how to pass your C-36 plumbing license test and become a California CSLB contractor

Read This Before Taking The C-36 Plumbing Test!

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Passing the C-36 Plumbing License Test on your first try can actually be harder than you think, but if you follow these steps it can be easy.

In California, thousands of people apply for the Plumbing License each year.

The Contractor State License Board offers 73 different classifications in addition to the C-36 Plumbing License.

Read this to see if you qualify to get an exam date. I have helped thousands of people pass the exam on their first try, and these 5 Quick tips are based on the information I have gathered over the years that I know works.

1. What Is Going To Be On The Plumbing Test?

a wrench and some plumbing accesories laying on top of a construction blueprint. to pass the plumbing test you should be sure to follow the following 5 tips

You would be surprised how many people don't learn about what's on the test. Taking the time to look at some basic information about the exam is very helpful.

The Plumbing License test includes:

  • 115 Questions LAW
  • 115 Questions PLUMBING
  • Multiple Choice Exam
  • Close Book
  • 3 Hours To Complete Each Section
  • Taken On A Computer at A State Testing Center

Law & Business

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


  • Planning and Estimation (22%)
  • Underground and Rough Systems (24%)
  •  Finish Plumbing Installations (18%)
  • Service, Repair, and Remodel Plumbing Systems (19%)
  • Safety (17%)

For a complete guide to the Contractor License LAW concepts, you must know to pass the asbestos license exam.

Jobs You Can Do With a C-36 License

2. Take Plumbing License Practice Tests

a plumbing contractor fixing a toilet. if you are looking to take the plumbing test you should be sure to study several different study resources

While running a contractor license school, I learned that the biggest difficulty guys faced was that most of them had not taken an exam in years.

  • Some of my students did not finish high school or had immigrated to the United States recently, and were still learning English. 

  • One of the best study tools for them was to use Online Practice Tests. Simulated online tests are based on the state exam.

C-36 Plumbing License Practice Test Questions

1. What type of wall fitting should a contractor use to install a wall-mounted water closet?

a) A hubless closet ring

b) An approved spud fitting

c) An approved closet flange

d) An approved carrier fitting

2. What is the total charge for four 8-hour days’ use of a backhoe, if the cost for rental is $400 per day and operator cost is $30 per hour?

a) $3,200

b) $2,560

c) $1,840

d) $1,600

Recommended Courses

3. Use a Plumbing License Study Guide

Test questions are great, but relying on them as your only study source is a big mistake. If you are not into reading, you can find plumbing test study guides in audio or video format.

Practice test questions for the plumbing license exam do not give you the theory behind what the question is asking you. Use a book or study guide as a reference.

Exam prep books for the C-36 plumbing contractor license cover a wide range of topics. They can also be incredibly helpful to refresh your memory on core topics you may have forgotten.

Free contractor license study guides often cover just a snapshot of what you need to know.

Invest in yourself and look for landscaping license study guides that cover topics such as:

  • Underground installations
  • Piping layout
  • Repairing plumbing
  • Shut-off valves
  • Plan reading
  • Bidding
  • Piping installation
  • Fuel gas piping

4. Enroll into a Contractor License School

When you see the term “Contractor Classes” you should understand that they are only LAW & BUSINESS classes for construction contractors.

Contractor license schools offer state-specific exam prep classes that cover the basics of construction LAW. It is essential to understand the distinction between a contractor license and a trade school.

The C-36 Plumbing license test is for journey-level tradesman who has a solid understanding of the plumbing trade.

Contractor classes are not meant to teach you your trade. Contractor Classes are highly beneficial for those of us who haven't been in school for a while

featured image for a blog post for plumbing contractors looking to prepare for their plumbing test

Contractor Classes are:

  • Taught by Contractors or construction veterans
  • Live Instruction format with questions and answers
  • Bilingual (depending on the school you chose)
  • In-depth classes that cover important exam concepts

Contractor License schools offer several services 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!

How to study for the Contractor License Test!

You are trying to get the plumbing license to make more money, achieve a goal or move up in some way. It is totally understandable if the idea of taking an exam is intimidating.

  • Remember that most of the people there on test day are in the exact same position as you. 

  • The key is to get some accurate material and be consistent about studying them.

  • Professional athletes, artists, and other top-level tradesmen will all tell you the same thing. Developing mastery is about doing a bunch of little things over and over again.

Listen to Audio and Watch Videos

If you commute, invest in an audio program, and you can listen while you drive. If you are a native Spanish speaker and prefer to watch a recorded class, invest in a bilingual program.

There are a lot of options out there to get you the information you need to know so you can get where you want to be FAST!

featured image for a blog post coverning everything you need to know about the C-36 plumbing license

If you have found this article helpful, feel free to check out some of our other free content.

For a complete guide to the C-36 Plumbing License see this article!