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Sheet metal Contractors are highly skilled tradesman that specialize in the fabrication, shaping, and installation of various types of sheet metal including:
The skillsets associated with the sheet metal license are always in high demand.
In this article you will learn everything you need to get the C-43 Sheet Metal License and how to fill out the California State License Application.
"A sheet metal contractor selects, cuts, shapes, fabricates and installs sheet metal such as cornices, flashings, gutters, leaders, pans, kitchen equipment, ductwork (including insulation, patented chimneys, metal flues, metal roofing systems and any other installations requiring sheet metal)"- CSLB.GOV
The C-43 license is the classification required in the state of California for all persons looking to bid on fabrication and installation of sheet metal projects where the cost of labor and materials exceeds $500.
The C-43 license can cover a wide range of areas within the metal production that a company or contractor may specialize in.
Many sheet metal fabrication companies may work exclusively in an industrial setting.
However, the products that are created by the process of sheet metal fabrication are present in many forms within a residential and commercial setting as well.
Typically their duties include:
To get the sheet metal license, you will be tested on all aspects shaping, cutting and fabrication of sheet metal products.
Sheet Metal Contractors typically work directly with clients to create metal products. The C-43 license is typically held by sheet metal fabrication company that engages in contract work.
In some cases a Sheet Metal company may be hired by a General Contractor that has placed a bid on a project that includes some kind of specialized metal production.
In this case, the General Contractor would oversee the project from start to finish. Learn more about the General Contractor License!
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 Sheet Metal Contractor License is issued to contractors by the CSLB.
In addition to licensing, they also:
To get a C-43 license in California, you must meet the following basic requirements:
You must also have:
Journeyman level experience means that you have worked unsupervised full time for a sheet metal fabrication company or someone that holds the C-43 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 sheet metal 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:
Writing: “Ralph is a great guy, he has done various metal fabrication projects for us” will not be descriptive enough.
The CSLB will want to see something more like: "Ed has installed gutters, flashings, metal roofs, ventilators.
He has done soldering and can identify sheet metal symbols, locks and seams" 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-43 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 exam will be:
Content of the Examination
The Sheet Metal License Examination is divided into four major sections:
1. Planning and Estimation (27%)
2. Preparation, Fabrication, and Storage (15%)
3. Installation (28%)
4. Safety (30%)
Currently, there are CSLB testing locations in the following cities:
Learn more about Contractor License LAW!
Some things to remember:
I have helped sheet metal contractors from all over the country get licensed in California. Many are startled by how strict the laws are here.
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-43 License.
If you don’t have the 4 years required journeyman level experience to get a C-43 license, not to worry.
Your journey begins here.
Metal Construction is a global multi-billion dollar industry. Generally, someone looking to get into this trade would find union or apprenticeship program.
For a detailed explanation on this process, check out my article: Apprentice vs Journeyman!
Sheet Metal Contractors must be able to read construction blueprints or at least be able to recognize basic lines and symbols.
Construction blueprints communicate important information about how a structure has been built as well as what materials are necessary or have been used for its construction.
This can include installation or assembly of metal products.
Being comfortable with construction blueprints is an invaluable skill for all tradesman but is especially important for those looking to get the C-43 license. See 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.
Sheet Metal Fabrication can be very dangerous, especially if your workers are not properly trained.
For employment with a sheet metal contractor you may be asked to complete OSHA Training.
Learn more about OSHA Certification
Getting the C-43 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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