What’s Covered by a General Contractor License?

If you’re thinking about getting your general contractor license, you’re probably wondering what it covers, and maybe even why you need it at all. If you want to supervise or take on construction, remodeling, or repair jobs with a total value (including labor, parts, and supplies) of over $500, you need to be a licensed contractor.

The First Big Step
This license opens the door to amazing work opportunities. You can start your own company, bid on lucrative jobs, and begin a career with real growth opportunity. Earning your license is the first step on a new path.

In a Different Class
Contractors on siteThere are three classes of contractor licenses offered by the CSLB, which is the governing body of California in charge of consumer protection, industry regulation, and licensing for the construction industry. The divisions are as follows: Class A, Class B, and Class C.

Class A — General Engineering Contractor License
According to the CSLB, the general engineering contractors license covers contractors whose primary contracting business is connected with fixed works that call for specialized engineering knowledge and skills. The Class A general contractor license allows the holder to contract engineering for the following divisions or subjects — irrigation, drainage, water supply, inland waterways, harbors, shipyards, dams and hydroelectric projects, levees, railroads, highways, streets, tunnels, airports, sewers and sewage systems, bridges, overpasses, underpasses, pipelines, parks, playgrounds, power plants, mines, earthmoving, excavating, grading, trenching, paving, concrete work and much more.

Class B — General Building Contractor License
Contractor workingThe general building license is for those who engage in contracting, construction, or supervision of any structure that has been built, is in the process of being built, or is scheduled to be built. The license encompasses structures which will support, shelter, or enclose people, animals, or things. Furthermore, the general building license is intended for structures requiring at least two unrelated trades or crafts in its construction.

The holder of a Class B general contractor license may take a prime contract or a subcontract for a framing or carpentry project. In order to take on prime contracts, there must be at least two unrelated trades or crafts, other than framing or carpentry. Another way to take on prime contracts is by holding the appropriate license classifications for the required work, or being able to subcontract it out to someone who is qualified.

Class C — Specialty Contractor
Class C covers those operations that are performed in the act of construction, remodeling, or repair that require specialized training in order to carry out. The various sub-classifications of this license cover a wide range of specialized work, such as concrete, electrical, drywall, fencing, masonry, sheet metal, solar, welding, asbestos, hazardous substance removal, and more.

Contractor at workCLRG is Here to Help
If some of that seemed a little confusing or overly wordy, that’s ok. It’s government lingo, and we speak it fluently. At Contractor License Resource Group, we’ve been guiding students through the general contractor license process for almost 40 years. We know the CSLB in and out, and we will work with you to find out which license option works best for you and your future goals. What are you waiting for? Contact us today!


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