try googling for "california welding license c-60"
California License Information
C-60 Welding Contractor
A welding contractor causes metal to become permanently attached,
joined and fabricated by the use of gases and electrical energy, which
creates temperatures of sufficient heat to perform this work
CA State Exam Example Questions
CA State Exam Contents
Click Here to view the contents of our Online Practice Test, developed
by Contractor School Online.
Just what sorts of work does this apply to -- maybe doing for for the
state or local govts only -- I do not know. But I would try to find
I don't think you need a license to weld in California, but you do have to
have a license to do business. When I took the Nevada Contractor's Board
exam, there was absolutely no requirement to provide welding certifications,
and there was not one question about metal or welding. Government agencies
are just like the mob: as long as they get their cut, they're happy. When
they don't, they can make life miserable for you. If you are working off a
mobile truck by the hour, you will need to be licensed. If you do the work
for a preset amount, you will need to have a contractor's license. And
every county and city you work within will want something. They even
require balloon salesmen in parades to go to City Hall and buy a peddler's
Unless you're backing him, or he's coming in as a part of your business, all
this stuff is stuff HE needs to get out and discover. Otherwise, you will
be very busy helping him.
You do not provide enough information for a complete answer, so take only
what applies to you below.
Is he going to operate out of a shop, or off a truck?
Is he going to have employees?
Will he be doing proposal/contract work, or just be working by the hour?
Will he be doing structural for general contractors, or just repairing
garden gates for homeowners?
As importantly as licensing is the issue of industrial insurance, welding
certification and bonds.
In California, several cities blend one to the other. He may be licensed on
one side of the street, but not the other. He may need a California State
Contractor's license, license for the county he's working in (and that may
even include giving bids), and he may need to be licensed in EVERY
municipality or incorporated area that he works in. He needs to know the
laws of EVERY area he's going to work in. They have people who's job it is
to drive around all day every day and check licenses so those cities get
their cut just like the mob. They don't like it when you come in and do
work and not give them their revenue.
This is stuff that your son needs to get out and find out for himself. And
Have welder, will travel is a neat idea and I admire his ambition. However,
knowing how to weld is no big deal. There are millions of craftsmen who
SUCK at being businessmen. He needs to be walking within the lines and
doing things right, or the first time he takes work from a contractor, they
drop a dime on him, and the problems only begin. Here in Nevada, even
bidding work is considered contracting whether you do the work or collect a
dime. And it's a FELONY. And god forbid you have a problem, and someone
calls the authorities on you, and you're not properly licensed.
Still yet, what about workman's comp? Any good job you bid will require you
to provide proof of insurance with your bid.
Welding certification will be required for the structural work that you can
charge handsomely for.
This is so indicative of the society we live in today. Years ago, guys
worked and did good work and made good money. Today there's shysters and
illegals and thieves, so more laws. And you must comply with the laws FIRST
before you even strike an arc.
I don't mean to piss on your idea just give you a heads up on what I learned
going through the same process. I just think your SON needs to go spend the
time to learn this stuff. HE needs to know this stuff, not you. It will
make him a better businessmen, and will keep him from falling into as many
holes. It will also improve the market he can sell to and the amount of
money he ends up with in his pocket at the end of the year. When he can go
in and bid a job and, on request, provide all his licenses, bonds, insurance
certificates, welding certifications, liability insurance, etc, THAT'S a
professional presentation that companies want. That's what gets the good
That's what separates the guys making money from the guys driving around
fixing garden gates. And even the guys fixing gates, if they're doing it
right, have to have multiple licenses.
Just some of my thoughts from many years welding, and nine years of being a
steel erection contractor. And I started out of my garage with a pickup,
unlicensed, like your son. Then I just followed the money. Most licenses
are a walk through. Give them the money, they give you a license. Welding
tests the same way. (you must pass, tho)
In Nevada, if it is permanently attached to a dwelling, wall, structure, or
piece of real estate, it requires a State Contractor's license. And they
are FINALLY enforcing the laws, and busting guys right and left. And the
cities and counties have their enforcement officers out there collecting
their juice, too.
