Florida Electrical License: How to Become an Electrician in Florida
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Being an electrician isn’t just a job, it’s a solid career path. Electrical contractors enjoy a wide range of employment opportunities and earn a respectable income. There’s also job security—customers will always need skilled trade professionals to install and service electrical systems in their homes and businesses.
The process of becoming an electrician takes time, but you get paid while you learn and gain experience!
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License Requirements for Electricians in Florida
Is a state license required to be an electrician in Florida? Yes.
However, Florida often uses the terms “certified” and “registered” when referring to electrical licensing requirements. Certified licenses allow you to work as an electrical contractor anywhere in the state, while registered licenses are limited to local jurisdictions.
Florida does not have one set of statewide electrician licensing requirements. Journeyman and master electrician certifications get issued by local municipalities through the Construction Trades Qualifying Board. Electrical contractor licenses are issued by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s (DBPR) Electrical Contractors Licensing Board (ECLB).
Steps to Get Electrician Certification in Florida
First, find an electrical apprenticeship. You must be at least 18 years old, with a high school diploma or GED, and reliable transportation. You must also pass an aptitude test, be physically fit, and complete an oral interview.
Obtain the necessary work experience and classroom hours needed to become a journeyman.
Apply for and take the journeyman certification exam.
Earn a master electrician certification.
Consider becoming an independent licensed electrical contractor.
OBTAIN THE NECESSARY WORK EXPERIENCE: To become a certified journeyman in the state of Florida, most cities/counties require 8,000 hours (about four years) of documented electrical experience, as well as 144 hours of classroom instruction each year. An exception would be Miami/Dade County, which requires three years of electrical trade experience, with 1.5 years of experience that can be substituted for an equivalent education.
To gain the experience needed to take the journeyman exam, you can enroll in a technical college, or join a union or non-union electrical apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship programs in the state of Florida receive authorization from the State Department of Education. Florida is home to seven union-based Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees, also known as JATCs:
Florida’s non-union based electrical apprenticeship programs include:
ABC-Florida Gulf Coast Chapter (Tampa)
ABC-Florida East Coast Chapter (Coconut Creek)
APPLY FOR AND TAKE THE JOURNEYMAN CERTIFICATION EXAM: Journeyman electrician certificates in the state of Florida get issued by local municipalities. Therefore, testing requirements and Florida statutes vary by location. You should contact your local government agency for specific testing details, fees, etc. In many counties, the certifications are issued by the local Construction Trades Qualifying Board.
Continuing education requirements and certification renewals also vary by municipality. For instance, in Miami-Dade County, you must renew your certificate of competency every two years and complete 16 hours (eight hours per year) of continuing education.
EARN A MASTER ELECTRICIAN CERTIFICATION: Master Florida electricians boast more work experience than journeymen, and are eligible to obtain residential work permits from various counties. In most cases, to take the master electrician certification exam you must possess your journeyman electrician certification for two years. Electrician certificates in the state of Florida also get issued by local municipalities. Therefore, testing requirements vary by location. You should contact your local government agency for specific testing details, fees, etc.
Continuing education requirements and certification renewals also vary by city/county. For instance, in the City of Jacksonville, the master electrician certification exam takes place four times per year and certifications must be renewed every two years.
CONSIDER BECOMING AN ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR: Being a Florida electrical contractor means you can operate your own business, and hire journeymen and other master electricians. Statewide, the Electrical Contractors Licensing Board (ECLB) issues all electrical contractor licenses.
Florida offers two types of electrical contractors: registered and certified. Registered contractors may only work in certain jurisdictions, while certified contractors may work throughout the state. Requirements to obtain a competency card to become a registered electrical contractor vary by city/county.
Certified contractors, however, must fill out an application, show four years of work experience, and pass a certified contractor licensing exam. Once you receive a certified contractor license, you must renew it every two years. You also must take 14 hours of continuing education classes.
PROOF OF INSURANCE: Certified electrical contractors are required to hold several types of insurance policies:
Provide proof of general liability and property damage insurance, within 30 days of receiving your license.
$300,000 per occurrence
$500,000 property damage insurance
$800,000 per combined single unit
Worker’s compensation insurance
Types of Electrical Licensure in Florida
Florida statutes dictate several types of electrician certifications and licenses. In fact, the state offers more than 10 different types of certifications and licenses. Journeyman and master electricians typically hold certifications, while certified and registered contractors hold licenses. Florida has several different types of contractor licenses:
Registered Electrical Contractor: Designs, installs, and maintains electrical systems, after passing the necessary exam and paying the licensing fee. Local competency cards required.
Alarm System Contractor: Performs work on all types of alarm systems, including fire alarms, after passing the necessary exam and paying the licensing fee. Local competency cards required.
