metal stairs. featured image for a blog post about how to get the C-61/D-24 metal products contractor license

What is the C-61/D-24 Metal Products License?

Side view of metal stairs. one of the main services covered under the D-24 metal products contractor license

The C-61/D-24 Metal Products License is the classification required in the state of California for anyone looking to contractor for projects involving everyday metal products where the cost of labor and materials exceeds $500.

C-61 Limited Specialty Classification

The C-61 Limited Specialty License is an umbrella term for all licenses that may fall under a more obscure category of

If your skill set or business is limited to one particular portion of trade work, you could obtain a C-61 limited specialty license to contract over $500 for your services legally.

Typical activities associated with the D-24 Metal Products License

The D-24 contractor license covers a wide range of services associated with metal products.

While services may vary based on expertise, typically duties include:

  • Design, fabrication, installation and repair of various metal products
  • Installation and repair of aluminum trusses, turnstiles and cabinets
  • Metal stamping and corrugated metal
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    Fabrication of fascia covers and metal gutters
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    Customized metal products production
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    Metal Forming
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    Cost calculations, bidding, accounting, and book keeping
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    Maintaining personal and job-site safety
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    Adhering to environmental safety codes

There are several licenses offered within the metal discipline.

The D-24 contractor is generally a common classification held by companies that produce simple metal products

Subcontractor License

A high pressure welding machine fabricating a large slab of metal. Metal products contractors can be overseen by someone holding the general contractor license

Due to the nature of the trade, metal contractors typically work directly with businesses or clients looking to have customized jobs done.

In a construction setting, a General may hire a D-24 Metal Contractor specifically for their expertise or specialized equipment.

As a result, a general contractor oversees the project to completion and ensures that this phase of the work is executed correctly.

Learn more about the General Contractor License!

CSLB

Logo of the Contractors State license board, illustration features a paint brush, hand saw and cement truck with the letters CSLB above

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. 

They ensure that anyone charging over $500 for construction services is qualified and registered with the state.

The C-61 / D-24  Metal contractor license is issued to contractors by the CSLB. 

D-24 Metal Products Contractor License Requirements

To get the metal products contractor license individuals must prove a minimum of 4 years journeyman level experience and pass a law exam.

To qualify for an exam date you must meet the the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a valid Driver's License or USA Issued Identification
  • Have a Social Security or ITIN #
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    Not Currently be on probation or parole

You must also have:

  • 4 Years Journey Level Experience
  • A Qualifying Individual to sign off on your experience
  • A way to prove your experience if the state asks for documentation

What is journey level experience?

An african american contractor slicing a piece of metal using a machine

Journeyman level experience means that you have worked unsupervised full time for a metal production company or someone that holds the D-24 License.

  • A journeyman can perform all of the duties associated with his or her trade.

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. 

Signature of a Qualifying Individual

The following people may act as a Qualifying Individual when applying for the metal products contractor license

  • Licensed General Contractor
  • C-61 / D-24 License Holder
  • Former Supervisor (within the last 10 years)
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    Fellow Employee (within the last 10 years)
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    Business Associate
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    Fellow Journeyman
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    Union Representative

How to fill out the Contractor License application

In addition, your Qualifying Individual will need to provide a brief but detailed description of your knowledge and skillset.

The way this description is written is critical to whether or not your application gets accepted. For example: 

“Jose knows how to fabricate filing cabinets” is not descriptive enough.

 The CSLB will want to see something more like:

"Jose has worked with various types of metal products to create filing cabinets, lockers, modular storage structures, and mail chutes"

Most importantly, the description written by your qualifying individual has to include the core skills a metal contractor is expected to have.

Work experience for the Contractor License

a prison cell block at alcatraz prison in the san francisco bay

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 which include:

  • Tax Returns
  • Check Stubs
  • Contracts
  • Material Order Invoices or Receipts

The CSLB  receives thousands of applications per month so there is a good chance they won’t document your experience.

However, 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.

Application Processing, Fees and Criminal History

The time it takes to get your application processed and assigned a test date fluctuates throughout the year.