Good luck. Go for it. Just do it right. Start with the homework. If the
kid is good, he'll make more money by being properly licensed. He'll be a
better businessman by knowing where the land mines are buried. And he won't
be calling you as much for advice and help getting out of holes.
Steve, your advice is worth a million bucks that I'd love to pay you if I
had them. But of all the years in participating in newsgroups, very few
postings come close the the quality of your response to my question.
I have forwared it to Lyle, who has several startups under his belt, losses
not due to his mismanagement but tough luck.
Wayne in sunny Chula Vista... not gambling today... but wife in Las Vegas
with daughter next week and who knows what will happen... (penny 'one armed
bandidts' level gambling ---- not on the strip)
Yer welcome. I have known more than one exquisite craftsman who could do
the work, but couldn't navigate through all the licensing and red tape. A
few wound up finding someone who would do the "red tape" portion, but then
they ended up working for someone else even though they had started the
business themselves, and were the key personnel. Most went back to being
happy hourly workers.
It is difficult for a lot of "hands on" guys to back off and be managers and
hire people to do the work. And then, it is difficult to find people who
will do it as good as you, or at least to an acceptable standard.
One of the principles of the book "Principles of Organization" is delegation
of authority, and that's where most people mess up the worst. They just
can't find/hire department heads and then let them alone to either do their
job or not do the job and be replaced.
Huge difference between being a good welder, and organizing a welding
If it were only as simple as being a good welder. But then, everyone would
Thanks for the compliment. Go here and scroll down to "Man in the Arena."
A lot of work in SoCal will require an L.A. City Cert (even outside the
The L.A Cert. consists of a writted exam over the appropriate code and a
welding test(s) from an approved agency.
That might be what he's refering to.
I have no knowledge of California but Steve B has given an excellent
overview of their business licensing requirements, however I suspect that
what you should really be asking is whether a journeyman trade certificate
or welder qualification test is required.
Different jurisdictions have different requirements but most issue
qualification certificates for trades as diverse as welder or auto mechanic
or electrician to hairdresser or baker. Some of these trades may be
compulsory and some many be optional at the discretion of an employer.
Trade qualification or journeyman certificates are normally issued after the
completion of an apprenticeship and several periods of trade school
instruction and written exam testing. Trade qualification certificates are
often recognized in other jurisdictions having equivalent certificates but
may require the payment of a fee or writing an exam. Those with sufficient
experience can usually be grandfathered or permitted to challenge the exam
or to qualify by completing a partial apprenticeship or period of trade
school. Journeyman certificates are commonly valid for life but in extreme
cases may be revoked for cause.
In addition to journeyman certificates, welders are also commonly required
to pass practical welding tests for work in specialized areas such as high
pressure pipe or structural. These practical tests are procedure specific
(SMAW, FCAW, GMAW, GTAW / TIG, OA, subarc etc) are position specific (flat,
horizontal, or all position) and are usually valid for a specified time
(commonly ~1-2 yrs) and are in addition to any journeyman certificate. My
trade qualification certificates are valid across the country but there are
separate pressure tickets in each jurisdiction and each requires a separate
practical qualification test, there is a structural qualification ticket
that is recognized as valid across the country. The requirement for
specific procedure tickets is determined by the owner of a project and by
the construction code that covers the installation.
I realize that this does not answer your specific question but hopefully
someone with California knowledge can pick up from here, if not I suggest
you contact the Dept of Labor, or use Google as I suspect they will have a
website with complete information.
Just MHE, YMMV
Most certificates are requirements set by the job or by the inspector, or
with some time constraint. IOW, it's just as good as the job lasts.
The issue here of certification/trade qualification certificates/etc, are
misunderstood except to those who truly have welded for a living.
And that is HONESTLY meant NOT to dis anyone.
