Licensing Guides

Alaska HVAC License: How to Become an HVAC Contractor in Alaska

category-iconHVAC, AK

Table of Contents
  1. Licensing Requirements for HVAC Professionals in Alaska

  2. Types of HVAC Licenses in Alaska

  3. Steps to Becoming an HVAC Professional in Alaska

  4. Benefits of Becoming an HVAC Professional in Alaska

  5. What Is the Mean Wage for an HVAC Technician in Alaska?

  6. How to Become an HVAC Professional in Alaska

  7. How Much Does It Cost to Become an HVAC Technician In Alaska?

  8. How Long Does it Take to Become an HVAC Tech in Alaska?

  9. Alaska HVAC Training programs and schools

  10. Alaska Licensing Exam Details

  11. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Certification

  12. Core Exam

  13. Who Issues HVAC Licenses in Alaska?

  14. Does My License Allow Me to Work in Any Other State?

  15. National HVAC Certifications

  16. Continuing Education/Renewal

Alaska is the coldest state in the U.S. with an average temperature of 26.6 degrees, and it’s not uncommon for it to hit 30 degrees below zero in the winter. But it can be much warmer in the interior of the state during the summer and has been known to reach well into the 90s. Maintaining the climate control systems in homes and businesses in the 49th state is essential work.

Learning this trade ensures job security in Alaska and a healthy paycheck too. Alaska has the highest annual mean wage for HVAC Mechanics and installers in the United States, according to the  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau also reports that there are over 380,400 Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers nationwide and only 540 of them work in Alaska. The national number is expected to grow 5% from 2020 to 2030 — adding 19,000 of these skilled workers to the ranks. Thankfully, in Alaska that growth rate is expected to be a little bit higher. The U.S. Department of Labor’s job search website, CareerOneStop, projects the growth rate in Alaska to be 9% for HVAC mechanics and installers, and the Associated General Contractors of America, says contractors are hiring. In the 2020 AGC-Autodesk Workforce Survey, 60% of firms in the U.S. and 56% of firms in Alaska had unfilled hourly craft positions.

» Want to grow your HVAC business? Click here to get a demo.

Air conditioning, refrigeration and heating systems in our homes and businesses wear out and break down, so there is always a need for tradespeople who know how to fix them or install new systems.  Also, as the push for energy efficiency and reducing pollution grows stronger, there’s a need for mechanical systems to be retrofitted, upgraded or replaced entirely to remain compliant; in a climate like Alaska’s, heating in particular is non-negotiable.

The licensing requirements for HVAC workers and HVAC contractors vary from state to state and in some cases from locality to locality. Alaska has a little of both.

Licensing Requirements for HVAC Professionals in Alaska

Is a license required for HVAC Professionals in Alaska? The answer depends upon your job description.

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. So, if you are going to own your own HVAC business, you will need to be a licensed contractor and be a mechanical administrator in one of several specialized categories or have one working for you. The Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing staffs the mechanical administrator program. 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. You can also encounter local licensing mandates depending on where you intend to work. Anchorage, for example, has additional licensing layered on top of the state requirements.

Types of HVAC Licenses in Alaska

What are the different types of HVAC licenses in Alaska? As stated, there is no statewide license for HVAC technicians in Alaska. The state refers to HVAC techs as journeymen, although that can be somewhat misleading and confusing because journeyman status in most trades is earned after years of experience and demonstrating command of the subject matter through examination culminating in licensure. That’s not at all applicable to HVAC technicians in Alaska who are unlicensed but must work for a licensed contractor instead.

You will likely learn the trade by enrolling in an HVAC trade school program or apprenticeship. Most employers expect you to have acquired basic knowledge through a training program, but some are willing to train new employees from scratch. Since the state doesn’t have any entry-level licensing, the first licensing you will encounter is the need for EPA Section 608 Certification, which is required by federal law. You will need to pass an examination for certification. We’ll explain more about that a little later.

