Electrician Certification And Contractor License Requirements In California

California has a license for electrical contractors and certification for electricians. These are completely and are even regulated by completely different agencies. The Contractors State Licensing Board issues the electrical contractor licenses, and the Department of Industrial Relations is the certification agency for electricians.

An electrical worker must be certified when working as an employee of an electrical contractor. This applies for those who make connections greater than 100 volt amps. The contractor is someone who has at least 4 years of journeyman-type experience. But this can be 3 years of an apprenticeship or other formal training and a minimum of 1 year of actual hands-on experience. So if you don’t have this experience yet, one way to get it is to get certified as an electrician and then seek employment with a contractor. In fact, the Department of Industrial Relations recently did a count and says that there are about 29,000 general electricians who are certified in California.

There are some other electrician categories, and they include residential, fire/life safety, voice date video, and nonresidential lighting. Recent pass rates were said to be about 50 percent for the general exam on the first try. Approximately 50 percent of people who take the test 2 or more times end up passing at some point.

Use the most recent Candidate Information Bulletin to get ready for the test. Understand that even electricians already licensed in another state must take this exam and get certified before they can work in California.


Actually, certification is for experienced electricians. Until you get that experience, you need to be an electrician trainee. This can be done after you enroll in an approved electrician school. And trainees need “constant” supervision.


There is a $175 fee to test and register for California electrician certification.


Electrical contractors apply under the C-10 license classification. They take 2 exams, which are both different than the one taken by electricians. One is the electrical contractor exam, and the other is Law and Business. Study guides for both can be accessed online. Use the reference books mentioned in the guides to prepare for the tests.



If you are an individual applying for a license, you can use the form below. The fee at application time is $300. But it’s an extra $180 if and when you pass the exams. But the Contractors State Licensing Board will not grant you a license unless you also present a $15,000 surety bond or cash in lieu of a bond.


How to Become a Licensed Carpenter In California

The carpentry trade is regulated in California by the Contractors State License Board. This state agency actually has a couple of licenses that are closely associated with the work of carpenters. You should be familiar with the two classifications and their license requirements. Then, you can set a goal to get licensed in one or both categories.

The first classification is framing and rough carpentry, which is C-5, and the second is cabinet, millwork, and finish carpentry, which is C-6. These are types of specialty contractor licenses, which are all in the C category.

C-5 is for form work related to framed structures. This may include installation and repairs on sheathing, siding, sub-flooring, exterior staircases, exterior railings, roof decking, overhead doors, and truss members.

C-6 is for carpenters who make cabinets and various other wood-based products. These include cases, doors, trims, sashes, nonbearing partitions, and anything else that falls under the heading of “finish carpentry.” This includes installing the products into buildings. But it also includes any form of fabricating, gluing, cutting, joining, and surfacing.

Each carpenter classification has a licensing exam. Study guides are available for both of them. You need to study the references because these are closed-book exams.

http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/StudyGuides/C05StudyGuide.pdf (Framing and Rough Carpentry)

http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Resources/StudyGuides/C06StudyGuide.pdf (Cabinet, Millwork, and Finish Carpentry)

All contractor licenses also require a Law and Business exam.


You cannot apply and take the test or tests until after you have at least 4 years of journey-level experience. This does not all have to be field work. But some of it must be. The current rule is at least 1 year must be practical experience.

Use the “Application For Original Contractor License” when you are ready to apply. The fees for the application and first license are $480, combined, as of June 2016. The $300 application fee is not refundable, but the $180 license fee does not have to be paid until after you pass your test.


If you are applying for both carpentry classifications, then use the application for an additional classification for the second one because the original license application only allows one. The good part is that the fee for this drops to $75.


Note that a $15,000 contractor’s bond is an additional requirement for California contractor licenses. The surety company will fill out the bond form for you when you purchase it.

California And Los Angeles Licenses For Boiler Operators And Steam Engineers And Contractors

Many states require a license for boiler operators. But in the case of California, there is no specific statewide license for mere boiler operators. However, there is a license for certain boiler and steam contractors. Los Angeles, on the other hand, does have a requirement for boiler operators and steam engineers to get a license. I will discuss the L.A. requirements, but you should check with your own city, which may or may not have a license or permit program for this job type.

