HVAC

HVAC License Requirements by State

HVAC license and certification requirements vary. Some states will require you to have licensing or certifications, while others may not. This guide will help you understand what licenses are required in your state.

Alex Coleman
Alex Coleman
September 28, 2021
HVAC License Requirements by State

If you are pursuing a career as an HVAC technician or considering starting your own business, you may be wondering if you’re required to obtain any licensing. Unfortunately, there isn’t a straightforward answer to this question. 

On the national scale, the only required certification is the EPA 608 Certification, which requires anyone who maintains, services, repairs, or disposes of equipment that could release refrigerants into the atmosphere must be certified. Additional HVAC Certifications, like NATE or HVAC Excellence, can demonstrate your competency in the field, but are not required by law.

Other than the EPA 608 HVAC license requirements differ at the state level, some even at the local level. This page will help you understand what licenses are required to practice as an HVAC professional in your state.

HVAC License Requirements by State

HVAC license requirements vary. Some states will require you to have licensing, while others may not. This guide will help you understand what licenses are required in your state.

Alabama

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

State license is required and issued through the Board of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Contractors.

In order to qualify for the state HVAC contractor license, you must complete the following prerequisites:

  • Complete state-administered exam
  • Apprenticeship certificate from board for previous two years or transcript of graduation of course OR at least 3,000 of work experience under licensed contractor
  • Apply for active certificate, includes fee and $15,000 performance bond

Alaska

HVAC Technician

No state license is required, however, certification is available in related fields and issued through the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

HVAC Contractor

State license is required and issued through the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. The specific license can vary depending on contractors’ specializations:

  • Heating, Cooling, and Process Piping (HCPP)
  • Mechanical Systems Temperature Control
  • Residential HVAC
  • Residential Plumbing and Hydronic Heating
  • Unlimited HVAC
  • Unlimited Refrigeration

To qualify for the license, the following prerequisites are required:

  • First, get your Mechanical Administrator License or an administrator must work for you
  • Pass an issued multiple choice test
  • Once test passed, register as a Mechanical Contractor
  • Post a $10,000 surety bond
  • Have proof of liability insurance
  • Have proof of worker’s compensation insurance

Arizona

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

State license is required and issued through the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

To qualify for the license, the following steps are required:

  • Show four or more years of work experience in HVAC OR two or more years experience and graduation from an approved course/apprenticeship
  • Pass trade and business management test
  • Register with Arizona Corporation Commission or Secretary of State
  • Show proof of workers’ compensation insurance
  • Pass state license exam

Arkansas

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

State license is required and issued through the Arkansas Department of Labor and Licensing.

You can apply for five different classes of licenses. You will need to complete the following:

  • Two years of experience as a HVAC contractor OR employee of a licensed contractor
  • Pass a state licensing exam
  • HVAC business licenses must be renewed every year.

California

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

State license is required and issued through the California Department of Consumer Affairs.

C-20 HVAC License is required and you will need to complete the following:

  • At least four years of HVAC related experience in the last ten years
  • Secure a $15,000 bond
  • Show proof of workers’ compensation insurance
  • Pass state administered licensing exam

Colorado

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing, but related professions do require licensing, like electrical and plumbing

HVAC Contractor

No state or local requirements for licensing. Other related professions do require licensing, like electrical and plumbing. Licenses are issued through the Colorado State Electrical Board and Plumbing Board. 

Connecticut

HVAC Technician

License is required through the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

You may apply for ten different classes of licensing in the HVAC field. For each license you will need to complete the following:

  • Complete an approved apprenticeship OR hold the equivalent combination of experience and education
  • Pass state administered licensing exam

HVAC Contractor

License required through the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection

You may apply for ten different classes of licensing in the HVAC field that are similar to those of a technician, but specific to contractors. For each, you will need to be pre-approved to take the exam by completing the  following: 

To apply for Journeyman License:

  • Complete an apprenticeship program or schooling equivalent
  • Pay for the application fee and pass state administered exam 

To apply for Contractor License:

  • Show you have at least two years of experience as a Journeyman
  • Pass the state’s contractor’s exam
  • Pass a business and law exam
  • License must be renewed annually

Delaware

HVAC Technician

License required through Delaware Division of Professional Regulation, Board of Plumbing, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Examiners.

