To qualify for California Contractor License, you must meet educational and experience requirements and pass the Electrical C-10 Examination.
California requires electrical contractors to be licensed in order to legally work in the state.
The licensing exam consists of two parts. One deals with electrical codes and practices while the other covers business and law.
To be eligible for the C-10 examination, you must have at least four years work experience at the level of supervisor, foreman, journeyman, or owner-builder. An application must be submitted and approved by the state before you can take the test.
Once your application has been approved, the state will notify you of the testing date and location. It is important to arrive at the designated time and place with qualifying identification so you will be allowed to take the examination.
The California Contractor License test is multiple choice and closed book. It covers topics such as rough wiring, finish wiring, planning, estimating, code requirements, electrical maintenance, troubleshooting, and safety. Questions involve equipment installations, raceways, electrical calculations, photovoltaic projects, wiring, grounding, bonding, motors, electrical troubleshooting, testing, personal protection, hazardous material, and proper use of tools and equipment. Preparing for the examination involves learning California electrical safety orders, electrical codes, building codes, energy codes, and fire codes. The test consists of 100 questions and takes about 2 ½ hours to complete. A score of at least 72 percent is needed in order to pass.
Successful completion of the C-10 test allows electrical contractors in California to install and connect electrical fixtures and wires, raceways, appliances, conduits, and solar cells for residential and commercial purposes. The California Contractor License can be awarded to individuals and businesses and will allow holders to bid on all types of jobs and pull permits on residential and municipal locations.
To apply for the California electrical contractor examination, a fee of $300 must be included along with the application. This fee covers the cost of the test as well as the application. In order to obtain the actual license, another of fee of $150 must be paid which keeps the license active for a period of two years upon which time it must be renewed. California currently does not have any continuing education requirements for license renewal. Reciprocity is in place with Utah, Arizona, and Nevada; however, a California license is also required.
Applications for the California electrical contractor license can be obtained from the Contractor’s State License Board website. This site will also allow you to track the status of your license as you move through the application and testing process.