Class C Specialty Contractor
C-2 - Insulation and Acoustical Contractor
C-4 - Boiler, Hot Water Heating and Steam Fitting Contractor
C-5 - Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor
C-6 - Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor
C-7 - Low Voltage Systems Contractor
C-8 - Concrete Contractor
C-9 - Drywall Contractor
C-10 - Electrical Contractor
C-11 - Elevator Contractor
C-12 - Earthwork and Paving Contractors
C-13 - Fencing Contractor
C-15 - Flooring and Floor Covering Contractors
C-16 - Fire Protection Contractor
C-17 - Glazing Contractor
C-20 - Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor
C-21 - Building Moving/Demolition Contractor
C-22 - Asbestos Abatement Contractor
C-23 - Ornamental Metal Contractor
C-27 - Landscaping Contractor
C-28 - Lock and Security Equipment Contractor
C-29 - Masonry Contractor
C-31 - Construction Zone Traffic Control Contractor
C-32 - Parking and Highway Improvement Contractor
C-33 - Painting and Decorating Contractor
C-34 - Pipeline Contractor
C-35 - Lathing and Plastering Contractor
C-36 - Plumbing Contractor
C-38 - Refrigeration Contractor
C-39 - Roofing Contractor
C-42 - Sanitation System Contractor
C-43 - Sheet Metal Contractor
C-45 - Sign Contractor
C-46 - Solar Contractor
C-47 - General Manufactured Housing Contractor
C-50 - Reinforcing Steel Contractor
C-51 - Structural Steel Contractor
C-53 - Swimming Pool Contractor
C-54 - Ceramic and Mosaic Tile Contractor
C-55 - Water Conditioning Contractor
C-57 - Well Drilling Contractor
C-60 - Welding Contractor
C-61 - Limited Specialty
TLDR: The state of California currently has over 100,000 licensed specialty contractors. The specialty contractor category of licensing is the biggest category of contractor licensing, making up 52% of all contractors. But what is a specialty contractor, and what do they do? A specialty contractor in California is a professional specializing in a specific construction area. The state offers various contractor license classifications for different specializations. Some of these specializations include insulation and acoustical work (C-2), boiler and hot water heating systems (C-4), framing and rough carpentry among many others. Each specialty contractor focuses on their area of expertise and may subcontract other trades for related tasks. Below we will take you through all the different types of licenses that the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) provides.
The CSLB stands for the Contractors State License Board. It is a regulatory agency that manages contractor licenses in California. The primary responsibility of the CSLB is to oversee and regulate the construction industry to ensure fair contracting practices.
The CSLB's main function is to issue licenses to contractors and to enforce laws and regulations related to the construction industry in California. It establishes and enforces rules that ensure contractors are bonded, licensed and insured. By doing so, the CSLB aims to protect consumers from fraudulent or unscrupulous contractors and promote fair competition within the industry.
In California, a specialty contractor is a professional who specializes in a specific trade or aspect of construction. This is the biggest class of contractors in California, making up 52% of all the contractors. Unlike a general contractor who manages the overall construction project, a specialty contractor focuses on a particular area of expertise. They work under a general contractor or directly with clients, depending on the scope and nature of the project.
We will expound on the major specializations below; for a list that covers all the licenses in the specialty contractor category, view our article here.
The C-2 license is designated for Insulation and Acoustical contractors.
Contractors holding a C-2 license are qualified and authorized to perform a variety of services related to insulation and acoustical work in construction projects.
The C-4 license is for contractors who specialize in boiler, hot water heating, and steam fitting work.
Contractors holding a C-4 license are qualified and authorized to perform a range of services related to boilers, hot water heating systems, and steam fittings in construction projects. Some of the common tasks that a C-4 contractor can undertake include hot water heating systems, steam fitting, boiler room equipment installation, hydronic heating systems and boiler installation and maintenance
C-5 contractor focuses on structural framing and rough carpentry tasks essential for the early phases of building construction. Their responsibilities include crafting the framework and essential structural elements of a building during its initial stages.
A C-6 contractor specializes in the fabrication, installation, and finishing of cabinets, millwork, and fine carpentry details within buildings.
