Contractor's License Practice Exam State Board Study Guide (2023)

CLSI can guide you to the right contractor's practice exams and also refer you to the best seminars to help ensure that you pass the law and trade exams. And, here are our Top Ten Recommendations for how to prepare for your Contractors Exam and Masters or Journeyman Licensing Exams.

1. Find the list of books recommended by the State Contractor’s Licensure Board.Then schedule personal study time and stick to it. Not having regular study sessions are so often neglected when it comes to preparation for a State Board Contractor's License Exam. Also purchase any and all books necessary, and READ them. In order to assist exam takers I've worked through the math problems related to the trade exams. And, most importantly, purchase the Code book and begin to understand the Code and to fully comprehend the reason for the Codes.

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2. Contact your State Licensure board for the application.
The preparation for a state Contractor, Master or Journeyman license begins with your contacting the state licensure board to request an application for a license and/or examination. When requesting exam information be sure to ask for any and all recommended study materials. Most exams are based upon a technical book or a Code book. The investment in these books or materials, is invaluable as a resource not only for exam preparation but as a good guide in the contracting business. It always pays to learn from the experts.

3. Apply for the correct classification.
When you apply for a "license" you'll need to know the correct classification for which you need licensed.

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For example, a contractor's license in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and New Mexico requires the passing of two exams: the trade exam and a business & law exam.
In Colorado, there is a statewide Plumbing license for Residential, Journeymen and Masters and a statewide electrical license for residential Wireman, Journeyman, and Masters. In New Mexico there are many Journeyman and Contractor license classifications. For example, if you are an electrician only installing low voltage wiring, you'll need a Journeyman Low Voltage License (JES3), however, if you are a contractor soliciting business from the public at large and NOT doing any of the work of installation, you'll need a Contractor's License (ES3). In Texas the Electrical licenses have several classifications such as Journeyman, Master, and Signs. The Air Conditioning license has two classifications. The "A" license is unlimited tonnage of airconditioning. The "B" license is limited to 25 ton systems or less. In Utah there is a statewide Electrical and Plumbing license for Residential, Journeyman and Masters. Las Vegas, Nevada, Clark County requires an Electrical and Plumbing Certificate similar to a journeyman license.

4. Have the full amount of documented experience required for your classification.
We had a very knowledgeable businessman in our class recently to study for his General Builders License. The classification required 5 exams that he promptly took and passed with no problem. He called to let us know how much he appreciated our help in his licensing process. A few weeks later he called to say that he did not have enough documented experience to qualify for the license and his application was denied. Being hasty in your licensing process may cause you to over look a circumstance like this one that may seem obvious.

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5. Fill out and send application for exam or license.
This step is a crucial step in the exam process. The worst thing you can do is show up for an exam and you're not on the examiners' schedule. The time loss and expense can be devastating. Do not presume that someone else has registered you for an exam. If you haven't received a confirmation from the examining agency, pick up the phone and call them yourself to confirm your exam. Some jurisdictions require the application to be notarized.

6. Purchase minimum recommended books.
Many exams are based on a code book. Modern construction techniques for general Building, fire protection, painting, plastering, roofing, concrete, masonry, Electrical and Mechanical are based on building codes, electrical codes, mechanical codes and plumbing codes. Any construction professional should have at least a library of one book that contains a Code addressing his trade. The next level of books that you should have in your library are books written by construction professionals describing particular aspects about your trade. It's really OK to learn from others in your industry who've taken the time to document what they've learned. Access to specific subject books has never been easier. Once you've obtained a list of recommended books, search the internet for the titles.

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7. Familiarize yourself with code books and other books purchased.
After purchasing your books, OPEN THEM long before any exam. We've had many in our classes wait until the day of the exam to open their books only to find out that an open book exam can be much more difficult than a closed book exam. An open book exam requires you to look up information in a book to find a particular section or table to answer a question. If you are not familiar with how to look up or read a table, precious minutes tick away reducing your chances of selecting a correct answer. I agree that opening a code book, reading and understanding it is about as exciting as watching paint peal. However, with a little practice you can learn to use a code book as a valuable tool.

8. Utilize exam study guides and tutorials.
One of our frequently asked question is "Can you recommend any additional study material?" If you search the technical bookstores or bookstores that specialize in construction related books you will find books that are written just for exam preparation. In my opinion these study guides are great training tools for learning both the trade and the types of questions that can be asked on the exam. This is especially true for the study guides published in conjunction with the Code. These tutorials have been written with some key features that won't be found in other publications. Exam questions written in our tutorial have appeared on past and present exams. Questions that are based on a Code requirement have the Code reference shown along with the question so you can easily look up the section in the Code. Questions that are referenced from other recommended books have the reference as well. Questions that require math have the solution. Unlike other study guides, these state specific tutorials will prepare you for the exam. Contact for more information on available tutorials.

