A, B, C, D California Contractors Licensing

It’s been said, that when a company can’t give a raise they often give you a title. Which corporate title makes it easier to become a Responsible Managing Officer? What California license gives a contractor the ability to do some, all or none of the work? Another contractor will be ‘decked’ by the answer to his question…

Q: I am interested in getting a “C-10” license to further my business and have a friend with an “A” license. Can he certify that I’ve worked for his company for 4 years as their electrician or does an electrical license holder have to certify me? Doesn’t an “A” license mean you have the qualifications for all licenses under you?

A: The CSLB may prefer to have a certifier that holds the classification the applicant is applying for; however, this is not a requirement. If an “A” contractor has direct knowledge of your background, this should be acceptable to the Board. This being said, while the “A” is considered the best grade in school and is the first letter of the alphabet, it does not dominate all other trades. For instance, except on rare occasions, an “A” does not have the authority to frame a house (“C-5” or “B”) or pour a commercial foundation (“C-8”) or handle residential painting (“C-33”). General Engineering contractors also may not drill water wells (“C-57”) or install Fire Sprinklers (“C-16”)

Q: Does a RMO need to own any of the company to become the qualifier? Are any corporate titles better than others as far as the CSLB is concerned?

A: NO there is no requirement that the Responsible Managing Officer own any stock in the company. The CSLB does not care what title the RMO has. Who serves as President, Secretary, Treasurer, etc. is up to the corporation.

Q: I will be bidding a public works project in a few weeks and would like to know if in addition to my “B”, I’ll need the specialty classes required for the project? For instance, the job will include finish carpentry, plumbing, some electrical work and a new AC system as well as drywall, plastering and painting. I plan on self-performing some of the work and using sub-contractors for the rest. Will my general building license be enough?

A: Thank you for your email. “B” contractors have the option of self-performing all, some or none of the project work. You can handle all trades with your employees; split the work between your employees and licensed sub contractors or sub out all trades. As you likely know, it is very important, when bidding public works, to list all licensed subcontractors you intend on using. If you don’t, this implies you intend on self-performing the specific trade. As an aside to your question, I just received a call asking if a “B” could take a job with only one trade if he intends on using an appropriately licensed sub-contractor. The answer is YES.

Q: I will be filing a waiver application for a license I already hold. Should I wait to obtain a “C-61″/”D41”– and possibly other classifications –or can this be done with the same application?

A: You can apply for the Siding and Decking “D-41” (or any other “D” class) on the same application because no exam is required (however, a certification of work experience will be necessary). Since testing would be needed for any other class, it would require a separate application for additional class once the license number is issued.