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September 20, 2017 - Three Steps to Get a Florida CAM License

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Three Steps to Get a Florida CAM License
by Jim Greer

It is estimated that there are currently over 50 million people living in more than 250,000 community associations throughout the United States. These community associations include many different types of communities such as condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners associations. Many more units are currently planned or under construction, including approximately 45,000 new condominium units in South Florida alone. In Florida, many of these associations are professionally managed by licensed community association managers, commonly referred to as CAMs.

The board of directors of a community association has the obligation to maintain, manage and operate the community association. The law does not require the association to hire a manager, but does set forth licensing requirements if the association chooses to hire a manager.

Florida law requires a person to be licensed as a CAM if that person performs management services requiring substantial specialized knowledge, judgment, and managerial skill, for remuneration, when the association or associations being managed, contain more than 10 units or have an annual budget, or budgets, over $100,000. This creates an exemption for very small associations who wish to hire an unlicensed individual.

Specific practices requiring a CAM license include: controlling or disbursing association funds, preparing budgets or other financial documents for a community association, assisting in the noticing, or conducting of community association meetings, coordinating maintenance for the residential development and other day to day services involved in the operation of a community association. A person who performs clerical or ministerial functions under the direct supervision and control of a licensed manager or who is charged only with performing the maintenance of a community association and who does not assist in any of the management services described above is not required to be licensed.

The manager acts on behalf of the board of directors of the community association by which he or she is hired. The manager will take direction from the board regarding maintenance, repair and replacement of common property and assistance in enforcement of the governing documents. Volunteer board members, who are not compensated, do not need to be licensed to perform their duties. The CAM license is not required for management of buildings such as office buildings, shopping centers, or apartment buildings, which are not community associations. Individuals engaged in nonassociation management may be required to have a Real Estate license.

The CAM license is relatively easy to obtain. The requirements are very straightforward. An applicant must be at least 18 years of age, of good moral character, complete the required prelicense course, pay the appropriate fees and pass the state exam.

Step 1:

The first step in obtaining a CAM license is to complete the state required 18 hour prelicense course for CAMs. This class covers basic topics such as state and federal laws, budgeting, meetings and procedures of the association and many others. The class is offered throughout Florida by a number of schools and community colleges.

Step 2:

The second step, after completing the prelicense class, is to send a completed license application to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. As part of the application process applicants must submit a complete set of fingerprints, taken by an authorized law enforcement officer. The DBPR will conduct a complete background check through the FBI and FDLE before qualifying an individual to take the state exam. Once an applicant has completed the required background check, they will be eligible to complete the state exam. License applications are available online by going to the Department's website at: http://www.state.fl.us/dbpr/pro/cam/cam_index.shtml or you may call (850) 487-1395. The website also contains specific details regarding the application process.

Step 3:

The third step is to complete the state exam. The state exam consists of 100 questions, on topics covered by the prelicensing class. When the applicant has obtained a passing score on the exam, paid all fees, and met all other requirements that person will be issued a CAM license.

Once an individual is licensed, they may work for an association or multiple associations, for a management company or on their own. Entry level salaries start at about $30,000-$35,000 annually. Experienced managers can earn higher salaries, depending on their experience and expertise. Opportunities exist for both full time managers and part time managers.

CAM licensees must renew their license by September 30 of each even numbered year. Licensed CAMs are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education each renewal cycle. The required continuing education courses include specific topics such as: operation of the association's physical property, insurance and financial management, human resources, and legal update seminars. The courses are designed to keep CAMs familiar and up to date with the laws and practices in the industry.

Community association management is an interesting and growing field. As more associations are created each day, opportunities continue to expand. Follow the steps outlined above and before you know it, you will have a CAM license.

For more information about a CAM license you may call (850) 487-1395 or you may visit MyFlorida.com:

http://www.myflorida.com/dbpr/pro/cam/cam_index.shtml




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