HVAC License Requirements by State: Next Insurance Guide

Rachel Present Schreter | May 18, 2018

HVAC contractors are in demand no matter where you are, but licensing requirements can vary by state and we put together this guide to help you keep them all straight. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that in addition to checking all relevant HVAC license requirements, you’ve also made sure you have a HVAC contractors insurance policy as well.

We’ve got all the information you need in this handy state-by-state list. You can find the state you’re looking for by going down the alphabet and if you see a highlighted state name, you can click on it to go to the relevant government link for that state. If there’s no link, there are no state requirements.

Alabama

HVAC contractors must be licensed in Alabama by the Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors. You will need to take an exam for which you must be qualified. You must have held an apprenticeship certificate which was issued by the board for the previous two years or you must show transcripts showing graduation from an approved course. Alternatively, you must show proof of at least 3,000 hours (18 months) of work experience under a licensed contractor. Once you have passed the exam, you will need to apply for active certification which includes a fee and a $15,000 performance bond.

Alaska

Alaska requires HVAC contractors to be licensed. You will first need a Mechanical Administrator license, or a Mechanical Administrator must work for you. There are multiple types of Mechanical Administrator licenses available that are HVAC-related and the license you hold will be important in determining the mechanical contracting work you can perform.

  • Heating, Cooling and Process Piping (HCPP) – requires journeyman experience or management experience in four of the previous six years; or a degree in mechanical engineering plus one year as a journeyman pipefitter or a field engineer; or professional mechanical engineer registration plus mechanical contracting management experience for one of the previous three years.
  • Mechanical Systems Temperature Control
  • Residential HVAC – requires journeyman experience for two of the previous four years.
  • Residential Plumbing and Hydronic Heating – requires journeyman experience for two of the previous four years.
  • Unlimited HVAC/ Sheet Metal – requires journeyman experience for four of the previous six years; or a degree in mechanical engineering plus journeyman experience or field engineering experience for one of the previous three years; or professional mechanical engineering registration plus mechanical contracting management experience for one of the previous three years.
  • Unlimited Refrigeration – requires journeyman experience for two of the previous four years; or proof of graduation from an accredited course or trade school.

You are required to take and pass a multiple-choice exam which costs $125. Once you hold a license (cost: $250), you will need to register as a Mechanical Contractor (cost: $50), which includes a business license, a $10,000 surety bond, proof of liability insurance and proof of worker’s compensation insurance.

Arizona

To work in Arizona as an HVAC contractor, you will need to be licensed with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. In order to qualify for a license, you will need to show four years of experience in the HVAC specialty you are applying for a license in; or have two years of experience plus graduation from a course or apprenticeship. You must pass the trade and business management exam, be registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission or the Arizona Secretary of State, show proof of worker’s compensation insurance, and get a cash bond.

Arkansas

HVAC contractors in Arkansas must hold a license issued by the Arkansas Department of Health, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Licensing Board. There are five classes of licenses. You will need to be pre-approved to take the exam, showing two years of experience as a HVAC contractor or employee of a contractor. Licenses must be renewed every year.

California

California requires its HVAC contractors to be licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board. The C-20 HVAC license is required for any jobs exceeding $500. You will need pre-approval from the state to sit the exam and must pass (with at least 72%) both a trade exam and a business and law exam. To qualify to take the exam, you must have at least four years of experience in the previous ten years. You must have a $15,000 bond and proof of worker’s compensation insurance.

Colorado

Colorado does not require licensing for HVAC contractors, but it is possible to become certified. Local licensing may be required.

Connecticut

As a HVAC contractor, you’ll need a license to work in Connecticut. To qualify for a journeyman’s license, you will need to have completed a registered apprenticeship program or the equivalent. You will need to pass an exam and pay an application fee. For a contractor license, you need to show you have two years as a licensed journeyman. You need to pass a contractors exam, as well as a business and law exam. The license must be renewed annually.

Delaware

Delaware requires HVAC contractors to hold a license. There are two license types which determine the type of work you are permitted to do. Master HVACR Restricted is able to provide work in one specialty area. To provide service in more than one specialty area, you must hold a Master HVACR license. As part of your application, you must supply proof of a journeyman’s certificate and at least two years of experience under a master contractor, or at least seven years of work experience under a master contractor.

District of Columbia

To meet District of Columbia as a HVAC license requirements, you will need to be licensed by the District of Columbia Board of Industrial Trades. To become licensed as a journeyman or master contractor, you will need to pay an application fee and pass the written exam. The licensed must be renewed every two years.

Florida

To work in Florida, you will need a HVAC license from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. There are a number of different licenses available, including Class A, B and C certified (to work anywhere in the state) and registered (to work within a specific locality) contractor licenses. Applicants must pass both a trade exam and a business and finances exam. Depending on the level of license you’re applying for, you will need to show education, as well as a certain number of years of experience.

