Different Classifications of California Contractors License

In order to work as a contractor, a California contractors license must be obtained. The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) regulates licensure to contractors. Each trade is organized into a particular class of contractor license. Licensed contractors may add another classification by applying and going through an examination process.

Three main classifications

Contractor licenses are categorized into three main classifications.

Classification A: general engineering contractors. This category includes contractors who work primarily on projects requiring specialized engineering knowledge and skill. This may include projects involved in the following;California Contractor License

  • Irrigation, drainage
  • Water power, water supply
  • Flood control
  • Inland waterways
  • Harbors, docks and wharves
  • Shipyards and ports
  • Dams and hydroelectric projects
  • Levees, river control and reclamation works
  • Railroads
  • Parks, playgrounds and other recreational works
  • Highways, streets and roads
  • Tunnels and bridges
  • Overpasses, underpasses and other similar works
  • Airports and airways
  • Pipelines and other systems for the transmission of petroleum and other liquids or gaseous substances
  • Refineries, chemical plants and similar industrial plants requiring specialized engineering knowledge and skill
  • Powerhouses, power plants and other utilities plants and installations
  • Sewers and sewage disposal plants and systems
  • Waste reduction plants
  • Mines and metallurgical plants
  • Land leveling and earthmoving projects, excavating, grading, trenching, paving and surfacing work
  • Cement and concrete works in connection with the above mentioned fixed works

Classification B: general building contractor. This classification includes two subclassifications of individuals who work building structures. The first sub classification includes individuals who are:

  • Building a whole structure or a partial connection with any structure
  • Currently building structures, or structures to be built in the future
  • Building structures for the support, shelter and enclosure of persons, animals, chattels, or moveable property of any kind. This construction must use at least two unrelated building trades or crafts.This sub classification does not include individuals who merely provides the supplies necessary for the building of structures.

The second sub classification includes individuals who may not specifically be constructing structures, but are otherwise involved in general building. To qualify for this California contractors license, individuals must primarily work on framing or carpentry. It is also possible to qualify for this license if the primary work is not framing or carpentry but instead involves at least two other unrelated building trades or crafts. The contractor may not count framing or carpentry in the calculation of the two unrelated trades necessary for this qualification.

Individuals may also take on a contract that does not primarily involve structural construction or framing or carpentry, so long as the contractor holds the necessary license classification or subcontracts with a contractor with the necessary license to perform the work.This classification of license is not suitable for work relating to “C-16” Fire protection projects unless the contractor holds the necessary license or works with someone who does (details in Section 7026.12 of the Water Code).This classification of license is not suitable for work relating to well drilling unless the contractor holds the necessary license or works with someone who does (details in Section 13750.5 of the Water Code).

Classification C: specialty contractor. This classification is a little bit of a catchall. There are over 40 subclassifications with a wide range of types of work. Specialty contractors may work on projects within their sub classification in accordance with the standards of their trade. Specialty contractors may use subcontractors or personal employees to complete supplemental work. Below is a full list of all subclassifications.

  • C-2 – Insulation and Acoustical Contractor
  • C-4 – Boiler, Hot Water Heating and Steam Fitting Contractor
  • C-5 – Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor
  • C-6 – Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor
  • C-7 – Low Voltage Systems Contractor
  • C-8 – Concrete Contractor
  • C-9 – Drywall Contractor
  • C10 – Electrical Contractor
  • C11 – Elevator Contractor
  • C12 – Earthwork and Paving Contractors
  • C13 – Fencing Contractor
  • C15 – Flooring and Floor Covering Contractors
  • C16 – Fire Protection Contractor
  • C17 – Glazing Contractor
  • C20 – Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor
  • C21 – Building Moving/Demolition Contractor
  • C22 – Asbestos Abatement Contractor
  • C23 – Ornamental Metal Contractor
  • C27 – Landscaping Contractor
  • C28 – Lock and Security Equipment Contractor
  • C29 – Masonry Contractor
  • C31 – Construction Zone Traffic Control Contractor
  • C32 – Parking and Highway Improvement Contractor
  • C33 – Painting and Decorating Contractor
  • C34 – Pipeline Contractor
  • C35 – Lathing and Plastering Contractor
  • C36 – Plumbing Contractor
  • C38 – Refrigeration Contractor
  • C39 – Roofing Contractor
  • C42 – Sanitation System Contractor
  • C43 – Sheet Metal Contractor
  • C45 – Sign Contractor
  • C46 – Solar Contractor
  • C47 – General Manufactured Housing Contractor
  • C50 – Reinforcing Steel Contractor
  • C51 – Structural Steel Contractor
  • C53 – Swimming Pool Contractor
  • C54 – Ceramic and Mosaic Tile Contractor
  • C55 – Water Conditioning Contractor
  • C57 – Well Drilling Contractor
  • C60 – Welding Contractor
  • C-61 – Limited Specialty
  • ASB – Asbestos Certification
  • HAZ – Hazardous Substance Removal Certification

There are many different types of California contractors license and choosing the right one depends on many different variables.

Get the Right California Contractors License You Need

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