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The C-11 Contractor License is for Elevator fabrication, installation and repair technicians looking to charge over $500 for their services in California.
This under the radar industry is seeing massive growth due to the large segment of the baby boomer generation that is entering old age and will require an in-home chair or handicap elevators.
Demographic shifts have made residential elevator contractors some of the most in-demand specialist tradesman in the construction industry.
This article will provide you with every single detail you need to know about how to get the C-11 Elevator Contractor License!
"An elevator contractor fabricates, erects, installs and repairs elevators, including sheave beams, motors, sheaves, cable and wire rope, guides, cab, counterweights, doors (including sidewalk elevator doors), automatic and manual controls, signal systems, and all other devices and equipment associated with the safe and efficient installation and operation of electrical, hydraulic and manually operated elevators"-CSLB.GOV
A C-11 Elevator Contractor sometimes referred to as an elevator technician or elevator installer are a tradesman whose skills include:
The C-11 Elevator Contractor License is the classification required in the state of California for all persons looking to bid on services involving any elevator system where the cost of labor and materials exceeds $500.
The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is the governing body for all contractors in the state of California.
Their responsibility is to protect the consumer public and ensure that anyone charging over $500 for construction services is qualified and registered with the state of California.
The C-11 License is issued to contractors by the CSLB.
The CSLB administers applications, exams, and maintains a database of all active and inactive contractor license numbers which are public domain.
In many cases, Elevator contractors that hold the C-11 license work directly with homeowners, factories, or senior centers.
They may also be subcontracted by a General Contractor who has placed a bid on a project that includes elevator installation.
Check out this article for an in-depth look at the General Contractor License!
You must also have:
Journeyman level experience means that you have worked unsupervised full time for an elevator construction company, or for a contractor that holds the C-11 License.
The CSLB will want to see four full-time years over the last ten years. The years do not need to be consecutive, but they do need to be four years in total.
The following people may be used as Qualifying Individuals to sign off on your experience:
Your Qualifying Individual will also need to provide a brief but detailed description of your knowledge and skillset.
The way this description is written will be critical to whether or not your application is accepted.
“John Martin has a lot of experience…” will not be enough.
The CSLB will want to see something like:
"John Martin has installed supports, constructed man-lifts, constructed hoist-way gates, and installed machinery calculated clearances" etc.
The description written by your qualifying individual will need to include the core skills required an elevator contractor.
You must be prepared to submit documentation supporting the experience you claim to have. The Contractors State License Board gives you a few ways that you can prove your experience.
The CSLB receives thousands of applications per month so there is a good chance they won’t document your experience but if you are one of the applicants that get reviewed you will need to be ready to submit something.
The CSLB does not accept pictures of projects.
The time it takes to get your application processed and assigned a test date fluctuates throughout the year.
Typically you can expect:
I have seen some situations where applicants got their test date sooner and some where they got their test date much later.
The most common reasons your application would get held up are:
The Current CSLB fees are:
Having a criminal record in no way stops you from getting a C-11 License. I have personally helped guys with all types of criminal records obtain multiple licenses.
The key is to be honest on the application, even if the felony or misdemeanor happened years ago and even if it was expunged.
BE 100% HONEST ON THE APPLICATION, because they will see everything anyway when you do fingerprinting.
The CSLB handles criminal records on a case by case basis. Remember, their responsibility is to protect the public.
In my experience, they primarily concerned with criminal charges associated with:
Contractor licenses are broken down into 4 categories:
1) A-General Engineering
3) C-Specialty classes
4) D-Limited Specialty classes
Each category of license apart from the D-Limited Specialty license class requires that you pass a TRADE exam in addition to the California LAW examination which is the same for all licenses.
The C-11 Elevator Contractor Examination is divided into six key sections:
1. Planning and Estimation (11%)
• Plan conveyance projects
• Estimate conveyance projects
2. Project Preparation (5%)
• Preliminary set-up and permitting
3. Install and Modernize Elevators, Dumbwaiters, and Lifts (22%)
4. Install and Modernize Escalators and Moving Walks (5%)
5. Conveyance Repair, Maintenance, and Service (35%)
6. Safety (22%)
Currently, there are CSLB testing locations in the following cities:
The CSLB assigns you a testing location based on where you live when you apply for your license.
Learn more about Contractor License LAW
Some things to remember:
I have helped elevator technicians from all over the country get licensed in California. Many are startled by how strange the questions on the exam are.
Be as prepared as you possibly can.
Studying just 10 mintues a day consistently can dramatically increase your chances of passing the test on your first try.
Being prepared is the most important thing you can do in ensuring your success on the contractor license exam.
Studying C-11 ElevatorTest Questions a long with explanations and diagrams for as little as 10 minutes a day is a small investment to make, but will increase your likelihood of success.
If you don’t have the 4 years required journeyman level plumbing experience to get a C-11 license, your journey begins here.
Generally, someone looking to get into this trade would begin by finding a union or an elevator apprenticeship program.
For a detailed explanation on this process, check out my article: Apprentice vs Journeyman!
It is critical for anyone looking to get the C-11 License to be able to read drawings, symbols, and identify specific dimensions on construction blueprints to execute their job duties safely.
Completing elevator installation safely within a building often requires the ability to grasp construction blue prints.
The ability to quickly interpret blueprints is an invaluable skill for all tradesman but especially for elevator contractors. Check out our: Free Blueprint Reading Course!
Statistically, 21% of all work-related fatalities are in construction.
That equals about 1 and 5 worker deaths on average.
In the construction industry, the leading cause of worker deaths is reported as falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between.
Elevator construction can be dangerous, especially if your workers are not properly trained. For employment with a steel contractor its typically required that you have completed some level of OSHA training.
Learn more about OSHA Training!
Containing lead paint when making any alterations to a home or structure built before 1978 is vital for C-11 Elevator Contractors.
The Environmental Protection Agency has set guidelines for how lead paint must be contained.
Understanding the health effects of lead paint and proper procedures to contain or remove it are valuable skills for all tradesman working in a residential or commercial setting.
Positioning yourself as the expert and a source of information for your clients is very important in creating repeat business. Learn more about the EPA Certification!
Getting the C-11 License can be a huge step up in your career if you are looking to start your own business or become an RMO for an existing elevator construction company!
The key is to take action and follow these steps from beginning to end.
If you have found this article helpful feel free to drop a comment below and be sure to check back for updates!
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