Georgia

Georgia requires HVAC contractors to have a license, from the Division of Conditioned Air Contractors of the Construction Industry Licensing Board, in order to work in the state. There are two categories of licenses – Class I which is restricted and Class II which is unrestricted. Both licenses require passing an exam and applicants must be pre-approved by the state. Class I applicants must have four years of experience, while Class II applicants must have five years of experience. A $10,000 cash or surety bond is required in the county where you are planning to work.

Hawaii

To work as a HVAC contractor in Hawaii, you must be licensed by the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. You will need to pass a business and law, as well as a trade exam. To qualify, you must have four years of experience out of the previous ten years in full-time supervisory work as a journeyman, foreman, supervisor, or contractor in the specialty field you are applying to be licensed for. You must show proof of worker’s compensation insurance, liability insurance ($100,000 per person; $300,000 per occurrence and $50,000 property damage).

Idaho

The state of Idaho requires all people who work in the HVAC industry to be licensed, including apprentices, journeymen and contractors. There are two classes of HVAC contractor licenses – Contractor and Specialty Contractor – and both are awarded by the Idaho Division of Building Safety. To qualify to take the exam, you must show proof of at least 24 months of experience as a HVAC journeyman or, for the special contractor license, 24 months in that specialty. A $2,000 compliance bond is required.

Illinois

There is no licensing requirement on a state level in Illinois; however, there are HVAC license requirements on the local level. It is important to check the licensing requirements in the jurisdiction in which you plan to work.

Indiana

Indiana has no HVAC licensing requirements on the state level; however there are many local governments that do have requirements. Make sure to check the requirements of the county or city in which you plan to work.

Iowa

The state of Iowa requires all levels of HVAC workers to be licensed. HVAC contractors must be licensed by the Iowa Department of Public Health, Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board. To become a licensed contractor you must hold a HVAC master level technician license or employ at least one person with that license. You must show a permanent place of business and proof of being properly insurance with a bond.

Kansas

The state of Kansas does not require HVAC contractors to hold a license in order to work; however, there may be requirements on the local level so it’s important to check with the local jurisdiction in which you plan to work.

Kentucky

HVAC contractors must be licensed by the Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction in order to work in Kentucky. To be eligible for a license, applicants must have held a valid Kentucky Journeyman Mechanic license for at least two years, and must have been under the direct supervision of a Master HVAC contractor. You will need to pass a trade exam, as well as a business and law exam, and must have general liability insurance of at least $500,000. Eight hours of continuing education is required to renew the license.

Louisiana

In order to work in the state of Louisiana, HVAC contractors require a license from the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. A commercial license is required for any project exceeding $50,000 in value, including labor and materials. You will need to pass a trade exam either in the subspecialty you play to work in or for a Mechanical Work Contractor license which covers all subspecialties. You also need to pass a business and law exam.

Maine

There are no HVAC contractor licensing requirements on the state level in Maine; however, it is important to check the local requirements before you begin any work.

Maryland

HVAC contractors are required to be licensed by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Board of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors, in the state of Maryland. To qualify to take the exam, you will need to have been licensed as a Journeyman HVAC technician for three years and must have worked under the supervision of a licensed Master HVAC Contractor. There are three different licenses – Master HVACR Contractor, Master Restricted HAVCR Contractor and Limited HVACR Contractor – and you must pass the exam for the specific license you require. You must show proof of general liability insurance and property damage insurance.

Massachusetts

A general HVAC contractor in Massachusetts does not require a state license to work, unless they work specifically in refrigeration. A refrigeration contractor, who works with more than 10 tons of refrigeration must be licensed. To become licensed, you will need to complete 100 hours of classroom theory education at an approved school, pass an exam, and show that you have had 2,000 hours of experience as a licensed refrigeration technician.

Michigan

To work as a HVAC contractor in the state of Michigan, you will need to be licensed as a mechanical contractor by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Construction Codes, Mechanical Division. The licensing is very specialized and you’ll need to choose the classification you want to work in. There are also specialty licenses. You will need to pass an exam and to be eligible to write it, you must show at least three years of experience in every work classification you want to receive a license for.

Minnesota

While there are no state licensing requirements for HVAC contractors in Minnesota, they are required (as mechanical contractors) to file a $25,000 surety bond with the Department of Labor and Industry. There may be local licensing requirements.

Mississippi

HVAC contractors in the state of Mississippi require a license from the Mississippi State Board of Contractors in order to work. Applicants must pass a trade exam, as well as a law and business management exam. In addition, you will need to show details of any HVAC experience, show proof of general liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance, and submit a financial statement.

Missouri

HVAC contractors do not require a license on the state level in order to work in Missouri. However, there may be local requirements so make sure to check county or city requirements before you begin work.

