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HVAC Licenses

The procedures for obtaining an HVAC license can vary widely depending on location. Our state-by-state look at the requirements helps demystify the process.

Working as an HVAC technician or HVAC contractor offers good job security, competitive pay, and an opportunity to work in a fast-growing industry with unlimited potential for advancement.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers in the U.S. is $50,590 per year, more than $8,600 higher than the median annual wage for all workers. The HVAC industry also provides real job security, with the industry projected to add 19,000 jobs by 2030, according to the BLS.

In most states, prospective HVAC-training recruits need only a high school diploma to start an apprenticeship program or join a trade school. After completing an HVAC apprenticeship training program (and earning a salary while you train), and paying an application fee, many states offer journeyman or Class A or Class B HVAC contractors licenses, while others require specialty licenses for air conditioning and refrigeration, solar, and other energy systems.

Across the U.S., federal-level EPA regulations under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act require certification for technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release refrigerants into the atmosphere. Any professional who conducts refrigerant line-pressure tests or handles or adds refrigerants to existing air-conditioning or refrigeration systems needs to hold the EPA section certification.

If you want to run your own HVAC business, you typically need an HVAC contractor license, which requires you to maintain a permanent place of business, register with your Secretary of State, carry liability insurance and performance bonds, and provide workers’ compensation.

Regardless if you want to work as a residential or commercial HVAC technician, air conditioning contractor, or refrigeration contractor, laboring as a licensed HVAC-R technician or contractor offers multiple benefits. 

This helpful guide provides a state-by-state breakdown of HVAC licensing requirements in all 50 states.

Alabama

To legally perform heating, air conditioning and refrigeration work in the state of Alabama, you must obtain licensure from the Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Contractors

The state requires licensing for heating and air conditioning contractors, refrigeration contractors, and duct airtightness contractors. Apprentices also must register with the state before performing any HVAC work under the supervision of a licensed contractor.

After two years of experience as an apprentice and proof of at least 3,000 hours (18 months) of work experience under a licensed contractor, you can apply to take the contractor's license exam. 

View the full Alabama HVAC Licensing Requirements.

Alaska

Alaska does not license HVAC technicians as it does journeyman plumbers or electricians. It does, however, require a state license for mechanical contractors that the state calls Mechanical Administrators

If you are going to own your own HVAC business in Alaska, you will need to become a licensed contractor and be a mechanical administrator in one of several specialized categories, including:

  • Heating, Cooling, and Process Piping (HCPP)

  • Mechanical Systems Temperature Control (CNTL)

  • Residential HVAC (RHVC)

  • Residential Plumbing and Hydronic Heating (RPHH)

  • Unlimited Commercial and Industrial Plumbing (UCIP)

  • Unlimited HVAC/Sheet Metal (UHVCS)

  • Unlimited Refrigeration (UR)

View the full Alaska HVAC License Requirements.

Arizona

Arizona requires a contractor license to legally perform heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration work valued at more than $1,000. HVACR contractor licenses are issued through the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC). 

The state issues three types of licenses: Specialty Commercial C-39 Air Conditioning and Refrigeration; Specialty Residential R-39 Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, including Solar; and Specialty Dual CR-39 Air Conditioning and Refrigeration.

HVAC technicians and apprentices must work under the supervision of a licensed contractor. Arizona does not license HVAC technicians or apprentices, but some of Arizona’s cities do license at the journeyman level, so you always want to check with the jurisdiction where you intend to work. 

View the full Arizona HVAC License Requirements.

Arkansas

To work as an HVAC contractor in Arkansas, you must obtain licensure from the Arkansas Department of Labor and Licensing. A license allows contractors to legally employ HVAC technicians, advertise, and bid on projects involving HVAC systems. 

Entry-level HVAC technicians do not need a license, but must register with the state and work under the supervision of a licensed contractor. There are no apprenticeship, educational, or legal requirements to begin working in the field, but techs working with refrigerants must meet EPA Section 608 technician certification requirements.