Apprentice Level

  • Need to registered through state for approved program

Journeyman Level

  • Requires completion of apprenticeship program OR seven years experience under master level technician

Master Level

  • Requires certified Journeyman to take and pass master exam

HVAC Contractor

License required through Division of Revenue.

Two types of licensing; either Master HVACR Restricted or Master HVACR license. The Restricted license allows work in one specialty area, while the Master HVACR license  allows multiple work areas. You most complete the  following in order to obtain your license:

  • Show proof of Journeyman Level license and two years under Master Level Technician OR seven years under a Master Level Technician

District of Columbia

HVAC Technician 

License required through the District of Columbia Board of Industrial Trades. The levels of licenses in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning are as follows and each requires the technician be 18 years or older, have the listed experience, and pass an exam to move to the next license:

Apprentice Level

  • Provide proof you’ll work for a Master Level technician

Journeyman Level

  • Must have four years of work experience or accumulate at least 8,000 hours as an apprentice

Master Level

  • Must have four years experience as apprentice and four years experience as Journeyman

HVAC Contractor

License required through District of Columbia Board of Industrial Trades. In order to gain a license as Journeyman or Master Contractor you must pay an application fee and pass respective exams. Licenses must be renewed every two years. 

Florida

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

License required through Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. There are several classes of licenses (A, B, and C) that can either be certified (permits you to work statewide) or registered (registered within specific locality, allowing operation only where registered). 

  • To be certified, must pass state exam
  • To be registered, must pass locality specific exam

To become certified or registered, you must meet one of the following criteria to qualify to sit for exam:

  • Must hold bachelor’s degree and 2,000 hours of experience
  • Must have four years of experience as apprentice
  • Must have one year experience as a foreman and three years of college credits
  • Must have one year experience as an HVAC worker, one year as a foreman, and two years of college credits
  • Must have two years as an HVAC worker, one year as foreman, and one year of college credits

You must also pass a business and finance exam.

Georgia

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

License is required through Division of Conditioned Air Contractors of the Construction Industry Licensing Board and there are two types of licenses, Class I and Class II

Class I allows you to work on systems below a set limit of BTUs.. The following criteria is required to obtain license:

  • Four years of experience varying between mechanic, service tech, and supervisory role
  • Must be EPA 608 Type II certified or higher
  • Required completion of certified heat loss and gain duct design course
  • Must pass state administered examination
  • Must secure a $10,000 surety bond deposited in county of operation

Class II allows you to work on any system, regardless of BTUs.. The following criteria is required to obtain a license:

  • Five years of experience varying between mechanic, service tech, and supervisory role
  • Must be EPA 608 Type II certified or higher
  • Required completion of certified heat loss and gain duct design course
  • Must pass state administered examination
  • Must secure a $10,000 surety bond deposited in county of operation

Hawaii

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing. Other related professions do require licenses, like electrical and plumbing. 

HVAC Contractor

Licensed by the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. To acquire the license of Specialty Contractor the following must be completed:

  • Must have four years experience in last ten years
  • Must pass business and law exam
  • Must pass a trade exam
  • Must have workers comp and liability insurance
  • Must have surety bond
  • Must register business in the state 

Idaho

HVAC Technician

No licenses required, but several types of certificates are available in the HVAC field through Idaho Division of Building Safety. Each certificate has specific requirements you must meet: 

HVAC Apprentice

  • Must be 18 years of age or registered in a Bureau of Apprenticeship Training certified HVAC training program
  • Must maintain enrollment in approved training program
  • Must work under supervision of certificated HVAC journeyman

Specialty HVAC Apprentice

  • Must be 18 years of age or registered in a Bureau of Apprenticeship Training certified HVAC training program
  • Must maintain enrollment in approved training program
  • Must work under supervision of certificated HVAC journeyman or specialty journeyman

HVAC Journeyman

  • Must have four years of HVAC experience OR as a registered HVAC apprentice and complete all apprentice training courses
  • Must pass state administered examination

