inside look at the C-16 license test for fire protection contractors in California looking to register with the CSLB

An Inside Look at the C-16 License Test!

Table of Contents

C-16 License Test Breakdown

Featured image for a blog post about how to get the C-16 license for fire protection contractors

The C-16 license test will have two parts. 

  • 115 Questions on Contractor LAW
  • 115 Questions on Fire Protection
  • 3 Hours To Complete Each Portion
  • Close Book
  • Taken on a Computer at a CSLB Testing Facility
  • 72% Score To Pass

For a complete guide on the LAW portion of the test, check this out.

Law & Business

  • Business Organization
  • Business Finances
  • Employment Requirements
  • Contract Requirements and Execution
  • Safety Public Works
  • Licensing Requirements

Fire Protection

  • Planning and Estimation (25%)
  • Installation of Underground Fire Main Systems (9%)
  • Installation of Fire Protection Systems (36%)
  • Fire Protection System Maintenance and Repair (9%)
  • Safety (21%)

C-16 License Test Sample Questions

1. What events are required to activate a pre-action double interlock electric pneumatic system?

a) Operation of a water flow device and a drop in air pressure

b) Operation of a control valve and a sprinkler head

c) Operation of a fire pull station and a control valve

d) Operation of a detection device and a sprinkler head

2. When should a contractor perform an underground flush test?

a) Before connection to the supply source, and before connection to the system riser

b) Before connection to the supply source, and after connection to the system riser

c) After connection to the supply source, and before connection to the system riser

d) After connection to the supply source, and after connection to the system riser

California Contractor License Test Taking Strategies

  • Some Questions will require solving Math problems (No Cellphones)

  • Each Question only have ONE best answer! So use process of elimination

  • It is better to answer a question by guessing rather than leaving it blank

Recommended Courses

Contractor License School

If you are looking for instruction covering the law and business side of the C-16 license test you will want to look into contractor classes.

It is essential to understand the distinction between a contractor license and a trade school. The C-16 License test is for journey-level fencing specialists who have a solid understanding of their trade. Contractor classes are not meant to teach you the Fire Protection trade.

Contractor Classes can be great for those of us who haven't been in a classroom in a while and need extra instruction. 

What You Need To Know About Contractor Classes

Contractor Classes are:

  • Taught by Contractors, Project Managers, Foreman, Superintendents and construction veterans
  • Live Instruction with Q&A portion
  • Bilingual (depending on the school you chose)
  • In depth classes that cover important LAW concepts

a frustrated contractor wearing a hard hat looking at construction plans. elevator contractors looking to get the C-11 license should absolutely go to a contractor license school

Contractor License schools offer services in addition to exam prep that can help you get everything taken care of quickly and easily.

Check out this article for a more in-depth look at how to choose the right school.

Requirements for the C-16 License

To take the C-16 License Test you must meet the following requirements:

  • 18 years of age
  • Drivers License or USA ID
  • Social Security or ITIN #
  • Not currently on probation or parole
  • 4 Years Journeyman Level Experience
  • Pass a Two Part Exam
Fire protection contractors are governed by the CSLB which is the governing agency in california for anyone construction tradesman looking to charge over $500 for their services

The C-16 License Test is issued by the Contractors State License Board, which is the governing agency for contractors in the state of California.

The CSLB has offices all over the state of California and offers 73 different licensing classifications.  

Now that you know the 3 most important steps to getting your C-16 license, let's begin with the information you need to get your application prepared and sent out!


Be sure to check out this article for a complete guide to the C-16 Fire Protection Contractor License. 

If you have found this information feel free to drop us a comment and check again in the future for updates!