To become an HVAC-R contractor in Arkansas, you need at least two years of experience and on-the-job training as an HVAC-R technician, or graduate from an approved HVAC-R training program that includes six months of field experience. The Arkansas Department of Labor and Licensing issues six types of HVAC-R licenses, including Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, Class E, and Class L.

View the full Arkansas HVAC License Requirements.

California

To legally perform heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration work valued at more than $500 in labor and materials in the state of California, you must hold an HVAC contractor's license or work under a licensed contractor. The California Contractors State License Board issues the licenses.

In California, an HVAC license is a classification of an original contractor’s license. It is a Class C Specialty Contractor License, specifically C-20 – Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor

California requires anyone applying to take the HVAC contractor licensing exam to demonstrate four years of work experience under the supervision of a licensed contractor or four years documented journeyman-level experience in the field. 

View the full California HVAC License Requirements.

Colorado

Unlike Colorado's electricians and plumbers, the state does not require licensing for HVAC professionals. However, most cities and counties require HVAC workers — either technicians or air conditioning contractors— to be licensed at the local level.

Just keep in mind the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) Division of Professions and Occupations oversees licensing and registration in the state of Colorado for both plumbers and electricians, and some HVAC work involves using those trade skills. HVAC professionals working with refrigerants also must obtain EPA Section 608 certification.

View the full Colorado HVAC License Requirements.

Connecticut

To perform any kind of HVAC-R work in the state of Connecticut, you must be licensed. You must also register to work as an apprentice under the supervision of a licensed journeyman or licensed contractor. 

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection issues all professional licenses and oversees the Heating, Piping, Cooling, and Sheet Metal Examining Board. The 20 specific Heating, Piping and Cooling licenses in Connecticut are issued at the contractor and journeyperson level. 

To qualify to take the examination for any of the contractor-level licenses, you will need to demonstrate two years of documented work as a licensed journeyperson. To qualify to take the examination for any of the journeyperson-level licenses, you will need to complete a registered apprenticeship program or equivalent experience and training of a certain number of hours, depending on the complexity of the work. 

View the full Connecticut HVAC Licensing Requirements.

Delaware

In the state of Delaware, you must possess a Delaware master HVACR license or work under direct supervision of someone who holds a license to legally perform any HVACR services in the state.

The state of Delaware licenses HVAC professionals through the Division of Professional Regulation. Specifically, the Board of Plumbing, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Examiners is responsible for issuing licenses. 

In addition to the master HVACR license, Delaware offers the following licenses:

  • HVAC apprentice

  • HVAC journeyman

  • HVAC contractor

View the full Delaware HVAC License Requirements.

Florida

With high heat and humidity, Floridians depend on their residential and commercial cooling systems every day. To legally perform heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration work in the state of Florida, you must be a licensed air conditioning contractor or a technician apprentice working under a licensed contractor.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, a division of Florida’s Construction Industry Licensing Board, issues the licenses.

There are four types of HVAC contractor licenses available in Florida.

  • Certified HVAC contractor: Class A and Class B

  • Registered HVAC contractor: Class A and Class B

A State Certified License allows you to work anywhere in the state of Florida. You must pass the State of Florida’s licensing examination to earn a certified license.

A State Registered License allows you to work only in the locality where you passed that locality’s competency exam. Each county will have its own licensure requirements.

View the full Florida HVAC Licensing Requirements.

Georgia

To work as a “Conditioned Air Contractor” in Georgia, you must be licensed. The Georgia Construction Industry Licensing Board–Division of Conditioned Air Contractors oversees the licensing, under the umbrella of the Professional Licensing Boards Division of the Office of the Georgia Secretary of State.

There are two types of licenses for Conditioned Air Contractors in Georgia:

  • Class I License: restricted to contracting involving systems or equipment not exceeding 175,000 BTU of heating and 60,000 BTU of cooling; applicants must document four years of experience.

