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 and torches
- Properly use and maintain safety equipment
- Repairing structures or vessel
- Lay out 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.
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
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.
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 Qualifying Individual to sign off on your experience
- A way to prove your experience if the state asks for documentation
What is journey level experience?
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 Qualifying Individual
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 skillset.
The way this description is written will be critical to whether or not your application is accepted. For example:
“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 a maintain safety equipment” etc.
Work experience for the Welding Contractors 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
- 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:
- Time of year (processing time slows down during the holidays)
- Criminal History
- Proving Experience
- Mistakes on your application
Application Costs for the C-60 Welding License
The Current CSLB fees are:
- State Application Fee – $330
- License Activation Fee – $200 (after you pass the exam)
- Bond Fee (What is a Construction Bond?)
Can you get a Contractors License with a Felony in California?
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.
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
- Complete C-60 Home Study Program
- Introduction to Blueprint Reading Course
- Welding Trade Skill Fundamentals
CSLB Test Locations
Currently, there are CSLB testing locations in the following cities
- San Jose
- San Bernardino
- San Diego
Learn more about Contractor License LAW!
Welding License Exam Prep
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.
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.
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
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!