A C-7 contractor specializes in the installation, maintenance, and repair of low-voltage systems within buildings. Low voltage systems typically include:
A C-8 contractor specializes in the construction, installation, and repair of concrete structures and components. They work on various types of concrete projects, ranging from residential to commercial and industrial
A drywall contractor is responsible for the placement and installation of gypsum wall boards and assemblies. This includes the installation of nonstructural metal framing members and the completion of taping and texturing operations. These operations involve applying compounds to adhere to the wall board and achieve a continuous, smooth, or textured surface.
The C-10 Electrical Contractor license holds the most significant presence among specialty contractors in California. Comprising 7% of all contractors in the state, there are a total of 17,666 licensed C-10 contractors. This class represents a substantial and promising group with vast potential. An electrical contractor's scope of work involves handling the placement, installation, assembly, or linking of devices responsible for generating, converting, or utilizing electrical energy.
An elevator contractor is responsible for manufacturing, assembling, installing, and repairing elevators. This includes working on various components associated with elevators, which may include::
A C-12 contractor specializes in excavation, grading, and paving activities related to site preparation and road construction.
A fencing contractor constructs, erects, alters, or repairs all types of:
A flooring and floor covering contractor is tasked with preparing surfaces for the installation of various flooring materials and coverings. They are responsible for installing carpet, resilient sheet goods, resilient tiles, wood floors, and other designated flooring materials, excluding ceramic tiles.
A fire protection contractor is responsible for the planning, fabrication, and installation of various fire protection systems, along with the associated equipment. This includes the implementation of fire sprinkler systems, fire suppression systems, and other related components, excluding electrical alarm systems.
A glazing contractor is involved in the process of choosing, cutting, assembling, and/or installing various types of glass and mirrored glass.. They execute the fabrication and glazing of frames, panels, sashes, and doors. They also install these items in any structure.
The C-20 license is designated for Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) contractors. Contractors holding a C-20 license are qualified and authorized to perform a wide range of services related to HVAC systems in construction projects.
A building moving/demolition contractor is involved in activities such as lifting, lowering, supporting with cribbing, underpinning, demolishing, and relocating or removing structures, including their foundations.
An asbestos abatement contractor contains and ensures proper disposal of asbestos-containing construction materials, as defined in the Labor Code. The CSLB does not issue asbestos abatement contractor licenses unless the applicant or contractor is duly registered by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health(DOSH)
A C-23 contractor specializes in the fabrication, installation, and repair of ornamental metalwork. They work with various metals, such as steel, aluminum, brass, and wrought iron, to create decorative and functional metal structures.
The C-27 license is designated for Landscaping contractors. Contractors holding a C-27 license are qualified and authorized to perform a wide range of services related to landscaping and landscape construction in various projects.
A C-28 contractor specializes in the installation, repair, and maintenance of locks, security systems, and related equipment. They work on both residential and commercial projects, ensuring the proper functioning and security of doors, windows, and access control systems.
A C-29 contractor specializes in the construction, installation, and repair of masonry structures and components. They work with various types of masonry materials, such as brick, block, stone, and concrete, to create durable and visually appealing structures.
A C-31 contractor specializes in providing traffic control services and ensuring the safety of workers and the public in construction zones or work areas near roadways.
A C-32 contractor specializes in the construction, repair, and maintenance of parking lots, roadways, highways, and related infrastructure. They work on projects involving pavement, curbs, sidewalks, and other elements related to transportation and parking.
Painting and decorating contractors are the second largest specialization in the specialty contractor class. They make up 5% of all licensed contractors in California and consist of 12,450 contractors in total. The C-33 license is designated for Painting and Decorating contractors.
Contractors holding a C-33 license are qualified and authorized to perform a wide range of services related to painting and decorating in construction projects. Some of the common tasks that a C-33 contractor can undertake include interior and exterior painting, surface preparation, specialty finishes and wallcoverings and wallpaper.
A C-34 contractor specializes in the installation, repair, and maintenance of pipelines for various applications, including water, gas, sewage, and other fluids.
A C-35 contractor specializes in the installation, repair, and finishing of lath and plaster systems for both interior and exterior surfaces.