  • Class II: unrestricted, but applicants must document five years of experience with installations of conditioned air systems that exceed 175,000 BTU (net) of heating and 60,000 BTU of cooling.

Entry-level HVAC workers do not need a license.HVAC workers who only install, alter or repair duct systems, control systems, or insulation are not required to be licensed to work for a licensed contractor. 

View the full Georgia HVAC License Requirements.

Hawaii

While there is no statewide license for HVAC technicians in Hawaii, technicians must work for a licensed contractor. For HVACR-related work, you need to hold a Class C Specialty Contractor License, issued by Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Professional & Vocational Licensing Division. Many candidates obtain a C-52 Ventilating and Air Conditioning Contractor license, which covers most HVAC work.

View the full Hawaii HVAC License Requirements.

Idaho

To legally perform heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration work in the state of Idaho, you must obtain licensure from the Idaho Division of Building Safety, which also administers exams for all HVAC licenses. The state registers or licenses every level of this workforce, including apprentices, journeymen, and contractors. 

Idaho requires HVAC apprentices to register, and issues licenses at the journeyman and contractor level. The most common licensing is an unrestricted HVAC license that requires 8,000 hours (about four years) of experience and 576 hours of classroom education before you can apply. The state also offers four types of specialty HVAC license categories: hearth (gas lines), waste oil, fuel gas piping, and LP gas limited heating.

View the full Idaho HVAC License Requirements.

Illinois

Unlike plumbers, Illinois mandates no state-level licensing or experience requirements for entry and mid-level HVAC professionals. Certain municipalities may implement some contractor’s license restrictions, but even in Chicago, the state’s biggest city, there is no license issued to perform heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration work. 

HVAC professionals working with refrigerants, however, must obtain EPA Section 608 certification to meet federal regulations.

To become an HVAC technician in Illinois and prepare to take the EPA-certification exams, you can attend community college (usually two years) or trade school (usually six to nine months) or work as an apprentice for an HVAC company and get on-the-job training. 

If you wish to own your own business in the HVAC field in Illinois, you’ll need a state-issued business license and workers' compensation insurance.

View the full Illinois HVAC Licensing Requirements.

Indiana

Unlike Indiana's plumbers, there is no state-level licensing required for HVAC professionals. However, most cities and counties require HVAC-R workers to be licensed or certified at the local level, so be sure to check with local jurisdictions on specific HVAC requirements.

The process and fees vary from county to county, but most licenses issued follow the apprentice, journeyman, and master-level licensing hierarchy. Most jurisdictions don’t require an apprentice in the field to be licensed, only supervised by a licensed journeyman or master HVAC professional.

View the full Indiana HVAC Licensing Requirements.

Iowa

The state of Iowa requires a license to legally perform heating, air conditioning and refrigeration work of any kind. The state licenses every level of this workforce, including apprentices, service technicians, journeymen, masters, and contractors. The Iowa Department of Public Health, Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board (PMSB) is responsible for the licensing and regulation of plumbers, mechanical professionals, and contractors.

There are four main HVAC/Mechanical licenses in Iowa and a sublicense for HVAC Service Technicians, each with its own specific requirements.

View the full Iowa HVAC License Requirements.

Kansas

Kansas has no state board and doesn’t require licenses for apprentices, technicians or HVAC contractors at the state level, and therefore does not mandate state requirements for HVAC licensing.

However, some local jurisdictions, including Wichita, Topeka, and Kansas City, require local HVAC licenses or HVAC certifications to work on HVAC systems. 

Wichita: The Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department (MABCD) is the licensing board responsible for issuing journeyman and master licenses, as well as HVAC contractor licenses, in Wichita. 

Topeka: The City of Topeka Development Services Division (DSD) is responsible for issuing mechanical licenses, including apprentice and contractor licenses.

View the full Kansas HVAC License Requirements.

Kentucky

Kentucky licenses HVAC professionals at the state level. To legally perform heating, air conditioning and refrigeration work in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, you must be a licensed master HVAC contractor, licensed journeyman HVAC mechanic, or a registered apprentice working under a licensed contractor.