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9. Attend exam preparation seminars and classes.
You should look for a class that covers thoroughly the information that will appear on your specific exam. The content of any class would not be complete if references to books on the list of recommended books were not given as a part of the class time. Any construction math, electrical math or plumbing math should be explained in easily understood terms. Contact us for more information on available classes.

10. Consider CBT Exam Preparation.
Computer-based training is fast becoming the chosen preparation format for the construction professional. Software can be purchased that when installed on your desktop or laptop you can study at your convenience. The format is question with multiple choice answers. You can give yourself tests and you can study as much as you like. This type of exam preparation is cost effective because you can arrange your schedule to study without having to be away from the office or project site to attend class. This type of exam preparation is not for everyone, but if convenience is what you're looking for, then CBT is for you. Contact us for more information.

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Is the Georgia Contractors exam open book? ›

Contractors are also required to present two forms of identification. The exam is open-book. Therefore, you can bring a variety of resources along with you for reference during the exam.

How many people pass the Florida contractors exam? ›

Our 96% Pass Rate:

Individuals who only do some of the program and/or try to take short cuts, are much less likely to pass.

What is a passing score on the California Contractors exam? ›

Each exam is approximately two hours and thirty minutes long. You need to answer 72% of the questions correctly to pass the law.

Is the Oregon Contractors exam open book? ›

First, the test is open book. When you take your pre-license course, your education provider should give you a copy of the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) textbook. You can use that book during your test to help you along your way. Also, be ready to take your test on the computer.

How much work can you do without a contractor license in Georgia? ›

Certain specialty trades or work costing less than $2,500 does not require the services of a state licensed contractor.

How long does it take to get a GC license in GA? ›

Four years of experience working under the supervision of a licensed contractor. Obtain a general liability insurance policy with a value of at least $500,000. Pass a written examination that tests knowledge of building codes, safety regulations and general contracting knowledge.

Is the Florida contractors exam open book? ›

The Florida General Contractor Exam is an open book test that requires 14 required books for the Business and Finance, Contract Admin and Project Management exams.

What is the easiest contractors license to get in Florida? ›

The easiest to go with would be a Residential Contractor license, mainly because there are fewer questions on the exam. However, it has the same process as General and Building, and the experience is still the same for all three.

What is the easiest contractors license to get? ›

RMO License

One of the most common ways that individuals with no experience can have access to a contractor license is through an RMO or RME. RMO stands for Responsible Managing Officer.

How many times can you take the CSLB exam? ›

You have 18 months after CSLB determines that your application is acceptable to pass the exams. During that time, you may take the exam an unlimited number of times, though you must wait three weeks between taking and retaking an exam, and there is a $60 fee each time you reschedule an exam.

What happens if you fail the CSLB exam? ›

What if I fail the Law and Business and/or Trade examination? If you fail the Law and Business examination and/or your trade examination, you must pay a $100 fee each time you are rescheduled. You are given 18 months to pass the examinations.

Is the CSLB test hard? ›

A lot depends on your professional background, confidence as a test-taker, and even your available study schedule. As a general rule of thumb, though, it isn't incredibly difficult to get a passing score on your exam – as a school, we have a 99%+ first-time passing rate, so it's definitely something you can do.

How hard is it to get a contractors license in Oregon? ›

To become a general contractor in Oregon, you must complete the required pre-license training. In order to obtain your Construction Contractors Board (CCB) license, you must be at least 18 years old and have completed 16 hours of training on law and business practices. You must also pass an Oregon State test.

How much work can you do without a contractor license in Oregon? ›

Handyman exemption

The threshold for performing certain work without a contractor license increased from $500 to $1,000. To qualify for the exemption, a contractor must perform work that is casual, minor or inconsequential. This means that the work cannot: Be structural in nature.

How many questions are on the Oregon contractors test? ›

The test includes 80 multiple choice questions. You will have 3 hours to complete the test. You must score 70% to pass the exam.

Can you be a contractor without a contract? ›

Not all contractors start work with a signed contract in place. Here we consider the risks this may involve, and why a contract doesn't necessarily have to be in writing for it to be legally binding.

Do I need a license to install flooring in Florida? ›

You do not need a contractor's license in Florida to put down flooring. However, you do need a contractor's license to put up drywall for any kind of structure.

Can a contractor work under someone else's license Florida? ›

F.S. §489.127(4) adds that licensed contractors may not allow their license to be used by another,46 nor apply for a permit for a project for which he or she does not have a contract, the latter covering those not infrequent situations in which contractors “rent out” their licenses.

Can I GC my own house in Georgia? ›

Yes, property owners may construct a building or structure which is for their own use and not for use by the general public and not offered for sale or lease.

