It takes a fair bit of work to get ready for the contractor licensing exam. But once you’ve got everything you need to take it, you may open up a world of future opportunities for yourself. Here’s how to know that you have checked all the boxes and are set up to take the exam successfully.
You Know When Licensing Is Required
Most construction projects you might expect to complete as a contractor will probably require a license. As a general rule, you should know that if the total is more than $500, you’ll need to have a license in order to do it. Unlicensed contractors cannot break a project into several small pieces that are under $500 and be able to successfully claim exemption. There are a couple of exceptions, like if you’re working on your own home. Ultimately, it’s best to assume that you’ll need a license for most services you want to offer as part of your contracting business.
You Understand Why Licensing Is Important
There’s a reason that the state of California thinks it is so important that contractors should have a license in most cases. In order to get your contractor’s license, you have to meet certain benchmarks for experience in your field. And once you have your license, it’ll be easy to see what happens when people who don’t know what they’re doing perform the same kind of work you do. A lack of experience can be a hassle for clients, if not dangerous. Unlicensed contractors can also underbid on projects and make it harder for you to get established.
You’ve Got the Necessary Experience
Construction is a field that very much prizes on-the-job training. This means that in order to qualify to take the contractor licensing exam, you’ll need to show about four years’ worth of experience working in that class. If you go to a trade school, that education may cover part of the experience requirement. Similarly, if you do a lot of projects on your own home, you can submit them for review and consideration as part of your experience. But in most cases, you’ll get the experience working for a licensed contractor in a journeyman or foreman role.
You’ve Completed the Exam Preparation
Once you have checked all the boxes for experience and get bonded, you need to make sure you have adequate exam preparation. Like many other standardized tests, it may not be enough to assume that you have all the knowledge and can take the exam with ease on a day off. Preparation through a qualified organization may make the difference between passing it on your first try and needing to take it more than once. Exam prep schools give you a variety of study methods, including:
- Live sessions
- Practice exams
- Opportunities for additional study
This can help you ensure that you know what to expect from the exam by the time you take it.
You’re Confident You Can Succeed
Passing the contractor licensing exam isn’t just about experience or knowledge. It’s also about confidence. Not everyone feels like they can take a test and smash it out of the park. That’s why you prepare. You spend time studying and reviewing subjects until you know them as well as you do the route home. You identify mistakes you sometimes make during tests and correct for them. This makes it easier to avoid confusion or stress on the big day.
You’re Ready to Submit an Application
Submitting your application to take the exam is one of the last steps. You’ll complete all the paperwork concerning your experience. You can fill out the application and submit it with those documents and a $330 fee. If everything checks out, you’ll get a notification that the application is approved. If there’s any question about your application, you’ll get a notification about that, too.
Taking the contractor licensing exam is the last step that helps you achieve your dream of starting a contracting business. To find out what you need to get ready, contact CSLS today!