The Contractors State License Board has a specialty classification for Boiler, Hot Water Heating, and Steam Fitting. This is the C-4 classification. It requires 4 years of journey-level experience. Up to 3 of that can be in educational coursework, apprenticeships, and other training. That means you need at least 1 year of practical experience.

Applicants must take an exam for the boiler, hot water heating, and steam fitting contractor license. A basic content outline and list of references are available in the study guide.


When you apply, you will have to submit fingerprints and pass a background check. The total fees are about $480.


Again, the California license is different from the Los Angeles license because it refers to contractors, not operators.

The city license is from the Department of Building and Safety. They have one license for boiler operators and 3 for steam engineers. There are exam and experience requirements, and the initial fee is about $54. Then, you must renew annually for about $27.50. You can pay one fee only if applying for the unlimited steam engineer and turbine endorsement with the same application form.

The boiler operator license is for high-pressure steam boilers that are 5 to 35 horsepower. You must have at least 6 months of experience to take the licensing test.

One steam engineer license goes up to 500 horsepower, and you must have a year of experience as a boiler operator (full-time work) or two years as an assistant engineer, water tender, or fireman.

The second steam engineer license is for unlimited horsepower. 1 year as an engineer would qualify you for the test, or 3 years as a fireman, water tender, or assistant engineer.

The last license is a turbine endorsement. 1 year of experience as an operator qualifies you for this, or 3 years on a steam turbine as either an oiler, assistant to the person in charge, auxiliary operator, water tender, or wiper.

If you pass the written exam, which does not allow use of reference books, you can get your license only after an additional oral interview-style test.

Neither the date nor location of tests is published online. You will receive that information after you apply for the exam and license.

Look on Page 3 in the application packet for a specific list of references.


How to Become a Special Education Teacher In California

Special education teachers are licensed in California by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing in the case of public schools. The Commission requires a certain kind of credential for this job. It is the Education Specialist Instruction Credential. Contrast this with most teachers, who get a Single Subject or Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.

There are also some specialty areas in special education. They include Mild/Moderate Disabilities, Moderate/Severe Disabilities, Deaf And Hard of Hearing, Visual Impairments, Physical and Health Impairments, Early Childhood Special Education, and Language and Academic Development.

The first step to becoming a fully credentialed California special ed teacher is to get the Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential. This requires a bachelor’s degree, basic skills, a subject-matter exam or course work, passing RICA exam score, a US Constitution course or passing test score, and completion of an Educational Specialist Credential Program in one of the specialty areas.

The preliminary credential time period is 5 years. You need to get your Clear Credential during that time. Otherwise, you would have to stop working. The Clear Credential is obtained by completing a special-education-specific Induction Program. If you also have a Preliminary Credential of the Single Subject or Multiple Subject variety, then you only have to complete one Induction Program instead of two. But that program must be approved for this purpose by the Commission.

Another way to get the Clear Credential is to get nationally certified in Exceptional Needs/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood by the National Board For Professional Teaching Standards.

Some aspiring special education teachers take a school district or university internship. These will allow you to get some real-world experience while working to meet all requirements for state credentials. The first page below details requirements for university-based internships. The second one is for internships sponsored by a school district. At the end of either kind of internship program, you can obtain certification with the Education Specialist Instruction Teaching Credential with English Learner Authorization.



Getting Licensed As a Public Secondary School Teacher In California

Public school teachers in California are licensed by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The basic rule for becoming a secondary/high school teacher is to obtain a Single Subject Teaching Credential. This is a little different than becoming an elementary teacher, which usually requires the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. There are several different routes to getting the single-subject credential and becoming a secondary school teacher in California. Most ways to qualify combine education, possibly an internship, experience, and taking some exams.

First, it’s a good idea to decide which subject you want to teach. Since we are talking high-school level classes here, you really want to be passionate about some particular subject and take as many college courses as you can on that same subject. Besides that, you are going to have to prove your knowledge with one or more tests, anyway. So focusing on this subject in college will help you on licensing exams.

