What to Do After You Pass the California Contractor License Exam

Congratulations! You have passed the CSLB Exam and are on your way to starting your career as a licensed contractor.

But what comes next, now that you’ve passed the exam? How can you use your time wisely while you wait for your license?

In this article, we will cover some easy but effective things you can do to keep your career moving forward after passing the California Contractor License Exam.

Get Your License Number

Obtaining your license number is the first and easiest step you can take after passing the California Contractor License Exam. Your license number will be necessary for everything from submitting bids to potential clients to obtaining the required insurance.

You can expect a license, certificate, and pocket license in the mail in about a week after you pass your test. If you need it before then (you will!), you can visit the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) website at cslb.ca.gov and enter your exam information. 

Get Your Required Bonds

The CSLB requires you to provide proof of a $25,000 contractor’s bond before you can receive your license. 

A contractor’s bond protects the consumer from any damages in case of incomplete delivery of services. They can cost as low as $100 and you can find them online. Generally speaking, most bonds for contractors will be similar, if not the same, so don’t fret too much about getting the best deal. 

Get Your Required Insurance

Before beginning any contracting work, you must obtain the required insurance to maintain your license. As of 2023, California law requires contractors to have Workers’ Compensation Insurance and Liability Insurance. These types of insurance protect both you and your clients in case of an accident or injury on the job site. To obtain the required insurance, you can contact a licensed insurance broker, and again, don’t fret too much about comparing price. Most prices will be similar across the board for your trade.

It’s important to note that many license classifications can be exempt from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance requirement. To find out more, visit the CSLB section on that: https://www.cslb.ca.gov/About_Us/Library/Forms_And_Applications.aspx#EXEMPTWC

Build Your Business

Starting your own contracting business can be a daunting task, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Building your business includes everything from buying pens and notepads to buying ads online or joining your local trade association or even just plain old networking.

Take time to develop a business plan, including goals and objectives, and research the market to understand your competition, so you can be best prepared to beat the market when your license comes in. The important thing is that you’re using every minute of waiting for your license to get yourself in the best position to succeed – whatever form that takes.

Continuing Education

Continuing education is an essential part of maintaining your contractor’s license. The CSLB requires contractors to complete a specific number of continuing education courses every two years to renew their license. These courses help contractors stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends, best practices, and legal requirements.

California requires licensed contractors to complete continuing education courses every two years. Continuing education courses can be taken online or in-person and cover a variety of topics related to the construction industry.The best way to stay abreast of any continuing education requirements is to stay in the loop with the CSLB’s newsletters, especially the ones relevant to your trade and classification.


In conclusion, passing the California Contractor License Exam is just the beginning of your career as a licensed contractor. 

As you wait for your license to take effect, it is crucial to spend as much time as possible developing your business and putting yourself in the best possible situation you can to get to work. 

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About CSLS

Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractor’s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit www.MakeMeAContractor.com and tuned for more informative posts.