When we used to test for high pressure pipeline welding jobs in the Gulf of
Mexico, the deal was to come in, weld up a section of pipe the inspector had
laid out, and pass or fail you had the job as long as you didn't have many
repairs or cutouts. You were certified for that job, and that may have only
been a month or two.
Most every job is like that. You come in. You test. You pass or fail. No
one wants to hear how you did on your last job, or how much experience
you've had. They just say, "Here's two pieces of pipe. Weld them together
and bring them to me when you're done. See ya."
Lab testing offers some degree of standardization of qualifications and
performance, but is meant only to serve as a guide to mean " this guy at
least has an idea what's going on vs: this guy doesn't have a clue." I
believe that each and every certification has some clause in it, the most
common being AWS that if you don't weld for six months, your cert expires,
although some guys could not weld for three years and walk in flatfooted and
pass an x ray test, and another that has welded the whole time would fail.
Commonly acquired certificates merely say the holder at least knows how to
weld ............... a little bit.
Certification has limits. Time limits. Rod types. Position. Direction of
travel. Lots of things that people who don't have a clue think a certified
welder is okay to weld on NASA pressure vessels when he may only be
minimally qualified to weld rebar.
Delete "certified welder" from your vocabulary. It means virtually nothing.
It just means that particular weldor could pass that particular test that
particular day. Even if just on rebar.
It was something akin to the "Burning Man Festival" when we had weldor tests
for a pipeline job in the oilfield. High pressure petroleum products
pipelines! Guys coming in and sleeping in the front seat of their welding
trucks. Others showing up with a small duffel bag with an extra pair of
socks and underwear, sleeping anywhere it was sheltered from rain. Others
with just showed up with a hood and gloves. Weld a coupon, and a
destructive pull test for tensile strength. Maybe a nick/break test. Guys
who you worked with last job would bomb out because of drinking too much the
night before, or just blowing a weld. Unknowns getting their fifteen
minutes of fame and getting the job until a series of repairs or cutouts.
Point is, certification has parameters, and they are not readily understood
by the common weldor. In reality, being a "certified weldor" doesn't mean
much. Unless you want to start quoting the specifics, and then it goes from
I understand job qualification testing and have bent and x-rayed my share of
My question is whether in the USA, is there no requirement for a basic
'Journeyman Qualification Certificate' for welders (which is NOT job or time
In most of Canada, most tradesmen (including but not limited to welders) are
required to be (government Dept of Labor Standards) Certified Journeymen or
Registered Apprentices before they are allowed to practice their trade.
While pre-job testing is also a part of most serious welding work, a
journeyman certificate is usually a prerequisite and is required for all
basic work not requiring a pressure or pre-job test.
Thanks JT, this explains my confusion.
In Canada there are some private sector certification agencies but they
operate in addition to (and not as a substitute for) the primary government
Trade Qualification (journeyman) Certifications which in all but one
jurisdiction are REQUIRED and not optional. The private sector certificates
tend to be expensive and narrowly recognized and few employees are willing
to pay to obtain them. The level of enforcement of the requirement for
certification does vary and there are gypos who do operate under the radar
but most quality (decent pay) work requires certificates. Most Union
agreements specify certification as the ONLY requirement to be paid the full
journeyman pay rates.
The provinces have united and cooperated in the establishment of an
interprovincial 'Red Seal' program which is a certification which is added
to the certificates issued by the individual provinces and is recognized
nation wide. Even in the province where certification is optional, most
employers demand a Red Seal as a prerequisite to any additional requirements
or job testing to specific codes or procedures. It is a real aid to worker
mobility and a pretty good predictor of the level of training and experience
that a worker possesses, YMMV. These certificates can be revoked for cause,
but I have seldom heard of it actually happening, YMMV.
I am surprised that the USA does not have something similar.
As always, YMMV.
Americans tend to look at government control a bit more sideways than the
rest of the world.
Everything, with only a very few exceptions, are run more smoothly,
efficiently, cheaper, faster and better without bloated government
beaurocracies (?) becoming involved.
