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Getting the C-15 License for flooring offers the opportunity for incredible income potential within the construction industry.
The installation of wood floors, carpets, and laminates are critical services and almost always required within virtually all construction projects.
Commercial flooring jobs can be incredibly lucrative especially if you offer a one-stop service for clients to choose materials, have their previous floor removed and a new one installed.
This article will provide you with every single detail you need to know about how to get your C15 license, requirements, the flooring license test, and even how to fill out the application.
A flooring and floor covering contractor prepares any surface for the installation of flooring and floor coverings and installs carpet, resilient sheet goods, resilient tile, wood floors and flooring (including the finishing and repairing thereof), and any other materials established as flooring and floor covering material, except ceramic tile. - CSLB.GOV
The C-15 License is the classification required in the state of California for all persons looking to bid on residential, commercial, or industrial flooring projects where the cost of labor and materials exceeds $500.
Flooring Contractors duties and skill sets generally include a wide variety of flooring services such as:
To obtain the C-15 license, you will be tested on all aspects of flooring so it will be essential to your success to become familiar with all the areas of expertise that fall under the flooring license.
A flooring contractor that hold the C-15 license can work in a variety of settings. They could work directly with a homeowner or client.
They may also be subcontracted by a General Contractor who has placed a bid on a project that includes flooring. The flooring construction portion would be overseen by the General Contractor.
Check out this article for an in-depth look at the General Contractor License
The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is the governing body for all contractors in the state of California.
Their sole 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-15 License is issued to flooring 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.
To get a C-15 license in California, you must prove a minimum of 4 years journeyman level experience and pass a two part state exam with the Contractor State License Board.
To get an exam date you must meet the the following requirements:
You must also have:
Journeyman level experience means that you have worked unsupervised full time for a flooring company, or for a contractor that holds the C-15 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 when applying for the C-15 license:
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. For example:
“Ed is a great guy and has a lot of experience installing carpets…” will not be accepted by the CSLB.
The CSLB will want to see something more like:
"Greg has installed, finished and repaired vinyl, wood, linoleum, and resilient tile floors", etc.
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-15 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:
Fraud, Forgery and Embezzlement.
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 exam will consist of:
The Flooring and Floor Covering (C-15 license) Examination is divided into seven key sections:
1. Planning and Estimation (26%)
2. Subfloor Evaluation and Preparation (17%)
3. Carpet Installation (14%)
4. Resilient Goods and Rubber Flooring Installation (12%)
5. Laminate Flooring Installation (8%)
6. Wood Flooring Installation (10%)
7. Safety (13%)
Some things to remember:
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.
Learn more about the Flooring License Test
If you don’t have the 4 years required journeyman level experience to obtain a C-15 License you have come to the right place.
Choosing a career in the construction industry can be incredibly rewarding financially.
The construction industry is a trillion-dollar industry, and a highly skilled tradesman are always in demand.
Whether you are brand new to the industry, have dabbled over the years or are coming back and want to brush up your skills, there is a myriad of resources available to help you learn the basics or get up to speed.
Generally someone looking to become a Glass Contractor would want to look into an apprenticeship or certification program.
For a detailed explanation on this process, check out my article: Apprentice vs Journeyman.
Reading construction blueprints is a critical skill for flooring contractors. The ability to quickly interpret designs and make cost calculations will greatly assist you going forward.
Blueprint Reading Skills are also critical to pass the General Contractor exam.
Check out this Blue Print Reading Course for a basic introduction to the concepts you will want to know about.
Understanding how to safely contain lead-based paint when altering structures built before 1978 is required by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The most profitable glazing contractors are ones that position themselves as the experts and are the most knowledgable and helpful to their clients.
Becoming EPA Certified can help you expand your business and can be completed in a one day 8 hour course.
Staying EPA compliant is not only important to the survival of your business but also the safety of your customers.
For a complete guide on how to get the EPA Certification, check out this article.
Contractors that hold the C-15 License who are highly skilled, professional and offer excellent customer service can quickly build a business offering a valuable skill set to millions of homeowners and businesses.
Getting the C-15 License can be a huge step up in your career if you are looking to open your company, become an RMO or take on larger clients!
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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