The Kentucky Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction - Division of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning issues and renews all HVAC licenses in the Commonwealth.

View the full Kentucky HVAC Licensing Requirements.

Louisiana

To legally perform heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration work valued at more than $10,000 in labor and materials in the state of Louisiana, you must be a licensed mechanical contractor or be working under a state-licensed mechanical contractor.

Commercial Mechanical Contractor licenses are issued through the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors (LSLBC), and cover both commercial and residential buildings. 

The state does not license technicians, but does offer sub-classifications of the Commercial Mechanical Contractor license, including just for heating, air conditioning, ventilation, duct work, and refrigeration.

View the full Louisiana HVAC License Requirements.

Maine

The state of Maine issues no HVAC licenses, but offers other licenses that relate to the work of servicing heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. The Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation in Maine oversees the Maine Fuel Board and issues licenses in the following specialty categories:

  • Master Oil Burner and/or Solid Fuel Technician

  • Journeyman Oil Burner and/or Solid Fuel Technician

  • Apprentice Oil Burner and/or Solid Fuel Technician

  • Propane and Natural Gas Technicians

  • Limited Propane Energy Auditors

  • Limited Oil Energy Auditors

  • Limited Tank Installers

  • Limited Wood Pellet Technicians 

View the full Maine HVAC License Requirements.

Maryland

It is illegal to perform any HVAC services in Maryland without a state-issued license. Even entry-level HVAC technicians need a license and must work under the supervision of a licensed contractor. 

The state issues six types of HVAC-R licenses: Master, Master Restricted, Limited Contractor, Journeyman, Journeyman Restricted, and Apprentice. HVAC-R licenses are issued by the Maryland Board of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors, one of 21 licensing boards that fall under the Maryland Department of Labor — Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.

View the full Maryland HVAC Licensing Requirements.

Massachusetts

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not license HVAC technicians, as they do electricians and plumbers. However, they do require anyone dealing with refrigerants to be licensed by the state, and EPA Section 608-certified to meet federal regulations. 

Massachusetts requires a refrigeration license for anyone working with more than 10 tons of refrigeration, such as in industrial or commercial projects and larger homes. For apprentices, technicians, and contractors who perform refrigeration work with a capacity over 10 tons, Refrigeration Licenses are issued by the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure Office of Public Safety and Inspections.  

View the full Massachusetts HVAC Licensing Requirements.

Michigan

To legally perform heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration work in the state of Michigan, you must be a licensed mechanical contractor or a technician apprentice working under a licensed contractor. The state does not license technicians, but does require a special license for repairing or installing boilers.

Mechanical Contractor licenses are issued through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). The Bureau of Construction Codes, Mechanical Division licenses Mechanical Contractors in a wide variety of classifications and specialties. 

Some of Michigan’s cities require state-licensed tradesmen to register, so always check with the jurisdiction where you intend to work to make sure you’re following local requirements.

View the full Michigan HVAC License Requirements.

Minnesota

The state of Minnesota does not license HVAC professionals at the state level, as they do electricians and plumbers through the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Instead, local municipalities assume oversight. 

For instance, Minneapolis and St. Paul require HVAC contractors to be certified before working in either jurisdiction. Always check with the jurisdiction where you intend to work to make sure you’re following local requirements.

The Minneapolis Construction Code Service and the St. Paul Department of Safety and Inspection issue certificates of competency, or Comp Cards, at the journey and master level. The two cities have reciprocal agreements, so if you’re certified in one you can get your certification in the other without having to retest. 

View the full Minnesota HVAC License Requirements.

Mississippi

Mississippi requires a state-issued contractor license to legally perform heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration work valued at more than $10,000. For residential or commercial projects that fall under $10,000, no HVAC contractor's license is required. Anyone who handles refrigerants must have EPA Section 608 certification, no matter the monetary value of the project.

