Where would I start if I wanted to become a general contractor?
How to Become a General Contractor in Florida
As a general contractor, you are responsible for supplying the material, labor, and equipment for a construction project. To become a general contractor in Florida, you must pass a state issued contractor exam and have at least 4 years of work experience. Though the contractor exam costs money to take, it can help you find positions as a contractor through construction companies. As a licensed general contractor, you can work legally in Florida and maintain a stable living in contracting.
Getting the Necessary Qualifications
Be over 18 years old and pass a background check.You must have a clean record and be of age to apply to be a general contractor in Florida. You will need to provide your fingerprints for the background check.
Have at least 4 years of experience in contracting in the U.S.You will need to provide the names, dates, and locations of your employers in the United States to prove your work experience. You must have at least 1 year of supervisory experience as a contractor to qualify for licensing.
- You will also need to have a licensed architect, engineer, or building official attest to your work experience.
Maintain a net income of at least ,500-,000 USD.The amount required for your net income will depend on the level of classification you are applying for. You will need to provide bank statements and a credit score report from the last 12 months to prove your net income.
- This qualification will illustrate to the Florida Contractor Board that you are in good financial standing.
Get general liability insurance that covers bodily injury and property damage.The liability insurance should cover at least 0,000 USD for bodily injury and ,000 USD for property damage. This will ensure you are protected as a contractor in the event of an injury or incident.
- You will need to have documents from your insurance provider to prove you are covered.
Applying to be a Contractor
Decide if you are going to apply for a certified or registered license.A certified license is slightly more expensive to get but it allows you to work as a contractor anywhere in Florida. A registered license is cheaper to get and allows you to work in specific local jurisdictions in Florida only.
- Most people get the certified general contractor license as it gives them more freedom to work anywhere in the state.
Study for the contractor’s exam.The exam consists of 3 parts and you will have 9 hours total to complete the exam. You must score at least 70% to pass the exam. You are allowed to bring several reference books into the exam with you that cover Florida building codes and other regulations. Buy these books in advance and review them so you are familiar with the content before you take the exam.
- The 3 parts of the exam are: Project Management, Contract Administration, and Business and Finance. You should be able to answer the questions using your experience and knowledge as a contractor as well as the books you are allowed to bring into the exam.
- Enroll in an online study course for the exam if you are worried about not passing it.
Register for the exam online and pay the exam fee.The exam is administered in February, April, June, August, October, and December. Go online to register for the exam and choose the exam date that works best for you here: . You must take the exam to get a certified or registered general contractor license.
- The fee for the exam will be around 0-0 USD. You can pay for the exam by credit or debit card.
Take all 3 parts of the exam.You must take the first 2 parts of the exam in person at a test center in Tallahassee, Orlando, or Miami. You must pass the final part of the exam on the computer at Pearson VUE. The exam is open book so be sure to bring all the necessary reading materials with you.
Complete the application form for the license and pay the application fee.Once you have passed the general contractor exam, you can then send in an application form for the license. You must also pay a fee of 0-0 USD to apply for the license.
- You can find the application form for the license here: .
Send in your completed exam, your application, and supporting documents.Make sure you put supporting documents like your bank statement, credit score report, and proof of employment in with your completed exam and your written application. Send the packet and the application fee to The State of Florida, Department of Business and Professional Regulation, 1940 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783.
- Once your application has been processed and approved, you will get your proof of certification in the mail.
Finding Contracting Work
Have proof of your certification on hand.You should receive a certification card that shows you are a general contractor that has been approved to work in Florida. Show potential employers that you have your certification to boost your chances of landing a position. Note you have your certification on your resume and in your job applications so employers are aware of your status.
Apply for positions online or in person through construction companies.Look for openings for general contractors through construction companies in your area. Check for a call for contractors for major construction projects. Visit construction companies in person to look for a position or contact them via email.
- Have copies of your resume on hand to give to employers so they can review your credentials.
Renew your contractor license before the expiry date.As a general contractor, you are required to take 14 hours of continuing education courses to maintain your license. You can then apply to renew your license before it expires so you can stay certified in Florida.
Video: How To Be A Contractor - Fast Track To Being A Contractor
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