examining the types of jobs you can do with a C-10 contractors license in California. Electrical services

Jobs You Can Do With a C-10 Contractors License

Table of Contents

What Jobs Can You Do With a C-10 Contractors license?

The C-10 license is a California contractor classification for individuals or companies that specialize in residential or commercial electrical services. 

There are a variety of services that can be offered if you have this license, including:

  • Ground up electrical installations
  • Electrical service upgrades
  • Designing custom control panels
  • Installation of electrical and power equipment
  • Automation and programming
  • Onsite trouble shooting
  • Replacement services
  • Performance and Reliability testing
  • Office, warehouse, lighting (Service and Repair work)
  • Fiber Optics, CCTV/Security, Data Cabling
  • Access Controls
  • Installation of ceiling fans and lights and sockets
  • Repairing breaker switches and outdoor outlets
  • Long term and short-term maintenance programs
  • Title 24 calculations 
  • Utilities Coordination 
  • Permit Processing

Electrical Contractors and the CSLB

The C-10 contractor's license is one of 73 classifications available in California. Contractors in the state of California are governed by the CSLB(Contractors State License Board)

There are 4 major classification categories:

Commonly referred to as the “C-10 or electrical license”, this classification falls under the C-Specialty category.

Expanding your electrician business in California

Contractors in California can hold multiple licenses. The most common pairings for the C-10 license:

explanation of the types of jobs you can do with a C-10 contractors license in the state of California

Requirements for California Electrical Contractors

To get a C-10 license you must meet the following basic requirements:

  • 18 Years of Age
  • 4 Years of Journeyman Level Experience
  • Social Security or ITIN #
  • Not Currently on Probation or Parole
  • Signature from a licensed contractor, fellow employee, supervisor, or business associate 

What electrical concepts do I need to know for the test?

There will be a lot of information covered on your C-10 test.

Keep in mind you might have to answer questions about the electrical trade that you have no experience in. 

It will be important to understand every possible question.

Below is a breakdown of what you need to know:

1. Planning and Estimating (24%)

  • Existing system evaluation
  • Plan and specification interpretation
  • Electrical calculations
  • Code requirements
  • Material selection
  • Energy production and storage project planning (photovoltaic, wind, generators, batteries, capacitors)

2. Rough Wiring (26%)

  • System layout
  • Clearance and accessibility requirements
  • Raceway and panel installation
  • Wire and equipment installation
  • Grounding and bonding
  • Energy production and storage rough wiring (photovoltaic, wind, generators, batteries, capacitors)

3. Finish Wiring and Trim (9%)

  • Finish device placement and installation
  • Motor and equipment installation
  • Wire and equipment labeling
  • Trims and sealants
  • Energy production and storage finish wiring (photovoltaic, wind, generators, batteries, capacitors)

4. Startup, Troubleshooting, and Maintenance (21%)

  • System energizing and testing
  • Common electrical problems
  • Location, repair, and replacement of inoperable electrical wires/components
  • Selection and use of electrical testing equipment
  • Energy production and storage system performance (photovoltaic, wind, generators, batteries, capacitors)

5. Safety (20%)

  • Lockout/tagout procedures
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Tools/equipment
  • Hazardous materials and job site environments

What's the C-10 license exam process like?

The exam will be:

  • 115 Questions Law & Business
  • 115 Questions Electrical
  • Multiple Choice
  • Closed Book
  • 3 Hours to Complete each section
  • Taken via Computer at a CSLB Testing Facility
  • Exam Centers located all over the state of California

Electrical Math Skills 

There will be math on your CSLB law & business and electrical exams.

On the law side, questions will be presented to you as if you are a General Building Contractor with multiple projects running simultaneously with several employees.

You can expect math questions related to:

  • Arithmetic
  • Cost Estimation 
  • Percentages and Decimals

The math you can expect on the C-10 test will be a little bit more complex.

  • Basic Algebra
  • Ohm's Law
  • Watt's Law
  • Circuit Symbols
  • Electrical Theory and Calculations

Blueprint Reading Skills

Blueprint reading is a fundamental skill for all contractors. Knowing how to interpret plans and is a key part of the job if you are working within a construction crew.

Some aspects of plan reading may also be your examination. 

For a deeper look at blueprint reading concepts, you will want to check out this free blueprint reading guide.

Preparing for the CSLB law & business exam

Our complete C-10 contractor's license course breaks down all of the essential knowledge you need to be successful on your CSLB law & business examination.

In addition to passing your exam, those looking to get the C-10 license will be equipped with a crash course on how to run a profitable business. 

You will learn:

  • Company organization 
  • How to bid effectively
  • Understanding cost control
  • Various contract types
  • Cash management
  • Estimation fundamentals
  • Business Structures
  • Worker’s Compensation and Taxes
  • Insurance Types in Construction
  • Labor Laws and Employee Rights
  • Hiring and Firing Practices
  • Contractor Bonds
  • Mechanics Liens
  • State Laws and Statutes
  • Project Management 101
  • Prevailing Wages and Public Works
  • And Much More!