To become a Mechanical Administrator in Alaska you will need to determine the specialty or specialties you’ll be performing based on the types of jobs the company you work for handles most often or where your interests lie. The Regulated Professions are:

  • 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)

Each has specific education/experience requirements. In most cases, an HVAC program completed through an accredited program will count for up to two years of it. The specific requirements are as follows:

Residential HVAC (RHVC)

  • Practical experience as a journeyman in residential HVAC work for at least two of the four years immediately preceding the date of the application.

Residential Plumbing and Hydronic Heating (RPHH)

  • Practical experience as a journeyman in residential plumbing and hydronic heating work for at least two of the four years immediately preceding the date of the application.

Mechanical Systems Temperature Control (CNTL)

  • Practical experience as a journeyman in mechanical systems temperature control work for at least two of the four years immediately before the date of application;

  • Management experience in mechanical systems temperature control work as a field superintendent or similar position for at least four of the six years immediately preceding the date of the application; or

  • A degree in mechanical engineering from a regionally or nationally accredited college or university, or from a college, university, or trade school in mechanical systems temperature control that is regionally or nationally accredited or approved by the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education.

Unlimited Refrigeration (UR)

  • Has practical experience as a journeyman in refrigeration for at least two of the four years immediately before the date of application; or

  • Is a graduate of a college, university, or trade school in refrigeration that is accredited regionally or nationally or approved by the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education.

Unlimited HVAC/Sheet Metal (UHVCS)

  • Practical experience as a journeyman in HVAC and sheet metal work for at least four of the six years immediately before the date of the application;

  • Management experience in HVAC and sheet metal work as a field superintendent or similar position for at least four of the six years immediately before the date of the application;

  • A degree in mechanical engineering from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university plus practical experience as a journeyman or field engineer in HVAC and sheet metal work for at least one of the three years immediately before the date of application; or

  • A registration in the state as a professional mechanical engineer plus management experience in the mechanical contracting industry as a field engineer or similar engineering position for at least one of the three years immediately before the date of application.

Heating, Cooling, and Process Piping (HCPP)

  • Practical experience as a journeyman in heating, cooling, and process piping work for at least four of the six years immediately before the date of application;

  • Construction management experience in heating, cooling, and process piping work as a field superintendent or similar position for at least four of the six years immediately before the date of application;

  • A degree in mechanical engineering from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university plus practical experience as a journeyman pipefitter or field engineer in heating, cooling, and process piping work for at least one of the three years immediately before the date of application; or

  • A registration in the state as a professional mechanical engineer plus management experience in the mechanical contracting industry as a field engineer or similar engineering position for at least one of the three years immediately before the date of application.

Unlimited Commercial and Industrial Plumbing (UCIP)

  • Practical experience as a journeyman plumber for at least four of the six years immediately before the date of the application;

  • Management experience in plumbing work as a field superintendent or similar position for at least four of the six years immediately before the date of application;

  • A degree in mechanical engineering from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university plus practical experience as a journeyman plumber or field engineer for at least one of the three years immediately before the date of application; or

  • A registration in the state as a professional mechanical engineer plus management experience in the mechanical contracting industry as a field engineer or similar engineering position for at least one of the three years immediately before the date of application. 

Note: One year of experience is the equivalent of 12 consecutive months of work and at least 1,500 hours. 

On the state level, there is also a “Certificate of Fitness” for gas piping and appliances referred to as a Restricted Plumber/PG Certificate and Boiler operator and Boiler installation/repair licenses for those individuals performing this specialized work.

The City of Anchorage has further licensing for mechanical contractors. You must obtain a Municipal ​Contractors License or what is more commonly referred to as a Muni card. Any individual working in the Plumbing/Mechanical trade will be required to obtain a qualification (fitness) card from the municipality, and you will have to take an exam to do so.

The following is a list of the required proof of hours to sit for the exam:

  • Plumbing & Sheetmetal Contractor  12,000 hours

  • Gas Piping Contractor     8,000 hours

  • Plumbing & Sheetmetal Journeyman    8,000 hours

  • Gas Piping Journeyman    4,000 hours 

The #1 newsletter for the trades.

