Plumbing is one of the highly skilled professions and a plumber must possess the skills required for the trade. A plumber may choose to work under a contractor or independently.
For this purpose, the local government of Florida has made it mandatory for every individual or a contractor to have a license if he/she wishes to enter the plumbing profession.
The individual licenses are registered locally whereas the contractors are registered by the state. Few mandatory pre-requisites for licensing include a 4-year experience as a plumber, insurance, and a bond, proof of financial stability etc. It may take up to 4 years to get a license and the validity of the license is 2 years.
The following are the simple steps to secure a plumbing license in Florida.
For an apprentice program, any kind of license is not required. Individual plumbers need license by the local authorities to work as either journeyman or a master plumber.
1. Must be 18 years of age or older
2. Must pass the licensing examination for the post of Journeyman Plumber.
3. Must pay the license fees which vary between $65-200 USD.
4. At least 4 years of experience as a plumber or must have completed the apprentice program. For experience, a letter in the form of W-2s is required to be acquired from a plumbing contractor.
Master plumber requirements
1. Must be of age 18 years or older.
2. Must have paid the license fees which may vary between $65-200 USD.
3. Must demonstrate his capabilities in the examination for master plumber license. One may also be required to pass a business principles test for a license in some counties.
4. Must have at least 7 years of experience as a plumber which should include 2 years work experience as a journeyman. Evidence for the relevant experience must be provided.
For contractor’s license
1. Eligibility criteria must be met for obtaining contractor license
• The applicant must be at least 18 years old
• The applicant must have 4 years of experience as a plumber which should include 1-year experience as a foreman. Proper proof must be provided regarding the experience.
• The applicant is required to pass a criminal background check too.
• Proof of financial stability must be provided in the form of bank statements or tax returns. Also, proof of bond must be submitted.
• Public liability insurance and property damage insurance is required to be submitted to obtain the license. The insurance requirements include a bodily injury policy of up to 100 thousand dollars and property damage policy of around 25 thousand dollars. Also, the firm must be capable of providing worker’s compensation insurance for all the employees they would be hiring.
2. An individual can register either as a certified plumbing contractor or a registered plumbing contractor.
The type of license decides the practicing ability of the professional.
• Registered plumbing contractor can practice only in a small locale. The local licensing agency needs to be contacted or clerk of the court office needs to be contacted for this type of license. Additionally, a local competency examination might be a prerequisite.
• Certified plumbing contractor can practice throughout the state in multiple locales. State license examination needs to be passed.
3. An applicant can apply as an individual or a business
If an individual meets all the requirements of insurance and financial stability, he can apply for the contractor license on his own otherwise, support can be taken from a partner or another business.
4. Fill the application form
The application form for the registered plumbing contractor license can be obtained from the link myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/apply/rf-new.html .
5. Fill the above application form completely and submit the required documents and proofs.
6. A check of an amount between $209-354 should be paid as a fee to the Dept. of Business & Professional Regulation.
7. The application can be sent via post to “Dept. of Business & Professional Regulation, 1940 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783.” along with documents and application fee.
8. Register for the examination on the following link myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/servop/testing/documents/exam_applic_pack.pdf. Here information about the exam dates and other procedures is available.
9. Appear for the exam of business and finance and trade for the certified plumber contractor license. 4.5 hours are given for the exam over the course of 2 days. Cost for appearing for the exam is $135 USD.
10. Applicant must pass the exam within 4 years of the original application. In these 4 years, one can give unlimited attempts. Even provision is there to make change requests to the application during this tenure. A fee of $20 will be charged for each change request.
Verify a Plumbing License in Florida
You and the general public have access to verify the standing of a plumber’s license by going to the State of Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation website and searching for a license by either name, license number, city or county, or even license type. The website will notify you if the license is “Current”, “Expired”, “Inactive”, or “Void”. To access the site click here.