More than 40 license classifications reflect wide array of helpful services
When you think of a contractor, you may think of someone who plans, coordinates, budgets, and supervises construction projects like homes and buildings from start to finish. But did you know that there are dozens of licensed contractor classifications for professionals trained to perform and oversee a wide variety of specific construction tasks?
KNOW YOUR CLASSIFICATION ABCS
The Department of Consumer Affairs’ California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) issues licenses to contract in particular trades of the construction profession. Each separate trade is recognized as a classification. Licensed contractors may add any classification for which they are qualified following successful application and examination.
CSLB issues licenses for two general—and perhaps most familiar—contracting classifications:
- Class A is the classification for general engineering contractors, whose principal business is in connection with fixed works requiring specialized engineering knowledge and skill.
- Class B is the classification for general building contractors, whose principal business is in connection with any structure built, being built, or to be built, such as buildings, housing, commercial offices, and so forth. B contractors can perform or subcontract for jobs that involve two or more unrelated building trades or crafts (for example, plumbing and flooring, or drywall and fencing), as well as framing and carpentry.
Class A and B general engineering and building contractors usually oversee projects and coordinate the specific licensed subcontractors who usually are hired to perform a single specialized job. Homeowners generally hire B contractors for large improvement projects, such as remodeling, room additions, or new construction, and generally hire specialty contractors for home improvement work in specific trades, such as painting, flooring, electrical, plumbing and roofing.
A general building contractor also may contract for specialty work, but he or she must hold a specialty license for that work or subcontract it to have a specialty contractor do the work. So to get the job done, in addition to the general A and B classifications, there are more than 40 separate specialized “C” classifications for California contractors whose principal contracting business involves the use of specialized building trades or crafts.
In addition to popular C licenses—C-8 Concrete; C-10 Electrical; C-20 Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning; C-27 Landscaping; C-33 Painting; C-36 Plumbing—there are several other useful California specialty contracting classifications, such as:
- C-11 Elevator—Fabricates, erects, installs, and repairs elevators, including sheave beams, motors, sheaves, cable and wire rope, guides, cabs, counterweights, doors (including sidewalk elevator doors), automatic and manual controls, signal systems, and all other devices and equipment associated with the safe and efficient installation and operation of electrical, hydraulic, and manually operated elevators.
- C-12 Building Moving/Demolition—Raises, lowers, cribs, underpins, demolishes, and moves or removes structures, including their foundations.
- C-23 Ornamental Metal—Assembles, casts, cuts, shapes, stamps, forges, welds, fabricates, and installs, sheet, rolled, and cast, brass, bronze, copper, cast iron, wrought iron, monel (nickel alloy) metal, stainless steel, and steel for the architectural treatment and ornamental decoration of structures.
- C-45 Sign—Fabricates, installs, and erects electrical signs (including wiring) and non-electrical signs like post or pole supported signs, signs attached to structures, painted wall signs, and modifications to existing signs.
- C-46 Solar—Installs, modifies, maintains, and repairs thermal and photovoltaic solar energy systems.
- C-57 Well Drilling— Installs and repairs water wells and pumps by boring, drilling, excavating, casing, cementing, and cleaning to provide a supply of uncontaminated water.
LICENSED PROFESSIONALS ARE HERE TO HELP
No matter what your project involves, California’s licensed specialty and general contractors can help you do it right. Hiring a licensed contractor is one of the best ways to make sure the person doing the work is qualified and to protect yourself in case something goes wrong.
You can find a licensed contractor in your area using CSLB’s “Find My Licensed Contractor” website feature to search by license classification, city, or ZIP code. For more information on CSLB or to check the status of a license, visit www.cslb.ca.gov.