Steps to Becoming an HVAC Professional in Alaska

  1. Meet employer expectations by being 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED, a driver’s license and basic math and reading skills.

  2. Enrolling in a training program — either college degree program or an apprenticeship-- makes you a more attractive job candidate.

  3. Get EPA Certification if you will be handling refrigerant.

  4. Work indefinitely as an HVAC tech for a licensed contractor.

  5. Or get licensed as a mechanical administrator if you would like to be a contractor yourself or work as the mechanical administrator of record for a mechanical contractor.

  6. Accumulate the required hours of experience for the category of mechanical administrator license you desire.

  7. Apply for license, paying application and license fee for that specific license.

  8. Receive notice of eligibility to test and take and pass the state-mandated exam.

  9. Receive your Mechanical Administrator license.

  10. Register your corporation/entity with the State of Alaska Division of Corporations to receive an Alaska Entity Number.

  11. Apply to the State of Alaska Business License Section to obtain a business license.

After you have met the above requirements with this division, there will be other agencies you need to work with to ensure compliance with local, state and federal government requirements. In Anchorage, there is an entire additional licensing process.

Keep your mechanical administrator license current by completing continuing education and renewing it every two years.

Benefits of Becoming an HVAC Professional in Alaska

There are many benefits of working in the HVAC field in Alaska:

  • HVAC Mechanics and Installers in Alaska are paid very well, commanding the highest annual mean wage in the nation.

  • You will earn as you learn with a potential for pay increases as you develop new skills during that on-the-job training.

  • The state certification and local licenses you earn over your years of experience are proof of your knowledge and expertise.

  • You will receive industry-recognized credentials that can go with you anywhere.

  • Being a skilled tradesman gives you a competitive advantage and job security.

  • You will be embarking on a career, not just doing a job.

  • You can eventually own your own business and be your own boss. 

What Is the Mean Wage for an HVAC Technician in Alaska?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the annual mean wage for HVAC mechanics and installers nationally as $54,690, and $70,100 for those in Alaska. That salary, as you might expect, increases as you acquire more experience, according to Indeed.com.

  • HVAC Installer: The average wage for an HVAC installer is $25.21 per hour in Alaska and $6,250 overtime per year.

  • HVAC Technician: The average wage for an HVAC Technician is $28.82 per hour in Alaska and $6,375 overtime per year.

  • HVAC Mechanic: The average wage for an HVAC Mechanic is $29.55 per hour in Alaska and $8,925 overtime per year.

  • HVAC Supervisor: The average base wage for an HVAC Supervisor is $73,819 per year in Alaska and $9,375 overtime per year. 

Pay ranges can vary widely, depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession. 

What Business Owners Need to Know

Getting the most out of an HVAC technician, no matter where they are in their licensing journey, takes work. ServiceTitan’s cloud-based, all-in-one HVAC software gives technicians and business owners the technology they need to do the work efficiently, and the data they need to do it smartly. 

ServiceTitan features:

  • SMS communications that keep customers informed about the technician’s visit.

  • Location-specific service history, including recorded calls, accessible from the mobile app.

  • Required forms that ensure every job is done right, driving consistency.

  • The ability to build multi-option proposals with photos, on-site, in minutes.

  • Sales presentations that make conversations with customers easier and drive average ticket.

  • Mobile payment acceptance, eliminating lost checks and increasing cash flow.

To learn more, schedule a demo with a product expert today. 

How to Become an HVAC Professional in Alaska

The most common path taken to enter the HVAC field in Alaska is enrolling in a trade school or apprenticeship program. It’s all about meeting employer expectations since there is no licensing option for entry-level journeyman technicians in Alaska.  