The C-36 license is designated for plumbing contractors. Contractors holding a C-36 license are qualified and authorized to perform a wide range of plumbing services in construction projects. Some of the common tasks that a C-36 contractor can undertake include fixture installation, plumbing repairs and maintenance, plumbing installation and pipe and drain cleaning.
A C-38 contractor specializes in the installation, repair, and maintenance of refrigeration systems, including commercial and industrial refrigeration equipment.
A C-39 contractor specializes in the installation, repair, and maintenance of roofs on residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
A sanitation system contractor specializes in the construction and installation of sewage disposal and drainage structures, including but not limited to cesspools, septic tanks, and storm drains.
A sheet metal contractor is responsible for choosing, cutting, shaping, fabricating, and installing various types of sheet metal. This includes items such as cornices, flashings, gutters, leaders, pans, kitchen equipment, and ductwork.
A Sign Contractor specializes in the fabrication, installation, and maintenance of signs and related components. This classification includes a wide range of sign-related work, such as manufacturing and installing signs for businesses, organizations, public entities, and other establishments.
A solar contractor is responsible for the installation, modification, upkeep, and repair of thermal and photovoltaic solar energy systems.
In California, a C-47 - General Manufactured Housing Contractor is a specific contractor classification related to the construction and installation of manufactured homes. This classification pertains to contractors who specialize in the assembly, installation, alteration, and repair of manufactured housing structures.
Manufactured homes, also known as mobile homes or factory-built homes, are prefabricated structures constructed off-site and then transported to their intended location for installation.
A general manufactured housing contractor has the ability to offer utility services for the placement of individual single-family homes. Utility services involve connecting gas, water, sewer, and electrical utilities to the home.
A reinforcing steel contractor specializes in the fabrication, placement, and securing of steel mesh or reinforcing bars of various profiles, perimeters, or cross-sections. These materials are utilized to reinforce concrete structures..
A structural steel contractor fabricates and erects structural steel shapes and plates of any profile, perimeter, or cross-section that may be used as structural members for buildings and structures.
They also perform any tasks that include:
A swimming pool contractor constructs swimming pools, spas, or hot tubs, including installation of solar heating equipment using those trades or skills necessary for such construction.
This classification pertains to contractors who specialize in the installation, repair, and replacement of ceramic, mosaic, and similar types of tile materials.
A C-54 contractor is skilled in working with various tile materials, including ceramic, porcelain, glass, stone, and other types of tiles used for decorative and functional purposes. They are responsible for preparing the surface, applying adhesives, cutting tiles to fit, and grouting to create a finished tile installation.
A water conditioning contractor is responsible for installing water conditioning equipment. This involves using the required pipes and fittings to connect the equipment to the water supply system. Additionally, the contractor ensures that the conditioned water is directed to the appropriate areas while bypassing the parts of the water supply system within the premises where conditioned water is not required.
A well drilling contractor is responsible for the installation and maintenance of water wells and pumps. This involves the processes of boring, drilling, excavating, casing, cementing, and cleaning to ensure the provision of clean and uncontaminated water sources.
A welding contractor utilizes gases and electrical energy to generate high temperatures, which enable the permanent attachment, joining, and fabrication of metals.
Limited specialty is a specialty contractor classification limited to a field and scope of operations of specialty contracting for which an applicant is qualified other than any of the specialty contractor classifications listed above.
The activity of a contractor licensed as a limited specialty contractor should be limited to the regulations and scope of their license.
The CSLB has listed the C-61 classifications into "D" subcategories for administrative tracking. Here is a list of all the specifications that make up the D category.
In California, a specialty contractor is a professional who specializes in a specific trade or aspect of construction. The state offers various contractor license classifications for different specializations. Each specialty contractor focuses on their area of expertise and may subcontract other trades for related tasks. The specific tasks and responsibilities of each contractor classification can vary, but they generally involve the installation, repair, maintenance, or fabrication of specific components or systems within a construction project. It's important to note that each contractor classification has specific requirements and regulations set by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) in California. Each classification may have their own bonding and licensing requirements. For example, roofing and pooling contractors need a special category of the CA contractor license bond because those categories were considered to be higher risk.
Overall, specialty contractors play a crucial role in the construction industry, bringing their expertise to specific areas of construction and contributing to the successful completion of various projects.