Thursday, February 21, 2019

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General Contractor License in Florida

The GC license is the most prestigious, most sought-after license in Florida. This single license allows you to work on most trades in your construction projects, and for the trades it does not cover, it allows you sub-out the work legally and for profit to a licensed sub-contractor.

What can a General Contractor Do?

A general contractor's license in Florida ALLOWS you to:

  • Build, repair, and remodel any type of building, regardless of size or number of stories.
  • Construct or alter the structural components of a building or structure.
  • Remodel any type of commercial or residential property.
  • Perform clearing, grubbing, grading, excavation, and any siteowrk for any construction project.
  • Install and perform warranty repairs of wood shingles, wood shakes, or shingle roofing on new buildings of your own construction.
  • Perform structural swimming pool work.
  • Construct main sanitary sewer collection systems, storm collection systems, and water distribution systems.

A general contractor's license does NOT allow you to perform the following work using your own employees, you must sub-contract the work to subs licensed in those trades:

  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Air Conditioning
  • Roofing (except for shingles on your own buildings)
  • Non-structural swimming pool work
  • Continuation of utility lines from the mains to the buildings
 

 

What are the Requirements to Become a General Contractor in Florida?

Here is what you need to get your GC license in Florida:

Florida General Contractor Employees Constructing a Multi-Story Building
Florida General Contractor working on the structural components of a high-rise building
  • Age: Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Examination: Must take and pass the state certification examinations (Contract Administration, Project Management, and Business). Please note that the application process cannot be started until the exams are taken and passing scores are obtained.
  • Experience / Education: A person will qualify for a Certified General Contractor’s license by meeting one of the following requirements.
    • Four-year construction-related degree from an accredited college (equivalent to three years’ experience) and one year proven experience applicable to the category for which you are applying.
    • One year experience as a foreman and not less than three years of credits from accredited college-level courses.
    • One year experience as a worker, one-year experience as a foreman, and two years of credits from accredited college-level courses.
    • Two years’ experience as a worker, one year experience as a foreman, and one year of credits from accredited college-level courses.
    • Four years’ experience as a worker or foreman of which at least one year must have been as a foreman.
    • Be a certified residential or building contractor holding an active current license for a minimum of 4 years.
    • Military Veterans: A veteran will qualify for a certified license by meeting one of the following:
      • Three years of military service and one year experience as a foreman applicable to the category for which you are applying.
      • Two years of military service, one year experience as a foreman, and one year experience as a worker or foreman applicable to the category for which you are applying.
      • One year of military service, one year experience as a foreman, and two years experience as a worker or foreman applicable to the category for which you are applying.
    • Applicants for the Certified General Contractor License must have experience in four or more of the experience areas listed below AND must provide at least one year of experience in the construction of structures at least four stories in height:
      • Foundation/Slabs greater than 20,000 sqft.
      • Masonry walls
      • Steel erection
      • Precast concrete structures
      • Column erection
      • Formwork for structural reinforced concrete
      • Elevated slabs
  • Financial / Credit: Applicants will need to provide proof of financial stability and responsibility by submitting personal credit reports. Credit reports must include a FICO derived credit score and indicate that local, state and federal records have been searched. Credit report containing a credit score (FICO derived) on applicant from a nationally recognized credit reporting agency, which includes a public records statement that records have been checked at local, state, and federal levels. If credit score is below 660 (FICO derived) applicant must submit a bond or irrevocable letter of credit. Note that Fifty percent (50%) of the bond or letter of credit requirement may be met by completion of a 14-hour financial responsibility course.
  • Fingerprints: An applicant must have a background check as part of the licensing process.
  • Insurance: Applicants are required to attest that they have obtained public liability and property damage insurance in the amounts determined by Board rule. Applicants are also required to obtain workers compensation insurance or obtain an exemption from worker’s compensation insurance within 30 days of issuance of their license.

To download the different application forms related to the General Contractor’s License, you may visit the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board’s site.

Florida General Contractor Exams

Below are the three exams you must pass in order to become a GC in FL. The first two make up the trade portion of your testing requirements. The third exam (Business and Finance) is the business part.