EDUCATION/WORK EXPERIENCE: There are many ways to get the classroom and on-the-job training you need to work in the heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration industry in Alaska, but each path combines these two elements — education and experience. You have basically three options to get it:

Apprenticeship: Apprenticeships are sometimes referred to as “The Other Four-Year Degree,” because it’s like college for the trades. If you get one of the coveted apprentice openings through your local United Association Union of Plumbers, Fitters, Welders, & Service Techs it’s like getting a scholarship to college. Alaska has three UA local chapters that offer plumbing, pipefitting, welding, and heating apprenticeships. UA Local 367 based in Anchorage offers each of those for both Residential and Commercial. It is a 10,000-hour program, about five years, of on-the-job training.

Apprentices are mentored on the job by journeymen and go to school to learn trade-specific subjects. These apprenticeships are very competitive, so you may need to distinguish yourself if this is the path you want to take. You can do that by starting on one of the other paths to licensure.

College/Trade School: Another way to begin the process of becoming an HVAC tech, and the most common in Alaska, is to get a certificate or degree in the field. There are many programs to choose from. An associate of applied science degree will take about two years, and certificate programs can take six months to a year. This can distinguish you from other candidates for one of those union apprentice openings or make you a more desirable candidate for an entry-level job with an HVAC employer. That is the entire intent of the program at the Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) in Seward.

Entry-level Employment: The other way to begin is to simply look for an entry-level job opening and work for a licensed mechanical contractor. Again, though, most employers state in job postings that HVAC training is preferred. Some employers will act as a sponsor in a registered apprenticeship through Alaska’s Office of Apprenticeship, which maintains a list of registered apprenticeships that meet national standards for registration with the U.S. Department of Labor. Apprenticeships through the Department of Labor are recognized nationwide, so your credentials will move with you. You will be required to attend classes at night or on weekends to get the requisite theoretical training, but you’ll be getting your academic instruction in tandem with your practical experience, and you probably won’t be paying for all of it.

You may work indefinitely as an HVAC journeyman technician in Alaska without pursuing a state-level license. Keep in mind, however, that Anchorage has its own licensing requirements. And, as you’ve learned the trade you will need to have EPA Section 608 Certification, which is a standard federal requirement for anyone testing refrigerant line pressure, adding refrigerant to existing AC systems or handling controlled refrigerants. We’ll outline that process in detail in a moment.

LICENSING/EXAMINATION: Once you’ve accrued the required education and experience to become licensed as a mechanical administrator, you can apply for the category that aligns with the work you perform using this form. The form will need to be notarized and returned with a $150 nonrefundable application fee and $200 license fee. It should include a complete resume detailing education and experience in the license category for which you are applying, a “Certificate in Support of Applicant’s Experience and Qualifications” from three persons who are employed in the mechanical industry in any state in the category for which you are applying. Individuals completing the form must have personal knowledge of your work experience and qualifications. You should also include official transcripts from a college, university, or trade school sent directly to the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing by the school (if using education to qualify). An individual applying for licensure by examination must provide all of this to obtain approval to schedule the license examination. More on the exam itself is below.

CONSIDER BECOMING AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR: If you wish to own your own business in the HVAC field in Alaska, you will not only need to be licensed as a Mechanical Administrator but also as a Mechanical Contractor. Mechanical contractors may perform any of the mechanical disciplines for which their Mechanical Administrator license allows (plumbing, heating, sheet metal, or refrigeration). A mechanical contractor may perform only mechanical work; the installation of mechanical controls requires both an Electrical Administrators license and a Mechanical Administrators license. You will then need to register your corporation/entity with the State of Alaska Division of Corporations to receive an Alaska Entity Number, and apply to the State of Alaska Business License Section to obtain a business license. Business License fees are $50 per year and may be purchased for 1 year ($50) or 2 years ($100). All business licenses expire on Dec. 31 regardless of the date of purchase. The expiring year depends on your choice of an annual (1 year) or biennial (2 year) license. Payment can be made by check, money order, or major credit card. Make checks payable to the State of Alaska.

You will need general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance — unless you are a sole proprietor, then you wouldn’t need the workers’ comp. There’s a lot of help to be found on the state website to walk you through this process. There’s an updated application with step-by-step instructions too.