Mississippi State Board of Contractors (MSBOC) issues both residential and commercial contractor licensing. Some local jurisdictions also require local licensing. Always check with the jurisdiction where you intend to work to make sure you’re following local requirements. For instance, the city of Gulfport issues a Mechanical/HVAC Contractor license through its Building Code Services office, and so does the Building Department of Ocean Springs

View the full Mississippi HVAC License Requirements.

Missouri

The state of Missouri does not license HVAC professionals at the state level. Instead, city and county governments are responsible for oversight. By state statute, only candidates for journeyman and master plumber certification must take an exam to work in a city with a population of 15,000 or more.

Both Kansas City and St. Louis, the most populous cities, mandates strict licensing requirements for HVAC technicians and mechanical contractors. 

The Kansas City Department of Planning & Development and the St. Louis County Department of Public Works issue certificates of qualification at the journey and master levels, and license contractors. 

In St. Louis, the categories for journeyman licensing are broken into areas of specialization commonly practiced by HVAC professionals, like:

  • Pipe fitter

  • Sprinkler fitter

  • Sheet metal

  • HVAC service-installer

View the full Missouri HVAC License Requirements.

Montana

Montana does not license HVAC professionals at the state level, but there are other state-mandated regulations.

You are required to register as a construction contractor with the Montana Department of Labor and Industry if you plan to own your own HVAC business. 

In Montana, technicians must work for a registered contractor or be registered as a contractor instead. Even though HVAC technicians don’t need to be licensed through the state, if you handle refrigerants as part of your job, you will need Environmental Protection Agency certification under federal law, which will require passing an examination. 

View the full Montana HVAC License Requirements.

Nebraska

Nebraska doesn’t mandate licenses for HVAC apprentices, HVAC technicians, or HVAC contractors at the state level.

However, some municipalities, including Omaha and Lincoln, require local HVAC licenses or HVAC certifications to work on HVAC systems. Nebraska also requires all state contractors, regardless of trade, to register with the Nebraska Department of Labor

Omaha: The City of Omaha Planning Department Air Conditioning/Air Distribution (ACAD) board oversees local licensing. Candidates can pursue an ACAD apprentice license, a commercial ACAD, or sheet metal journeyman license, and a residential sheet metal journeyman’s license. 

Lincoln: The City of Lincoln Department of Building and Safety is responsible for issuing HVAC licenses in Lincoln. Candidates can pursue an apprentice license, journeyman mechanical technician license, or a master mechanical contractor license.

View the full Nebraska HVAC License Requirements.

Nevada

Nevada does not require licenses for HVAC technicians, installers, or apprentices, but does require a Nevada contractor's license for HVAC contractors or contractors performing HVAC-related work. The Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB) issues contractor licenses, including: Classification C-1 Plumbing and Heating Contracting license and Classification C-21 Refrigeration and Air Conditioning license.

View the full Nevada HVAC License Requirements.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire licenses gasfitters and oil heating technicians at the state level, but does not mandate HVAC licenses for apprentices, technicians, or contractors who work on HVAC systems. In addition, HVAC contractors who own their own businesses must obtain a state mechanical business entity license.

View the full New Hampshire HVAC License Requirements.

New Jersey

The state of New Jersey licenses HVAC professionals at the state level through the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. Specifically, the State Board of Examiners of Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors licenses and regulates the industry. 

New Jersey offers one type of state-issued license: master HVACR contractor license.

View the full New Jersey HVAC License Requirements.

New Mexico

New Mexico mandates licenses for HVAC technicians and contractors at the state level via the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department Construction Industries Division

New Mexico HVAC license types include:

  • Journeyman gasfitter

  • Journeyman refrigeration

  • Journeyman plumber and natural gasfitter

  • Journeyman boiler operator (low pressure only)

  • Journeyman boiler operator (high and low pressure)

  • HVAC contractor

    • MM-2: Natural Gasfitting

    • MM-3: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning

    • MM-4: Heating, Cooling, and Process Piping

    • MM-98: Mechanical Contractor (covers all the MM categories above plus MM-1, Plumbing)

View the full New Mexico HVAC License Requirements.

