Construction Licensing in Florida For General Contractors and Electricians
Any person wishing to be a general or electrical contractor in Florida must obtain a license from the appropriate licensing board, under the jurisdiction of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). The laws that govern the licensing of these professions can be found in Chapter 489 of the Florida Statutes. These laws exist in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Florida. The DBPR’s Division of Regulation is responsible for enforcement of all professions and related businesses licensed by the DBPR to ensure that the laws, rules and standards set by the legislature are followed.
If you have an issue with the Board and need to defend an existing contractor or construction license, click here.
Contractor Licensing – Construction
The Construction Industry Licensing Board is responsible for licensing and regulating the construction industry. There are two categories of construction contractor licenses in Florida. A “certified” contractor is any contractor who possesses a certificate of competency issued by the DBPR, and is thus allowed to contract anywhere in the state. A “registered” contractor is licensed to work only in a local county or municipality that issues a certificate of competency in the jurisdiction for which the registration is issued.
In order to be a Florida certified contractor, an individual must pass the contractor’s test, provide proof of financial stability, and present evidence of competence and experience in the category for which the license is requested. In addition, he or she must provide a minimum amount of liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage.
Types of Contractor Licenses
There are several types of contractor licenses issued by the Board:
One whose services are unlimited as to the type or work which he or she may do.
One whose services are limited to the construction of commercial buildings and single-dwelling or multiple-dwelling residential buildings that do not exceed three stories in height. A building contractor may also construct the “accessory use structures” in connection with these buildings, such as a garage, guest house, garden shed, or other outbuilding. A building contractor is also a contractor whose services are limited to remodeling, repair, or improvement of any size building – if the services do not affect the structural elements of the building.
One whose services are limited to construction, remodeling, repair, or improvement of one-family, two-family, or three-family residences which are not more than two stories in height and the “accessory use structures” in connection with these buildings.
Sheet Metal Contractor
One whose services are unlimited in the sheet metal trade and who has the experience and skill necessary for the manufacture, fabrication, assembling, handling, erection, installation, dismantling, conditioning, adjustment, insulation, alteration, repair, servicing, or design of ferrous or nonferrous metal work.
One whose services are unlimited in the roofing trade. Roofing contractors have the experience, knowledge, and skill to install, maintain, repair, alter, extend, or design and use materials and items used in the installation, maintenance, extension, and alteration of all kinds of roofing, waterproofing, and coating.
Roof Deck Contractor
A contractor qualified and certified to erect, construct, fabricate and install roof decks of Portland cement or gypsum concrete, using lightweight aggregate, on joists or other supporting members erected by others.
There are three classes of air-conditioning contractor. In general, an air-conditioning contractor has the experience, knowledge, and skill to install, maintain, repair, fabricate, alter, extend, or design central air-conditioning, refrigeration, heating, and ventilating systems. The specific type of work allowed depends on the class of the license.
A mechanical contractor is one whose services are unlimited in the above air-conditioning categories.
Swimming Pool / Spa Contractor
There are three classes of swimming pool/spa contractor licenses: commercial, residential and servicing.
A plumbing contractor is one who can install, maintain, repair, alter, extend, or design sanitary drainage or storm drainage facilities; venting systems; public or private water supply systems; septic tanks; drainage and supply wells; swimming pool piping; irrigation systems; or solar heating water systems.
Underground Utility and Excavation Contractor
An underground utility and excavation contractor is one whose services are limited to the construction, installation, and repair of: main sanitary sewer collection systems; main water distribution systems; or storm sewer collection systems.
A solar contractor is one whose services consist of the installation, alteration, repair, maintenance, relocation, or replacement of solar panels for potable solar water heating systems, swimming pool solar heating systems, and photovoltaic systems.
Pollutant Storage Systems Contractor
A pollutant storage systems contractor is one whose services are limited to the installation, maintenance, repair, alteration, extension, or design and use of materials and items used in the installation, maintenance, extension, and alteration of, pollutant storage tanks.
Florida State law requires electrical contracting to be done by licensed electrical contractors.
In order to do electrical work statewide in Florida, a contractor must be certified by the Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board. (Registered licensees can only work in the counties or municipalities where they hold a local license.) To qualify for the exam the Board requires for a certificate, an applicant needs to fulfill one of the following requirements:
- At least three years of management experience in the trade within the last six years (half can be an approved education).
- At least four years of experience as a foreman, supervisor, or contractor in the trade within the past eight years.
- At least six years of comprehensive training, technical education, or broad experience with electrical or alarm system installation or service within the past twelve years.
- Three years as a licensed engineer.
Electrical Contractor Licenses
The Board offers the following types of electrical contractor licenses:
Unlimited Electrical Contractor
An unlimited electrical contractor is one who has the experience, knowledge, and skill to install, repair, alter, add to, or design, in compliance with law, electrical wiring, fixtures, appliances, apparatus, raceways, conduit, or any part thereof, which generates, transmits, transforms, or utilizes electrical energy in any form.
Alarm System Contractor
An alarm system contractor is one who has the ability, experience, science, knowledge, and skill to lay out, fabricate, install, maintain, alter, repair, monitor, inspect, replace, or service alarm systems
A specialty contractor may be licensed in any of the following sub categories:
- Residential Electrical Specialty
- Utility Line Specialty
- Lighting Maintenance Specialty
- Sign Specialty
- Fire Alarm – Qualified to install, repair, alter, add to or change any system, electrically energized, in whole or in part, for the detection, prevention or control of fire, noxious gases, liquids or atomic radiation.
- Limited or Low Voltage Energy Specialty – Qualified to install, fabricate, erect, repair, alter, add to or change any electrical wiring, fixtures, appliances, thermostats, apparatus, raceways and conduit, or any part thereof, not to exceed 77 volts.