A closer look at the Licensed Contractors in California
After a slow, but steady decline over the past ten years, the total number of state-licensed contractors in California rose slightly in 2018. Also, the number of license applications rose during the year.
At the end of 2018, there were 285,184 contractor licenses in California, an increase of just over one percent from the start of the year.
About 80.5 percent of those were "active," and about 19.5 percent were "inactive" (those who are not currently contracting or submiting bids for work).
More than 55 percent of those holding an active license are "B" General contractors. The C-10 Electrical contractor classification is the next most widely held, followed by "A" General Engineering licensees.
The number of applications CSLB has received in 2019 continues to rise. CSLB's Licensing unit is processing 40-60 applications per day.
CLASSIFICATION TOTAL "B" - General Building 135,055 C-10 Electrical 32,211 "A" - General Engineering 19,403 C-36 Plumbing 19,033 C-33 Painting and Decorating 18,406 C-20 Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning 14,473 C-27 Landscaping 13,906 C-15 Flooring and Floor Covering 8,267 C-8 Concrete 7,598 C-54 Tile (Ceramic and Mosaic) 7,371
Another positive sign for the industry's recovery was that CSLB received over 31,000 license applications in 2018, an 11 percent increase from the prior year. Original license applications increased by nearly 14 percent; applications to add a classification to an existing license increased by 8.75 percent.
Even though the number of license applications increased in 2018, the time it took CSLB staff to process applications dropped 50 percent. That's due in great part to a number of processing improvements, including cross-training of staff.
To help reduce barriers to licensure, in 2018, CSLB added Louisiana to the states with which it has reciprocity agreements, a list that also includes Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.
Free Licensing Workshops Offered Monthly in Northern and Southern California
CSLB's licensing workshops are free to those who have questions about the application process. The workshops are available in English and Spanish and are available in Northern and Southern California.
Attendees will get an overview of:
How to apply for a license How to use a Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number to apply for a license Required work experience Both required licensing exams Fees
Workshops are currently held every second Wednesday of the month in Norwalk and every third Wednesday of the month in Sacramento. The English sessions are from 1:00 p.m.- 2:00 p.m., and Spanish sessions from 2:30 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.
Get your Contractors License Today!
Freedom Business School offers Exam Preparation courses for Law and Business Management and all Trade Classifications you can apply for and be licensed in CA. You can find the list of these trades on our website at
Our Trade courses cover such topics as Math Review, General Trade knowledge, Health and Safety. Additional topics such as Basic Electrical Knowledge, HVAC, Basic Math and Architectural Scale, Excavation and Grading are included in Trade courses where the State Exams test students on their knowledge.
Student Support gives our Students the peace of mind to get answers to their questions or receive clarification of the course material if needed in a timely manner any time during the study process.
Please contact us Today and get on your way to becoming a Licensed Contractor.