Many Florida residents absolutely love the state’s climate and location. But lots of sun, high temperatures and proximity to the ocean can be hard on plumbing systems.1
That creates plenty of work for plumbers in Florida. In fact, Florida ranks fourth nationwide for the highest employment level of professionals working in this field.2
If you’re interested in becoming a Florida plumbing contractor, you must obtain a license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.3 That requires passing an exam, demonstrating your previous work experience and education and obtaining the right insurance. Learn more about how to get a plumbing license in Florida, including:
- Do you need a license to be a plumber?
- How to get a plumber license in Florida
- Plumber license requirements
- How long does it take to get your plumber license?
- Florida plumber license renewal requirements
- Florida plumber license reciprocity
- What kind of insurance does a plumber need?
- What is the certificate of insurance requirement?
Do you need a license to be a plumber?
You must have a certified Florida plumbing contractor license from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to work as a plumbing contractor in this state.
In Florida, a plumbing contractor is defined as a person “whose contracting business consists of the execution of contracts requiring the experience, financial means, knowledge and skill to install, maintain, repair, alter, extend or, when not prohibited by law, design plumbing.”4
This license permits plumbing contractors to work on various plumbing and piping projects, such as public or private water supply systems, septic tanks, drainage and supply wells, swimming pool piping, irrigation systems and solar heating water systems.
How to get a plumber license in Florida
Before you submit your Florida plumber license application to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, you must pass a two-part exam.
Step 1: Take the licensing exam
Sign up for a Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) examination at Professional Testing, Inc. You must pass both parts of the plumbing exam to prove your competency in these areas:
- Trade knowledge: You must take the plumbing trade knowledge section in paper and pencil format. This part of the test is administered exclusively in Orlando.
- Business and finance: You may take the computer-based business and finance exam at one of the many testing locations throughout the state.
Step 2: Submit your application
After passing the licensing exam, apply online or print an application and submit it to the CILB by mail. You must include a payment for the non-refundable application fee with your completed application. Since license renewal is required every two years, fees vary based on when you apply for licensure.
Plumber license requirements
In addition to achieving a passing score on the qualifying exam for a plumber license, Florida residents must meet the following requirements:
- Meet the educational/experience requirements
- Demonstrate financial responsibility
- Be of good moral character
Plumbing license applicants must meet one of the following educational/experience requirements:
- Four-year construction-related degree and one year of plumbing work experience
- One year of experience as a foreperson and at least three years of college-level course credits
- One year of experience as a worker, one year of experience as a foreperson and two years of college-level course credits
- Two years of experience as a worker, one year of experience as a foreperson and one year of college-level course credits
- Four years of experience as a worker or foreperson with at least one year as a foreman
You must provide details about your employment history on the application, including your employer’s license number and contact information.
You must demonstrate financial responsibility by submitting a personal credit report with a FICO credit score of 660 or higher and no unsatisfied judgments or liens.
You must complete an approved 14-hour financial responsibility course if you cannot meet these requirements.
You must disclose your criminal history, pending bankruptcies or previous instances in which a professional license was denied, suspended or revoked. Florida plumbing license applicants must also submit electronic fingerprints to the CILB as part of a complete background check.
How long does it take to get your plumber license in Florida?
Typically, the CILB issues licenses within two weeks after approval. Applicants receive a mailed notice about two weeks before the meeting in which the application is scheduled for review.
Florida plumber license renewal requirements
Certified plumber licenses expire on August 31 in each even-numbered year. You must pay a $205 renewal fee and complete 14 hours of continuing education to complete the renewal process.
Continuing education requirements
Your required 14 continuing education hours for license renewal must include one hour on each of the following topics:
- Specialized or advanced module
- Workplace safety
- Business practices
- Workers’ compensation
- Laws and rules
The remaining hours may include any board-approved construction-related instruction.
Florida plumber license reciprocity
The CILB does not maintain reciprocity agreements with any other state for plumber licenses. Plumbers who hold an out-of-state license may be able to apply for endorsement if they meet one of the following requirements:
- Have taken an examination of substantial equivalency to the Florida plumber licensing exam, meet the experience requirements for Florida certification and meet all other requirements for licensure
- Hold a valid contracting license issued by another state (if that state’s license issuance criteria is substantially equivalent to Florida's current certification criteria)
What kind of insurance does a plumber need?
One of the last steps for becoming a plumber in Florida is getting the right business insurance. The following types of insurance are available for licensed plumbers.
Workers’ Compensation insurance
If you or an employee gets hurt on the job, workers’ compensation insurance can help provide coverage for lost wages and medical expenses. Learn more about workers’ comp in Florida.
General Liability insurance
General liability insurance can help provide coverage if certain types of work-related accidents occur, like property damage or an injury to a client.
Tools and Equipment insurance
Tools and equipment insurance can help cover the costs of repairing or replacing work gear that is damaged or stolen.
Commercial Auto insurance
If you drive for work, commercial auto insurance can help provide coverage for costs related to a vehicle accident, like property damage and medical expenses.
Commercial Property insurance
Commercial property insurance can help provide coverage for property damage or vandalism if you own or rent space for your business.
What is the certificate of insurance requirement in Florida for plumbers?
All certified plumbing contractors in Florida must have the following types of insurance:
- Public liability insurance in the amount of $100,000
- Property damage insurance in the amount of $25,000
- Workers’ compensation insurance (or an exemption obtained within 30 days of license issuance)
Each certificate of insurance should list the State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Construction Industry Licensing Board as the certificate holder.
How NEXT Insurance supports Florida plumbers
NEXT makes it easy to find affordable plumber insurance options. We’ve put together thousands of custom insurance packages for contractors like you, and we can help you meet the state licensing requirements for Florida.
To apply for coverage, simply use our convenient online services. It only takes about 10 minutes to compare coverage options, learn more about costs, purchase insurance and get a certificate of insurance.
Do plumbers need a license in other U.S. states? Learn what states require plumber licenses in our guide to plumber license requirements.