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California C7 licenseHelpful Member!(13) 

crooter (TechnicalUser) (OP)
6 Aug 07 18:11
I have been installing phone systems and network cabling for years for Telcomm Companys I was employed with and decided I would do this myself and enjoy a little more of the rewards.

I found out what I needed to do from the State of California and invested $400.00 or so for a contractors study guide, practice tests, a California Contractors License Law and Reference book.

This C7 Study guide is 85 percent Electrical---with topics of Low Voltage exterior lighting, Meters and electrical measurment, Conduit and Electrical wiring codes, Transformers, ohms law and Electrical circuits. Nothing I want to invest my time in to learn----

I guess the questions I am now asking to all who cable:

1. Do other States have the same standards for professionals that want to do Voice/Data/Audio/Video cabling and require that you must know as much or more about Electricity as California?

2. Has this same issue stopped some of you from going into business or pursuing a license in California or other States?

3. Why isnt there a specific seperation between low voltage electrical---and voice data audio and video? For that matter then, anyone that has their MCSE and works indepently, should have a C7 as they deal with the same issues?

Is it just me being upset that in order to go into business for myself in a field that I truly enjoy and am good at, I have to learn a completely different occupation that I dont want anything to do with? I wonder if any of the Telephone/Communication companies I worked for had a C7 license?

I am anxious to hear any of your feedback on this

 

 
Helpful Member!  TouchToneTommy (Vendor)
6 Aug 07 20:22
Even though the C-7 license covers any low voltage system (anything under 91 volts), learning these systems will help you with troubleshooting telephone systems. It's ALL Ohm's Law! Once you understand that, you will be able to answer any of the low voltage questions on the test. BUT, you should spend a lot of time on the Contract Law portion, Mechanics Liens, etc., as a great portion of the test covers that.

Helpful Member!  SYQUEST (TechnicalUser)
7 Aug 07 2:03
Is Michigan's C7 the same as California's C7?

....JIM....
Helpful Member!  crooter (TechnicalUser) (OP)
7 Aug 07 3:01
I have troubleshot and installed and programmed phone systems and voicemail---and I did just fine without the electrical background--but troubleshooting phone problems is not the point............I am talking about cabling---putting in a new voice/data infrastructure for businesses---

Do you have a C7 License issued by your State Touch Tone Tommy? I am assuming you have at least once, installed a voice and data network---backboard, 66 block/patch panel, home runs to stations, and also presuming that you maintain discipline with following cabling installation standards............How much electrical knowledge---low voltage of course, did you need? (common sense prevails)

If you are a dealer of phone systems, do you have to have a C7 license?

To be honest---I think the C7 should apply to installers of lighting, or lawn watering systems----and a new license created for communications installers.
edfair (TechnicalUser)
7 Aug 07 6:01
Georgia has the requirement. It is enforced on the general contractors involved with new construction who get electrical contractors to do the AC and accept responsibility for low voltage stuff.

When I've been involved, it has been as a sub responsible to the electrical or assigned to work with them. Or I tell them where I want the drops and I take responsibility for termination.

I decided not to go for a license. Cabling isn't a passion with me, just a thing I sometimes have to do. And the lack of a license hasn't hindered work in older buildings.

I suspect you are frustrated with the license issue and the fact that the requirements haven't kept up with technology.

Ed Fair
Give the wrong symptoms, get the wrong solutions.

crooter (TechnicalUser) (OP)
7 Aug 07 9:42
Ed, I think that hits the nail on the head ---- frustration that it is still lumped with Electrical only because its cooper wire-----Still, I hope many more will respond to this thread and voice their opinions.
TechnCa (Programmer)
17 Aug 07 17:29
Guy's, I think it might be a good thing in some ways...  If they just handed them out the who know's what would happen. I've been working side jobs for years without one.  They have these schools you can take for $800  which have good pass rates.  I hear the tapes are a good way to beat it in your head too.  
Helpful Member!  franklin97355 (TechnicalUser)
18 Aug 07 10:43
As I see it they are lumped together because the state (not just California) does not have the resourses to make and administer tests for each niche of the profession. What groupings do you think would be fair? Voice/Data, Fire alarm, Environmental monitoring, Audio/Video, Control systems, Hospital call systems, HVAC, Sprinkler control, Landscape lighting. Would you want to pay for and take a test for each type of work you did?

