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June 4

Jobs You Can Do as a C-16 Contractor!

What Jobs Can You Do With a C-16 license?

The C-16 contractor license is for individuals or companies that specialize in fire protection services. 

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

  • Fire sprinkler design, standpipes, hydrants, and fire pumps
  • Installation services
  • Service and Repair
  • Making sure systems pass NFPA Title 19 certification
  • Repairing Underground lines, overhead piping, and fire hydrants
  • Developing emergency evacuation plan
  • Upgrading outdated equipment, replacing damaged components
  • Annual inspections
  • Fire Protection/Fire protection system design
  • Bi-directional amplification
  • Fire Prevention Services
  • Emergency and exit lighting
  • Fire Suppression/Fire Extinguisher service
  • Engineering services 
  • Hydraulic calculations, submitting plans to appropriate jurisdictions
  • Fire safety consulting, fire code analysis and interpretation 
  • Basic building information 
  • Emergency disaster plans

Fire Protection Contractors and the CSLB

The C-16 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-16 or fire protection contractor license".

Expanding your Fire Sprinkler business in California

Contractors in California can hold multiple licenses.

The most common pairings for the C-16 license are typically:

what jobs can you do with a C-16 contractor license in California

Requirements for California C-16 Contractors

To get a fire protection 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 fire protection concepts do I need to know for the test?

You will definitely want to be prepared for any curve balls that could come up on the C-16 license exam.

You may be presented with questions related to planning and estimation, fire suppression and safety procedures that you may or may not be 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 (25%)

  • Planning fire protection projects
  • Estimating fire protection projects 

2. Installation of Underground Fire Main Systems (11%)

  • Trenching and shoring excavations
  • Installing pipes and thrust blocks
  • Installing fire hydrants and FDC 

3. Installation of Fire Protection Systems (34%)

  • Installing fire sprinkler systems
  • Installing pre-action and deluge systems
  • Installing storage tanks and fire pumps
  • Installing fire suppression systems
  • Testing various fire protection systems 

4. Fire Protection System Maintenance and Repair (8%)

  • Conducting inspections of fire protection equipment
  • Testing fire protection equipment
  • Maintaining fire protection equipment 

5. Safety (22%)

  • Personnel safety
  • Job site safety
  • Underground work

What's the C-16 Contractor exam process like?

The exam will be:

  • 115 Questions Law & Business
  • 115 Questions Fire Protection
  • Multiple Choice
  • Closed Book
  • 3 Hours to Complete each section
  • Taken via Computer at a CSLB Testing Facility
  • Exam Centers in: Berkeley, Fresno, Norwalk, Oxnard, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, and San Jose

Math Skills 

There will be math on your CSLB law & business and trade exam.

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-16 license test will be a little bit more complex.

  • Geometry 
  • Units of Measurement
  • Basic Electrical theory

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 need to know check out this free blueprint reading guide.

CSLB law & business exam

Our complete course is a guide for aspiring California fire sprinkler 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-16 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
  • CAL/OSHA
  • 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!

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