New York

New York does not license HVAC professionals at the state level. Instead, city and county governments are responsible for oversight and licensing. Make sure to check local regulations in the city or town where you intend to work.

New York City issues three HVAC-related licenses. The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) issues the Oil Burning Equipment Installer and High Pressure Boiler Operating Engineer licenses, and the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) tests for and issues a Refrigeration Operating Engineer Certificate of Qualification license.

View the full New York HVAC License Requirements.

North Carolina

To legally perform heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration work in the state of North Carolina, you must be a licensed contractor or a technician apprentice working under a licensed contractor.

The North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors issues licenses for all heating and air conditioning contractors.

The State Board of Refrigeration Contractors issues licenses for anyone engaged in commercial, industrial or transport refrigeration contracting.

North Carolina breaks down HVAC licenses into three groups and two classes, and Refrigeration Contractor licenses into four groups.

View the full North Carolina HVAC License Requirements.

North Dakota

North Dakota does not mandate licenses at the state level for HVAC apprentices, HVAC technicians or HVAC contractors. However, any general contractor or residential contractor who works on projects valued at $4,000 or more must obtain a North Dakota State contractor’s license through the North Dakota Secretary of State. 

Fargo: The City of Fargo Department of Inspections is responsible for issuing HVAC licenses. HVAC candidates can pursue four types of HVAC licenses, including journeyman mechanical, journeyman fuel gas, master mechanical, and master fuel gas.

Bismarck: The City of Bismarck requires mechanical licensing, issued by the City of Bismarck Community Development Department, Building Inspection Division, for anyone who undertakes or performs HVAC work, any mechanical installation, alteration, or repair. HVAC candidates can pursue apprentice, journeyman or master licenses, each with different requirements and experience.

View the full North Dakota HVAC License Requirements.

Ohio

Ohio issues only one kind of HVAC license: a state-level commercial contractor license for HVAC. The Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB) issues state licenses to HVAC contractors who perform commercial work.

HVAC tradespeople can learn the craft and work in the trade without a license under the supervision of a licensed contractor. After years of work experience, HVAC technicians in Ohio can become a contractor and build their own business. 

Many cities like Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo, as well as other local jurisdictions, have additional licensing or registration requirements, so be sure to check where you plan to work.

View the full Ohio HVAC License Requirements.

Oklahoma

To legally perform heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration work in the state of Oklahoma, you must be licensed as a mechanical journeyman or mechanical contractor, or registered as a mechanical apprentice working under a licensed contractor. 

Mechanical journeyman and mechanical contractor licenses are issued through the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board. Some jurisdictions also require state-licensed tradesmen to register locally. Always check with the jurisdiction where you intend to work to make sure you’re following local requirements. In Oklahoma City, for example, mechanical contractors must pay a fee to register their state licenses with the city to work there.

View the full Oklahoma HVAC License Requirements.

Oregon

A license is required to perform HVAC work in Oregon, and even apprentices must be registered by an employer with the state.

Oregon offers two types of HVAC technician licenses and one contractor license: Class A and Class B Limited Energy Technicians, and Limited Maintenance Specialty Contractor HVAC-R.

The Oregon Building Codes Division Office (BCD) issues non-contracting specialty electrical licenses for Limited Energy Technicians, while the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) issues specialty contracting licenses for HVAC work.

View the full Oregon HVAC License Requirements.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania does not mandate licenses for apprentices, technicians or HVAC contractors at the state level. However, some municipalities, including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, require local HVAC licenses or HVAC certifications to work on HVAC systems. 

In addition, any technician who maintains, services, repairs, or disposes of equipment that could release refrigerants into the atmosphere must earn an EPA Section 608 technician certification.