RENEW: You will need to maintain your licenses as well. To keep your mechanical administrator license current, you’ll need to complete eight hours of continuing education and renew it every two years.

How Much Does It Cost to Become an HVAC Technician in Alaska? 

How you get started will determine your upfront costs. For example, the total cost of the  Plumbing and Heating program offered through AVTEC is listed as $12, 339. The cost to take the EPA Section 608 Certification Examination can be as low as $20 for the Type I exam and upwards of $150 for the Universal Exam, but if you start with a college program or apprenticeship, that may be included. There is also the $350 total in fees for the mechanical administrator license — $150 for the application and $200 for the license itself. The examination fee is paid directly to PSI Exams and is $150 for any of the categories of mechanical administrator.

How Long Does it Take to Become an HVAC Tech in Alaska? 

Because there is no entry-level state licensing for HVAC technicians, it will take as much time as it takes to meet employer expectations. Most employers prefer some kind of post-secondary training. Certificate programs vary in length. Some are only six months. Most associate degree programs in Applied Science will take about two years. Apprenticeships are typically five years long. Beyond that, each of the categories of Mechanical Administrator license takes a minimum of two to four years of experience in the discipline for which you are applying.

Alaska HVAC Training programs and schools 

There are many programs to get the training you need to become an HVAC technician or mechanical contractor in Alaska. There are also many more options for online training. The U.S. Department of Labor’s careeronestop.org website lists 193 training programs for Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Engineering Technology Technicians in Alaska. 

As previously stated, most HVAC technicians hold some kind of post-secondary degree or certificate. There are currently two main organizations that approve HVAC programs and schools nationwide: HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA).

Currently, HVAC Excellence has not accredited any programs in the state and PAHRAH has accredited one school in Alaska:

  • Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) in Seward

HVACClasses.org breaks down the credit-hour requirements for several programs in Alaska including the one at AVTEC.

Here are a couple of great lists to the best HVAC schools in Alaska:

Apprenticeship: The alternative to a college education program is to look for an apprenticeship. There are several formal apprenticeship opportunities to get the training you need in Alaska. Local United Association union chapters are a great place to start your search because they are considered the gold standard in apprenticeships in the trades. The UA Chapters are listed here. Each has a slightly different way of doing things. You will want to apply to the local chapter where you live. Local 367 in Anchorage offers Plumbing, Pipe Fitting, Welding, and Heating Apprenticeships.  Each is a five-year program consisting of 10,000 hours. The apprentice is paid while working, with raises of 10% given upon satisfactory completion of 12 months and 2,000 hours of work. Classroom and shop training is a mandatory six weeks each year. You are not paid while attending class, but if qualified, you can collect unemployment.

You will work with and will be trained by expert experienced journeymen, who have extensive field experience in today’s Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry. The cost of training is paid by the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC), composed of the Union and Union Contractors, as a part of each member’s fringe packet. If the Scholarship Agreement is not breached by the apprentice, there are no scholarship fees. There are some fees for books and licenses. The minimum requirements are:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older

  • Must have either a high school diploma, GED or a two-year minimum secondary/college degree

  • Valid Alaska Driver’s License

  • NO DUI or DWI on your driving record in the last three years from application closing date

  • I-9 Employment Verification Documentation

  • WorkKeys tests (ACT Assessment tests)

The apprenticeships offered through Local 375 out of Fairbanks require a minimum of 250 hours per year of classroom training in related technical and theoretical aspects of the trade and 8,500 to 10,000 hours of on-the-job training. You will earn money while you learn your trade in a tuition free program. UA Local 262 in Juneau started in 1937 and trains apprentices and journeymen in plumbing, pipefitting, welding, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and all aspects of the commercial and residential plumbing trade.

There are other ways to find an apprenticeship. The Alaska Workforce Investment board website offers information to job seekers as well as employers and veterans to help apprentices find openings and help employers find apprentices. The site includes a list of current registered apprenticeship programs and specifically for the construction trades through the Alaska Apprenticeship Training Coordinators Association, which offers training programs for boilermakers, plumbers/fitters, sheet metal workers, and more. .