HVAC Hearth Specialty Journeyman

  • Must have one years of experience in HVAC OR as a registered apprentice
  • Must complete a board approved training course and 60 hours of education in fuel gas code and piping installation methods
  • Must pass state administered examination

HVAC Waste Oil Specialty Journeyman

  • Must have one year of waste oil heating installation experience
  • Must pass examination

HVAC Fuel Gas Piping Specialty Journeyman

  • Must have one year of experience in HVAC
  • Must have completed 60 hours of education in fuel gas code and piping installation methods
  • Must pass state administered examination

HVAC Contractor

Two types of contractor licenses are awarded by the Idaho Division of Building Safety, both requiring the same criteria to qualify, but a different exam:

Contractor License

  • Must have worked for a HVAC Journeyman for at least 24 months
  • Must pass state administered examination
  • Must have a $2,000 compliance bond

Specialty Contractor License

  • Must have worked for a HVAC Specialty Journeyman for at least 24 months
  • Must pass state administered examination
  • Must have a $2,000 compliance bond

Illinois

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation.

HVAC Contractor

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation.

Indiana

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation.

HVAC Contractor

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation.

Iowa

HVAC Technician

Licenses are awarded by the Iowa Department of Public Health, Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board. There are three levels you can achieve as an HVAC technician in the state of Iowa, each with different requirements:

Apprentice Level

  • Must be enrolled in US Department of Labor approved program

Journeyman Level

  • Must have four years of experience as apprentice and must pass Journeyman Level exam

Master Level

  • Must have Journeyman License
  • Must have two years of work experience
  • Must pass Master Level exam

HVAC Contractor

License awarded by the Iowa Department of Public Health, Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board.

  • Must hold a master technician license OR employ someone who does
  • Must have a place of business
  • Must provide proof of insurance and secure a bond. 

Kansas

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation.

HVAC Contractor

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation.

Kentucky

HVAC Technician

Licensed by the Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction in order to work in Kentucky.

Apprentice HVAC Mechanic

  • Must have worked under a master HVAC Contractor
  • Must register with state for apprenticeship

Journeyman HVAC Mechanic

  • Must have two years of experience under Kentucky Master HVAC contractor OR four years of experience in HVAC in a different state
  • Must pass state administered exam

HVAC Contractor

License awarded by the Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction in order to work in Kentucky.

Master HVAC Contractor

  • Must have two years of experience as Journeyman under Kentucky Master HVAC contractor OR five years of experience in HVAC in a different state
  • Must pass state administered exam
  • Must pass trade, business and law exam
  • To renew license, you will need to attend eight hours of continuing education in the HVAC field

Louisiana

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

License awarded from the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.

Mechanical Work Contractor License

  • Must pass a trade exam
  • Must pass a business and law exam

Maine

HVAC Technician

No specific HVAC license required by the state, but related trades may require licenses depending on the field of work. Check with the state Fuel Board for more information. 

HVAC Contractor

No specific HVAC license required by the state.

Maryland

HVAC Technician

License awarded by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Board of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors. Three levels of technician with the below required criteria:

Apprentice Level

  • No exam required but you must work under a master HVAC technician

Journeyman Level

  • Must have three years experience as an apprentice under a master technician
  • OR have a combined three years between certificate program experience and apprenticeship experience under Journeyman or higher
  • OR have three years experience out of state

Master Level

  • Must be licensed as Journeyman and employed for three years in HVACR
  • Must work under supervision of licensed master and complete 1,875 hours of training the year prior to sitting for the master exam
  • Must pass the state administered master exam

HVAC Contractor

License awarded by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Board of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors. Three different licenses available with the below criteria.

