Do You Need a License to Clean Pools?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on October 12th, 2023

Starting a pool cleaning service can be an attractive business opportunity. However, there’s an often-overlooked detail: the requirement for proper licensing. As an expert in the field, let me guide you through the complexities of pool cleaning licenses, their importance, and the process of acquiring them.

Why Licensing Matters for Pool Cleaners

You might think cleaning a pool is straightforward. However, the process can be more complex than it seems at first glance. Pool cleaning, especially at a commercial scale, requires knowledge about water chemistry, equipment repair, and sometimes even plumbing. 

white umbrella by the swimming pool

This is why many states have set licensing requirements to ensure pool cleaners are equipped with the skills to ensure safety and quality.

Time Required for a Pool Cleaning License

Typically, programs that offer pool cleaning licenses include about 14-16 hours of instruction, ending with an assessment. This isn’t just a formality. It’s a testament to the cleaner’s dedication and proficiency in the field.

When Additional Licensing is Necessary

If you’re considering starting a pool cleaning business, you must be aware that depending on your range of services, you might need more than one permit or license. For instance, if your services include installing heaters, railings, or other equipment, you’ll likely need an industry-specific license. It’s essential to know the exact services you’re offering.

Take Florida as an example; it categorizes its licenses into Class A, B, and C based on the type of pool cleaning service provided. In contrast, New Jersey distinguishes between domestic water treatment and commercial operations. The latter requires a Technician permit. The message here is clear: knowing the specific nature of your service is crucial.

Licenses Based on State Requirements

Different states have varied criteria for licensing. In California, a license isn’t needed for pool cleaning unless the service charges go above $500. Any service beyond that price point requires a specific D-35 license, especially if it involves significant repair or replacement work.

In Arizona, standard cleaning doesn’t need a license. But if you plan to make structural changes, then the Pool Builder license becomes necessary, with other sub-licenses if your service includes electrical or plumbing tasks.

Texas has specific requirements for electrical equipment related to pools due to the potentially hazardous combination of electricity and water.

Steps to Obtain a Pool Contractor’s License

Even if you think your pool services won’t exceed the $500 mark, it’s a good idea to get a contractor’s license. This assures clients of your professionalism. To get this license:

  • Submit an application and wait for its approval.
  • Pass tests on business law and the contractor’s specific trade.
  • Pay the necessary fees.
  • Submit fingerprints for records.
  • Undergo a background check.

How to Secure a Pool Cleaning License

  • Research Requirements: Start by checking with your state’s licensing board or your county’s building department.
  • Attend Classes: Some states require specific courses before the license exam. Organizations such as Florida Pool Pro can help with this.
  • Study for the Test: Use study guides, state-issued guides, or training programs to get ready.
  • Pass the Test: This step brings you closer to being a licensed pool cleaner.
  • Get Your License: Check the requirements in your state or county. For example, in California, a minimum of four years of experience and an age of at least 18 are needed.

Starting Your Pool Cleaning Business

To turn your skills into a successful business, ensure you have all the required permits. Some states might ask for a Pool Contractor License, while others may need a specific license for Pool Servicing. Usually, a Bachelor’s Degree or four years of experience is the standard requirement.


Entering the pool cleaning industry isn’t just about cleaning skills. It’s about understanding laws, regulations, and ensuring you’re equipped to provide a safe and quality service. Being licensed is not only a legal requirement but also a mark of your commitment to professionalism.


Editorial Staff

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