Florida handyman license:
everything you need to know

In today’s economy, becoming a handyman is a fulfilling career choice. While you can work for an employer, there’s also the opportunity to start your own business. Let’s cover what it takes to obtain your Florida handyman license. You’ll learn about the education requirements, pay expectations, and job placement.

Do you need a license in Florida to become a handyman?

You do not need a Florida handyman license. An unlicensed handyman can do the following: install cabinets, flooring, and above ground swimming pools; paint the interior and exterior of a home; perform basic yard work, and repair drywall.

More specialized types of work require a license. These tasks include high-level plumbing, wiring, and certain construction work.

Comprehensive remodeling or improvement to a home structure, like roofing, requires a contractor license. Florida provides for two different classifications of a contractor license:

  • Certified contractor licenses are valid throughout the entire state of Florida.
  • Registered contractor licenses are limited to specific, local jurisdictions of Florida.

The Construction Industry Licensing Board issues a contractor license after proper certification.

If a handyman performs work that falls under the umbrella of a licensed contractor, he or she may be subject to fines. It’s highly recommended to familiarize yourself with what type of work falls under licensed versus unlicensed contract work.

How much does it cost to get a handyman license in Florida?

Florida handyman license is not required. However, the scope of your work will be limited to only certain jobs.

To do more comprehensive home improvement work, you will need a contractor license.

  • For a certified contractor license, you need to pay $249 when applying between May 1st of an even year and August 31st of an odd year. (The fee is prorated to $149 when applying between September 1st of an odd year and April 30th of an even year.)
  • For a registered contractor license, you need to pay $309 when applying between May 1st of an odd year and August 31st of an even year. (The fee is prorated to $209 when applying between September 1st of an even year and April 30th of an odd year.)

How to get a handyman license in Florida

Becoming a handyman in Florida doesn’t require overcoming many barriers. Being at least 18 years old, having a high school diploma, and knowledge of home service work will help you enter the career.

Depending on the type of work, you will need to show competency to provide quality services. Some of the basic skills include:

  • Exterior and interior maintenance
  • Door and window installation and repair
  • Tile repair
  • Interior and exterior painting
  • Drywall repair
  • Lighting installation and maintenance
  • Ceiling fan installation

To grow your expertise, you can attend one of many professional handyman schools offered in the state of Florida. Here are a few suggestions:

These schools will educate you about general construction and help you get a contractor license. Classes are often available online. Courses range from a few hundred dollars upwards to a few thousand. The schools also offer financial payment plans. Some testing agencies also offer a “no pass, no pay” guarantee.

On-the-job experience

If you desire to transition from handyman to general contractor, it generally requires that you possess 4 years of on-the-job experience. You may need to provide credible references of your experience.

Licensing exam

The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation administers the licensing exam. For more information about the exam, requirements, and pricing, visit myfloridalicense.com.

License renewal and ongoing education

There is no formal ongoing education or need to renew your license.

Should you wish to receive your license for contractor work, the license is valid for 2 years through the end of the month in which it was first received. You may renew your license for 2 year increments with proof of ongoing education.

How to use your handyman license to get a job

Many handymen in Florida work for themselves. If you already have a customer base, you can start working immediately. If you wish to hone your skills and experience through an established organization, go here:

During your interviews, expect to talk about your current skill set. Many potential employers will run a background check, contact credible references, and require you have reliable transportation.

Staying on top of what’s what and who’s who within the industry is important for your overall success as a handyman. Luckily for you, there are great industry trade shows that will help you learn the latest industry technology and help you network with other handyman professionals. Check out these trade shows:

Start your career as a handyman in Florida

Whether you wish to start right now as a handyman or work towards your contractor license, you have all the tools you need to achieve your goal. Follow the steps above to build your handyman business.