The answer is "42"

crooter (TechnicalUser) (OP)
18 Aug 07 11:00
I think the field is robust enough with voice/data/audio/video---fiber/copper/microwave/wireless---Outside Plant Residential/Industrial/Commercial cabling, etc.........  that it should be its own -----
I think electricians do an excellent job and have many dangers--I dont want to be in their field and I dont want them in mine----its that simple---

how would I go about changing the requirements---it has to start somewhere  
franklin97355 (TechnicalUser)
18 Aug 07 11:10
I'm not sure I understand your last post. Are you saying voice/data/audio/video is a group and fiber/copper/microwave/wireless is another?

The answer is "42"

crooter (TechnicalUser) (OP)
18 Aug 07 16:27
No--I am saying there is enough areas to be considered its own field or license---that it souldnt be lumped with alarm, electrical or even "low Voltage" anymore
franklin97355 (TechnicalUser)
18 Aug 07 20:37
OK,sorry, I'm still not getting it. What would this "field" be called?

The answer is "42"

crooter (TechnicalUser) (OP)
19 Aug 07 1:27
How about Telecommunications?

Helpful Member!  bransolo (TechnicalUser)
23 Aug 07 16:16
what about running pipe for your cable, can you run E.M.T. with a C-7 license.  sorry this might not have anything to do with this thread.  but i still need the question anserwed. thanks
crooter (TechnicalUser) (OP)
23 Aug 07 21:35
I dont think you need a C7 to run EMT, panduit, conduit--and I dont know of any requirement that says you have to be an electrician to install conduit, its just part of there field, like hanging backboard is a part of ours(or should we get a carpenter)---of course if its a brand new building, I would defer all in-the-wall conduit to the electricians as they are installing it for electrical.
SYQUEST (TechnicalUser)
24 Aug 07 16:19
You may not need a C7 to install EMT, but Telecommunications these days is a little more than running wire on the baseboard to a jack. The NEC Article 800 deals specifically with Telecommunications, and there are other related section/articles that come into play in the process.

How many do YOU know or know about?

Do you know what NEC requires for an installation?

When I started out years ago in this business I kinda thought the same way, until I had an inspector on a new installation flag a bunch of violations. Since that time I have learned an awful lot of stuff and the proper way to do them in relation to other systems and areas that can be affected by what I do. I am still learning today, with changes going on in the industry.

There are safety issues that alot of people don't realize can happen if a system does not have a proper ground/bond. Then there is liability, I certainly don't want any of my installations or service work to be the cause of someone's injury or accident.

Granted the state may not always keep up with the times, but it is there for a reason.

In regards to the NEC code, I just wonder how many people that participate in this forum have ever read any part of it... (other than "professionals")

....JIM....
crooter (TechnicalUser) (OP)
24 Aug 07 18:05
Syquest

  I am not in any way, shape, or form, saying that running cable (voice/Data/Video/Audio) should be a free for all---on the contrary, I am saying that it should be specifically PROFESSIONALIZED towards Telecommunications with a testing process overseen by the State for an issued contractors license and that should be the standard.  All business processes apply of course, such as a local business license, liability insurance and bonding, etc.
  I am LOUDLY saying that a contractors license should be tailored to our field of expertise and not a small part of anothers occupation.



 
Helpful Member!(2)  wires (TechnicalUser)
27 Aug 07 12:24
>invested $400.00 or so for a contractors study guide

It sounds like you wasted $400.

If you spend money on something then don't take the time to use it it is difficult to call that in "investment".


>This C7 Study guide is 85 percent Electrical ... Nothing I want to invest my time in to learn

We live in a system of laws. Laws are designed to protect everyone. Unfortunately some of these laws only serve to protect those "in the room" from those trying to enter. While you may argue that the C7 license is such a law I would argue that someone running conductors jacketed in noxious chemicals all over a structure needs some regulation.

