That sounds like a real sweet deal for the C-10 that's hiring you.
He's off the hook for: Workmen's Comp (maybe), Unemployment Insurance, etc.
Of course any benefits you receive will come out of your own money.
Oh yeah, don't forget to add the extra bucks for insurance, bond, etc. and paperwork time. (keep some out for Uncle Sam and Arnie, too). Remember, YOU will be signing a contract and it will be YOUR job, (might even have to pull permits) or you will be in violation.
The whole C-10 subbing for a C-10 (especially hourly on a 1099) scheme might slip through the enormous crevices in the program for a while, but it's certainly not in keeping with the intent
of the program. It likely wouldn't last forever.
(1) Get a C-10 and your own customers,
(2) Get Certified and work for someone...or
(3) Get ***BOTH***
, have some peace of mind, and do either or both if you want at your option.
Unless you're new to the State, you've waited through 4 years of available Certification test dates, and another 6 months after the deadline now. A little late for a Mike Holt book to resolve your situation.
(California has no Master's classification.)