Who should certify your CSLB experience

Who should certify your CSLB experienceSo who should certify your CSLB experience and who shouldn’t?

And how should your trade experience be outlined on the license application.

Other questions are:

  • How many certifiers do I need?
  • Can my dad, mom, uncle, or brother be my certifier?

These are common questions that I’m asked all the time. And although it seems like this aspect of the license application is somewhat of a daunting task, it’s really not that bad.

Who should certify your CSLB experience?

  • If you are submitting experience as an employee, do not check the “self-employed” box in Line two. Enter the employer’s business name, license number, and business address. The certifier in this case could be the license holder, officer on the license, foreman or supervisor, fellow employee, or anyone who has first-hand knowledge of that experience.
  • If you are submitting experience as self-employed, do check the “self-employed” box in Line two, and leave the employer name, license number, address boxes blank. The certifier in this case could be a business associate, another journeyman, or a contractor listed in the same classification or above. I would avoid checking the “client” box because most people are not working for the same client 40 hours a week for four years. If you are, you should probably be on the payroll.

How many certifiers do I need?

You only need one unless your certifier is not certifying a full four year period. If you have one certifier that has first-hand knowledge of only two years of experience, then you would need a second certifier to cover the remaining two years. Submitting more than one work experience page for the same time period with different certifiers is not a benefit to you. It does not increase your chances of the application being accepted (aka “posted”).

Can your dad, mom, uncle, or brother be your certifier?

Yes. As long as they have first-hand knowledge of your experience and are qualified to know if your experience is at the journeyman level. The title they would select would most likely be “Business Associate” unless they are licensed. Then you would select the Contractor box and enter their license number.

What if you can’t use your employer as your certifier because it might put your employment status in jeopardy?

You could use a fellow employee or foreman/supervisor as your certifier. Submit a letter with your application stating that you do not want the CSLB contacting the employer directly because it could jeopardize your employment. The CSLB isn’t in the business of getting people fired from their jobs.

How should your trade experience be outlined on the license application?

The application states: “In the space below, list all specific trade duties applicant performed or supervised in the classification for which he/she is applying.”

This implies that the certifier has to fill out the experience outline. Although the implication is there, it is acceptable for you to complete the experience outline and have your certifier sign-off on it.

The outline should be generic, straight forward, and trade specific. Begin the outline with “Experience includes….” Then describe the trade duties you perform/supervise on a daily basis. Do not list administrative duties. These include, reading plans, getting permits, contacting clients, etc.

So who should certify your CSLB experience and who shouldn’t?

Hopefully I’ve laid it out in a way that explains it in a clearer, more understandable way. If you have questions regarding this topic, feel free to contact me. And remember, I do offer an application review service for only $100.

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  1. Oren shabo says

    I have a full time job and a part time job that overlap

    Do I get credit for both work certs since they overlap

    I was told I do get credit for both because it’s possible to have a full time job and part time job at the same time

    Is this correct?

  2. Oren shabo says

    Hi I am applying for a c-20 HVAC license in California can a general a,b contractor be my certifier in can have 3 years of HVAC certifiers and y year general contractor certifiers will the general contractor certifiers count as experience

  3. Joseph Ghazarian says

    I have more than four years experience in a Foreign country and also, the electrician certificate from occupational organization which degree is accredited by International Labor organization.
    If I evaluate my certificate, does it count as a work experience?

  4. Brian Nguyen says

    I have an AA in HVAC commercial, AA in HVAC residential, AA in construction management, took carpentry class, took 3 real estate courses for licensure. How much credit can I get towards a general contractor license B and contractor for C20? Thanks.

    • Sorry for the late reply… I think 24 months credit would be the max. But who knows, the cslb might be generous and go with 3 yrs credit. You’d have to apply to find out.

  5. Hi Guru,

    I have 10 years of experience and being licensed as C20 and C38 as the business owner. Looking to obtain my contractor’s license B. What is the most efficient way to get it signed off?

    • First of all you’ll have to provide between 8 and 10 years of part time experience. You can’t show full time experience in a classification you don’t hold while being licensed. You’ll also have to show framing in your experience outline. The cslb may ask you how you got framing experience with those two classifications.

      As far as a certifier goes, anyone can sign off on your experience. Another B contractor, employee, etc.

  6. David Martinez says

    Can I use a Class B G.C. to certify my work experience for a Class A application?

  7. Steven Turner says

    Can I have a General contractor to sign off on my work experience that my current company has done Sub work for my entire 15 year career with them. I do not want my current employer on the radar that I am applying to get my licence. This application will be sent to the CSLB and to what they expect in this state.

    • Hello Steve,

      Anybody who has first hand knowledge or your experience can be your certifier. So yes, that contractor would work. If you don’t want the cslb contacting your employer, submit a letter with the app requesting that the employer not be contacted because it could jeopardize your employment status.

  8. Michael Bennett says

    Many of the trades involved in Class A General Engineering overlap with Class B General Building. I have had a Class A licence since 1988. Can I self certify that I have had at least 4 years of the last 10 performing trades that would qualify for the Class B license on the Certification of Work Experience form?

    • Hello Mike,

      No, you can’t self certify. You’ll need to show at least 8 years of part time experience that has been obtained over the last 10 years (the CSLB will only accept experience that goes back 10 years). You have to submit part time experience because if you submitted full time you’d be saying to the CSLB that you’ve been doing B work for 40 hours a week without having the B classification on the license. That’s no Bueno.

      Anyone who has first hand knowledge of your B experience can be your certifier on the work experience form of the license application.

  9. Can my stepdad, who WAS a licensed roofer in an other state many years ago, certify me if he is the one that taught me how to do roofing and we worked together for 5 years (while unlicensed)?

  10. Devlin Osburn says

    I have a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration, Finance. The only remotely possible course I took relating to construction would be Real Estate Principles. Will I receive any credit for work experience?

    What risk does a contractor bear in vouching for an applicant’s work experience?

    Thank you for your help!

    • A four year degree could give you 18-24 months credit toward the four year experience requirement.

      The certifier is signing under penalty of perjury. What actual risk does the certifier take?… not a whole lot. If an application is pulled for a secondary review, the certifier may be contacted by the cslb…but generally they ask the applicant to provide more documentation.

      • If education and work or apprenticeship overlap, do you get credit for both? Are there any ways to condense the 4 years into a shorter span? Thank you.

        • Hi Steve,

          No and no, are the short answers. The law requires that you show full time experience. The cslb could look at your transcripts and ask how you were able to also work full time. But the full time experience must be at the journeyman level. The only way to shorten the four years is to have the college degree and 24-30 months of field experience at the j-man level.

  11. How many years of experience credit will an AA degree in civil engineering and math get me? Thanks

    • Hello Alex,

      If you are applying for the A-Eng classification you could get 18 months credit. But.. the cslb will make that determination when they review your transcripts.

      The cslb website says:
      “CSLB may grant credit for training, apprenticeship, or education as follows:

      A maximum of 1-1/2 years upon submission of official transcripts of the following:
      An A.A. degree from an accredited school or college in building or construction management.”

      This contradicts what I said above, but I believe it’s possible if applying for the A classification.

  12. Great article. Question: If I’m applying for a Solar C46 license can I have a C27 contractor vouch for my solar work, or do I need to get someone with a C46 license to sign off on the experience?

  13. danny bittiker says

    How many years of experience will an architecture degree get me?

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