We all have to learn things that are not directly related to what we want to know. Many times learning these things broadens our horizons and allow you to be happier and more productive over time. Since you have already spent the $$$ why not go ahead and pursue the license? You might the process of getting licensed provides you with additional knowledge and income.
crooter (TechnicalUser) (OP)
27 Aug 07 21:56
Thanks wires---plain and simple---I dont want to be an electrician! Your right--I did waste my $400.00 thinking I would study and prepare for an examination that was written for Voice, Data, Video, and Audio componets and elements. NOT OHMS Law and electrical theory or different types of wire for connecting switches with pilot lights or relays or rectifiers or motor control units.

Thanks for the speech about laws--sounded like Jack Nicholson doing his speech about standing the wall

"Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives...You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.
We use words like honor, code, loyalty...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!"

It didnt work for him either!

TouchToneTommy (Vendor)
27 Aug 07 22:51
Well, then I guess you won't be getting licensed in the State of California. Too bad, as it severly limits you in what you can legaly do, and the protections you have in entering into contracts. Although those other low voltage areas don't directly enter into Voice-Data-Video-Audio, it won't hurt you to gain a broad knowledge of them, just to pass the test. The manner of installing them DOES cross over into the manner of installer V-D-V-A cabling and systems.

If the preperation firm you used is anything like the one I used 15 years ago, most of the questions will be lifted directly from the exam. As I said before, the portion on Contracting Law was a lot harder than the trade portion!
crooter (TechnicalUser) (OP)
28 Aug 07 16:12
Thanks TTT and everyone that commented on this issue.

I have three choices as I see it:
1. Study, invest more money to get prepared for the exam, and bite the bullet and learn a portion of a new profession.
2. Give up--and quit complaining
3. Find an independant electrician that is licensed and form a partnership.

For a moment there, I actually thought I could raise enough awareness or create enough interest to generate a wave of change. Guess I just overshot the basket.

notme11 (TechnicalUser)
28 Aug 07 18:13
Getting your C7 is only the first step and its very simple.
I don't know if this is the same in all states but the $400 bones you spent to take the test is a drop in the bucket, compare to all the forms that you have to file with the state and fees associated with them. getting bussiness lisences in cities,etc..etc...it could run you several $K before actually goin out to get the Jobs.
Once you're on your own is a pain in the ass if you want to do it all yourself....
 
Helpful Member!  Karlg (TechnicalUser)
23 Sep 07 20:38
Crooter,

I just found this thread and thouht I would put my two cents in.

I left CA three years ago after operating a communications business there for 14 years.  I had a C10 license for electrical, although I did very little electrical.  I got the C10 because, in bidding on contracts, I found that the awarding bodies would require a C10 in order to keep low voltage contractors out of the jobs.  Since a C10 can do anything other than signs, it worked out great for me.  The other benefit is that if you get a job that needs electrical work in order to complete the work, you don't need to find an electrician and give up part of your money.

However, there is a downside to the license issue.  As of 2003, the state signed legislations to agree that no one could be certified as an electrician unless they got there certification from a program run by the unions.  The union stated that they were the only people with the intelegence to do installations correctly, including wireless and fiber. The state could not even issue C10 licenses without this certification.  California was the 29th state to sign this agreement.  On that note, I pulled up stakes and moved back to VA.

Aside from that, there is a dollar limit to the size of job that you can do without a license.  I believe it was $7,500.  Above that, you lose any ability to collect payment for jobs that you do.  Spend the time to learn all you can for the test.  Invest in a couple of books on electrical wiring so that you can spot shoddy workmanship on your job sites and save yourself from getting killed.  If nothing else, you will be prepared to do battle with the occasional inspector who wants everything done according to electrical standards.  Also, purchase a copy of the CA license law handbook.  I this will save you lots of time and money when you start doing subcontract work.

Good luck.

  
Helpful Member!  dagwoodsystems (Programmer)
23 Sep 07 23:56
I hope I don't sound like a complete jerk here, and I apologize in advance for my enthusiasm.  I really mean well.

First, I don't understand how the one posting the question receives the star, while those who truly offer good advice (like TouchToneTommy and SYSQUEST) are overlooked.

