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August 31

What Jobs Can You Bid with a California Solar License?

The C-46 solar license is for individuals or companies that specialize in solar systems.

There are a variety of jobs you can bid if you have this license, including:

  • Residential and Commercial Solar Panel installation
  • Repair & Maintenance
  • Solar system design
  • Composition Shingle Installation
  • Battery Backups
  • Solar panel cleaning
  • Solar thermals and canopies
  • Removal for re-roof or moving assistance
  • Inspections and checkouts
  • Tune-ups and winterizing solar pool heating systems
  • Ground mounts and custom solution
  • Energy storage systems services
  • Multi-family solar hot water systems
  • PV Panels
  • Inverters
  • Battery Systems
  • Solar commercial pool heating
  • Carbon Accounting & IOT controls
  • PV Theft Alarms
  • Solar Pool Heating
  • Upgrades & Maintenance
  • Solar pool heating
  • Solar water heating
  • Enphase inverters
  • Ensemble batteries
  • Grid tile solar systems
  • Generators and off grid systems
  • Providing estimates and consultations
  • PV and Net-zero water heating
  • Hot water asset management
  • Process and district heating
  • EV Charging and upgrades
  • Online system monitoring
  • Offering leasing and financing options
  • Solar radiant floor heating

Solar Contractors and the CSLB

The C-46 license is one of 74 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:

Common Pairings for the C-46 Solar License

Contractors in California can hold multiple classifications.

The most common pairings for the C-46 license are typically:

jobs you can bid with a California solar license

California solar contractor requirements

To become licensed with the CSLB 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 solar installation and repair concepts do I need to know for the exam?

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

You may be presented with questions related to electrical theory and photovoltaics which could be unfamiliar.

Take the time to review every possible question and concept.

Below is a breakdown of what you need to know:

1. Planning and Estimating (21%)

  • Evaluate client needs and site feasibility
  • Design and engineer systems
  • Interpret plans
  • Estimate job costs 

2. Solar Collector Installation (15%)

  • Install roof mount collectors
  • Install ground mount collectors
  • Make weatherproof penetrations 

3. Solar Thermal Installation (9%)

  • Install hot water systems
  • Install pool heating systems 

4. Photovoltaic (PV) System Installation and Commissioning (22%)

  • Install basic PV system
  • Install energy storage systems (ESS)
  • Interface with the utility grid
  • Install standalone PV systems
  • Label PV components
  • System testing, configuration, and monitoring; educating the client 

5. Service and Maintenance (18%)

  • Evaluate PV systems 
  • Evaluate thermal systems
  • Repair and replace components 

6. Safety (15%)

  • Protect the public from safety hazards 
  • Identify and correct unsafe working conditions
  • Handle hazardous materials

What's the C-46 solar license exam process like?

The exam will be:

  • 115 Questions Law & Business
  • 115 Questions Solar
  • 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-46 license exam may vary. Be prepared for questions that may include:

  • Basic 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.

Interpreting building plans is critical.

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 gives you everything you need to pass the C-46 California solar license exam.

In addition to getting brushed up on the Solar trade, those looking to get the C-46 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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