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HVAC License Requirements by State

FieldPulse | November 9, 2019

HVAC License Requirements by State

Do you know your state’s HVAC license requirements?

HVAC  licenses can vary wildly from state to state, with many states having different rules and procedures. Some states may reciprocate licenses from other specific states, meanwhile, other states may not require a license at all— or they may require a license locally. 

To ease the confusion, we’ve compiled a full list of HVAC license requirements by state.

Why Become HVAC Certified

Anytime the public’s lives or livelihoods depend on quality service delivery, the role of independent authorities in a labor market balances the interests of everyone. Skilled professions benefit from certifications, in general, because certification and licensing requirements increase consumer trust and protect them from predatory or unsavory operators. 

Some states may not have requirements for HVAC licenses. For example, Colorado doesn’t require a state license although it’s possible to become certified through a recognized industry or trade organization.

It’s generally a good idea to obtain a professional certification even if your state doesn’t require it. Becoming certified gives HVAC businesses a number of competitive advantages, like helping increase sales. When potential clients are choosing a company, certifications can assure them your company has the most qualified technicians to complete a job. This can give clients the final push they need to choose you over a competitor.

HVAC License Requirements by State

Below we’ve collected links to the HVAC licensing authority responsible for each state while working as an HVAC contractor. The information is subject to change.

Alabama Alabama State Board of Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors
Alaska Regulation of Mechanical Administrators
Arizona Arizona Registrar of Contractors
Arkansas Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Licensing Board
California Contractors State License Board
Colorado State licensing not required. Local licensing may be.
Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection
Delaware Delaware Board of Plumbing, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Examiners
District of Columbia Board of Industrial Trades
Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board
Georgia State Construction Industry Licensing Board
Hawaii Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs, Professional and Vocational Licensing
Idaho Division of Building Safety
Illinois State licensing not required. Local licensing may be.
Indiana State licensing not required. Local licensing may be.
Iowa Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board
Kansas State licensing not required. Local licensing may be.
Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet, Department of Housing, Buildings & Construction
Louisiana Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors
Maine State licensing not required. Local licensing may be.
Maryland Board of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors
Massachusetts Massachusetts Department of Public Safety
Michigan Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry
Mississippi Mississippi State Board of Contractors
Missouri State licensing not required. Local licensing may be.
Montana Montana Department of Labor & Industry
Nebraska Department of Labor
Nevada State Contractors Board
New Hampshire State licensing not required. Local licensing may be.
New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs
New Mexico New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department
New York State licensing not required. Local licensing may be.
North Carolina State Board of Refrigeration Examiners
North Dakota Secretary of State
Ohio Department of Commerce
Oklahoma Oklahoma Construction Industries Board
Oregon Oregon Construction Contractors Board
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry
Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, Workforce Regulation and Safety
South Carolina Residential Builders Commission
South Carolina Contractor’s Licensing Board
South Dakota State licensing not required. Local licensing may be.
Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
Vermont State licensing not required. Local licensing may be.
Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, Board for Contractors
Washington Department of Labor & Industries
West Virginia Division of Labor Contractor Licensing
Wisconsin License, Permit and Registration Services
Wyoming State licensing not required. Local licensing may be.

Source: http://www.hvacclasses.org/certification

Additional HVAC Certification Requirements

In addition to state requirements, the EPA requires all HVAC technicians to take an exam for handling refrigerant. The test covers topics like compliance and leak repair requirements in order to protect the environment. Technicians will then receive a Section 608 Technician Certification that lasts for life and doesn’t require renewal.

For HVAC professionals who wish to work in commercial or industrial settings, one interesting certification is the LEED certification, offered by the US Green Building Council. USGBC offers two levels of individual LEED certifications.

Drawbacks of Not Having an HVAC Certification

HVAC contractors who operate without a license can find themselves fined, embroiled in legal battles, or even subject to lawsuits should something on a job go wrong. GCs who hire unlicensed contractors as subs risk losing their own license. Even homeowners themselves face fines for hiring unlicensed HVAC contractors if that contractor is performing work that requires a permit to be pulled.

It is important to understand all of the laws and regulations pertaining to licensing and certification for your areas of service operations.

How Much Does an HVAC Certification Cost?

The cost of obtaining your HVAC license or certification can range depending on the state or issuing body. In most cases, the total cost will range from the low hundreds of dollars to potentially thousands of dollars over time. Typical costs may include course registration fees, the cost of materials or coursework, examination fees, renewal fees, and even reinstatement fees should your certification lapse or expire.

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