Roofing in California generally requires a license issued by the statewide California Contractors State License Board. An individual who meets the licensing requirements can either do the work himself or supervise employees who do the work. A corporation, LLC or other business entity can also get a license by hiring such a qualifying individual to perform or supervise contract roofing.
The two main qualifications for a California roofing contractor license are work experience and contractor exams. However, even those who qualify under those experience and testing requirements must show good moral and financial fitness to work as a licensed California roofer.
It is common to get a job in roofing without any sort of education. In fact, there is not even an educational requirement for a California roofing license. But it would still be a good idea to get a good grounding in the field by taking classes at a technical school for construction or taking college classes related to roofing, construction or engineering. This will look good when you go to get a job and may also help you pass the required roofer licensing exams.
Instead of education, the main requirement is experience. All qualifying individuals must have four years of roofing experience as either a foreman, supervisor, contractor or journeyman. Do not count trainee time if you are adding up your experience in anticipation of applying for a California roofing license.
Now, as you are getting your experience, it is advisable to start preparing for your exams. You must take a California Law and Business exam and a trade-based roofing exam. Both of these tests have study guides published by the contractors board and linked to in the Resources section below.
Access those study guides to find out which references to buy and use for your exams. Study up on and try to master the lessons in all of those references. You want to be good and ready to take your tests before you apply so you do not end up cramming at the last minute.
Once you are ready, then access the California roofing license and exam application. You can see the link in the Resources. To become a licensed contract roofer, you will have to pay a $250 application fee and an additional $150 license fee upon qualifying. Make sure you make out a check or money order to the “Registrar of Contractors” because your payment will not otherwise be accepted.
Unfortunately for some applicants, you must also pass a criminal background check. Not all applicants with a criminal record will be denied. It depends on several factors and is decided on a case-by-case basis. You will receive instructions for submitting fingerprints after sending in your license application.
There are also some financial requirements to get licensed for California roofing. For example, you need $2500 in working capital for roofing projects. This is in addition to contractor surety bonds of up to $20,000 and workers comp insurance for your employees. Read the application and “Blueprint” (see Resources for a link) to get full details on California roofing contractor license requirements.
Study Guide for the Exam
Study Tips and References for the California Law and Business Exam
Contractor License Application
California Contractor License Blueprint