1. What kind of experience is required for a contractor's license?
At least four years of experience is required to qualify to take the examination. Credit for experience is given
only for experience at a journey level or as a foreman, supervising employee, contractor, or owner-builder.
These are defined as follows:
A journeyman is a person who has completed an apprenticeship program or is an experienced worker, not a
trainee, and is fully qualified and able to perform the trade without supervision.
A foreman or supervisor is a person who has the knowledge and skill of a journeyman and directly
supervises physical construction.
A contractor is a person who manages the daily activities of a construction business, including field
An owner-builder is a person who has the knowledge and skills of a journeyman and who performs work on
his or her own property.
All experience claims must be verified by a qualified and responsible person, such as a homeowner, an
employer, fellow employee, other journeyman, contractor, union representative, building inspector,
architect, or engineer. The person verifying your claim must have firsthand knowledge of your
experience--that is, he or she must have observed the work that you have done--and must complete the
experience certification portion of the application.
2. Are there education requirements for a license?
No. You do not have to meet any education requirements in order to qualify for a contractor's license.
However, many community colleges and private schools offer instruction in vocational education. For more
information, contact the:
California Community Colleges
1102 Q Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
www.cccco.edu OR Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education
400 R Street, Suite 5000
Sacramento, CA 95814
(NOTE: CSLB will not make referrals or recommendations regarding license preparation schools.)
3. May I substitute any education, technical training, or apprenticeship training for the required experience?
You may receive credit for technical training, apprenticeship training, or education instead of a portion of
the required four years of practical experience. At least one year must be practical experience. You must
provide written documentation of any training or education claimed in place of experience. Acceptable
documentation includes copies of apprenticeship certificates and college transcripts.
4. How much credit can I expect to receive for technical training, the completion of an approved
apprenticeship program, or related college or university education?
The CSLB may credit training, apprenticeship, or education as follows:
A maximum of 1-1/2 years upon submission of transcripts of the following:
An A.A. degree from an accredited school or college in building or construction management;
A maximum of two years upon submission of transcripts of any of the following:
A four-year degree from an accredited college or university in the fields of accounting, business,
economics, mathematics, physics, or areas related to the specific trade or craft for which application is
A professional degree in law; or
Substantial college or university course work in accounting, architecture, business, construction technology,
drafting, economics, engineering, mathematics, or physics.
A maximum of three years upon submission of any of the following:
A Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship from an accredited apprenticeship program or a certified
statement of completion of apprenticeship training from a union in the classification for which application is
Submission of transcripts for a four-year degree from an accredited college or university in architecture,
construction technology, or any field of engineering that is directly related to the classification for which
application is being made; or
Submission of transcripts for a four-year degree from an accredited college or university in the field of
horticulture or landscape horticulture for the Landscaping (C-27) classification.