how to get your C-6 finish carpentry contractor license

3 Core Skills You Need For The C-6 License

Table of Contents

In California, anyone charging over $500 for cabinet making, millwork, and finish carpentry services has to have a C-6 License.

The Contractors State License Board requires all applicants applying for the Finish Carpentry license to:

logo of the CSLB, the agency that governs contractors in california

  • Be at least 18 Years
  • Have 4 Years Journeyman Level Experience
  • Have a Driver's License or USA Issued Identification
  • Have a Social Security or ITIN#
  • Not Currently Be On Probation or Parole
  • Pass a Two Part Exam

If you meet the above requirements you are halfway there!

I have helped thousands of finish carpentry contractors get the C-6 License in California. The truth is that there are 3 core skills you have to have to be successful and pass the contractor license exam on your first try.

Online Practice Exams and Study Guides

1. Cabinet Demolition and Installation

Cabinet installation is a core skill everyone applying for the C-6 License must have!

24% of the C-6 license exam is made up of questions about cabinet installation. Topics you have to be familiar with include:

  • Demolishing old cabinets
  • Identifying possible hazardous materials
  • Job site preparation
  • Installing cabinets
  • Finishing cabinets

As the video shows, safe demolition of cabinets is fundamental for various reasons including:

  1. Protecting electrical hook ups
  2. Containment of dust that may have lead paint
  3. Avoiding costly additional repairs

You are looking at possibly 27 out of 115 questions related to cabinet installation, job site preparation, finishing hazardous materials, and demolition. Find study materials that are guaranteed to help you be prepared for these questions.

2. Blueprint Reading

Anyone in a supervisory role on a construction site needs to have blueprint reading skills. Almost every construction trade will encounter blueprints of some kind.

These skills are particularly important for contractors looking to get the C-6 license because 20% of the C-6 License exam is on planning and estimation.

A great resource for painting contractors looking to raise their game when it comes to reading blueprints and making accurate estimations is a website called:

image link for a free online blueprint reading course for finish carpentry contractors looking to get the C-6 license. there are several yellow construction rulers in the background

Click Here for Instant Access to the FREE Blueprint Reading Course

1. Planning and Estimation (20%)

  • Planning cabinetry and millwork projects
  • Estimating cabinetry and millwork projects

Estimation and Blueprint Reading skills are not only crucial for finish carpentry contractors, but also for anyone looking to add on the General Contractor License in the future.

Make sure your blueprint reading skills are up to par before you apply for the C-6 License.

3. Safety

Safety makes up a portion of all the exams for 73 contractor license classifications.

18% of the C-6 License exam will include questions pertaining to safety.

In California, laws that enforce job site safety are set by the Occupational Safety Hazard Association.

Concepts you will want to be familiar with include:

  • Access to First Aid Kits
  • Operating Tools Correctly
  • Personal Protective Gear
  • Remaining Vigilant and Aware of your surrounding at all times
  • Containing Harmful chemicals like dust, mold, fungi and bacteria
  • Stress and Injury from working outside for extended periods of time
  • Cancer risks from formaldehyde and solvents

Know about OSHA Regulations

image linking to a complete guide on OSHA. finish carpentry contractors looking to get the C-6 license must have knowledge of job site safety

Up to 20 questions on your C-6 License exam will be on health and safety.

Much of this knowledge can be obtained by understanding the Occupational Safety Hazard Association.

Click below for a FREE course covering everything you need to know:

5. Safety (18%)

  • Personnel safety
  • Job site safety
  • Recycling and disposing of materials


Knowing these 3 areas of your trade is vital to passing the C-6 License exam on your first try. Just these three areas will make up about half the questions on the test!

Be sure to check out our complete guide on everything you need to know about the C-6 License Cabinet Making, Mill Work, and Finish Carpentry Contractor License!

If you have found this article helpful, be sure to leave us a comment! and as always check back for updates!