Who Needs an Occupational License in the State of Florida?

by Lee Grayson; Updated September 26, 2017
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The State of Florida, under the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, issues licenses for 30 career categories in the Sunshine State. Some licensed career groups, such as geologists, medical doctors, teachers, architects and veterinarians, have four-year college degrees or higher, while other careers mandate a certificate from a technical or trade school, including barbers and stylists.

Real Estate

Real estate agents, brokers, appraisers and leasing agents for apartment buildings, commercial real estate or vacation homes require licenses issued by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Auctioneers offering real property, as well as personal property, must also hold licenses. Community associations and any managers employed by the association require a license. Workers serving as paid managers for more than 10 units with an annual budget in excess of $100,000 must hold Florida licenses.

Contractors, Harbor and Environmental Workers

Contractors, consultants and business organizations working with asbestos or mold removal, architects, electricians and alarm contractors must file for Florida licenses. Any career associated with elevator operation, including inspection, also must be licensed. Interior designers working in residential or commercial must also qualify for a Florida license before opening a business or working as a freelance operator. The State of Florida also licenses building code administrators and inspectors.

Several categories of workers employed in occupations near water, including harbor pilots, yacht and ship brokers and sales staff, must hold valid Florida licenses to work.

Medical Occupations

Under Florida law, specifically Chapters 458, 459 and 466, physicians, osteopathic physicians and dentists must hold licenses to practice. The Florida Department of Health regulates these licenses. Advanced Registered Nurse Practioners and Certified Physician's Assistants who work in offices, clinics and hospitals must also hold licenses to work in the Sunshine State. Audiologists, chiropractors, nurses, opticians, paramedics, physical therapists, pharmacists and nurses require valid license certifications.

Educators

Teachers and school administrators require Florida licenses for employment in public schools. Certification renewal requires continuing education and on-going employment in the field. New teachers have the option of two types of licenses: temporary and professional. The temporary license allows teachers to work for only three school years before completing requirements for the professional certificate. The professional license is valid for five years and may be renewed.

Health, Beauty and Sports Workers

Boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts instructors must hold a license. Barbers and hairstylists also require licenses and post these at the place of employment, even when working as solo operators.

Farming and Agriculture Workers

Beekeepers must register with the Florida Division of Plant Industry and work with the local regional apiary inspector.

Legal Occupations

Florida licenses lawyers and paralegal workers. Legal aid practitioners must also hold a license. Attorneys licensed outside the state may represent a client in a Florida court proceeding or arbitration hearing providing the attorney files the appropriate paperwork with the Florida Bar. Foreign legal consultants and authorized house councils do not require licenses, but their services are limited under Florida law.

About the Author

Lee Grayson has worked as a freelance writer since 2000. Her articles have appeared in publications for Oxford and Harvard University presses and research publishers, including Facts On File and ABC-CLIO. Grayson holds certificates from the University of California campuses at Irvine and San Diego.

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