I am gong to list the subjects that are available at the time of this writing, in June of 2016. Be aware that this list does change over time. For example, the Specialized Sciences subjects have been recently phased out, including Biological Sciences, Geosciences, Chemistry, and Physics. But those natural sciences are still on the list under different categories. They are Agriculture, Art, Business, English, Foundational-Level General Science, Foundational-Level Math, Health Science, Home Economics, Industrial and Technology Education, Math, Music, Physical Education, Science: Biological Sciences, Science: Chemistry, Science: Geosciences, Science: Physics, Social Science, World Language: English Language Development, and World Languages – Languages Other Than English.

You first need to qualify for a Five-Year Preliminary Teaching Credential. This requires a bachelor’s degree, basic skills, a teacher preparation program, a passing score on the subject you want to teach (completion of a college program in that subject is sufficient, as well), Developing English Language Skills program completion (includes Reading), 2 semester hours on the US Constitution, and foundational computer technology course work.

The CSET is the acceptable subject-matter exam for Single Subject Teaching Credentials. At the time of this post, the Praxis II was no longer being accepted at all. Some schools may administer a US Constitution exam in lieu of having to take a class.

But you need to earn the Clear Credential within 5 years to avoid having to cease teaching at California public schools. This requires you to complete a General Education Induction Program or a General Education Clear Credential Program. But if a General Education Induction Program is available, you must take that one. There is a 3rd way to get the Clear Credential for single subjects. And that is to become certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, which is the NBPTS. But you must be certified in the subject area you want to teach in secondary school.

The above requirements describe the typical way that someone qualifies to become a secondary school teacher for public schools in California. But there are some other ways that could be faster or at least more ideal for your personal situation. One is the University Intern Teaching Credential. This is something you can get while still studying in college. However, you must have a bachelor’s degree first to get this intern credential. The basic skills and subject-matter test/course requirements also apply. And the US Constitution course must be completed.

There is also a school district intern program. This one has similar requirements as the university internship credentialing program. While acting as a district intern, candidates for teacher licensing will complete a Professional Development Plan and a Teaching Performance Assessment. They can then get their Single Subject Teaching Credential.

3 years of teaching in a private school in the same subject for which you want to teach in public school is another way to get a Preliminary Teaching Credential. This is almost the same as the normal requirements. But the private-school experience replaces the teacher preparation program if you have 6 or more years of experience. To get the Clear Credential through this path, you would also need CPR training and, if you use the 6-years-of-experience path, English learner authorization credentials, course work, or a passing exam. Details on the multiple options to getting that authorization can be found in the page below.


The Commission has a program that is very favorable to previous Peace Corps volunteers. This applies if you completed service of at least 18 months in a different country and spent time teaching the children of that other country. But the teaching time must have been at least 50 percent of your duty time. You will still need a bachelor’s degree to get the 5-Year Preliminary Credential. This is kind of a head start to a teaching career. But to get the Clear Credential, you will have to pass all the tests and take all the courses that are normally taken by other candidates. This includes the subject-matter exams, basic skills, and other programs or tests mentioned above.

Getting A Public Elementary School Teacher License In California

The California Commission On Teacher Credentialing is the certification/license agency for the state’s school teachers. To become an elementary school teacher, you must earn a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. This can be done through several route, such as college classes, an internship program, teaching at a private school, or participating in the Peace Corps.

Via College Degree

The first step is to get a Preliminary Teaching Credential. And this is good for 5 years. During that time, you will need to meet all the requirements of a Clear Teaching Credential to continue teaching in a California public school.

For the first credential, you can qualify by getting a bachelor’s degree and completing a Multiple Subject Teacher Preparation Program. You also need to meet basic skills requirements. These are generally measured by scores on various different tests, to include the SAT or ACT. But there are many other exams for which passing scores are accepted. You can use the page below to look at all the tests and applicable scores.


But there are several other requirements in addition to the degree, Multiple Subject Teacher Preparation Program, and basic skills. You must also pass a subject-matter exam or finish an elementary subject-matter program. There are 4 more requirements for the preliminary credential. You must complete a reading course and Developing English Language Skills and also pass the RICA exam. A US Constitution course or exam is also required. It must be 2 semester hours. A foundational computer technology course is the last requirement for the prelim credential.

There are 3 options for qualifying for the Clear Credential. They are a General Education Induction Program, a General Education Clear Credential Program, and National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification in Early Childhood/Generalist or Middle Childhood/Generalist.