Montana

As an HVAC contractor who does not plan to hire employees, there is 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. There is no testing or experience required. You will need proof of worker’s compensation insurance.

Nebraska

There is no state-level licensing for HVAC contractors in Nebraska; however, there may be licensing requirements on a local level so it’s important to check these before you start working. As a contractor working in the state, you will need to be registered with the Nebraska Department of Labor and if you have employees you must show proof of worker’s compensation.

Nevada

HVAC contractors require a state license to work in Nevada. There are numerous subspecialties that fall under Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractor and you’ll need to apply for each one. To be eligible to apply for a license, you must show at least four years out of the past ten of experience as a journeyman, foreman, contractor or supervising employee. Relevant education from an accredited school can be used to fulfill up to three years of the experience requirement. You will need to pass a trade exam, as well as a Construction Management Survey exam which includes business management skills questions. You must pass a background check and submit current financial statements.

New Hampshire

There is no state licensing requirement for HVAC contractors in New Hampshire, but it important to check for any project permit requirements before you start work on any large projects.

New Jersey

New Jersey requires HVAC contractors to be licensed by the New Jersey State Board of Examiners of Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors, in order to work in the state. To qualify to apply for a license as a Master HVAC Contractor, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in HVACR from an accredited college, as well as one year of HVAC experience, or a bachelor’s degree in a closely related profession with three years of experience in HVAC, or have completed a vocational training program and have two years of HVAR experience, or have completed four years as a HVAC apprentice and have one year of HVAC experience. You must show proof of liability insurance and post a $3,000 guarantor bond.

New Mexico

To work as an HVAC contractor in New Mexico you will need a state license from the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department. To be eligible to apply for a license, you’ll need to show proof of two to four years of experience, depending on the classification you’re applying for. You’ll need to pass a trade exam, as well as a business and law exam, and must submit a bond. You need to complete five hours of continuing education to renew your license.

New York

There is no state licensing requirement for HVAC technicians in New York. However, there are local requirements and you must check the local regulations before you begin work.

North Carolina

As an HVAC contractor, you will require a state license to work in North Carolina. The license is issued by the State Board of Refrigeration Contractors and there are multiple classes of licenses that can be awarded. To be eligible to apply for the license, you must show two years of experience, with up to half the amount able to be covered by completion of an academic or technical training course. You’ll need to pass four parts of an exam and provide a surety bond.

North Dakota

A HVAC contractor working on any projects worth $4,000 or more require a state license from the North Dakota Secretary of State. For a state license, you need to apply and show proof of worker’s compensation insurance and liability insurance. There are more licensing requirements on the local level and you need to check these in the jurisdiction you play to work in.

Ohio

To work as a HVAC contractor in the state of Ohio you will need to be licensed by the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board. To be eligible to write the exam, you must show five years of experience as a HVAC technician and must show proof of liability insurance.

Oklahoma

A HVAC contractor must be licensed by the state to work in Oklahoma. Licenses are awarded by the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board and fall under the umbrella of Mechanical Contractor licenses. There are multiple categories of licenses available. To be eligible to sit the exam, you must show proof of at least four years of experience in HVAC, or show a combination or educational hours plus years of experience. The number of hours of experience required varies depending on the type of education you received. You will also need proof of general liability insurance and a $5,000 surety bond.

Oregon

HVAC contractors in Oregon require a state license to work. There are two license types – Limited Maintenance Specialty Contractor – HVAC/R License and Commercial and Residential Contractor License – both of which are issued by the Oregon Construction Contractors Board. The limited license does not require an exam, but you will need to show four years of experience in installation and have completed recognized training in HVAC/R. The CCB license requires you to complete 16 hours of education and sit an exam. You also need to show proof of general liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance.

Pennsylvania

You do not need any state licensing to work as a HVAC contractor in Pennsylvania, although there are some city licensing requirements so make sure to check these before you begin working.

Rhode Island

There are multiple categories and classes of state licenses that a HVAC contractor must have in order to be able to work in Rhode Island. These include:

  • Refrigeration Master Class I (Unlimited) – to qualify, you must have held a refrigeration journeyperson I license for one year or a refrigeration master II license for one year.
  • Refrigeration Master Class II (Limited) – to qualify, you must have held a refrigeration journeyperson II license for at least three years.

South Carolina

To work as a residential HVAC contractor in South Carolina, you must hold a state license issued by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. To qualify, you will need to have at least one year of HVAC experience under the direct supervision of a Master Heating and Air contractor or a licensed HVAC contractor. You will also need to pass an exam and pay 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 contractors do not require a state license to work in South Dakota, although there are licensing requirements at the city level so make sure to check the regulations of the city where you plan to work.

Tennessee

An HVAC contractor in Tennessee must have a state license before bidding on projects costing $25,000 or more. You will be awarded a Tennessee Mechanical HVAC Refrigeration Contractor License from the Board for Licensing Contractors. To receive a license you will need to pass the trade exam, as well as the business and law exam. You must also show proof of liability insurance.

