How to Get A Contractor License in Florida

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Learn how to become a Division 1 or Division 2 contractor in Florida

In the State of Florida, becoming a Division 1 or Division 2 licensed contractor entails meeting the experience requirement as well as passing a licensing exam specific to the type of license you are attempting to achieve.

What is a Division 1 vs Division 2 Contractor?

A Division 1 contractor is primarily anyone holding a General Contractor, Building Contractor, or Residential contractor license.  These licenses are ones where you can manage an entire project such as the construction of a home or building where you will likely be hiring subcontractors for things such as plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, etc.

Division 1 contractors must master project management, contract administration, as well as business and finance.

A Division 2 contractor is licensed in specific trades such as plumbing, electrical, A/C, as well as roofing, swimming pools, and glass and glazing (windows and doors).  Division 2 contractors are often subcontractors of Division 1 contractors, however there is nothing preventing a Division 2 contractor from working independently in their specialized field.  For example, a roofing contractor is a Division 2 contractor and does not need to work as a subcontractor of a Division 1 to replace a roof by working directly with the customer and the permitting departments.

How to become a Division 1 contractor in the State of Florida:

Division 1 contractors must meet the necessary experience requirements based on the license they are attempting to hold, as well as pass exams related to Project Management, Contract Administration, and Business and Finance.

Experience Requirement by License Type: 

  • General Contractor – 4 years of experience under a licensed General Contractor
  • Building Contractor – 4 years of experience under a licensed Building Contractor or General Contractor
  • Residential Contractor – 4 years of experience under a licensed Residential, Building, or General Contractor

Note: If you have a 4 year college degree (in any major) from an accredited college, you can replace 3 years of actual experience with those credits.  This means that you only need 1 year of on the job construction experience.

How to become a Division 2 contractor in the State of Florida:

Division 2 contractors must meet the necessary experience requirements specific to the trade and/or under a person or company with a higher certification.  For example, if you are looking to become a licensed roofing contractor, you must work under a State Certified Roofing contractor or a State Certified Division 1 contractor.  A Division 2 contractor must also pass the licensing exams specific to their trade, as well as the business and finance portion.

Much like Division 1 contractor, Division 2 contractors can replace 3 years of their experience requirement with any degree earned from an accredited 4 year college.

Thinking about becoming a licensed contractor?

Gold Coast Schools offers the following contractor exam prep courses needed to fully prepare you for success on the licensing exams.  Since 1970, we have helped more students achieve and renew their professional licenses than any other school in Florida.  Click on the license you are interested in learning more about.

If you have any questions about getting your license and starting your career, contact our helpful Career Counselors at 1-800-732-9140.  We are happy to show you why at Gold Coast, “The Proof is in the Passing!