College Internship

You can also get a 2-year University Intern Teaching Credential. This will allow you to get some supervised classroom experience while you are still studying. Using this method, you may get a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with either English Learner or Bilingual Authorization. To get one of these, you need your bachelor’s degree and must meet the basic skills requirements (see above). You must also take a subject-matter test or, for specialized science subjects, complete approved course work. And the US Constitution course or exam is required (see above).

School District Internship

The main requirements for this are a bachelor’s degree, basic skills, and the US Constitution course. You must have a certificated employee. But that will be supplied by the school district if you are accepted into a program. The Grade K-8 internship will also require you to pass a subject-matter exam or complete an elementary subject-matter program. After you are accepted into the program, you need to meet several requirements to complete the program and get a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. These are the Professional Development Plan, Teaching Performance Assessment, RICA exam, and certain experience.

Private School Teaching Experience

This has requirements that are similar to the standard route of getting a college degree, meeting basic skills requirements, etc. 3 to 5 years of private experience can replace the student teaching portion of a teacher preparation program. And 6 years can replace the entire teacher preparation program. There are some additional requirements, and you can read exactly what they are by accessing the following document:


The Early Completion Intern Program is an extension of the internship programs detailed above. It lets you speed up the process if you can prove adequate knowledge and skills via a performance assessment.


For the Peace Corps program, you must have spent at least half your time teaching children in a different country. And the time assigned to that country must have been at least 18 months. This is very valuable because you can use this instead of completing a Teacher Preparation Program. You only need a bachelor’s degree in addition to this to get the preliminary credential. For the Clear Credential, you must have basic skills and complete Developing English Language Skills, including Reading. The other requirements are the US Constitution course, passing score on subject-matter exams, and completion of a General Education Induction Program or General Education Clear Credential Program.

California State Investment Adviser Requirements (And SEC Rules)

Investment advisers in California need to register at either the state or SEC (federal) level. This requirement applies for individuals who are running a compensation-based business to advise others on investments. This does not have to be one-on-one advice. It could even just be a newsletter.

The general rule on investment advisers and their state or federal registration requirements deals with the assets under management of the applicant. If these assets are $100 million or more, the adviser needs to register with the Securities Exchange Commission. And although there are exceptions to the rule, those with less than $100 million in assets under management should register with the California Department of Business Oversight.

If the assets are at least $25 million, then the SEC filing should be made if the applicant is legally required to register in 15 states. A Dodd-Rank exemption allows investment advisers to register with the SEC.

Some investment advisers do not even control assets. But if they charge a fee for their advice, then they usually must register with the California Department of Business Oversight.

There is an exemption for certain small business owners. But these are people who do not have an office in California and have 5 or less clients in the 12-month period before any particular date. I am referring to clients that are California residents. Those in other states do not count.

Applicants must use Form ADV to register with the Investment Adviser Registration Depository, which is IARD. Use the State Registrant Entitlement Packet to apply for electronic access to IARD so you can submit Parts 1A and 1B of Form ADV. The instruction for Part 2 of Form ADV can be found on the second page listed below.



The fee for an investment adviser license is $125. That is less than a broker-dealer fee, which is $300. But if you are already a California-licensed broker-dealer, you don’t have to pay the $125 adviser registration application fee.

California Securities Broker-Dealer And Agent License Requirements And Exemptions

Some stock brokers (broker-dealers) in California must register with the state’s Department of Business Oversight. But some are exempt from this state registration. Also, agents of the broker-dealer must get a license even though they are technically under the control of a broker-dealer.

The definition of a broker-dealer is complicated. But the most basic definition is someone who effects securities transactions. The broker’s role is acting as an intermediary between buyer and seller (for the purpose of earning a commission), while a dealer buys and sells securities. A person who issues or guarantees options is also a broker.

If you buy on your own account, you are also a broker-dealer and must register unless you are doing this in the regular course of business. If you just occasionally buy and sell securities, then you don’t need a California securities license.

If you do not operate out of California, then you don’t have to register as a broker-dealer if your California transactions are only done with the securities issuer or another broker-dealer. Banks, trusts, savings and loans, agents who are issuer or broker employees, other types of issuers, and certain real estate brokers do not have to register.

An agent is usually someone who works for a broker-dealer or issuer. But an agent would be considered a broker-dealer unless the agent is completely under the control of the broker-dealer and uses and discloses the broker’s name in business transactions.

