How to Become a General Contractor in Florida
There are 5 steps to obtaining a General Contractor's license in Florida. Each step will be clearly explained.
- Understand the licensing requirements.
- Get the complete General Contractor bookset.
- Study for the exam.
- Sign up for the test.
- Submit the application to the board.
Step 1: Understand the licensing process
Before you start buying books and signing up for classes, make sure you meet the State's criteria for getting a license. Download the application and make sure you meet the experience, background and financial requirements. Since you must pass the exams prior to submitting the application, your application can still be denied if you do not meet some of the board's criteria for approval.
Step 2: Get the complete general contractor bookset
Since this is an open book test, you will use all your books during the examination. As of the publication of this article, there are a total of 19 books used for the GC exam. You can find the list of books by going to our General Contractor's page. If you wish to look at the list of books plus information on the publishers of each book, you may find it on the official list of GC reference books.
Step 3: Study for the exam
As perhaps the hardest contractor test in Florida, the GC test requires a significant amount of studying. You will have pass threes tests: Business and Finance (6 hrs and 30 min for 120 Q's), Contract Administration (4 hrs and 45 min for 60 Q's), and Project Management (4 hrs and 45 min for 60 Q's). There are General Contractor classes that you can take in-person and online to fully prepare for testing. The exam is only offered six times per year, which means that if you fail it, you must wait two months before retaking it.
Step 4: Sign up for the test
To view the schedule of upcoming exams please visit Florida Exam Schedule. Once you consider all the testing dates and choose the appropriate date for your test, you should sign up at your earliest convenience to secure your preferred location. Make sure to allow yourself enough time to be well prepared (consider the amount of time it will take you to study based on your study schedule, habits, and background knowledge). To sign up for the exam, please visit Florida Exam Sign Up.
Step 5: Submit your application to the board
The term "board" is short for the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board in Tallahassee or CILB. The CILB is part of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). The CILB is the entity which will receive and review your application. The form you downloaded in step one is the same form you must now submit before the board for approval.