The safety record in the U.S. in boilers, pressure vessels, pressure piping
and critical structural is pretty decent, the existing system has worked
well for many, many years.
Shortcomings, when they appear, are addressed pretty quickly.
Welders in structural work generally test once for a particular process,
position, material/material thickness, and maintain that qualification until
they show a problem via either visual inspection or NDT. There are
exceptions of course, some companies require even certified structural
welders take THEIR test.
In piping and boiler work the welders will generally test for every
particular job. There are exceptions here as well, the Boilermakers Union
has their Common Arc program to reduce testing some, and the Pipefitters
Union has a number of U.A. certs that are accepted sometimes. Sometimes the
U.A. papers are a requirement to test for the job.
I know, I know, "We don't need no steeenking papers".
We are in agreement regarding just about all government involvement, but
this system does seem to work pretty well (and at minimal cost) and is well
coordinated with the trades schools and does provide consistency of quality
control across wide areas of
I agree that the safety record in both countries is pretty good and we all
strive to make it even better. The codes we use are actual or similar codes
to those used in the US. In general the areas of poor safety and
performance quality seem to be in those industries not practicing good
qualification and quality control. I suspect we both have our share of
gypos who spend a lot of effort to stay under the radar.
IMHE, Pre-job testing is more common on sites that do not use x-ray for
quality control. Jobs with on-site NDT tend to just have a good look at the
first production welds and these are usually easy to test or repair prefab
In the U.S. the welder will usually be tested at hiring, regardless of the
level of inspection on production welds.
In the pipeline field every welder will test on every job (with the
exception of a welder having current papers with that particular gas
company, papers are good for 6 months), field welds will typically be 100%
X-ray, plus 100% visual and the pressure test of course.
It's just the nature of the business.
In plant work varies.
Yup. Welding test day at the yard was a near carnival for offshore pipeline
jobs. Lots of scratch and sniff with guys you haven't seen for a while.
Boys who aced the test last time blow it this time. Some of the regulars
just ho hummed and passed. Some newcomers got a break. Then time to go out
and do the deed. Most of the guys made it from start to finish, old hands
who knew what to expect in the lifestyle and who had been there before. A
few washed out with too many repairs and cutouts. Some just got homesick
and wanted to go home and see mama.
An old inspector and I got on pretty good terms, so I got to listen in and
get the scoop. On all the jobs I was on, certs were never accepted, maybe
looked at, but they had to have a coupon tested. The old inspector wasn't
interested in anything but coupons, prepared properly. And x rays. On
rigs, where welders were hired by and worked only for the oil companies,
their cert policies were probably different, but for us, laying and jetting
pipe, the men worked for the supply company, not the oil company.
That was the early seventies in the Gulf of Mexico oilfield pipeline work.
On jobs where we were doing structural platform repair, or drilling setup,
the standards were a little less, and they had their favorite welders and
fitters. Those guys were hand picked for who could cut, fit, AND weld and
not just stand at a station all day and do a root or a hot pass or a cover.
Guys who were good at math and cutting pipe so it would branch and saddle.
A lot of it was cut and fit, and not so much NDT or x ray, different from
pipeline. Hooking up low pressure mud lines and tanks and welding down
tugger dogs and long runs of plate wasn't nearly as critical as a high
pressure natural gas line. Lots of guys who wouldn't miss an x ray couldn't
cut a straight line or make a branch, and lots of the guys who liked cut and
fit work didn't like standing in one place all day doing hot passes on a
mechanized pipe roller system.
Ah, the good old days.
That is a profound statement, and I don't think it would vary a lot. But,
only in a country or jurisdiction where the certification/testing process is
well governed. Or should I say scrutinized. As with all systems, there are
ways to get around things. But it WOULD be nice to have a "standard" where
the guy giving you his ID at least can be assumed to be trained and
experienced. After that, probationary employee kicks in, and the employer
will know within a few days if the guy can perform or not. Still, the
"standard" would shorten the lines. I like it.
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