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If you have ever looked into getting a Contractor License, chances are you have been bombarded with offers and courses from Contractor Schools all saying they can help you pass on your first try.
You may have asked yourself if it’s even necessary to go to a contractor license school. What do you learn? How can they help me? Or maybe is this a scam?
What could a school or I possibly teach them about construction?
That answer depends on who are you and what exactly you are trying to learn.
In this article, I am going to give you the inside scoop about Contractor License Schools.
In California, anyone looking to charge over $500 for trade services has to be licensed. There are several reasons why someone would look to get a contractor license.
Everyone has a different situation.
There are several scenarios, but 99% of the time it comes down to one simple reason. More money. A contractor license allows you to scale your business legally.
There are a variety of high paying career paths in construction that doesn’t require any licensing, however, starting your own business as a contractor allows you the most freedom and earning potential.
The Contractors State License Board, is the governing agency for contractors in California. There are 73 different trade classifications in California!
Every area of construction is regulated in California.
The CSLB processes applications, they administer exams, tracks active and inactive licensed contractors, conduct sting operations targeting unlicensed construction activity and much more.
Learn more about the Contractors State License Board!
To get licensed in California, you need to:
The state of California requires you to prove your experience before you are even allowed to take the exam.
Your application will need the signature of a General Contractor or qualified person in addition to a detailed explanation of your knowledge and skill set.
After your application is accepted, you will then take an exam.
Depending on your trade it could be just a LAW exam or a LAW and Trade Exam.
If you want to know which contractor license you need, check out this complete post.
Contractor License schools will teach you the LAW and Business side of Construction.
Concepts that are covered will include:
The test you are going to take poses questions as if you are running a full-time construction business with several employees. You will have to answer questions as if you are adhering to strictly to state law.
The classes are typically taught by either licensed contractors or people who are just really knowledgeable on construction law.
Remember, the goal is to help you to pass the exam.
Contractor license schools aren’t meant to teach you the right way or the wrong way, they exist to get you to understand the CSLB’s way.
There are critical differences between trade schools and contractor license schools that should be made clear.
A trade school or an apprenticeship teaches you the fundamentals of your trade and core technical skills, a contractor license school teaches you how to pass an exam.
Learn the difference between an Apprentice vs. Journeyman!
There are contractor schools out there that mislead students into thinking that they teach a trade, which is false.
There is just no way they could teach you everything you need to know about building a house in a month-long classroom or online course.
Think about it.
Should someone who needs to be shown the fundamentals of framing, concrete, electrical and plumbing be looking to get a license that allows them to charge thousands of dollars for remodels?
Of course not.
Typically, contractor license schools offer business services. Going to a school can maximize your time.
These contractor license schools have specialists that are very knowledgeable on state laws and filling out applications correctly.
In addition to exam prep, most programs also offer:
Getting these types of things handled for you is a good investment. If you are busy and don’t have time to focus on it than handing it off to a contractor school is a good idea.
I have seen many guys procrastinate for months and even years because they insist on doing everything themselves… the only problem is that it never gets done.
If you are honestly looking to go to the next level, buy time and hire professionals to do the things you aren’t familiar with.
If you are looking to further your career, adding additional certifications is a great idea.
Most contractor license schools offer programs for:
Those that take the time to invest in themselves and keep learning always end up on top, so even if you aren’t necessarily looking to start your own business… take advantage of some of the other offerings at a contractor license school.
Contractor license schools can a great in assisting you through the licensing process.
They can be partners and consultants for you through out your career.
Use this article as a reference going forward. If you have any questions about the licensing process, check out some of our other content!
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