Degrees of Experience, RME Replacement, DAS & NV Electrical

Duplication of effort is always frustrating, especially when your license is at risk as a result, as our first contractor demonstrates.  While a college degree is great preparation, if you want a ‘general’ engineering license in California you are going to have to spend some time in the trenches, so to speak. Sparks may fly when we plug in a couple answers every electrical contractor should know…

Q:  We are a large company with a General Building license in CA.  We keep running into the same issue where our Responsible Managing Employee (RME) leaves the company and then we are stuck rushing to replace him so that our license doesn’t lapse.  Can I, as an Officer of the company, take a class to pass the exams so that we can avoid having to go through this every time someone leaves?  I have been in the business for many years but have never framed or built a house.


A: We understand your frustration; it can certainly be a hassle when your Qualifying individual terminates his/her employment unexpectedly.  While you don’t have the “hands-on” work background, if you can show at least four years of experience supervising/managing your company’s General Building projects, then you can apply to become the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) for your company. If you can show that you’ve been acting in a supervisory capacity for the company for the past 5 of 7 years, then you may be able request a Waiver of the examination.  Please contact us if you have further questions or would like assistance with this process.

Q: I have a degree in Engineering.   Will that suffice for qualification to obtain a General Engineering contractor’s license in CA?


A:  In order to qualify for a General Engineering contractor’s license, you’re required to show at least 4 years of experience.  The CSLB will give you up to three years of work experience credit for your Engineering degree, so you would need to show another year of Journeyman level or above work experience to sit for the exam.

Q:  We currently have a “C-10” license with an RME.  He also has an electrical certification with the Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS).  Of course we are waiting until the last minute, but his electrical certification expires very soon.  Is that going to cause our “C-10” contractor’s license to go suspended?

A:  If it weren’t for the last minute many of us wouldn’t get anything done, right?  Lucky for you, the “C-10” contractor or Qualifier does not need to hold an Electrical certification.  If you have employees that work under your license then they need to get certified, but your RME is not required to keep his DAS registration.

Q: As you know, you are helping us get our “C-7” (low voltage) contractor’s license in CA.  When we get the CA license squared away we plan to apply for a Waiver in Nevada and take the Business and Law exam only.  Any reason this wouldn’t work that way?


A: Unfortunately, there are two reasons why it won’t work that way.  First of all, the reciprocal agreement between CA and NV allows you to waive the trade exam and experience requirements only if you have been licensed for 5 out of the last 7 years in CA, AZ, or UT.  Since you will be newly licensed in CA, you won’t meet the 5-year requirement.  Secondly, Nevada doesn’t reciprocate for electrical.  Since the “C-7” is part of the electrical classification, even after five years you still won’t qualify for a Waiver of the trade test. Sorry if this has ‘shorted out’ your plan!