How much does it cost to get a general contractor license in Georgia? ›

The Georgia Contractor License application fee is $200. This fee is non-refundable.

Do painters need a license in Georgia? ›

Georgia. The Georgia Residential Basic Contractor License is required for any project over $2,500. Applicants must be approved by the state to sit the exam and must have 2 years of working experience.

How much does a licensed contractor make in Florida? ›

The average salary for a general contractor in Florida is $45,500 per year. General contractor salaries in Florida can vary between $16,000 to $176,500 and depend on various factors, including skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.

What books do I need for Florida Contractors License? ›

The following books are included in the General:
  • Building Estimator's Reference Book.
  • Code of Federal Regulations, (OSHA) 29 Part 1926.
  • Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures.
  • Placing Reinforcing Bars.
  • Principles and Practices of Commercial Construction.
  • Application and Finishing of Gypsum Panel Products, GA-216.

Can you take Florida contractor exam online? ›

In the state of Florida, all of the required contractor license education courses can be completed in an online format.

How much work can you do without a contractor license in Florida? ›

If your work will become a finished part of the structure (such as replacing flooring in an entire room) and the total for the project exceeds $500, you must have a general contractor license in Florida.

Is contracting without a license a felony in Florida? ›

In Florida, it is a criminal offense to engage in contracting work or to act in the capacity of a contractor without a valid contractor's license. Unlicensed contracting is a serious crime carrying misdemeanor or felony penalties, depending on the number of prior convictions.

How hard is it to get a contractors license in Florida? ›

Florida Contractor License Requirements

Submit proof of a credit score of a 660 or higher. You can purchase a surety bond if your credit score is lower. Scan an electronic fingerprint. Provide proof of liability and workers' compensation insurance.

What degree is best for a contractor? ›

The education needed to be a general contractor is normally a bachelor's degree. General contractors usually study business, construction management or general studies. 45% of general contractors hold a bachelor's degree and 21% hold a high school diploma.

What are the three common selection methods for contractors? ›

Factors to Be Considered When Selecting Contractors

Level of industry/business-relevant experience. Familiarity with the hazards of your industry. Previous health and safety performance records.

What is an RMO in a contractor's license? ›

A Responsible Managing Officer (“RMO”) under California law is an individual who is a bona fide employee of the applicant for a contractor's license, and is actively engaged in the classification of work for which that responsible managing employee is the qualifying person on behalf of the applicant. California ...

How long is a CA contractors license good for? ›

A contractor's license is initially issued for a two-year period. It will expire two years from the last day of the month in which it was issued. Licenses may be renewed for two years at a time if renewed on active status, or for four years if renewed on inactive status.

What to do after passing CSLB? ›

After you pass your license examination, you must take the Abestos Open Book Exam and sign the verification form. Submit the completed verification form with your renewal or bond verification and license fee notice. If you do not submit this form, CSLB cannot process your license.

How long does it take to get CA contractors license? ›

You can find specific requirements on our website, but generally speaking you'll need four years of experience in the construction industry or a lesser amount of experience with a college degree. The amount of time needed will depend on your personal schedule and study preferences.

Can my son take over my California Contractors License? ›

In the event of a licensee's death, absence or retirement, a sole ownership license number can be reassigned to an immediate member of the family. The examination may be waived when the applicant is actively engaged in the construction activities of the licensee in the same classifications being applied for.

What is the penalty for contracting without a license in California? ›

Those who are caught contracting without a license likely will have to appear before a Superior Court judge to answer to misdemeanor charges that can carry a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine, as well as an administrative fine of $200 to $15,000.

Can you lose your contractors license in California? ›

In California, failure to timely pay a “construction-related” small claims court judgment or civil court judgment, or CSLB citation or arbitration decision and, more importantly, failure to provide the CSLB with proof of payment will expose the licensee to immediate suspension of its license.

What are the hardest professional certification exams? ›

Top 10 Toughest Exams in the World
  • Gaokao.
  • IIT-JEE (Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination)
  • UPSC (Union Public Services Commission)
  • Mensa.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination)
  • CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)
  • CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert)
  • GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, India)

Is it hard to get a contractors license in California? ›

The two biggest challenges for obtaining a California general contractor license are passing the exam and paying all the fees. The exam is intentionally difficult, and you are unlikely to pass it without studying. A quick Google search will reveal numerous general contractor license schools.

How many questions are on the California C 10 exam? ›

The C-10 electrical license exam will consist of: 115 Questions LAW. 115 Questions TRADE. Multiple Choice Exam.

Do you need a contractors license to build your own house in Oregon? ›

In the state of Oregon, anyone performing construction work for compensation is required to have a contractor license. The exceptions to this rule are gutter cleaning, power and pressure washing, and handyman work on projects with a contract value of $1,000 or less.