I don't pretend that California laws are the best.  And yeah, that test is a bit of a PITA.  Half is the technical stuff you already know, but the other half is all about crazy labor law!  The latter part is marginally easier if you remember that these laws are designed to take care of the customer.  And taking care of the customer is what you want to do anyway, right?

If you've never ever been screwed by a contractor, then you're standing in a very short line.  There is a prevailing customer attitude that "if I turn around, you're gonna be gone and my wiring won't be done".  Why?  Because too many low-rent phone guys pull that crap.  I won't be a part of that clan, and I'll bet you don't want to be either.

But maybe you're not one of those guys.  Fantastic.  Even so, what do you think will happen if you are awarded a job (over $500) and your sore-loser competitor calls the state about it?  Regardless of how nice your are, if you don't have a license...it will be good times.

Go get that license, my friend.  Yeah, it's about jumping through hoops and all that garbage.  But not only will a California Contractor's license give YOU cred with the customer, you will discover that there are lots of protections for you as well.

Tim Alberstein
www.dagwoodsystems.com

Helpful Member!  jvillar (TechnicalUser)
25 Nov 07 14:13
I've been studying the C7 Low Voltage Exam Guide...my question is do I need to know about articles pertaining to construction or can I skip this topic.

I pretty much know about Ohm's and Watt's law and concentrating on the Business Law of the course.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

thanks
wires (TechnicalUser)
26 Nov 07 9:51

You might want to contact Crooter, he seems to have some study materials he doesn't need.
Helpful Member!  Deweyhumbolt (TechnicalUser)
26 Nov 07 11:59
I got my C7 in 1992. It was a brand new license. So none of the contractors schools had any info. I had to take it cold. I'd graduated from college and worked for Pac Bell for 11 years. Plus, I thought I was a good test taker. Wrong, the test was as you all have stated about allot more than telecommunications, it was about low-voltage. I tried twice w/o help and no luck. My Mom for Christmas bought me a contractors school study guide, (basically the answers) and I passed.

Like college there is a bunch of bullpucky your never gonna need, but that's what it takes to move forward. No one said it was going to be easy.

My problem is I just moved to AZ. Does anyone know what's required here. Do Ca. and Az recognize each others licenses?
Karlg (TechnicalUser)
26 Nov 07 15:41
Deweyhumbolt,

I just found this link.  It does not look like there is reciprocity for C7.  There is for C10.

Like you, I got my C10 license in 92.  I bought a study guide for the C10 and had to correct a few things in it.  Luckily, the questions were pretty basic and my degree in electronics covered the rest.

Hope this helps.

http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Applicants/reciprocity/reciprocal-classifications-list.asp
Deweyhumbolt (TechnicalUser)
27 Nov 07 17:06
Thank you Karlg!
franklin97355 (TechnicalUser)
27 Nov 07 23:06
Helpful Member!  callogic (IS/IT--Management)
1 Jan 08 15:44
I am new here and I just found this thread.  I am a professional programmer, network & IT manager, etc.  Right now I work independenty as a consultant.  For 2008 I am looking at getting a CA C7 license.  I can and will go through the exam hurdle but CA also has some flavor of 'experience' requirement?  My almost 30 years of IT experience including quite a bit of cabling may or may not count... anyone have any input on that aspect of the C7 license process?
Deweyhumbolt (TechnicalUser)
2 Jan 08 12:26
I believe it is 4 years as a journeyman.
Helpful Member!  hsitech (Vendor)
22 Jan 08 23:04
I install wireless internet in hotels. Right now I get all my work from a company that licensed, I have my own business license, my own truck, my own tools and I am 1099ed. I grew up (from age 6 to 16) with a father who owned a construction company and his main trade was electrical work we built brand new homes and I was the one who wired all the home runs in the attics cause i was small and i loved doing it.