Master HVACR Contractor

  • Must be a licensed Journeyman for three years 
  • Must have been supervised under master HVACR Contractor for two years
  • Must pass the Master HVACR Exam

Master Restricted HVACR Contractor

  • Must be a licensed Journeyman for three years 
  • Must have been supervised under master HVACR Contractor for two years
  • Must pass the Master Restricted HVACR Exam

Limited HVACR Contractor

  • Must be a licensed Journeyman for three years 
  • Must have been supervised under master HVACR Contractor for two years
  • Must pass the Limited HVACR Exam

Massachusetts

HVAC Technician

General HVAC Technician requires no state license to operate. Only a Refrigeration Technician is required to hold a license and they can hold one of two levels:

Apprentice

Technician

  • Must complete 6,000 hours as an apprentice and complete 250 hours of coursework 
  • OR 4,000 hours as apprentice and 500 hours of coursework 
  • OR 2,000 hours as apprentice and 1,000 hours of coursework
  • Must pass the Technician Exam 

HVAC Contractor

General HVAC contractors do not require a license to operate unless working with more than 10 tons of refrigeration. 

Refrigeration Contractor

  • Must complete 2,000 hours as Registered Refrigeration Technician
  • Must complete 100 hours of coursework
  • Must pass state administered exam

Michigan

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

License awarded as a mechanical contractor by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Construction Codes, Mechanical Division. Licensing is specific to the trade you work in. To get the license you need three years experience in the field and then pass a corresponding trade exam.

Minnesota

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation.

HVAC Contractor

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation.

Mississippi

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

License awarded as Mechanical Contractor from the Mississippi State Board of Contractors. Mississippi offers classifications in several different areas, each require you to complete the following:

  • Must pass a business and law exam
  • Must pass a specific trade exam for relevant trade business is in
  • Must provide proof of workers compensation
  • Must provide proof of liability insurance

Missouri

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation. 

HVAC Contractor

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation.

Montana

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

No license requirement, but you will have to register with the Department of Labor and Industry. If you plan to hire employees, you will need a general construction contractor license.

Nebraska

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation.

HVAC Contractor

No specific HVAC license is required but as a contractor working in the state, you will need to be registered with the Nebraska Department of Labor.

Nevada

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

Nevada State Contractors Board awards several specialty licenses for contractors in HVAC. To receive you must complete the following:

  • You’ll need to show three years experience as journeyman level HVAC technician
  • Your schooling experience can be used as “years of experience” of equal time
  • Must pass exam for specialty you are applying for
  • You must secure bond
  • Must pass a stated administered construction management survey exam

New Hampshire

HVAC Technician

No specific HVAC license required by the state, but related trade licenses are required depending on field of work. Check with the state Department of Safety

HVAC Contractor

No state licensing requirement for HVAC contractors, but will need to register as a business entity in the state.

New Jersey

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

HVAC Master Contractor license awarded by the New Jersey State Board of Examiners of Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors and require one of the following along with securing bond and holding liability insurance:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in HVAC/R and one year of work experience in HVAC/R
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field and three years of experience in HVAC/R
  • Complete a vocational training program and have two years of HVACR experience
  • Complete four years of an apprenticeship program and have one year of HVAC/R experience

New Mexico

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

Journeyman Certificate of Competence offered by New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department. To obtain this certificate you must:

  • Have accumulated 4,000 hours of HVAC experience
  • Pass an exam in the specific field your are working in

HVAC Contractor

Licenses are awarded by the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department. There are several classifications for which you can receive a license, you must complete the following for each:

  • Must have two to four years experience in related field where you are applying for a license
  • Must pass a specific trade exam
  • Must pass a business and law exam
  • Must secure a bond
  • Must accumulate five hours of continuing training/education needed to renew license

New York

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation. 

HVAC Contractor

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation. 

North Carolina

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

Licenses are awarded by the State Board of Refrigeration Contractors and there are multiple classes of licenses. In order to qualify to apply, you must have the following:

  • Show two years of experience, up to half can be from courses/training programs in the related field
  • Must pass exam in licensed field
  • Provide a surety bond

North Dakota

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation. 

HVAC Contractor

Not all contractors are required to have a license. If you are working on a project worth $4,000 or more, you must obtain a license through the North Dakota Secretary of State. To apply for a license, you must:

  • Pay application fee
  • Have proof of insurance and workers compensation
  • Register your business with the state

Local Municipalities may require additional license, check with the city of operation.

