Like most U.S. states, Florida offers a booming construction industry that is also suffering from a severe talent shortage. Now is a great time to get a contractor’s license in Florida and start your new career on the construction site. If you aren’t sure where to begin, follow this handy guide.
Gain Experience in Construction
To get a contractor’s license in Florida, you need four years of documented work experience in the trade. You can accomplish this through a traditional employment contract with a business or through an apprenticeship. Either way, make sure you have evidence of your work history so you can qualify for a license.
Not only does construction industry experience allow you to qualify for a contractor’s license, but it also provides you with a valuable background. You’ll learn how the industry operates and what to expect in the field. This will serve you well in your future career, whether you work for a company or start a business. You can substitute three years of experience with a four-year degree in a construction-related concentration.
Take Two Exams
Florida requires prospective contractors to pass two exams. The first covers trade craft and tests your knowledge of Florida building codes, safety requirements, and other information you’ll need in the field. The second covers business and finance. You must prove you know how to run your business ethically and professionally so you can succeed in your future career.
You’ll also have to furnish the Florida licensing board with a current credit report. You might also need to provide a financial statement that proves you have sufficient net worth to cover your obligations as a Florida contractor.
Obtain a Liability Insurance Policy
Contractors work with heavy equipment and valuable assets. To protect yourself as well as your clients, you’ll need a liability insurance policy. Florida requires contractors to carry a minimum of $300,000 in general liability for bodily injury and another $50,000 in coverage for property damage.
You’ll also need to have a bond and pay the license application fee. Once you take care of all the paperwork and provide the state with the documentation they need, you can get your license.
Take Your Continuing Education Courses
In Florida, contractors must take 14 hours of continuing education courses every two years. These courses help refresh your trade and business knowledge as well as familiarize yourself with any changes in industry standards. You can take the courses online, which makes them far more convenient, and at your own pace.
The Florida continuing education courses cover Florida Contractor Essentials and Advanced Building Code. At the end of each course, you’ll take a test. As soon as you pass it, you’ll receive a certificate that proves you satisfied the state’s requirements.
When you get a contractor’s license in Florida, you can practice anywhere in the state. If you need to fulfill your continuing education requirements, browse courses by state.