General Contract Administration Exam

  • Testing Method: Computer-Based Testing
  • Testing Provider: Pearson VUE
  • Number of Questions: 60

General Project Management Exam

  • Testing Method: Computer-Based Testing
  • Testing Provider: Pearson VUE
  • Number of Questions: 60

Business and Finance Exam

  • Testing Method: Computer-Based Testing
  • Testing Provider: Pearson VUE
  • Number of Questions: 120

Florida General Contractor Classes

  • Florida General (Contract Administration) Contractor Course

    This course prepares you for the first part of the General Contractor's Trade exam, Contract Administration. This test could be described as the "softer" of the two. It does require the same books as the Project Management part, but all its questions lean more towards the administrative end of the spectrum, but without going into the realm of business and finance. On this part of the exam the AIA documents along with the Florida Contractor's Manual are heavily tested. Questions from technical books like Walker's and Principles and Practices of Commercial construction tend to be more about the non-technical aspects of trade like coordination with subs, the overall construction process, record-keeping (logs), estimating techniques, safety, pre-construction, contracts, licensing, and construction procedures. Our practice questions will expose you to the areas of your books which contain these subjects.
    $299.50
    $299.50
  • Florida General (Project Management) Contractor Course

    This course prepares you for the second part of the General Contractor's Trade exam, Project Management. This is the one students find the most difficult. This part of the exam requires you to read blue prints and solve math problems in order to obtain quantity take-offs. Our lecture videos will instruct you step-by-step on how to solve those problems, and if you are still having trouble, you can always come to one of our in-person cram classes. The nature of the look-up questions (the ones you must find within your books) are much more technical than in the Contract Administration part, but our practice questions are designed to help you familiarize yourself with those precise areas of the books. The subjects you can expect to be heavily targeted on this test are site layout, soil conditions, surveying, concrete, masonry, earth-work, wood/steel framing, and energy efficency.
    $299.50
    $299.50
  • Florida Business and Finance (Construction) Course

    This is the course which prepares you for the Business and Finance exam. The Business and Finance exam is mandatory for all contractors regardless of specific trade. This course teaches you how to find answers within the books (AIAs, Builder’s Guide to Accounting, Florida Contractor’s Manual, and Ch 455), and how to solve accounting problems. Detailed lecture videos teach how to solve problems step-by-step, and if you need some extra help, you can go to in-person review classes at no extra charge.
    $299.00
    $299.00

All General Contractor Classes are offered fully online (unlimited access to practice questions and lecture videos), and although not mandatory, in-person review classes are offered in Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Myers all year round. View Class Schedule

Florida General Contractor Books

Florida General Book Set without Tabs
Includes books for trade and business - ALL books listed below

Sales price: $1,327.97

Florida General Book Set with Tabs
Includes books for trade and business - ALL books listed below

Sales price: $1,427.97

List of Books for the General Contractor Trade Exams

The trade exams for General Contracting are Contract Administration and Project Management. The exact same list of books is used for both of them.

  • Florida Building Code - Building

    Florida Building Code - Building

    Florida Building Code 2017 edition is the primary source for building code compliance in Florida.
    $131.04
    $131.04
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  • Florida Building Code - Accessibility

    Florida Building Code - Accessibility

    The Florida Accessibility Code (Florida Building Code - Accessibility 2017) outlines the code requirements for compliance with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) as it relates to the construction of public buildings and structures. Samples of its content includes specifications on the construction of handicapped-accessible restrooms, as well as requirements of the construction of wheel chair ramps.
    $69.82
    $69.82
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  • Florida Building Code - Residential

    Florida Building Code - Residential

    The 2017 Residential Code is the primary resource for code compliance for single and multi-family dwelling construction in Florida.
    $133.56
    $133.56
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  • Florida Building Code - Existing Building

    Florida Building Code - Existing Building

    The Florida Existing Building Code (2017 edition) is the primary code reference for the remodeling and restoration of existing buildings in FL.
    $79.42
    $79.42
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  • Florida Building Code - Energy Conservation

    Florida Building Code - Energy Conservation

    The 2017 edition of the Florida Energy Conservation Code is the current and primary source of code compliance for mechanical contractors and builders. This book used to be Chapter 13 of the Florida Building Code in prior code editions (before it was published separately).
    $39.00
    $39.00
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  • Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures

    Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures

    Many advances have been made in concrete technology over the decades ranging from new materials and testing methods, to improved concrete properties and construction practices. Concrete construction today follows a mantra of quicker, stronger, more durable, more resilient, and more sustainable. That story is proudly displayed within the pages of this centennial edition of Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures.
    $67.51
    $67.51
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  • Placing Reinforcing Bars

    Placing Reinforcing Bars

    Placing Reinforcing Bars covers all aspects of concrete reinforcement.
    $71.94
    $71.94
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  • Principles and Practices of Commercial Construction