One other resource that may help you get the training you need is the Associated Builders and Contractors of Alaska. ABC of Alaska offers apprenticeship programs in: Carpentry, Electrical, HVAC, Insulating, Laborer, Pipe-Fitting, Plumbing, Sheet Metal and Sprinkler Fitting.

Tuition: Apprenticeships usually have some up-front costs for books or tools, but the apprentice will be paid a percentage of the journeyman wage and will receive periodic wage increases as they meet program requirements. The cost of tuition at a vocational school or college can range from a few thousand dollars for an online program or at a community college to $50,000 per year at a state or private school.

Program Prerequisites: You must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or a GED and demonstrate mastery of basic high school level math. You may also need a driver’s license, a clean bill of health, and to pass a drug test.

On-the-Job Experience: While on the job you will need good customer service skills, be detail-oriented, have some mechanical capability, and be physically fit because the job can include some heavy lifting and hours of walking, standing and working in tight spaces. 

Alaska Licensing Exam Details

The state of Alaska has contracted with PSI Exams, a third-party testing service, to conduct its licensing examinations. Each of the mechanical administrator license exams costs $150 and all but one has a time limit of 240 minutes. The Mechanical Systems Temperature Control Administrator examination has a time limit of 120 minutes.

Before you can take the exam, you must apply and be approved by the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. Once the department has approved you for testing, you will receive an eligibility notice instructing you on how to schedule and pay for your examination. Included with your letter will be an identification number assigned to you by the State for this testing program. You must use this identification number when scheduling for your examination. You have one year from your approval date to pass the examination. You may take the examination an unlimited number of times during the one-year period. 

To prepare PSI suggests:

  • Start with a current copy of the Candidate Information Bulletin and use the examination content outline as the basis of your study.

  • Read/study materials that cover all the topics in the content outline and take practice tests.

  • Take notes on what you study. Putting information in writing helps you commit it to memory and it is also an excellent business practice. Discuss new terms or concepts as frequently as you can with colleagues. This will test your understanding and reinforce ideas.

  • Your studies will be most effective if you study frequently, for periods of about 45 to 60 minutes. Concentration tends to wander when you study for longer periods of time.

Each exam is described in detail, including the number of questions and the time limit to complete it.

The Bulletin will also specify which reference materials you may use and what items are not allowed in the testing center. There are six PSI testing centers in Alaska. Two are in Anchorage. The others are in Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Kodiak.

If the city or county where you intend to work has additional HVACR, gas piping, gas fitting or other mechanical-related licensing, you will need to apply to the jurisdiction for licensure and will most likely have to complete additional local testing. Always check with your local governing agency to be sure to meet its requirements.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Certification

Everywhere throughout the country, including Alaska, federal-level EPA regulations under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act require that technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release refrigerants into the atmosphere must be certified. EPA section 608 HVAC Certification is required for any professional who conducts refrigerant line-pressure tests or handles or adds refrigerant to existing air conditioning systems.

Most training programs can direct you to how and where to get that certification and many even make it part of the curriculum, or your employer will require you to get it before handling refrigerant. You can also go to EPA.gov and key in 608 Certification in the search bar to find out which institutions in your state offer certification programs.

Certification Exam: You must acquire your EPA Certification from an approved organization. A list of these organizations can be found on the EPA’s website. There are four types of EPA Certifications for Refrigerant. They allow for different levels of certification for different scopes of work.

  • Type I – for servicing small appliances containing five pounds of refrigerant or less.

  • Type II – for servicing high-pressure units that contain five pounds or more of refrigerant (including most small commercial and residential systems).

  • Type III – for servicing or disposing of low-pressure appliances.

  • Universal – for servicing all systems and appliances covered under Types I, II, and III. Generally more useful than targeting any one specific certification. 