Is being a contractor profitable? ›

According to the Construction Financial Management Association (, the average pre-tax net profit for general contractors is between 1.4 and 2.4 percent and for subcontractors between 2.2 to 3.5 percent.

Does a handyman need a contractors license in Oregon? ›

Does a handyman need a license in Oregon? There is no 'handyman license' in Oregon. However, there are limitations on the jobs you can perform without a contractor's license. To qualify for the exemption, a handyman contractor can only perform work that is casual, minor, or inconsequential.

Can you do your own plumbing in Oregon? ›

Along with homeowners working on their own homes, only licensed plumbers and electricians are legally allowed to do plumbing or electrical work in Oregon. Their professional license reflects four years of intense training and annual continuing education.

Is it illegal to hire an unlicensed contractor in Oregon? ›

(1) Any person who knowingly uses the services of an unlicensed labor contractor shall be personally, jointly and severally liable with the person acting as a labor contractor to the same extent and in the same manner as provided in ORS 658.453 (Civil penalty) (4).

Do you need a contractors license to flip houses in Oregon? ›

No, you do not legally need a contractor's license to flip houses. There is absolutely no need to have a contractor's license to flip houses.

How difficult is the Nascla exam? ›

The NASCLA exam is a challenging test. You will need to spend a reasonable amount of time studying and becoming familiar with the material to pass the exam. This license will allow you to work in various accepting jurisdictions, opening up your potential to earn business and make money.

Is the ICC test open book? ›

Most exams are open book. Examination information, including whether your exam is open- or closed-book, can be found in the applicable exam information by searching for your exam in the exam catalog.

Does Georgia use the ABC test for independent contractors? ›

Effective July 1, 2022, Georgia amended its prior test (“AC Test”) for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee under its Employment Security Law and replaced it with a new test which now examines the nature and scope of the individual's work, rather than purely the relying on the ...

What is required to get a contractors license in Georgia? ›

The basic requirements to file for a Georgia contractor's license are:
  • Be 21+ years old.
  • Pass a criminal background check to show that you have good moral character.
  • Pass a written exam.
  • Pay the $30-200 application fee (it's non-refundable)
4 Nov 2022

Is the Florida general contractor test open book? ›

The Florida General Contractor Exam is an open book test that requires 14 required books for the Business and Finance, Contract Admin and Project Management exams.

How do I study for the ICC exam? ›

Get in the Study Zone!
  1. Buy Code Books / References. If you know which references you need for your exam, you can purchase your reference books through the ICC Store. ...
  2. Review Your Exam's Content Outline. ...
  3. Take Courses with ICC Training.

What is a passing score on ICC exam? ›

A passing score is the score set by the ICC and/or/with the Exam Development Committee (EDC) as the minimum score needed to pass the exam. This score is technically called a scale score and is set as 75 for the National Certification exams.

How many times can I take an ICC exam? ›

You will have six exam attempts within a six-month period. You are responsible for paying the exam fee at every attempt. Once you have attempted an exam six times, you must wait six months from the first attempt to register again.

Which three tests are used with contractors? ›

Here we take a closer look at 3 areas that are key to identifying whether a PSC contractor can engage as inside or outside. The three tests for employment status taken from previous case law are: the Right of Substitution, Control and Mutuality of Obligations.

Which states follow the ABC test? ›

Currently, the ABC Test is used by the U.S. Department of Labor and 33 states. Most recently, California changed from Common Law to this test.
State / TerritoryWorker Classification Test
ColoradoA&C of ABC Test
ConnecticutABC Test
DelawareABC Test
District of ColumbiaCommon Law
48 more rows

Does an independent contractor need a business license in Georgia? ›

Independent Contractors are in business for themselves and must obtain a business license prior to commencing work. Generally, if payroll taxes are not deducted from your pay, you are an Independent Contractor. Each Georgia business is only required to have an occupation tax license in one county or city.

Can I be my own general contractor in Georgia? ›

Yes, property owners may construct a building or structure which is for their own use and not for use by the general public and not offered for sale or lease.

Do you have to be a licensed contractor to build your own home in Georgia? ›

The State of Georgia requires construction or structural alteration of a building or structure to be done by licensed contractors.

How much do certified general contractors make in Florida? ›

The average salary for a general contractor in Florida is $45,500 per year. General contractor salaries in Florida can vary between $16,000 to $176,500 and depend on various factors, including skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.

How hard is it to get a general contractor license in Florida? ›

To become a general contractor in Florida, you must pass a state issued contractor exam and have at least 4 years of work experience. Though the contractor exam costs money to take, it can help you find positions as a contractor through construction companies.


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