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Ornamental Metal Contractors are highly skilled craftsman that specialize in Metal:
Ornamental metal contractors often referred to as:
There is a huge opportunity in this space for anyone who has the required experience, licensing and bonding. Ornamental metal contractors often referred to as metalworks contractors or metal fabricators.
Many of these tradesman will spend a lifetime perfecting and honing their skills as this particular trade can involve a lot of customization and knowledge of various types of metals.
This article will breakdown everything you need to know to get the C-23 License.
"An ornamental metals contractor assembles, casts, cuts, shapes, stamps, forges, welds, fabricates and installs, sheet, rolled and cast, brass, bronze, copper, cast iron, wrought iron, monel metal, stainless steel, steel, and/or any other metal for the architectural treatment and ornamental decoration of structures. This classification does not include the work of a sheet metal contractor" -CSLB.GOV
Metal workers can vary based on their particular area of expertise but generally, their duties:
The C-23 license does not include steel fabrication or sheet metal.
To get the C-23 License you will be tested on all aspects of metal work, so you will want to make sure you are familiar with all aspects of your trade.
Metalworks Contractors that hold the C-23 license can work in a variety of settings. They could be hired by a homeowner to execute a customized piece.
They may also be subcontracted by a General Contractor who has placed a bid on a project that includes some kind of elaborate metal job. The General Contractor would oversee the subcontractors and make sure their jobs are being executed to code.
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-23 License is issued to metalworks 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-23 license in California, you must meet the following requirements:
You must also have:
Journeyman level experience means that you have worked unsupervised full time for a metal works company, or for a contractor that holds the C-23 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-23 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:
“Tim has done many handrails for us” is not descriptive enough for the CSLB
The CSLB will want to see something like:
"Tim has built ornamental iron fences, window guards, fences, gates, fire escapes he has ordered materials, built jail cells, inspected projects, and read" 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-23 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, Embezzlement and Forgery.
The contractor license exam will be:
The Ornamental metal (C-23 license) Examination is divided into five major sections:
1. Planning and Estimation (25%)
2. Fabrication (23%)
3. Installation (18%)
4. Finishes and Repairs (12%)
5. Safety (22%)
Currently the CSLB has testing locations in the following cities:
You will be assigned a testing location based on the city you live in. Learn more about Contractor License Law
Some things to remember:
I have helped all types of tradesman from various backgrounds and experience levels get licenses. 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-23 License exam.
If you don’t have the 4 years required journeyman level experience to obtain a C-23 license, not to worry. Your journey begins here.
Ornamental Metalwork is a highly specialized trade with an unlimited amount of opportunity.
Generally someone looking to become a metalworks contractor would want to look into an apprenticeship or find a skilled tradesman to learn under.
For a detailed explanation on this process, check out my article: Apprentice vs Journeyman
It is critical for the metal contractors to be able to follow specific designs and plans. Design is a large part of the metal fabrication process and being able to comprehend a visual representation of the project is vital.
Quickly interpreting construction blueprints and executing your duties safely is an invaluable skill for all tradesman but is especially important for metal contractors.
Check out our Free Blueprint Reading Course!
Understanding how to safely contain lead-based paint when altering structures built before 1978 is required by the Environmental Protection Agency. The most profitable plastering 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. Learn how to get an EPA Certification, in 8 hours!
Getting the C-23 License can be a huge step up in your career if you are looking to start your own company or become an RMO for an existing firm! 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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