IANAFalconer, but I did look into it a few years back, and I used to know someone who had studied for a permit?license?whatever. IIRC:
First thing you must find is a master falconer who’s willing to sponsor you. Without a sponsor, you can’t do anything at all. They’re not easy to find, because they can lose their status due to misdeeds by their apprentices.
Once you’ve got a sponsor, there’s several years of studying & testing, plus practical learning by working for your sponsor. How long that will take and how much time is involved (daily, weekly, whatever) depends on you & your sponsor and how y’all work things.
It is a huge amount of work and requires some serious dedication - that’s why there aren’t too many falconers.
The very last thing you’ll need to worry about is getting a bird of your own. It’s going to be several years before you can have one. If you manage to get the license, you’ll have plenty of contacts to help you acquire a bird.
I’m not in your area, but around here the best place to meet falconers is at the local Renaissance-Faire type events. They’ve usually got a booth & will answer questions or give you a card to contact them later. There’s a falconer’s club here - you might try some Web searches to find clubs. If you find one & contact them, they can probably steer you towards a local group.
Hope that helps! Good luck.