Core Exam 

For all certifications, you must pass the “Core Section” of the EPA certification exam. It covers the following topics:

  • Ozone depletion

  • Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol

  • Section 608 regulations

  • Substitute refrigerants and oils

  • Refrigeration

  • The Three R’s (Recover, Recycle, Reclaim)

  • Recovery techniques

  • Dehydration evacuation

  • Safety

  • Shipping 

Who Issues HVAC Licenses in Alaska?

HVAC licenses are called Mechanical Administrator Licenses in the state of Alaska and are issued by the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing – Contractor Licensing Section. The offices are at 333 Willoughby Avenue, 9th Floor, Juneau, Alaska 99801. The mailing address is P.O. Box 110806 Juneau, AK 99811-0806; the email address is MechanicalAdministrators@Alaska.Gov. Plumbers are regulated by the Department of Labor, Labor Standards and Safety, Mechanical Inspection Section, so the Restricted Plumber/PG Certificate and Boiler operator and Boiler installation/repair licenses would come through this office instead.

Does My Alaska Mechanical Administrator or Plumber License Allow Me to Work in Any Other State?

Every state has different licensing requirements. Minimum work experience thresholds will vary, and many will require that you document that experience and pass a licensing exam. Be sure to check those mandates before beginning work as an HVAC professional in another state, even if you’ve been doing HVAC work in Alaska.

Your EPA Certification and other certifications will stand, and if you’ve completed a registered apprenticeship through the U.S. Department of Labor, your credentials will transfer from state to state even if there is not reciprocity. You may still need to take an examination and apply for a license in your new home state.

Alaska does not reciprocate with any other state for its Mechanical Administrator or Plumbing licenses, so each application is evaluated individually. You may apply for licensure by credentials. Passing an exam in another state does not guarantee qualification of an applicant for an Alaska license. Additionally, all other requirements under statute and regulation must be met. The following documents must be submitted before an applicant will be considered for licensure by credentials:

  1. Completed, notarized application.

  2. Fees: $150 nonrefundable application fee and $200 license fee.

  3. Complete resume detailing education and experience in the license category for which you are applying.

  4. “Certificate in Support of Applicant’s experience and Qualifications” from three persons who are employed in the mechanical industry in any state in the category for which you are applying. Individuals completing the form must have personal knowledge of your work experience and qualifications.

  5. Official transcripts from a college, university, or trade school sent directly to the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing by the school (if using education to qualify).

  6. Verification of a current, active license from another state, sent directly to the division by that state, that identifies any relevant license category.

  7. Verification of an examination passed in another state, sent directly to the division by that state. The verification must include the examination content outline.

National HVAC Certifications 

Other certifications can help you demonstrate your proficiency to potential employers and clients. North American Technical Excellence (NATE) certification, ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers) certification and other professional certifications are not required but can add to your marketability as a service provider and therefore increase your opportunity to make more money.

Continuing Education/Renewal

Alaska mechanical administrators must renew their license every two years by Dec. 31 of odd- numbered years. You can renew online too. The cost for biennial license renewal is $200. You must complete eight hours of approved continuing education during the two-year period to be eligible for renewal.

If the local jurisdiction where you will be practicing requires separate local licensing, be sure to find out if continuing education is required for renewal.

Also, you will want to stay informed about emerging technology in the HVAC industry. There are many ways to keep yourself current in regard to the technology put to use in HVAC systems and appliances. Distributors want you to know about their company’s latest offerings and will often hold training sessions about new and changing equipment and parts. HVAC manufacturers offer training, too, including online. For example, according to HVACSchool.org, Carrier has something they call Carrier University, an elaborate training system that includes classroom and online courses and symposiums and seminars covering all aspects of the HVACR industry and all of the people involved in it. 

Resources

You can stay up to date on all HVAC industry news several ways:

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive HVAC business software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and achieve growth. Our award-winning, cloud-based platform is trusted by more than 100,000 contractors across the country.

Ready to learn more about what ServiceTitan can do for your business? Contact our team to schedule a demo today.

Explore Toolbox
loading spinner