    Principles and Practices of Commercial Construction

    Principles and Practices of Commercial Construction covers all aspects of the building process with a focus on civil structures and high-rise buildings.
    $155.70
    $155.70
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  • A201 General Conditions of the Contract for Construction

    A201 General Conditions of the Contract for Construction

    The A201 is published by the AIA and establishes the general conditions of the contract for construction.
    $67.10
    $67.10
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  • A401 Standard Form of Agreement between Contractor Subcontractor

    A401 Standard Form of Agreement between Contractor Subcontractor

    Please beware of companies selling photocopies of AIA documents. You will not be allowed to use photocopies during testing. If you suspect a company of engaging in this illegal practice, please email [removed]
    $67.10
    $67.10
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  • A701, Instructions for Bidders

    A701, Instructions for Bidders

    Please beware of companies selling photocopies of AIA documents. You will not be allowed to use photocopies during testing. If you suspect a company of engaging in this illegal practice, please email [removed]
    $46.18
    $46.18
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  • Builder's Guide to Accounting

    Builder's Guide to Accounting

    Builder's Guide to Accounting, is used for the Business and Finance contractor exam in Florida.
    $23.42
    $23.42
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  • Walker's Building Estimator's Reference Book

    Walker's Building Estimator's Reference Book

    The Building Estimator's Reference Book is an important reference used for estimating and as a reference for contractor exams.
    $96.00
    $96.00
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  • CFR (OSHA) Tile 29 Part 1926

    CFR (OSHA) Tile 29 Part 1926

    OSHA (CFR 29 Part 1926) is the leading safety reference in the construction industry covering all aspects of construction.
    $36.04
    $36.04
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  • Florida Contractor's Manual 2017 Edition

    Florida Contractor's Manual 2017 Edition

    The Florida Contractor's Manual is used as one of the references for the Business and Finance exam.
    $124.80
    $124.80
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  • Specifications for the Application and Finishing of Gypsum Panel Products, GA-216

    Specifications for the Application and Finishing of Gypsum Panel Products, GA-216

    This illustrated book gives recommendations for the proper installation and finishing of gypsum board.
    $42.22
    $42.22
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  • Energy Efficient Building Construction in Florida

    Energy Efficient Building Construction in Florida

    Publication by the University of Florida which covers all aspects of energy efficient construction in Florida.
    $48.09
    $48.09
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  • Building Component Safety Information Handling, Installing and Bracing Metal Plate Connected Wood Trusses, HIB-91

    Building Component Safety Information Handling, Installing and Bracing Metal Plate Connected Wood Trusses, HIB-91

    This book covers all aspects of the handling and installation of metal plate connected wood trusses. It is a great reference for carpenters and builders.
    $16.84
    $16.84
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List of Books for the Business and Finance Exam

Please note that A201, A401, A701, Builder's Guide to Accounting and Florida Contractors Manual are required for both the business and the trade exams.

  • Florida Contractor's Manual 2017 Edition

    Florida Contractor's Manual 2017 Edition

    The Florida Contractor's Manual is used as one of the references for the Business and Finance exam.
    $124.80
    $124.80
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  • Florida Statutes Chapter 455

    Florida Statutes Chapter 455

    Chapter 455 of the Florida Statutes (Business and Professional Regulation: General Provisions) contains regulation directly impacting the licensing process of contractors in the State of Florida.
    $12.19
    $12.19
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  • A201 General Conditions of the Contract for Construction

    A201 General Conditions of the Contract for Construction

    The A201 is published by the AIA and establishes the general conditions of the contract for construction.
    $67.10
    $67.10
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  • A401 Standard Form of Agreement between Contractor Subcontractor

    A401 Standard Form of Agreement between Contractor Subcontractor

    Please beware of companies selling photocopies of AIA documents. You will not be allowed to use photocopies during testing. If you suspect a company of engaging in this illegal practice, please email [removed]
    $67.10
    $67.10
    Tabs:
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  • A701, Instructions for Bidders

    A701, Instructions for Bidders

    Please beware of companies selling photocopies of AIA documents. You will not be allowed to use photocopies during testing. If you suspect a company of engaging in this illegal practice, please email [removed]
    $46.18
    $46.18
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  • Builder's Guide to Accounting

    Builder's Guide to Accounting

    Builder's Guide to Accounting, is used for the Business and Finance contractor exam in Florida.
    $23.42
    $23.42
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