The City of Philadelphia Business Services Department is responsible for issuing HVAC licenses in Philadelphia. The City of Pittsburgh requires an HVAC contractor license, issued by the Pittsburgh Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections, to install, erect, enlarge, repair, alter, remove, convert, or replace any mechanical system within the City of Pittsburgh.

View the full Pennsylvania HVAC License Requirements.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island requires heating and air conditioning mechanics, as well as refrigeration mechanics, to obtain state licensure from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, Division of Professional Regulation

HVAC contractors performing basic HVAC work, however, only need to register with the State of Rhode Island Contractors' Registration and Licensing Board (CRLB).

Rhode Island requires licensing for HVAC techs working as a sheet metal technician, refrigeration/air conditioning technician, or pipefitter at the apprentice or journeyman level, as well as the licensed master contractor level.

View the full Rhode Island HVAC Licensing Requirements.

South Carolina

To be a commercial HVAC contractor in South Carolina or a residential HVAC contractor, you must be licensed through the state. However, entry-level HVAC workers don't need licensing as long as they work under the supervision of a licensed contractor. 

HVAC contractor licenses are issued on a statewide level through two different entities. The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation oversees both the Contractor’s Licensing Board, which issues licenses for commercial mechanical contractors, and the Residential Builders Commission, which issues licenses for residential specialty HVAC contractors.

View the full South Carolina HVAC License Requirements.

South Dakota

South Dakota doesn’t mandate licensing for HVAC apprentices, HVAC technicians, or HVAC contractors at the state level. However, some local municipalities do, so it's important to check with the appropriate municipality for complete licensing and regulation requirements.

The cities of Sioux Falls and Rapid City, for instance, require local HVAC contractors licenses or specialty contractor licenses for certain types of HVAC work, similar to Class A or Class B general contractor or residential building contractor licenses. 

The City of Sioux Falls Building Services issues contractor licensing relating to mechanical and refrigeration work within city limits. The two licenses include a mechanical contractor license for mechanical and HVAC work, and a refrigeration contractor license for refrigeration and coolant work. The City of Rapid City Building Services Division issues mechanical and gas contractor licenses for contractors, apprentices, journeymen/installers, or gas fitters.

View the full South Dakota HVAC License Requirements.

Tennessee

To be an HVAC professional in Tennessee, you must be licensed at both the state and local level. Cities and counties throughout the state issue traditional journeyman or master contractor licenses while the state only issues HVAC contractor licenses.

Two classifications of HVAC contractor licenses — CMC-Full Mechanical Contractor and CMC-C-Mechanical-HVAC/Refrigeration Contractor — are issued on a statewide level by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance through the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors.

A state-level license is not required for technicians and installers, but local jurisdictions may offer their own licensure for HVAC mechanics and installers.

View the full Tennessee HVAC License Requirements.

Texas

To perform heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration work in the state of Texas, you must be a licensed contractor—or a registered or certified technician working under a licensed contractor. 

There are two types of HVAC contractor licenses in Texas. A Class A contractor license allows you to work on any size unit. A Class B contractor license allows you to work on cooling systems of no more than 25 tons and heating systems of 1.5 million BTUs/hour or less.

After working on a jobsite for 24 months under a licensed contractor's supervision, Texas HVAC techs can opt to become a Certified ACR Technician by completing a 2,000-hour HVAC certification program. Individuals not interested in becoming a Certified ACR Technician must complete 48 months of jobsite experience under the supervision of a licensed contractor before applying for their own contractor’s license. 

View the full Texas HVAC License Requirements.

Utah

To legally perform heating, air conditioning and refrigeration work in the state of Utah, you must be a licensed contractor or an apprentice or technician working under a licensed contractor. The state does not register apprentices or license technicians.

The Utah Department of Commerce — Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) issues one HVAC contractor license, a specialty contracting license with the trade classification of S350. 

Some cities in Utah also require contractors to obtain a business license before working within their city limits. For instance, Salt Lake City requires a business license for all trades, including mechanical contractors.