Typically you can expect:

  • 6-8 Week Application Processing Time
  • 3-4 Week wait for an Exam date

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:

  1. Time of year (processing time slows down during the holidays) 
  2. Criminal History 
  3. Proving Experience
  4. Mistakes on your application 

Contractor License Fees

The Current CSLB fees are: 

Can you get a Contractors License with a Felony in California?

Having a criminal record in no way stops you from getting a C-61/D-24 Metal contractor 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.

a white man with handcuffs on

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.

Typically the CSLB is most concerned with Fraud, Embezzlement and Forgery.

The Contractor License Exam

Contractor licenses are broken down into four categories:

1) A-General Engineering

2) B-General Building

3) C-Specialty classes

4) C-61 / D-Limited Specialty classes

Each category of license except the D-Limited Specialty license class requires that you pass a TRADE exam.

C-61 Classification licenses do not have trade exams.

You must only pass a LAW exam. The exam is:

  • 115 Questions on Contractor LAW
  • 3 Hours to complete
  • Multiple choice, taken on a computer
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    Closed Book

The Law Examination is divided into eight major sections:

1. Business Organization (10%)

  •  Company organization
  •  Project organization

2. Business Finances (15%)

  • Cash management
  • Budget and planning
  • Taxes
  • Financial reporting

3. Employment Requirements (12%)

  • Employment regulations
  • Evaluation and record-keeping
  • Payroll

4. Bonds, Insurance, and Liens (10%)

  • Bonds
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Liens and other remedies
  • Other insurance

5. Contract Requirements and Execution (23%)

  • Bidding
  • Cost control
  • Contracts
  • Payments

6. Licensing Requirements (8%)

  • Business license
  • Contractor’s license
  • Activity regulation

7. Safety (15%)

  • Training and reporting requirements
  • General safety
  • Hazardous/unknown materials

8. Public Works (7%)

  • Prevailing wage requirements
  • Bonding requirements
  • Insurance requirements

Learn more about Contractor License LAW!

Recommended Resources

CSLB Test Locations

  • Berkeley
  • Fresno
  • Norwalk
  • San Jose
  • Oxnard
  • Sacramento
  • San Bernardino
  • San Diego
  • You have 18 months after your application is accepted to pass both examinations
  • You must wait 3 weeks to re-take the exam. $60 Per Re-take
  • You must score 70% or more

What is on the Law & Business portion of the C-61/D-24 Metal Products License exam?

California Contractors License Exam Prep

a cost calculation sheet with a wrench and calculator
  • Getting the D-24 Metal Products License  is a smooth process if you have the right information. 
  • It can be confusing to see un-familiar terms used to describe tools or job site practices. The Contractor LAW exam covers a number of different topics.
  • Questions are presented to you as if you are running a large scale remodeling business with multiple employees.
  • Being prepared and knowing what to study is the most important thing you can do in ensuring your success on the contractor license exam.

Metal Apprenticeship

image shows two construction workers looking down at something. blog post covers the difference between an apprentice and a journeyman

If you do not have the experience required to get the C-61/D-24 Metal Products Contractor license, not to worry! 

Your journey begins here. Generally someone looking to become a metal contractor would want to look into an apprenticeship for find an experienced person to work with.

For a detailed explanation on this process, check out my article: Apprentice vs Journeyman!

Blueprint Reading Course

Contractors that work with Metal Products or installation should be able to read designs and symbols on construction blueprints.

If installation or repair is part of a larger project, being able to execute their duties within the larger scope of the job is essential. 

image shows a black ruler and brown notepad laying on top of a desk. metal contractors looking to get the C-61 license should know how to read construction blueprints

Learn Blueprint Reading Here!

Reading blueprints is an invaluable skill for all tradesman but can be especially important for elevated flooring contractors.

Check out our Free Blueprint Reading Course!

OSHA Certification

image shows two construction workers high up on a beam working in dangerous conditions. metal products contractors should have osha certifications

Occupational Safety Hazard Association

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.

Installing or repairing metal products can be dangerous, especially if your workers are not properly trained.

For employment within a metal products company it is a requirement that you have completed some level of OSHA training.

Learn more about OSHA Training

Conclusion

Becoming a licensed and bonded contractor can be a huge step up in your career if you are looking to start your own metal products 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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