Texas

In order to work as an HVAC contractor in Texas, you will need a state license issued by the Texas Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Advisory Board. There are two classes of license which determine the size of the units you can work with. To qualify for a license, you must have at least four years of practical experience in HVAC in the past six years, under the supervision of a licensed technician. Education can be substituted for some years of experience with a four-year degree in air conditioning or refrigeration engineering or technology or mechanical engineering substituting for two years of experience; a two-year degree or certification program substituting for one year of experience; and a one-year certification or training program substituting for six months of experience. You must pass an exam and show proof of insurance.

Utah

HVAC contractors in Utah require a state license from the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. There are a number of subclasses under the HVAC contractor license, depending on the type of work you plan to do. To be eligible for a license, you must show proof of four years of full-time work experience in the past ten years, and you must pass a trade exam, as well as a business and law exam. You must also show proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. To renew your license, you will need to complete six hours of continuing education.

Vermont

There is no state HVAC license requirements to work as an HVAC contractor in Vermont; however it is important to check the local requirements before you begin working in the state.

Virginia

To work as a HVAC contractor in Virginia you must have a state license from the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. There are three classes of contractor licenses (A, B and C), depending on the value of the work you plan to do. The requirements for each license type include:

  • Class A – complete an eight-hour pre-licensing course, show five years experience and $45,000 business capital, pass the trade exam and law exam, and show proof of insurance.
  • Class B – complete an eight-hour pre-licensing course, show three years of experience and $15,000 business capital, pass the trade exam and law exam, and show proof of insurance.
  • Class C – complete an eight-hour pre-licensing course, show two years of experience, pass the trade exam and law exam, and show proof of insurance.

Washington

HVAC contractors require a state license to work in Washington. The license is awarded by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. To be eligible for a license, you need to have a HVAC certificate from an accredited school and you’ll need to pass an exam.

West Virginia

The state of West Virginia requires all HVAC contractors to hold a state license issued by the West Virginia Department of Commerce Division of Labor. To be eligible for a license, you must pass the trade exam, as well as the business and law exam. You must also show proof of worker’s compensation insurance.

Wisconsin

Certification in Wisconsin is not mandatory, but becoming certified as a HVAC Qualifier may help your business, and it will cover the requirements of local jurisdictions. If you qualify, you will be licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. To be licensed, you will need to pass an exam and must have at least 1,000 hours of experience per year for four years, or at least four years in a mechanical engineering school or accredited college, or a total number of four years with a combination of education and experience.

Wyoming

There no state HVAC license requirements for contractors in Wyoming. However, make sure to check the local requirements before you begin working in the state.

This information has been provided as a service. It is correct and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge; however, it is in no way intended to offer legal advice and you must always consult with local authorities before you make any business decisions. Regulations and requirements may change at any time.

Authors

  • Sofya PogrebSofya Pogreb
  • Sanjay BiswasSanjay Biswas
  • Natalie CutlerNatalie Cutler
  • Guy GoldsteinGuy Goldstein
  • Rachel Present SchreterRachel Present Schreter
  • Alon HuriAlon Huri
  • Evyatar SagieEvyatar Sagie
  • Zeke ScherlZeke Scherl
  • Annie RyanAnnie Ryan
Rachel Present Schreter
Rachel Present Schreter | Author
Rachel is passionate about helping small businesses get the tools they need to succeed. Rachel is a marketing guru with years of experience working with tech companies, non-profits and small businesses to ensure that they are reaching the right audiences with their products.

You may also like

small business insurance online

How to Protect America’s Greatest Resource: Small Businesses

Guy Goldstein | Jan 18, 2017

Though some might argue that America runs on Dunkin Donuts, this country actually runs on small businesses. Companies with fewer than 100 employees account...

business insurance AI bot

The First Ever Chatbot For Small Business Insurance: Because who said insurance can’t be easy?

Guy Goldstein | Mar 14, 2017

Today, we’re very excited to announce the launch of the world’s first full insurance sign up via Facebook Messenger. Alongside our friends at SmallTalk,...

general liability insurance

Why don’t we offer insurance to all types of small businesses?

Sofya Pogreb | Apr 9, 2017

As the Next Insurance leader responsible for our insurance product and our Advisory team, I am delighted when small business owners call us to...

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

Authors

  • Sofya PogrebSofya Pogreb
  • Sanjay BiswasSanjay Biswas
  • Natalie CutlerNatalie Cutler
  • Guy GoldsteinGuy Goldstein
  • Rachel Present SchreterRachel Present Schreter
  • Alon HuriAlon Huri
  • Evyatar SagieEvyatar Sagie
  • Zeke ScherlZeke Scherl
  • Annie RyanAnnie Ryan

Subscribe to our blog

Follow us