what kinds of jobs can you do with a C-12 contractors license in California?

Jobs You Can Do With a C-12 Contractors License

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What Jobs Can You Do With a C-12 Contractors license?

The C-12 license is a California contractor classification for individuals or companies that specialize in earthwork and asphalt paving services. 

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

  • Grading services
  • Earthmoving
  • Trenching 
  • Excavating and Paving Solutions
  • Back Hoe Service
  • Asphalt & Seal Coating 
  • Blacktop Service
  • Land clearing and tractor services
  • Equipment services and rental
  • Parking lot services
  • Erosion control
  • Crack filling and line striping
  • Asphalt repair

Grading/Excavating Contractors and the CSLB

The C-12 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 simply the “C-12 or excavation contractor license”.

Expanding your excavation and grading service business in California

Contractors in California can hold multiple licenses.

The most common pairings for the C-12 license are:

What kinds of jobs can you do with a C-12 excavation and grading contractor license in California?

Requirements for California C-12 Contractors

To get an excavation contractor 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 excavation and grading concepts do I need to know for the test?

There will be a lot of information covered on your C-12 exam.

You may be presented with questions related to asphalt paving, excavation, grading, and trenching that you are not familiar with.

It will be important to review everything you can.

Below is a breakdown of what you need to know:

1. Planning and Estimation (23%)

  • Plans and specifications
  • Job site conditions
  • Estimating
  • Project layout
  • Materials and equipment

2. Earthwork and Grade Control (35%)

  • Grade control
  • Soils and geology
  • Excavation and trenching
  • Fill and grading

3. Paving (22%)

  • Roadways, driveways, and parking lots
  • Specialty paving
  • Demolition and pavement repair
  • Related paving activities

4. Safety (20%)

  • Job site safety
  • Environmental impact
  • Traffic control

What's the C-12 contractor's license exam process like?

The exam will be:

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

Math Skills 

There will be math on your CSLB law & business and trade 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-12 test will be a little bit more complex.

  • Geometry 
  • Units of Measurement

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, check out this free blueprint reading guide.

CSLB law & business exam

Our complete course is a guide for aspiring California paving contractors.

A step by step break 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-12 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!