Electrical Specialty Contractor: Performs work in specialty electrical areas, like elevators or fixture maintenance. An electrical specialty contractor must pass both parts of the Florida Electrical Contractors exam, including the technical/safety and business portions. Applicants must provide a copy of their credit report, financial statements, and show a net worth of at least $5,000.
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Benefits of Becoming a Certified Electrician in Florida
According to the Associated General Contractors of Florida, the state is considerably impacted by the skilled trade labor shortage, including general contractors in the construction industry. In fact, 71% of general construction companies report a need to hire more skilled workers, including electricians. The number of electrician jobs available in Florida is projected to increase by 20.5% through 2023. The average journeyman electrician in Florida earns $22.25 per hour, or $46,280 per year.
The many benefits you’ll see from pursuing Florida electrician certification include:
Most importantly, it is required by law in Florida to be certified through the state to legally perform electrical work.
A trade license provides proof of your experience and skill.
Only certified electricians can: operate a business and advertise services, obtain commercial insurance, pull building permits, and pass inspections, bid on public and government projects.
Having a license protects your company and customers.
A license gives you a competitive advantage in the job market.
It also increases your earning potential.
How Much Does It Cost for Electrician Certification in Florida?
The cost for electrician certification/licensure in the State of Florida varies. The state offers more than 10 different types of certifications and licenses, with fees ranging from $50 to $200 per certification/license. Tuition at an electrical school for in-state students averages $3,900 per year, plus the cost of study materials.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician Certification in Florida?
In most Florida cities/counties, obtaining a journeyman certification takes an average of four to five years, which includes 8,000 hours of work-related experience and 144 hours of classroom time per year. If you decide to obtain a higher-level electrician certification or license, it takes longer.
Florida Electrician Training Programs and Schools
In Florida, there are a variety of community colleges, trade schools, technical and vocational schools located throughout the state to get the training you need to become an electrical professional.
It's crucial you find the right school for you as journeyman certification in Florida requires 144 hours of classroom time per year, for each of the four to five years it takes to complete an electrical apprenticeship.
Some popular electrical schools in the state of Florida include:
Southern Technical College: An associate degree program in electrical trades technology, available at both Brandon and Orlando campuses, can be completed in about 72 weeks.
Lake Sumter State College: Two certificate programs and one associate degree program are available. For those who want to become an electrical line worker, you can choose from basic and advanced certifications. The state school offers an associate degree in electrical distribution technology, which features 22 courses worth 65 credit hours.
Florida Electrical Apprenticeship and Training: Students enrolled at the Florida Electrical Apprenticeship & Training (FEAT) school are apprentices with the Department of Labor and the Florida Department of Education. Apprentices work daily under the supervision of certified journeyman electricians.
Program Prerequisites: Program prerequisites vary. Most programs, however, require you to be 18 years old, earn a high-school diploma or GED, hold a valid driver’s license, and show a passing Algebra grade.
On-the-Job Experience: While on the job, you will gain an understanding of electrical standards, as well as math and scientific principles. Electricians need keen eyesight and good hand-eye coordination, as well as proper time management skills. They also must have good customer service skills, be able to work independently, sustain good physical endurance, and use logical problem-solving techniques. Electricians also learn how to read blueprints, circuit diagrams, and other technical documents.
Florida Electrician Certification Exam Details
Journeyman electrician certification exams in the state of Florida vary by city/county. Generally speaking, you must score at least 75% to pass. Oftentimes, the test is administered by Pearson VUE. Many tests contain about 75 questions that must be answered within three hours. In some cases, applicants are allowed to use the National Electrical Code (NEC) for reference while taking the exam.
Topics frequently include:
General Electrical Theory and Principles
Wiring and Protection
Wiring Methods and Materials
Motors and Controls
Equipment for General Use
Master electrician certification exams in the state of Florida vary by city/county. Generally speaking, a passing score of at least 75% is required. Many tests contain about 75 questions that must be answered within three hours.
Topics on the test fall into the same categories as those included on the journeyman electrician certification exam, but cover a wider scope of material and go into deeper detail.
Certified electrical contractor exams contain two parts: technical/safety and business. You must register for the exam 30 days in advance of taking it. Study materials are available and approved reference materials can be used while taking the exam.
Who Issues Electrician Licenses in Florida?
Journeyman and master electrician certifications are issued on a local level by various licensing boards. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) Electrical Contractors' Licensing Board issues electrical contractor licenses.
Does My Florida Electrical License Work in Any Other State?
No. Florida does not have reciprocity agreements with any other state.
National Electrician Certifications
While optional, national certifications can help you demonstrate your proficiency in certain aspects of the electrical trade to potential employers and clients, which often translates into more job opportunities and higher pay.
These include the Independent Electrical Contractors' Certified Professional Electrician (CPE) distinction, certification through the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), among dozens of additional electrician certifications available.
You can stay up to date on all electrician industry news in several ways: