus

Price: $79.00

8 Hour Marketing for Contractors (video)

Marketing is an essential part of running a successful business. This video course shares dozens of ideas to help you increase your business year round.

Course Syllabus

Price: $89.00

Who needs to be licensed in California?

California Law requires all businesses or individuals who construct or alter any building, highway, road, parking facility, railroad, excavation, or other structure in California must be licensed by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) if the total cost (labor and materials) of one or more contracts on the project is $500 or more.  You do not have to reside in California to get and keep a contractor’s license.  Contractors, including subcontractors, specialty contractors, and person engaged in the business of home improvement must be licensed before submitting bids.

There are serious penalties for unlicensed contracting without a license.  First time offenses are usually a misdemeanor, carrying a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and/or a $500 fine, along with a potential administrative fine of $200 to $15,000.  The penalties go up with subsequent violations.

How do I get my contractor license in California?

Obtain an Application for Original Contractor’s License from any office of the Contractors State License Board, by telephone from the CSLB’s 24-hour automated public information line, (800) 321-CSLB (2752), or via the CSLB Web site:   www.cslb.ca.gov.  Submit the application,  application processing fee ($250) and all experience and certifications in support of experience to:

Contractors State License Board
P.O. Box 2600
Sacramento, CA  95826

Do not submit any bonds or the initial license fee with your application.  Upon successful completion of your examination, you will be instructed to submit required documents (Contractors Bond and proof of Workers Compensation Insurance) and initial license fee.

The CSLB issues licenses to contract in particular trades or fields of the construction profession.  Each separate trade is recognized as a “classification”.  You may add as many classifications to your license as you can qualify for.  For the purpose of classification, the contracting business includes any or all of the following branches:  (Links to all the classification can be found on the California State website)

Class”A” – General Engineering  Contractor
Class “B” – General Building Contractor
Class “C” – Specialty Contractor

Must have more than $2,500 worth of operating capital.  Operating capital is defined as your current assets minus your current liabilities.

Are there any Education, Exam or Experience requirements to get my California Contractors   License?

Yes – Given by the CSLB

After your application is processed and found acceptable, you will be sent a Notice to Appear for Examination which will include the date, time and location of the exam.  Examination sites are located throughout the state.   All qualifying individuals must pass the standard Law and Business examination in addition to a second test covering the specific trade or certification area for which they are applying.  Both exams consist of multiple choice questions.

Contractors who work with asbestos or other hazardous substances are subject to a number of certification, registration, reporting, and safety requirements and require additional training, exams and applications to become certified.

You must have at least 4 years of experience to qualify to take the examination.  Credit for experience is given only for experience at a journey level or as a foreman, supervising employee, contractor, or owner-builder (one who has the knowledge and skills of a journeyman and who performs work on his or her own property).

There are no education requirements to qualify for a contractor’s license.  However, you may receive credit for your technical training, apprenticeship training or education instead of a portion of the required 4 years of practical experience.  At lease one year must be practical experience.  Check state web site for details.

Is contractor continued education required in California?

There are no requirements for Continuing Education at this time.  A Contractor’s License is initially issued for a two year period and expires two years from the last day of the month in which it was issued.

Is the NASCLA Accredited Commercial Contractor license accepted in California?

No

Does California require a General contractor (commercial contractor) license?

Yes

Reciprocity with other states?

Out of state individuals can apply for a California License if they meet the qualifications.  California has formal reciprocity agreements with the contractor licensing agencies of Arizona, Nevada and Utah in specified classifications where the scopes of practice and licensing requirements are either identical or fundamentally indistinguishable in each state with California.  California may recognize the experience qualifications for certain trades and the Registrar may waive the written trade examination for a contractor licensed in another state.  Applicants must still qualify by taking and passing the Law and Business Examination and must apply for and be issued a license by the California Contractors State License Board.

Information is continually added and updated.  Please check back.

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