how to get your C-60 welding license in California

Welding License: Complete C-60 Contractor’s Guide

Table of Contents

A contractor welding two large pieces of steel together. Purple sparks emanating from the steel

Welding Contractors are skilled tradesman that specialize in using gas and electrical energy to attach and join metals permanently.

The welding trade is often found in the construction of bridges, dams, ships, and oil rigs. Welding contractors possess a unique set of skills that are always in high demand.

This article will show you everything you need to get the C-60 Welding License!

Do you need a welding license in California?


If you are placing bids for welding services where the cost of labor, time, and materials exceeds $500, you will need to hold the C-60 welding license.

The CSLB defines a welding contractor as:

A welding contractor causes metals to become permanently attached, joined and fabricated by the use of gases and electrical energy, which creates temperatures of sufficient heat to perform this work” – CSLB.GOV

Duties of a Welding Contractor

Welding Contractors are an essential part of the construction process, especially for companies that engage in steel fabrication.

Some of their duties include:

  • Brazing, soldering, hard surfacing, air arc cutting, oxy-gas cutting
  • Working with Plasma and oxyacetylene
  • Reading Blueprints
  • Using equipment like plasma cutters, multi-process welders, engine drives, pipe notchers and torches
  • Properly use and maintain safety equipment
  • Repairing structures or vessel
  • Layout and placement of cables
  • Cost calculating, estimation, and bidding
  • Maintaining personal and job-site safety  

To get the C-60 welding license, you will be tested on all aspects of welding and safety.

It will be essential to your success to become familiar with all areas of this highly specialized trade.

Jobs you can do with the C-60 license!


Sparks emanating from an arc cutting a large piece of steel

Welding contractors typically work with  General Engineering Contractors, architects, or developers.

The C-60 license is typically held by welding shops that engage in specialized services.

A General Engineering Contractor oversees that the welding subcontractor has executed their duties in adherence to code.

Learn more about the General Engineering Contractor License


Logo of the Contractors State License Board. illustration of a paint brush, cement truck and hand saw with the letters CSLB above

The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is the governing body for all contractors in the state of California.

Their responsibility is to protect the consumer public and ensure that anyone charging over $500 for construction services is qualified and registered with the state of California.

The C-60 welding license is issued to contractors by the CSLB.

The CSLB administers applications, exams, and maintains a database of all active and inactive contractor license numbers which are public domain.

Online Practice Tests and Study Guides

Welding Contractor License Requirements

Welding contractors in California must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a valid Driver's License or USA Issued Identification
  • Have a Social Security or ITIN #
  • Not Currently be on probation or parole

You must also have:

  • 4 Years Journey Level Experience 
  • A Certifier to sign off on your experience
  • A way to prove your experience if the state asks for documentation

What is journey-level experience?

A construction worker welding two large pieces of steel. Journey level experience is required for anyone looking to get the welding license in california

Journeyman-level experience means that you have worked unsupervised full-time for a welding contractor that holds the C-60 license.

  • A journeyman can perform all of the duties associated with his or her trade.

The CSLB will want to see four full-time years over the last ten years. The years do not need to be consecutive, but they do need to be four years in total. 

Signature of a Certifier

The following people may be used as Qualifying Individuals to sign off on your experience when applying for the C-60 license:

  • Licensed General Engineering Contractor
  • C-60 License Holder
  • Fellow Employee (within the last 10 years)
  • Former Supervisor (within the last 10 years)
  • Business Associate
  • Fellow Journeyman
  • Union Representative

How to fill out the C-60 Welding License application

Your Qualifying Individual will also need to provide a brief but detailed description of your knowledge and skill set.

The way this description is written will be critical to whether or not your application is accepted. For example: 

C-60 Application Secrets

“Eduardo is a great welder” will not be enough.

 The CSLB will want to see: “Eduardo has done flux-cored arc welding, shielded metal arc welding, surfacing, plasma cutting, he knows how to read blueprints and maintain safety equipment” etc.

Work experience for the Welding Contractors License

A welding contractor in the process of welding a large piece of steel. The CSLB may request to see documentation of your welding experience when applying for the C-60 license

You must be prepared to submit documentation supporting the experience you claim to have. The Contractors State License Board gives you a few ways that you can prove your experience.

  • Tax Returns
  • Check Stubs
  • Contracts
  • Material Order Invoices or Receipts

The CSLB  receives thousands of applications per month so there is a good chance they won’t document your experience but if you are one of the applicants that get reviewed you will need to be ready to submit something. 

The CSLB does not accept pictures of projects.

Application Processing, Fees, and Criminal History

The time it takes to get your application processed and assigned a test date fluctuates throughout the year.

Typically you can expect:

  • 6-8 Week Application Processing Time
  • 3-4 Week wait for an Exam date

I have seen some situations where applicants got their test date sooner and somewhere they got their test date much later.

The most common reasons your application would get held up are:

  1. Time of year (processing time slows down during the holidays) 
  2. Criminal History 
  3. Proving Experience
  4. Mistakes on your application 

Application Costs for the C-60 Welding License

The Current CSLB fees are: 

Can you get a Contractor's License with a Felony in California?

