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"A glazing contractor selects, cuts, assembles and/or installs all makes and kinds of glass, glass work, mirrored glass, and glass substitute materials for glazing; executes the fabrication and glazing of frames, panels, sashes and doors; and/or installs these items in any structure" - CSLB.GOV
The C-17 License is the classification required in the state of California for all persons looking to bid on glazing projects where the cost of labor and materials is over $500.
Generally a glazing contractor’s duties would include:
To get the C-17 license you have to be familiar with all aspects of the glazing trade
Contractors that hold the C-17 license can work in a variety of settings.
A General Contractor would oversee that the glass contractor has executed their duties safely.
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-17 License is issued to glazing 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-17 license in California, you have to meet the following requirements:
You must also have:
Journeyman level experience means that you have worked unsupervised full time for an glazing company, or for a contractor that holds the C-17 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.
A qualifying individual can any of the following people:
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.
“Bob, is a nice guy he replaced the windows in my bathroom” will not be enough for the CSLB.The CSLB will want to see something like: "Bob has used drills, smoothers, polishers, has cut and installed insulated glass".
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-17 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:
In the state of California, you are required to divulge any criminal charges when applying for any state license even if they have been expunged.
You will need to be prepared to submit anything they ask for regarding your criminal history.
The C-17 Glazing Contractor exam will consist of:
Content of the TRADE Examination
The C-17 license Examination is broken up into 5 sections:
1. Planning and Estimation (24%)
2. Fabrication and Installation of Framing Systems (22%)
3. Fabrication and Installation of Glazing Materials (22%)
4. Glazing Replacement and Retrofit Projects (18%)
5. Safety (14%)
Some things to remember:
I have helped all types of construction professionals from various backgrounds and experience levels get licenses, and most are startled by how different the subject matter on the state exam is from their years of first-hand experience.
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.
Focus on and study ONLY the information that you need to pass the C-17 License exam.
If you don’t have the four years required journeyman level experience to obtain the C-17 License, not to worry.
Your journey begins here!
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
Knowing how to read blueprints is a valuable skill virtually all tradesman but especially for those looking to get the C-17 License.
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 the article.
Getting the C-17 License can be a huge step up in your career if you are looking to open your company, take on larger clients, or become an RMO!
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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