How to Become a Plumber in Florida

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There are two different options for plumbers in Florida.

They can either choose to work as general contractors throughout the whole state, or to work as individual plumbers in only their local jurisdiction.

If you want to own a business and become an employer, you must possess a state license.

In Florida, the individual plumber is licensed by the city or county while the contractual plumber is licensed by the state.

Florida plumber licensing is conducted through the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board that is facilitated through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (FDBPR).

A plumber starts with an apprenticeship, progresses to becoming a journeyman plumber, and finishes as a master plumber.

Florida Plumbing License Reciprocity

Unfortunately, Florida has no reciprocity agreements.

Actually, if you move state-to-state, in the majority of cases you must retake the licensing exam for that particular state.

All specific licenses must appear on the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) reciprocal classifications list.

Florida Contractor Plumbing License Requirements

Contractor licenses are approved at the state level and there are two categorizations for licensing:

  • Registered license: allows contractors to work throughout Florida;
  • Certified license: limits contractual work to local jurisdictions.

You can become either a General Contractor, meaning that you will be allowed to do construction, repair, remodeling, or improvement of any building, Building Contractor who can be in charge of construction, repair, remodeling, or improvement of buildings that are three stories or under; and Residential Contractor who can work on construction, repair, remodeling, or improvement of buildings that are two stories or under.

All the requirements and qualifications for a license are determined by the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board and they are the following:

  • 18 years of age;
  • Proof that current assets exceed the current liabilities;
  • Obtaining at least a 660 FICO credit score;
  • Submitting electronic fingerprints;
  • Proof of insurance;
  • Passing the Florida State Construction Exam;
  • Completing the application;
  • Paying the application and/or licensing fees.

The reason why the state requires a license is to prove that a plumbing contractor is skilled enough to perform the actions that he/she will be allowed to.

He/she may install, maintain, repair, alter, extend, or design the following:

  • 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
  • Solar heating water systems
  • Boilers and pressure process piping
  • Installation of water, natural gas, and storm and sanitary sewer lines
  • Water and sewer plants and substations
  • Design and installation, maintenance, repair, alteration, or extension of air-piping, vacuum line piping, oxygen line piping
  • Nitrous oxide piping, and all related medical gas systems
  • Fireline standpipes and fire sprinklers to the extent authorized by law
  • Ink and chemical lines
  • Fuel oil and gasoline piping
  • Tank and pump installation
  • Pneumatic control piping systems

Florida Construction License Exam

All applicants must pass the Florida Construction License Exam that is administered by Professional Testing Inc.

There are Law, Business and Project Management Exam and three areas of this examination:

  • Business & Finance
  • Project Management
  • Contract Administration

Florida Plumbing Journeyman License Requirements

Prior to becoming a master plumber, you will need to achieve a journeyman plumbing license.

You will need to have at least four years of experience and take several steps towards becoming a journeyman.

Those include apprenticeship training and around 150 in-class hours per year.

Getting a journeyman plumber license will provide you with higher pay and more independence, but typically a journeyman is still under the supervision of a master plumber.

License renewal and initial submission requirements are dependent on the county.

Florida Plumbing Contractor License Application

The application process for the Registered and Certified Contractor License consists of the passing of the Florida Contractor License Examination and completing either Individual or Business Application for Contractor License with Test Scores Included.

You will need to include Credit Score, Proof of Experience, Proof of Insurance and Completed Background Check with Application and you will be expected to prove active worker’s compensation within 30 days of Florida contractor license being issued.

Completed applications can be sent to:

State of Florida

Department of Business and Professional Regulation

1940 North Monroe Street

Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783

Plumbing Journeyman Exam

The state (or sometimes local) government has set the rules for this exam which can be administered via computer or paper-based.

The test consists of around 100 questions and it takes two to five hours.

The exam price varies because there is no statewide license in Florida.

So as to prepare for this test, there are study guides, practice tests, and flashcards available.

Florida Plumbing Apprenticeship Requirements

The very first step towards becoming an individual plumber is a plumbing apprenticeship.

It requires that applicants are 18 years of age and have a high school degree (or GED).

Plumbing apprenticeships rarely require a license and an apprentice in Florida has two options; working independently, or joining a program through an independent agency or trade school.

Plumbing apprenticeships in Florida takes five years during which you work under the supervision of a journeyman or master plumber.

Plumbing apprentices balance on-the-job training and classroom training.

The classroom training typically is a total of 1,800 hours over a span of 5 years, while on-the-job training consists of 10,000 hours.

There are quite a few apprentice programs available in Florida but there are other resources for finding plumbing apprentice jobs including:

  • Online job boards such as Indeed, Glassdoor, Ziprecruiter, etc;
  • Cold-call plumbing businesses;
  • Trade colleges that have connections to apprenticeship sponsors;
  • Recommendations from plumbers.

Plumbing Trade Schools in Florida

Being that there are many different types of plumbing trade schools throughout Florida, you can choose either public, private, and for-profit plumbing trade schools.

  • Fort Myers Technical College
    Institution: Public
    Tuition: Approximately $5,000/year
    Contact Info: (239) 334-4544
    Address: 3800 Michigan Avenue Fort Myers, FL 33916
  • South Florida Institute of Technology
    Institution: Private
    Tuition: Approximately $11,000 total
    Contact Info: (305) 649-2050
    Address: 720 NW 27 Ave. 2nd Floor Miami, FL 33125
  • Suncoast Technical College
    Institution: Private
    Tuition: Approximately $6,000/year
    Contact Info: (941)-924-1365
    Address: 4748 Beneva Road Sarasota, FL 34233
  • Florida Electrical Apprenticeship & Training
    Institution: For-profit
    Tuition: Approximately $225/semester
    Contact Info: (407)-438-3328
    Address: 2900 W. Oak Ridge Rd., Bldg. 1600 Orlando, FL 32859

Salary

The average Plumber salary in Florida is $54,513.

Annual Salary Range:

$47K
$54K
$62K

Average Salary of Plumbers in Florida

City NameSalary
Jacksonville$54,157
Miami$55,861
Tampa$54,673
St. Petersburg$54,627
Hialeah$55,431
Orlando$54,587
Fort Lauderdale$55,723
Tallahassee$52,045
Hollywood$55,723
Pembroke Pines$55,362
* Salary information last updated 2020

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