View the full Utah HVAC License Requirements.

Vermont

Vermont does not require HVAC technicians to be licensed, but the state does require contractor licensing for specific specialty trades, such as an Electrical Specialist (ES) license for HVAC contractors and technicians working with propane, natural gas, or oil, and air conditioning and refrigeration units.

The Electrical Specialist (ES) license for HVAC contractors can be obtained through the Vermont Department of Public Safety Division of Fire Safety. The ES license types available for HVAC contractors fall into two classification options: 

  • Automatic Gas/Oil Heating (A1): required for any individual who installs or services HVAC units with propane, natural gas, or oil, such as gas furnaces or oil burners.  

  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (C3): required for any individual who installs or services units with refrigeration or air conditioning.

The three largest cities in Vermont — Burlington, South Burlington and Essex — do not require HVAC licensing to work on the local level, but may require permits. It’s always best to check with the local jurisdictions in advance.

View the full Vermont HVAC License Requirements.

Virginia

To work as an HVAC technician in Virginia, you must be licensed. The Board for Contractors regulates and licenses HVAC tradesmen in Virginia.

There are three basic levels of HVAC licenses in Virginia, and each requires a combination of formal education and practical experience. You’ll begin as an apprentice to gain the practical experience required to get a license while taking classes to learn the theoretical or conceptual parts of the trade. Virginia HVAC licenses include journeyman, master, and three classifications of contractor licenses, Class A, Class B, and Class C.

View the full Virginia HVAC License Requirements.

Washington

Washington does not offer a statewide HVAC or mechanical license. Rather, HVAC technicians and specialty contractors must obtain a Speciality Electrician license from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

Additionally, cities like Kennewick, Pullman, Seattle, Spokane, and Yakima all license HVAC and/or Refrigeration professionals who want to work within city limits. Be sure to check local requirements where you intend to work.

View the full Washington HVAC License Requirements.

West Virginia

The state of West Virginia requires licensure to legally perform heating, air conditioning and refrigeration work of any kind. The state licenses every level of this workforce, including apprentices, technicians, and contractors. 

The West Virginia Division of Labor is responsible for the licensing and regulation of HVAC technicians and contractors. State legislators passed a bill in June 2021 that ultimately makes these duties the responsibility of the West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board. However, the Division of Labor will continue to perform administrative and enforcement duties for the Contractor Licensing Board until June 2023.

View the full West Virginia HVAC License Requirements.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin requires no statewide license application to work as an HVAC technician, but many local jurisdictions issue their own HVAC certification requirements. 

An optional state-level HVAC Qualifier Certification will satisfy any local mandates. The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services — Trades Credentialing Division issues that certification to individuals who demonstrate competency in the field through experience and successfully passing an exam. 

DSPS also issues an HVAC Contractor Registration, required for any HVAC business to operate legally. Anyone who works with refrigerants in air conditioning equipment must also have federal-level EPA certification. 

View the full Wisconsin HVAC License Requirements.

Wyoming

Wyoming does not administer licensing at the state level for HVAC apprentices, HVAC technicians, or HVAC contractors. 

However some local municipalities, including Cheyenne and Casper, require HVAC Contractors licenses or Specialty Contractor licenses at the local level for HVAC work, similar to Class A General Contractor or Class B Building Contractor licenses.

Cheyenne: The City of Cheyenne Building Permitting & Licensing issues both HVAC and refrigeration master and contractor licenses, journeyman licenses, and apprentice licenses.

The city's HVAC-related licenses, classified as Class C-1 licenses, include:

  • HVAC Master & Contractor 

  • HVAC Journeyman

  • HVAC Apprentice

  • Refrigeration Master & Contractor

  • Refrigeration Journeyman

  • Refrigeration Apprentice

The City of Casper Community Development Department issues individual contractor licenses for several types of HVAC work, including mechanical positions, boiler operators, and gas fitters.

View the full Wyoming HVAC License Requirements.

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