California Work Experience Requirements

Visit the Contractors License State Board Guide for the steps and requirements to become a Licensed Contractor in California.

What kind of work experience is required for a California contractor license?

  • The license qualifier must have four years of at least journey-level work experience in the past ten years immediately prior to filing the application in the classification being applied for.
  • Credit is given only for experience as a journeyperson, foreperson, supervising employee, or contractor. A journeyperson is an experienced worker, not a trainee, who can perform the trade without supervision or someone who has completed an apprenticeship program.
  • Someone other than the applicant must verify work experience claims, such as an employer, fellow employee, other journeyperson, contractor, union representative, building inspector, architect, engineer, business associate, or homeowner or client if the applicant is/was self-employed. The person who verifies the experience must have observed the relevant work done during the time period in question and complete and sign the “Certification of Work Experience” form, which is included with the application.
  • Be prepared to furnish documentation of any experience listed on the form whenever CSLB requests it.

Are there educational requirements for a license?

No. There are no specific educational or course requirements to get a California contractors license.

May I substitute any education, technical training, or apprenticeship training for the required work experience?

Yes, CSLB may grant credit toward the work experience requirement for a completed apprenticeship program, or technical training or completed education at an accredited school. You will need to provide written documentation, including copies of apprenticeship completion certificates and official transcripts with the application. No credit is given for high school course work. All documents are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Every qualifier must demonstrate at least one year practical journey-level work experience.

Can I use my armed services experience toward getting a contractor license?

Yes, The Military Veterans Application Assistance Program helps those transitioning from military service to civilian employment meet the minimum requirements for a contractor license. This program offers expedited processing of veterans’ applications by specially trained staff, including the evaluation of any transferable military experience and training, as well as education. You will be asked to provide evidence of the qualifier’s current or previous military service with the application, you can use the following:

  • Military orders
  • Certificate of Release
  • Discharge from Active Duty (DD 214)
  • Copy of Enlisted Record Brief (ERB)
  • Get Licensed to Build
  • Copy of Officer Record Brief (ORB)
  • Verification of Military Experience and Training (DD 2586)
  • Copy of Joint Service Transcripts (military transcripts)
  • Sealed, official educational transcripts of civilian education

You can obtain copies of service records from the National Archive.

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