My grandfather (his dad) was a city inspector for electrical and wired the hover dame and my grandpas brother fixed BART (local train system in the bay area) when they first built it, it didnt work and he took his team in and rewired the entire system and got it working.  So Im a third generation I already know some Ohms law and what not because in high school (1996) i took electronics and use to build stuff with bread boards and I modify routers as a hobbie (take linksys wrt54gs's and install media card readers, crank up the power and install fans to help keep them running cooler)

Anyways dealing with POE routers and AP's I think it be a good idea for me to get my C-7 as im always having people wanting me to install new phone lines in their houses (I was also a comcast contractor and i also worked as a direct tv and dish network contractor without needing a C-7 as i worked under my providers license) anyways I now have a company truck and just got a ladder rack installed wanting to put graphics all over it and its shell and i got a cargo trailer because the amount of gear i hall around

Can anyone recommend a good study guide? I was thinking of buying this http://www.state-code-books.com/products/510-1039-04.shtml
Karlg (TechnicalUser)
23 Jan 08 8:59
Callogic.  As I remember from my C10 studies, the experience requirment is for the actual construction and installation aspect of the business.  It concerns conduit size and fill ratio, attaching components to the building, faceplate height, etc.  At that time, there was credit given for formal education in a related field of study and any verifiable experince in a related industry.  Check with the board to see if your background will apply.  You may also need to get someone familiar with your background to vouch for your abilities.

Hsitech.  There are several good sources for study guides.  I would suggest you go to BICSI.org to start.  That is a professional organization for communications.  They have a training program that takes you from nothing to certification in several areas of the profession.  While I don't know of anything specific for the C7, they will have info on installation practices which will help.  Actually, you can purchase installation manuals from them that will go into great detail on the current practices, all of which are in accordance with NEC and other regulatory agencies.

Hope this helps.
hsitech (Vendor)
24 Jan 08 3:03
I don't see what installation practices will help me, i mean I've worked for Ironwood Communications one of the largest direct tv installers, I know how to install. I also worked for comcast as a contractor. Installation is not my weakness i think its contract laws and what not. Just trying to find a general study guide with like practice test or something
hsitech (Vendor)
27 Jan 08 5:06
How much more work is it to pass the C-10 over the C-7. Im thinking I could get more work with the C-10 when the low voltage work i do is slow and I grew up wiring houses
Karlg (TechnicalUser)
27 Jan 08 10:16
Hsitech,

I understand that you have installation experience in coax so I assume that you have some experience installing twisted pair.  If not you may still want to check out the sources I mentioned.  From my experience, there is a big difference in the requirements for installing the two types of cable.

As for the business part of the test, there are contractor guides to the business law for sale at most book stores.  You can also purchase one directly from the CSLB.  It would be a good idea to get one that highlights the major points needed for the test.

I went for the C10 because I saw that some awarding bodies and a few general contractors were using the requirement for the C10 as away to keep smaller contractors away from contracts.  By having the C10, I could get through the smokescreens.

hsitech (Vendor)
27 Jan 08 15:33
I've handled more then a dozen times

RG500
RG11
RG6
CAT3
CAT5
CAT6
CAT7
18/2
14/2
18/7

Romex-
10/2
12/2
14/2
6/3
12/3
14/3
8/2

I've done air conditioners that have had 4 different thermostats and dampeners in the ducks.

I wired 1 house that was a 6 bedroom 10 bath and a 4 car garage, about 3000 sq ft and the woman lived their basicly alone and her husband worked in another state and she was parnoid, she wanted to be able to turn every light on in the house from her bedroom including tv's and stereos and im talking like 20 years ago.

The house had a section of a wall built with a 2x12 so we could fit all the wiring into the 1 wall into all the switchs we made each room its own double/triple or quad box

I've been wiring houses for 22 years now, never had a license to do it, but i also never bidded on jobs and never had any lawsuit or anything ever happen all my stuff has never failed and had to have the inspector come back. I may of been turned down and as he was looking elsewhere had the problem fixed before he left. I've never done housing tracks or anything other then residential where it was high voltage/low voltage i only did custom homes that my father or one of his friends was building.

Now I don't deal with any of that stuff anymore all i do is PoE and CAT5/6 and maybe a little coax time to time. I work in hotels, malls and resturaunts/ laundry places and schools . The company I work under has the license, we never bid on jobs against others. When doing schools we give it to them 100% free for PR when we meet a new hotel owner (just about every hotel owner has more then 1 hotel and has friends we never done anything for before) We put a 'bid' together and tell them what this cost but to give us a shot we will do it for cost of material and half of the labor type deal and then any other places you want us to do your paying full price.  We do their hotel and 2 months later we are doing 15 more hotels because of that 1 hotel because we use such good gear and we do the job correctly.

