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Contractor State Exam (California)

Contractor Licensing and Exam Preparation

California State Contractors License:

Anyone who is contracted to do construction work valued at more than $500 for labor and materials is required to hold a valid contractors license issued by the CSLB.

The CSLB (Contractors State License Board) is the California state agency that administers the licensing of contractors. They issue licenses in 43 separate trades ranging from General Construction , to Landscaping, Electrical, Plumbing etc.

General vs. Trade License

General Contractors usually oversee and coordinate the work of specialized sub-contractors who perform particular parts of an overall job. However if the project only requires one type of work than the work may be contracted by a specialty trade. If a project requires more than one trade to be involved then a General Contractor will be needed to coordinate the work.


Experience Requirements:

  • 4 years of experience in the past 10 years.
  • A college degree can substitute for up to 3 years of that experience
  • Minimum 23 years of age
  • Some self employed experience is now expected.


  • Applications are available through the CSLB website.
  • Candidates will normally be notified within 3-6 weeks whether they have been accepted to take the exam.

The State License Exam

The exam is a 2 Part multiple choice test administered at computer test centers in various parts of the state.

Law / Business Exam:

Consists of 115 questions examining the candidates knowledge of relevant construction law mainly focused on trade practices and construction lien law.

Trade Exam:

  • Consists of between 100 and 120 multiple choice questions designed to test the specific trade knowledge of the candidate.
  • Candidates who currently hold a valid contractors license in another trade do not need to take the Law/Business portion of the exam if they are adding an additional license.

  • Online

  • Home Study


"Passed the first time out. Great questions and the price is right."

Frank Edwards, Rosemond, Ca.

"The online courses are fantastic. I was able to ask questions online and get answers. This is the best value for Contractor Training"

Steven Weis, San Diego, Ca.

"I had no problems passing the exam. The practice exams really prepared me well."

Jose Carrillo, Redman, Ca.

"This was the least expensive program I could find and got the most including, plan reading, math, and timed practice."

Stephen Berger, Fresno, Ca.