Two law books and a wooden gavel

Having a criminal record in no way stops you from getting a C-60 License.

I have personally helped guys with all types of criminal records obtain multiple licenses. 

The key is, to be honest on the application, even if the felony or misdemeanor happened years ago and even if it was expunged.

See the CSLB's verbiage below:

Just because you have been convicted of a crime does not automatically mean
your application will be denied. CSLB's Criminal Background Unit (CBU) reviews
all criminal convictions to determine if the crime is substantially related to
the duties, qualifications, and/or functions of a contractor. Since no two
conviction records are the same, they are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The
criteria used by CSLB include whether the crime shows the present or potential
unfitness of an applicant or licensee to perform the functions authorized by
the license in a manner consistent with the public health, safety, or welfare.
In addition, CSLB reviews and considers any evidence of rehabilitation
submitted by the applicant or licensee. Please see the above link to the
California Code of Regulations sections 868 and 869 for more specific
information on the criteria for determining substantial relationship and

Learn more about the Background Check Process here:

BE 100% HONEST ON THE APPLICATION, because they will see everything anyway when you do fingerprinting. The CSLB handles criminal records on a case-by-case basis.

Remember, their responsibility is to protect the public. In my experience, they are primarily concerned with criminal charges associated with Fraud, Embezzlement, and Forgery.

The C-60 Welding License Exam

The exam will be:

  • 115 Questions on Contractor LAW
  • 115 Questions on Welding
  • You will have 3 hours to complete each portion
  • The exam is multiple choice and is taken on a computer
  • Closed Book

The Welding License (C-60) Examination is divided into five major sections:

1. Planning and Estimating (21%)

  • Reviewing plans and specifications
  • Estimating equipment and materials
  • Identifying metals

2. Welding Preparation (21%)

  • Preparing job sites
  • Setting up welding equipment
  • Preparing materials

3. Welding, Brazing, and Soldering (27%)

  • Welding processes
  • Welding techniques
  • Post-welding procedures
  • Brazing and soldering

4. Cutting Processes (9%)

  • Setting up cutting equipment
  • Cutting techniques
  • Finishing requirements

5. Safety (22%)

  • Job site and equipment safety
  • Preventing fire hazards
  • Employee safety

Recommended Resources

CSLB Test Locations

The CSLB has exam centers all over the state of California. Once your
application is approved you will be given a list of locations you can go and
take the exam based on your zip code.

These are proctored facilities with cubicles where you take the exam on a
computer. The computer will have a calculator for your use. You will not be
able to bring in a phone, notes, or personal calculator to the exam center.

Learn more about Contractor License LAW!

Welding License Exam Prep

A piece of grid paper with some writing on it. a pencil and a calculator are laying on top

Some things to remember:

  • The questions you will see on the exam may use outdated terms
  • Processes may be completely different from how things are done on the job site
  • You will see questions about things you may have never done before
  • Questions will be presented to you as if you are running a large-scale construction business with several employees and jobs happening all at once. 
  • Know all aspects of your trade

I have helped welding companies from all over the country get licensed in California.

Many are startled by how strict the laws are here. 

Be as prepared as you possibly can. Studying just 10 minutes a day consistently can dramatically increase your chances of passing the test on your first try.

Focus on and study ONLY the information that you need to pass the C-60 Welding License.

Welding Apprenticeship

A welding contractor wearing a protective mask welding an underwater pipe

If you don’t have the 4 years required journeyman-level experience to get a C-60 Welding license, your journey begins here.

The Steel Industry is worth billions of dollars.

Welders are paid handsomely. Generally, someone looking to get into this trade would find a union or apprenticeship program.

For a detailed explanation of this process, check out my article: Apprentice vs Journeyman.

OSHA Certification

image features two construction workers working on a high beam. OSHA training is especially important for contractors associated with the steel industry. welding contractors looking to get the c-60 welding license should be osha certified

Statistically, 21% of all work-related fatalities are in construction.

That equals about 1 and 5 worker deaths on average. In the construction industry, the leading cause of worker deaths is reported as falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between.

The steel industry is notoriously dangerous, especially if your workers are not properly trained.

For employment with a welding contractor, it is typically required that you have completed some level of OSHA training.

Learn more about OSHA Training.

Blueprint Reading Course

A pencil and wooden ruler laying on top of a blueprint

It is critical for contractors involved in welding to be able to read construction blueprints or at least be able to recognize lines and symbols.

Construction blueprints communicate important information about how a structure has been built as well as what materials are necessary or have been used for its construction.


Being comfortable with construction blueprints is an invaluable skill for those looking to get the C-60 welding license. See our Free Blueprint Reading Course!


Getting the C-60 Welding License can be a huge step up in your career if you are looking to start your own company or become an RMO for an existing firm!

The key is to take action and follow these steps from beginning to end. 

If you have found this article helpful feel free to drop a comment below and be sure to check back for updates!