I will go in and pull out 12 linksys wrt54GC's (theirs only 11 channels to use so your already stepping on your own toes if you put in 12 routers turned AP's) then I pulled out a number 13 that was the router. then I looked to see who used what channels nearby, 6 are in use so that means i only have 5 more channels and no way do i want to use channel 1-3. So i install 3 AP's and guess what, i dont have a single dead spot where before they had about 15 rooms with no access, the stair cases had no access (whos gonna be online in the stair way) and even both elevators have internet now... wait a minute i go across the street i can get online here too from the hotel, now we got them paying the hotel a monthly fee for internet access so now they got a smaller bill to pay each month and the coffee shop also can get online and we installed a hot spot controller so anyone who wants to surf can pay a small fee and the guest at the hotel get a code and get it for free. Now this hotels internet is paid for and in fact their making money off it now. The company i work for makes money off it as well because we give tech support 24/7 and have our own call center, and I too as the installer or as the salesman that got the hotel and i did the install get money for both and in 4-5 years ill go back and upgrade all the gear and take the old and list on ebay (I also listed the router and all 11 AP's on ebay too and made nearly a thousand bucks) The jobs great, but sometimes work is slow and I own my truck that i install with, id just like to be able to put my contractors license number on it, and advertise that i do telephone, home networking and what not because the company i work for doesnt deal with that stuff and im not planning on competing against them because i dont want to do tech support or have a call center or deal with credit card transactions in the hundreds of transactions per day that they have, i just want to do installation and my own book keeping because i do this work as my own business and im 1099'ed so i pay my own income taxes at the end of the year.

I have not worked since before christmas, yet i still get weekly pay checks from all the hot spots ive installed. I could be out wiring a phone line or putting in a new tv system people see my truck all the time and call my phone number and i turn down the work because i do not know them and i do not have a license and im not going to risk being sued because i do not need the money that bad because im not hungry, plus i run 40 websites and do graphic design work and own a plotter that does signs and im into photography and got over $10K in digital photography gear so when I am working on a hotel in down town san francisco i go get on top of the roof and shoot panoramic images of the city,  not to many photographers are able to get ontop of these 20-30-40 story buildings and i got free range with no one following me


So i contacted Allied Schools seems they got this package for $388 that gives me everything i need to study for the exam including all the questions and answers. I think ill call them and ask how much more work is the C-10 vs the C-7 it seems that either one is the same price and $388 is really cheap sounds to good to be true to me, i mean thats like 2 hours pay

zymurgisto (IS/IT--Management)
7 Mar 08 14:32
I have a journeyman license in Oregon and must sit for the C7 license exam in Califonia.  

No big deal except that there is very sparse infomation indicating what is covered on the test.

I would like to chat with anyone who has recently taken the test and anyone who has purchased test preparation materials who may wish to sell or trade or share those materials.

Thanks,

Ross.
CEPro (TechnicalUser)
8 May 08 23:05
Does the C-7 license apply for a custom audio/video installation company?  Do we really need that much electrical under our belt.  If so, please advise best resources.

Thanks.
randall5 (Vendor)
14 May 08 11:14
CRooter-

I know that most of this thread is about California, but I can share some info on the other side of the country for you.  I work as a telecom guy in Rhode Island.  Here, we have a separate group of licenses, with their own test, and an inspector who travels around and can check anyone for the proper license, journeyman to appprentice ratio, etc.  To properly perform work, a company MUST have a TSC, which is a contractors license.  The technicians must have a TST, a telecom systems technician, essentially a journeyman.  Bleow that is the TSLI, which is a limited installer who can work alone or under a TST but not with an apprentice.  Finally, there is the APPRENTICE who must be with a TST at all times, in a ratio no greater than 2 to 1.  All of that works fine, as it has been in place for 8-10 years.  Problem is, the electricians are grandfathered in by virtue of their license, and most of them have NO IDEA what to do with low voltage.  Often times, they want nothing to do with it, as the prevailing wage projects are less money for telecomm than for electric.  