Ohio

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

Licenses are awarded by the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board. Below is the criteria for obtaining a license:

  • Must have five years of HVAC tech experience to sit for exam
  • Must pass a stated administered exam
  • Provide proof of liability insurance

Oklahoma

HVAC Technician

Licenses are awarded by the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board. Two levels of license are available for a technician:

Mechanical Apprentice

  • Apply with state and work under a licensed Mechanical Contractor

Mechanical Journeyman can sit for specific exam with one of the following qualifications

  • Work three years experience as apprentice under master contractor
  • Hold an HVAC/R associate degree with 1,000 hours training and one year experience as apprentice
  • Complete vocational program with 500 hours and two years experience as apprentice

HVAC Contractor

Licenses are awarded by the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board for Mechanical Contractors. You must have proof of liability insurance, secure a surety bond, and pass exam while having one of the following:

  • Three years of experience as Journeyman Technician
  • HVAC/R associate degree with 1,000 hours training and one year experience as Journeyman Technician
  • Complete vocational program with 500 hours and two years experience as Journeyman Technician

Oregon

HVAC Technician

Licenses are awarded by the Oregon Construction Contractors Board for the title of Limited Energy Technician Class B. To qualify to sit for exam, you must complete one of the following:

  • Complete a registered apprenticeship through Oregon Apprenticeship and Training Division
  • Complete 288 hours of coursework and 4,000 hours of work experience and 32 hour board approved training program
  • Have 8,000 hours of work experience outside of Oregon and complete a 32 hour board approved training program

HVAC Contractor

Licenses are awarded by the Oregon Construction Contractors Board. There are to types of licenses available:

Limited Maintenance Specialty Contractor – HVAC/R License

  • Must have four years of experience in HVAC/R
  • Completion of board approved training in business and law
  • Must pass state administered exam

Commercial and Residential Contractor License 

  • Completion of 16 hours of training
  • Must pass state administered exam
  • Provide proof of liability insurance
  • Provide proof of workers compensation

Pennsylvania

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation.

HVAC Contractor

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation.

Rhode Island

HVAC Technician

Licenses are awarded by the Department of Labor and Training. Technicians can earn one of three levels as a Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Technician:

Apprentice

  • Must enroll in state approved program

Journeyman Class I

  • Complete four year apprenticeship program
  • Must pass state administered exam

Journeyman Class II

  • Complete 4,000 hours experience
  • Complete 288 classroom hours
  • Must pass state administered exam

HVAC Contractor

Licenses are awarded by the Department of Labor and Training. Contractors can obtain one of two licenses. 

Refrigeration Master Class I (Unlimited) 

  • Have held a refrigeration Journeyman Class I license for one year OR a refrigeration master II license for one year.
  • Must pass state administered exam

Refrigeration Master Class II (Limited)

  • Have held a refrigeration Journeyman Class II license for at least three years.
  • Must pass state administered exam

South Carolina

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

Licenses are awarded by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. In order to obtain a Residential Specialty HVAC License, must have the following: 

  • One year of HVAC experience under the direct supervision of a Master Heating and Air contractor OR a licensed HVAC contractor. 
  • Must pass state administered exam
  • Must secure a bond.
  • If you hold a Master Heating and Air License from the South Carolina Municipal Association or you’re a S.C. Mechanical Contractor for HVAC, you are not required to take the exam

South Dakota

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation 

Tennessee

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

Licenses are awarded by the Board for Licensing Contractors and are only required for contractors bidding on projects over $25,000.

Tennessee Mechanical HVAC Refrigeration Contractor License 

  • Must pass the trade exam for relevant trade you are operating in
  • Must pass a business and law exam. 
  • You must also show proof of liability insurance.

Texas

HVAC Technician

Licenses are awarded by the Texas Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Advisory Board. You can either become a registered technician or take an exam to become a  certified technician. 

Registered Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technician

  • Must register with state and pay application fee

Certified Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technician

  • Must pass approved certification examination

HVAC Contractor

Licenses are awarded by the Texas Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Advisory Board. As an Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractor, you must:

  • Must have at least four years of practical experience in HVAC in the past six years under the supervision of a licensed technician
  • Must pass state administered exam
  • Provide proof of insurance.

