It’s nice to know people benefit regularly from our back and forth. Helping contractors overcome challenges is one of the primary goals of this Q&A. Readers also know where to find answers they need when questions come up. This contractor’s first inquiry may provide significant help to others looking to increase the reach of their business. Another contractor helps illustrate that what works in California isn’t always applicable over the state border…
Q: This is the first time I have contacted you with a question, although I’ve been reading your column for years and even have your book.
I’ve been an “A” contractor for over 30 years and would like to get the “C-10” (Electrical) license. I’ve talked to a few “schools” and all they want to do is sell me a study course. I know I’ve read about getting a waiver of the exam and want to know if you think this would be possible?
A: You could apply for an additional classification and take the trade exam or you can apply for a waiver under Code Section 7065.3. You should be in a good position to secure a “C-10” exam waiver if in the course of your general engineering projects, you’ve performed electrical work such as placing underground electrical wiring, erecting transmission lines, installing signals or connecting electrical wires, fixtures, apparatus, etc. A portion of 7065.3(c) allows for a waiver if the qualifying individual is associated with a licensed General Engineering (“A”) or General Building (“B”) contractor and is applying for a classification that is a “significant component of the licensed contractors construction business as determined by the Registrar”.
It is my understanding that the registrar has determined that the “C-10” is “a significant component” of the “A” class. There are over a dozen other classifications that fall within the “significant” category including the ‘C-34” (pipeline), “C-8” (concrete), ‘and “C-51” (structural steel) classifications.
If you have further questions regarding the CSLB requirements to apply for this “C-10” or which classifications may be subject to a waiver, please call me toll free at 866-443-0657. Keep in mind that although the Registrar has made this determination, the CSLB is under no obligation to approve a waiver request (i.e. you could still end up being required to sit for the trade test).
Q: I have had the “A” license for many years in CA and NV. Can I waive the Electrical exam in NV if I want to add that classification?
A: Unlike CA, Nevada will not allow a waiver of the electrical classification under any circumstances. However, my understanding is that the NV Contractors Board may consider a waiver of the following trade tests if you already hold the General Engineering classification: Concrete, Landscape, Steel Reinforcing and Erection, Masonry, Fencing & Equipping Playgrounds, Individual Sewerage, Fabricating Tanks, and Installing Industrial Machinery. As with CA, this determination is on a case-by-case basis and dependent on various factors including years of experience and project background.
FYI: A joint CSLB and Nevada Contractors Board sting netted 13 unlicensed contractors in Truckee recently. $86,000 in bids were made by these criminals who were crossing state lines in the mistaken belief they wouldn’t get caught taking work away from those operating legally.
The CSLB regularly updates their exams and tries to address each classification at least once every 5 years. They’re presently in the process of updating the “C-4” (boilers), “C-16” (fire sprinklers), “C-21” (building moving and demolition) and “C-47” (manufactured housing) trades. The Board is seeking contractor participation and will be mailing letters to all licensed contractors in these four classifications. If you’re interested in participating, look for details in the mail or call the CSLB at 916-255-3221.