Not every construction trade requires a license. Licensing and permit requirements often depend on the state you live in and vary from industry to industry. One of the most common certification types that you’ll come across is a plumbing license. If you’re a plumbing pro working in a state that requires one, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to obtain it before working on any projects.
In the state of Florida, plumbing pros are required to hold a license to legally perform work in the state. Navigating the ins and outs of licensure can be tricky, so we’ve compiled this nifty guide. Here’s what you need to know about what licenses and requirements plumbing pros need in Florida.
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Plumbing Licenses in Florida
If you’re a plumber in the state of Florida, you’ll need one of two things to do business in the state: a certified plumbing contractor’s license or a registered plumbing contractor’s license. The difference between the two? Certified plumbing contractors are able to work statewide; registered plumbers are only allowed to conduct business in the locale that they are registered in. Businesses and employers must possess the statewide certified plumbing contractor license.
Plumbing contractors doing business without the appropriate license risk having to pay a $10,000 fine and possible jail time up to 10 years.
To obtain your Florida plumbing contractor’s license, you must meet criteria such as being at least 18 years of age, passing the Florida State Construction Exam, meeting educational or experience requirements, and being of good moral character.
For those looking to obtain a license at the master plumber level, you must obtain both your certified plumbing contractor’s license and registered plumber’s license. The master plumber’s license requires you to have the appropriate training to qualify and at least seven years’ experience, two of which must be spent as a journeyman.
You’ll need to take an exam for either license. These exams are given in a facility and you should typically block out an entire day to take the exam. Be sure to study beforehand, as pros seeking their master plumber’s license will not only be tested on their knowledge of the trade, but on business and finance topics as well. To learn more about when the exams are held and what the costs will be, visit the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation website.
Benefits of a License
While you may see these steps as challenging, they are extremely important. A license not only allows you to do business legally, but it ensures that you have all the knowledge for the job. It also gives customers peace of mind that they are hiring the right person for the job, resulting in more business.
Even though the state of Florida requires it, you should also see a license as a way to better build your business. It allows customers to trust that they are hiring someone who has taken all the steps to do the best work possible. Be sure to display your license when possible so customers can see you’ve done what’s necessary.
Florida Plumber’s Insurance
In order to obtain your master plumber license in Florida, you must also show proof of insurance. Florida requires that plumbers have contractor’s liability and property damage insurance. If you are the owner of your Florida plumbing business with other employees, you must also have workers compensation insurance.
Even though we hope they don’t, accidents do happen. Because of this, insurance is extremely important. You may even find it beneficial to go beyond what the state requires. Look at different insurance packages to get the best coverage possible. This can help protect you personally, your business, and any employees you may have. On top of that, it’ll give people another reason to trust your work.
Florida Plumbing Trade Organizations
If you’re a plumber in Florida, it’s a good idea to network with others in your area. Of course, joining a trade organization is not a requirement, but it can help you further navigate what the state requires and provide helpful continuing education in your career. Often, trade organizations will even provide support for journeymen and apprentices who are looking to start their careers in the plumbing trade. Here are a few trade organizations you should consider in Florida:
Florida Association of Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors
If you’re looking to join a nationwide chapter of plumbing contractors, the Florida PHCC is for you. Not only will you get connected to local networking events, but you have access to national trends and data. Membership costs vary at different levels and you can easily apply online.
Florida Plumbing Contractors Association
Similarly, the Florida Plumbing Contractors Association located in Miami will help provide plumbers with additional education, networking events and local representation in government. They also provide continuing education units to meet county requirements for licensure. Costs vary by the number of employees you have. For plumbing contractors with less than five employees, the annual cost is $300. For plumbers with more than five, it is $500 annually. Applications can be downloaded on the Florida PCA website.
As you can see, getting your plumbers to license in Florida is a must. Along with insurance, you must have the right licenses to do business legally. Without that, you risk the consequences and losing customer trust as well.
Interested in what’s required in other states? Read What Licenses Do Plumbing Pros Need In Illinois.