Utah

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

Licenses are awarded by the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. There are Several licenses available depending on the subclass of work you are planning on conducting. To be eligible for all, you must complete the following:

  • Must have four years of full-time work experience in the past ten years
  • Must pass a trade exam
  • Must pass a business and law exam. 
  • Provide proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. 
  • To renew your license, you will need to complete six hours of continuing education.

Vermont

HVAC Technician

Licenses are awarded by the Vermont Department of Public Safety. As an Electrical Specialist with HVAC related classifications, you must:

  • Complete approved training program and one year of experience in HVAC field OR two years of experience in HVAC field

HVAC Contractor

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation. 

Virginia

HVAC Technician

Licenses are awarded by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.Three levels of status can be obtained as an HVAC Tradesman:

Apprentice Level (not required)

  • Must find own program and begin training through that program

Journeyman Level

Must pass state administered exam, of which you are eligible to sit once one of the following is complete: 

  • Complete HVAC apprenticeship program
  • Complete vocational training and acquire additional experience in HVAC field

Master Level

  • Must pass state exam after one year as licensed Journeyman OR ten years HVAC experience

HVAC Contractor

Licenses are awarded by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. Three levels are available and all require you to be a master HVAC Tradesman License to be eligible.

Class A

  • Complete an eight-hour pre-licensing course
  • Gain five years of experience and $45,000 business capital
  • Must pass the trade exam and law exam
  • Provide proof of insurance

Class B 

  • Complete an eight-hour pre-licensing course
  • Gain three years of experience and $15,000 business capital
  • Must pass the trade exam and law exam
  • Provide proof of insurance

Class C 

  • Complete an eight-hour pre-licensing course
  • Gain two years of experience
  • Must pass the trade exam and law exam
  • Provide proof of insurance

Washington

HVAC Technician

Licenses are awarded by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. There are three levels a Specialty Electrician HVAC/R can hold:

Trainee

  • Must be at least 16 years old
  • Apply to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries for a certificate
  • Must attend an apprenticeship program 

Journey-level Electrician (06A or 06B)

  • 06A – must have 4,000 hours working as a trainee, along with 48 hours of classroom education
  • 06B – must have 2,000 hours working as a trainee, along with 24 hours of classroom instruction

Master Electrician:

  • Must be licensed as a journey or specialty level electrician and pass an examination

Local Municipalities may require additional licenses, check with city of operation 

HVAC Contractor

Licenses are awarded by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. To obtain an HVAC Mechanical License, you must:

  • Must have an HVAC certificate from an accredited school 
  • Must pass a stated administered exam

West Virginia

HVAC Technician

No specific HVAC license required by the state, but related trade licenses are required depending on field of work.

HVAC Contractor

Licenses are awarded by the West Virginia Department of Commerce Division of Labor. To become a Class D HVAC Contractor, you must:

  • Must pass a trade exam
  • Must pass a business and law exam. 
  • Must provide proof of worker’s compensation insurance.

Wisconsin

HVAC Technician

No state or local requirements for licensing.

HVAC Contractor

Not required, but you can be licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. To obtain an HVAC Qualifier Certification, you must pass a state administered exam along with one of the following: 

  • at least 1,000 hours of experience per year for four years
  • at least four years in a mechanical engineering school or accredited college
  • a total number of four years with a combination of education and experience.

Wyoming

HVAC Tech

No license required at state level, however, the Wyoming Trades Certification Program, through the Wyoming Association of Municipalities, does offer certification programs:

  • Wyoming Journeyman Gas Pipe Fitter
  • Wyoming Master Gas Pipe Fitter
  • Wyoming Refrigeration Journeyman
  • Wyoming Refrigeration Master
  • Wyoming Journeyman HVAC
  • Wyoming Master HVAC

HVAC Contractor

No state or local requirements for licensing. Check with local municipalities, as they may require additional licensing for operation.

What Is the Difference Between HVAC Licenses and Certifications?

It can be confusing to understand the difference between licenses and certifications in HVAC, as they are often used interchangeably. HVAC certifications are typically optional and demonstrate your knowledge in a given topic. HVAC licenses are typically administered at the state or local level and are required to perform work in a specific region or municipality.