Also, Connecticut has separate license designations for low voltage systems, though not specifically telecom.  You have to have a certain number of hours worked and classroom instruction before you can take the test (C-5 is the contractor and C-6 is the tech) though my work in RI can be used to waive that requirement and I am sitting for that test in a few weeks.

Hope that helps.

Randy
sdbriggs (Vendor)
16 May 08 12:32
In the State of New Mexico we have a license system that gives different classifications based on what you do. The ES-3 license covers low voltag systems including alarm, CCTV, access control and interestingly enough, data and fiber.

The ES-7 is telephone and telephone interconnect systems, but not data per se. Although there is a lot of Cat 5 and 6 being pulled and inspected by ES-7 licensees. No inpsector in the city of Albuquerque has ever asked why I'm pulling "data" with a ES-7 license.

I have my ES-3 and ES-7 both now because I was doing a lot of IP cameras.

The EE-98 license here is the general electrical license. They are allowed to work on low voltage systems, regardless of type, but holders of the ES-3 and ES-7 cannot (legally) install conduits for our systems, but we can sub an electrican.

Is all very arcane and a huge PIA if you want to be a ethical contractor and follow the rules.

And to top it all off, we have a lot of Native American governments here and to do work for them, or the base or National Labs, you don't need a New Mexico license, so we have a bunch of "outlaw" contractors that are still doing work off from these sites and not jumping throught the same hoops the rest of us are. Add in all the "my cousin installs cable" guys we've got running around out there and it makes for a very tight market for the licensed contractors.
RikRodgers (Vendor)
18 May 08 16:32
I know I'm about 8 months late replying to this, but the question was asked.  In Michigan, you don't need a license to work in telecom- copper or fiber.  That has it's pros and cons.

Pros- Costs are kept down for the customers.  Although the CWA (of which I am a dues paying member) claims otherwise, requiring a license doesn't seem to make a difference in the end wage technicians earn.  Only what companies charge to do the work.  It only adds another hoop we need to jump through, and more fees to pay.

Cons- There are a lot of hacks in this state that call themselves technicians, and most electricians don't understand the first thing about Telecom- Ohm's Law, or not.

If a state is going to regulate technicians, the testing needs to be designed by someone who understands the industry, and not lumped together with the IBEW.  A lead tech should have a basic understanding of basic electronics theory. (yes, ohm's law, AC and DC circuits and components, fire code, etc...)  Find me an electrician who knows what a MOSFET is.
w6ire (Vendor)
20 May 08 8:14
I have a C-10 California license and can tell you the test was laughably simple.  Being licensed is not proof of anything, other than proof that you paid the state fee.

I would say that 99% of the people doing low voltage installs in California are unlicensed.  For all practical purposes the CSLB (Contractors State License Board) does not police this industry.  There are 310,000 licensed contractors in California and 1.2 million unlicensed.

If I were contemplating starting a cabling business in California in today's environment, I would put zero effort into getting a license.

I'm a cabling contractor and NONE of my competitors are licensed.  This puts me at a disadvantage because I have to pay fees and am subject to disciplinary action whereas unlicensed installers are not.

Licensing is a joke when there is no enforcement.
    
Deweyhumbolt (TechnicalUser)
20 May 08 11:54
Having the C7 has one nice advantage. If the customer decides to be lax in paying, a notice from Small Claims with a Marshall delivering it, has way more impact if your licensed.

I have never not been paid in the 16 years I've had my C7. Twice I've had to start a Small Claims action, and both times they paid before Court.

Adversity is Opportunity

Karlg (TechnicalUser)
20 May 08 18:01
Deweyhumbolt makes a good point.  In CA, if you don't have a license, a customer can wait for you to finish a job and then refuse to pay.  If you then try to file any kind of action to collect, the courts will tell you "too bad, you get nothing".  Depending on the amount, you can also be fined and/or arrested for unlicensed contracting.
CEPro (TechnicalUser)
21 May 08 1:08
Thanks Deweyhumbolt.  Yeah, sounds like a good move to have the C-7.  Half way through Cedia Installer I book.  C-7 to follow.  Can you recommend reading materials to study for the C-7.   

Thanks

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