Section 25200 of the California Corporations Code has a detailed exemption for broker-dealers who are federally registered with the SEC. But there are limitations here. But you must have no place of business in California and have no more than 15 customers or buy/sell only to certain organizations, such as banks and corporations. The full list of organizations can be read in 25200.


Broker-dealers who are already FINRA members should use the Central Registration Depository to file Form BD for a California registration. But if you are not already a member of FINRA, use Form BD and file it with the Commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight. Form U4 is for representatives of a broker-dealer. That is what the federal form says. California clarifies that this is the agent application form.



In certain cases, you can do an application by notification. This applies if you are an SEC-registered broker-dealer and have a membership with the NYSE or AMEX.


The California securities broker-dealer registration fee is $300, as of June 2016. To get this license, you will have to first pass the Series 63 or 66 FINRA exam. And your passing score must have been within the last 2 years.

There are some SEC regulations that require all broker-dealers to have maximum indebtedness and minimum net capital. Because these numbers are different depending upon your situation, you should refer to the rules and read through them to make sure you meet these requirements.


Agents have the same exam requirements as broker-dealers. The fee is only $25, and agents do not have the indebtedness and capital limits since they are not directly responsible for the finances of the broker-dealer or issuer.

How To Pay Motor Oil Fees and File Returns In California

California has a Petroleum Products Program that requires a motor oil fee on all motor oil that is meant to be sold in this state. The responsible person must file a return when paying motor oil fees. As of the time of this article, the charge for this is 4 cents per gallon. But there is a 10 percent late fee.

The fee is assessed whether you are selling to wholesaler, a retailer, or to a government agency. However, in the event that oil is being exported for sale outside of California, there is no motor oil fee because an exemption applies.

The person or company that must pay is the first person who makes or imports the product and sells it to another person or company. After that, that same motor oil is not assessed again. So in no case is the product taxed more than once.

There is no certification or license related to this program. You just file a motor oil fee return and the money with the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Division of Measurement Standards. The form is the first page below. And the instructions for the form are on the second page.



The normal rule is that you must file quarterly. But you can request on the application to pay once a year if you are going to be responsible for no more than 5000 gallons per year. If you request this and have it approved in February, then you would pay in February every year. So the month differs for each company.

If you have to file quarterly, then you have until the last day of the end of each quarter to pay.

Your check or money order should be paid to CDFA 55001.

All records of motor oil sales that are subject to the tax must be kept for at least 4 years. And they are subject to inspection. Also, if you send your products into California only for the purposes of exporting them to a different state or country, you must keep records of that. And you may be audited for this, as well.

California License Requirements For Weighmasters (Including Deputies)

Under California law, a weighmaster is a person who weighs, measures, or counts commodities. The person then issues a weighmaster certificate. This certificate is very important because buyers and sellers rely on it when transacting a sale of the commodities which were counted, weighed, or measured.

Weighmasters in this state must have a license that is issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture Division of Measurement Standards. Applicants will get a license number after the initial approval. That should be kept for future reference so the weighmaster can be renewed by the expiration date.

A weighmaster can apply as an individual, partnership, LLC, or corporation. If you have a DBA name and are applying as an individual, then include a copy of your DBA registration. Others need to submit their business organization registration.

Deputy weighmasters are listed on the weighmaster’s license application. There could be several deputies. The good thing is that they all don’t have to fill out a separate form. Deputy weighmasters are also allowed to do the weighing and measuring and also to sign the certificate.

Although not legally required, you can submit a weighmaster certificate that you intend to use along with the application form. The Division will review it for you to check for legal compliance.

There are various licensing fees, and the total amount will differ from person to person. The fees I will mention here were still valid in June of 2016. A principal fixed location is $75. Additional fixed locations are $30, but a non-fixed location is $200. There is a $20 fee for every single deputy weighmaster. There is also an expensive charge of $500 if you operate as a junk dealer/recycler. A check or money order should be made out to CDFA. Licenses must be renewed every year.


The Division provides some resources to help weighmasters and their deputies help do the job properly. One is the Deputy Weighmaster Self-Help Quiz (not graded by anybody officially), and the other is the Instructions to Weighmasters and Deputies.