How to Get a Plumbing License in Florida
Plumbers, like most tradespeople, are in high demand across the country, and Florida is no different. This makes plumbing a fantastic choice of career.
Becoming a licensed plumber takes time and dedication. Most plumbers will need to complete a recognized apprenticeship program, carry out a set amount of work experience and pass a trade exam before they can take on work themselves. They’ll also need to apply for a plumbing license.
If you’re thinking about entering the plumbing trade, or if you’ve already started an apprenticeship and are planning ahead, take a look at our guide on how to become a contractor and get your career off to a great start.
Is a Plumber License Required in Florida?
To legally perform plumbing work in the state of Florida, you have to be a licensed plumbing contractor or an apprentice plumber working under a licensed contractor.
Licenses are issued by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations.
Can I Do Plumbing Without a License in Florida?
You’ll need a plumber license to take on virtually any professional plumbing work in Florida. Working as a plumber without a license is illegal and could see you face fines or more serious consequences.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Plumbing Contractor License?
Finding out the exact cost of your plumbing contractor license is essential as it will help you to balance your budget and prepare for professional life. The cost of a license fee is based on whether you’re using the certification or registration process when filing for your license.
- The registered plumbing contractor license fee is $309 if you’re applying between May 1st of an odd year and August 31st of an even year. If you’re applying between September 1st of an even year and April 30th of an odd year, you’ll pay $209.
- The certified plumbing contractor license fee is $249 if you’re applying between May 1st of an odd year and August 31st of an even year. The fee is $149 if you’re applying between September 1st of an odd year and April 30th of an even year.
Both license types need to be renewed every two years on August 31st. Certified licenses expire in even-numbered years and registered licenses expire in odd years. In both cases, the renewal fee is $209.
You’ll also need to factor in the cost of your examinations. The registration fee for the state-wide plumbing exam administered by Professional Testing Inc. is $135. The Business and Finance test is $80. The Trade Knowledge test is also $80.
What’s more, you’ll need to pay for your surety bond. The amount you pay for your bond will depend on your credit score and on the exact bond coverage you require.
Florida Plumbing License Education & Requirements
Before you apply for your license, you’ll need to make sure you meet all of the plumbing licensing requirements set by the state of Florida. These requirements include:
You need to be 18 years of age before you can submit your plumbing license application.
Have a GED
A high school diploma or GED are the minimum education requirements for most plumbing apprenticeship programs.
To train as a plumber, you can either do a hands-on, on the job apprenticeship working under the supervision of a licensed contractor, or classroom training at a technical college or trade school. Alternatively, you can do a combination of the two and get the best of both worlds.
Years of Experience
In order to become a fully qualified and licensed plumber, you’ll need to get some experience. To become a journeyman plumber, you need to have four years experience under your belt.
To become a licensed master plumber, you’ll need to have worked in the plumbing industry for at least seven years. This must include two years work as a journeyman.
Pass Your Exams
You’ll need to pass a professional licensing exam as well as a business and finance knowledge exam.
In the trade knowledge exam, you’ll need to show you can read and interpret plans and plumbing systems, read and interpret the plumbing code and do basic math. You’ll also need to demonstrate isometric drawing and interpretation, maintenance techniques for plumbing installations, and a knowledge of OSHA regulations.
Getting a surety bond is a required part of the licensure process. You’ll need to prove that you have a plumbing bond before you can receive your license. The bond amount you require will depend on the exact license you’re applying for.
Acquire general liability insurance of $100,000 with $25,000 property damage coverage. You’ll also need to obtain workers’ compensation coverage.
7 Steps to Get a Florida Plumbing Contractor License
Step 1. Complete Your Training
Completing a recognized training program is the first and most important step in securing your plumbing contractor license. You can train in a technical college or complete an apprenticeship under someone with a master plumber license. You’ll need to do a set amount of work experience to show you’re capable of tackling a range of plumbing tasks.
Step 2. Pass Your Exams
You’ll need to pass a licensing exam and a business and finance exam before you can apply for your license. Passing these exams will show that you’re ready to take on plumbing work and even run a plumbing business of your own.
Step 3. Pass a Criminal Background Check
State level requirements mean that you have to pass a criminal background check before your license can be issued. You’ll need to undergo fingerprinting as part of this check.
Step 4. Show You Have Solid Finances
The licensing body wants to know that you have the financial knowledge and business expertise required to make a success of your venture. If you don’t have a FICO credit score of 660 or above, you may need to take an approved financial responsibility course before you can get licensed.
Step 5. Get Bonded
You’ll also need to get a contractor license bond to protect future customers from any financial losses that may occur as the result of illegal or fraudulent business practices.
You’ll need a $20,000 bond if you’re applying for a Division I license or a $10,000 bond if you’re applying for a Division II license. Find out how to get a surety bond by getting in touch with a member of our expert team today.
Step 6. Take Out Liability Insurance
All plumbers are required to take out liability insurance. You’ll need to prove that you have adequate coverage before your license can be issued.
Step 7. Apply for Your License.
Once you’ve completed your training and got your paperwork in order, it’s time to fill in your application forms, pay your application fee and apply for your license.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Florida Plumbing License?
You’ll need to train for a minimum of four years before you can get a plumbing license in Florida.
How Often Do You Need to Renew Your Florida Plumber Licensing?
You’ll need to renew your license every two years. Certified contractors must perform 14 hours of continuing education during each license period.
Can I Transfer My Plumbing License to Florida?
Thanks to recent changes to the law, Florida now allows contractors from other states who have been licensed for at least 10 years to apply for a Florida license without taking an exam.
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