how to get your California contractor license if you are a military veteran and take advantage fo CSLB application expediting

Applying for a Contractor License as a Military Veteran

Table of Contents

If you are a military veteran looking to get into the construction industry, there are several advantages that you have over your competition.

Some of these advantages include:

  • Applying for Business Loans
  • Applying for a Contractor License
  • Preference in the Job Market
  • Preference for winning bids and construction projects
  • Access to mentorship programs with successful people 
  • Veteran Owned Business Certification
a contractor holding several pieces of rebar steel. the construction industry is a great option for military veterans

Never a Better Time For Veterans in the Construction Industry

In 2014, Brian Turmail senior director of public affairs for the Associated General Contractors of America stated that creating opportunities for veterans was going to be a “Top Priority for our member firms.”

The association pledged to add 100,000 to its workforce over the next 5 years. Several organizations provide assistance for veterans with experience that is looking to get into the construction industry.

Organizations such as the:

  • Hiring Our Heroes – Nationwide Veteran Initiative which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Helmets to Hard Hats – Provides links to construction firms that give preference to Veteran applicants
  • Hardhat Heroes – National Non Profit that connects military veterans with services and job opportunities
  • National Center for Education and Research are dedicated to further understanding military job titles and aligning them with similar construction-related jobs.
  • An excellent resource, the Center has developed can be found here.

CSLB Military Application Assistance Program

The Contractors State License Board gives preference to veterans applying for any of the 73 license classifications available.

In addition to expedited application processing times, the CSLB also offers mentorship and personal consultation through its Military Application Assistance Program.

image features a logo of the contractors state license board

Through the program you would get access to:

  • Direct Contact With CSLB Staff
  • Expedited Application Processing
  • Licensing staff specially trained to evaluate transferable military training and experience from all branches of the military in an effort to meet minimum licensure requirements
  • Evaluation of college transcripts to help verify acceptable educational credit (in addition to military training and experience).

What you will need when applying for a Contractor License

If you are a military veteran applying for a contractor license, be sure to include the following information with your CSLB application:

  • Copy of DD214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty)
  • Copy of ERB (Enlisted Record Brief)
  • Copy of ORB (Officer Record Brief)
  • Copy of DD2586 (Verification of Military Experience and Training form)
  • Copy of Joint Service Transcripts (military transcripts)
  • Sealed, official educational transcripts for formal civilian education

If you do not have copies of your service records, you can find them here at: www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/

Also, make sure that you understand the basic requirements required to get a Contractor License in California!


Transitioning out of the military can be difficult enough, don't let applications and confusion about the system and bureaucratic process stop you from earning the type of money that can change you and your family's life. 

Getting a General Contractor license can put you in a position to start your own business and take control of your future, but there are several other skills and certifications available to veterans with construction knowledge.

a naval veteran hugging an old man. getting a contractor license in california if you are a military veteran shouldnt be a complicated process

Hopefully, this article has been helpful in your quest to get a contractor license, be sure to leave us a comment if you think there is something we can add. Check back in the future for updates!

Thank you for your service, from everyone here at Digital Constructive!