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General Engineering (A) contractor in California is a professional that is involved with projects that require specialized engineering skills and knowledge. The types of projects that they typically work on include:

  • Irrigation and drainage
  • Highways and railroads
  • Waste reduction plants
  • Sewage disposal systems and plants
  • Hydroelectric projects and dams
  • Docks and wharves
  • Airports and airways
  • Industrial and chemical plants

In order to become a general engineering contractor, you need to fulfill a number of requirements, including passing a written engineering examination.

Requirements for Licensure

In order to be eligible to receive a general engineering contractor license in California, you need to satisfy the following requirements:

  • Sit for and successfully pass two exams: law and business, and an exam relating to the particular trade you choose
  • Before you take the exams, your application must be approved by the board
  • Pre-approval from the state is required
  • In order to qualify for the exam, each applicant must have at least 4 years worth of experience as a journeyman, foreman, owner-builder, contractor or supervisor
  • Applicants must file a bond with the Registrar in the amount of $10,000
  • All applicants must also have a working capital of at least $2,500

The Exam

The California General Engineering Contractor exam has approximately 100 questions that must be answered in 2.5 hours. Candidates need to get a minimum of 67% in order to pass. Exams are given on a computer at one of the many testing centers throughout California. An appointment is needed once your application has been accepted.

Some of the topics covered in the exam include:

  • Plans and specifications
  • Estimation
  • Principles of structures
  • Safety
  • Earthwork and surveying
  • Subsurface work
  • Foundation and form work
  • Buildings and related work
  • Surface work and paving

How to Prepare for the Exam

Once the CSLB has approved your application, you will be informed of the testing date. We recommend that you give yourself plenty of time to prepare and study, preferably months. One of the most effective ways to prepare for the exam is by using the Peerless Institute Engineering (A) Study Guide book. The book includes hundreds of pages of relevant content that is covered on the state exam and is also loaded with close to a thousand multiple choice questions.