In November 2014, the Risk Management Monitor reported a staggering lack of skilled talent in the construction industry. The industry needs an influx of dedicated, well-trained contractors, especially in states experiencing high rates of growth, such as Florida. If you’re ready to become a licensed Florida contractor, follow these essential steps.
Why Become Licensed?
Florida, as in most states, requires contractors to get licensed before they can bid on jobs or accept work as contractors. This maintains a high level of professionalism in the industry and protects professionals as well as customers.
When you receive your Florida contractor license, you can market your skills as a contractor rather than as a handyman, laborer, crew member, or similar title. This provides you with access to better jobs and higher-paying projects, which means better overall career outlook.
Obtain the Necessary Experience or Education
In Florida, construction professionals must educate themselves or develop on-the-job experience before they can apply for a license. If you have a bachelor’s degree and are over the age of 18, you can study and take the exam. Alternatively, you can demonstrate three years of college schooling and one year of professional experience or four years of on-the-job work with one year as a supervisor.
These requirements prepare you to take the exam and to start your career as a contractor. If you can’t meet the eligibility requirements, start your education or experience training now so you can become a contractor as quickly as possible.
Get Certified or Registered
Registered contractors have passed local competency exams in the city or town in which they expect to work. If you become a registered contractor, you can’t operate outside that specific locale; if you get tapped for a job in another city, you’ll have to pass it up.
Certified contractors, on the other hand, can practice throughout the state of Florida. Even if you get registered first, you’ll probably want to pursue certification to ensure maximum career opportunities in Florida.
Types of Contractors
A general contractor can practice in all areas without reservation. However, you might want to pursue licensing in a niche area of the industry, such as residential building, sheet metal, roofing, or air conditioning. The rules are the same in terms of eligibility for most specialty licenses, but you’ll take a different exam and prepare using different materials.
Prepare for and Take the Exams
It could take weeks or even months to prepare sufficiently for the Florida contractor license exam. Don’t skip this step because, if you don’t pass the first time, you’ll have to start the process over again.
Take advantage of all study resources available to you, including textbooks and online practice tests. Devote at least a couple hours each day to studying so you don’t burn out, but you maintain a consistent preparation schedule.
Once you feel confident that you know the material, schedule a date to take the exam. If you pass, you’ll receive your Florida contractor license and you can begin working in the industry.
Florida contractors require education and experience to start their careers. They must also participate in 14 hours of continuing education to get their licenses renewed. If you’re preparing for an exam or continuing your education, start your course now.