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

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HVAC License Kansas: How to Become an HVAC Contractor in Kansas
Table of Contents
  1. License Requirements for HVAC Professionals in Kansas

  2. Who Issues HVAC Licenses in Wichita?

  3. Wichita HVAC Apprentice Program

  4. Wichita Journeyman Mechanical License

  5. Wichita Master Mechanical License

  6. Wichita Trade Contractor License

  7. Who Issues HVAC Licenses in Topeka?

  8. Topeka Mechanical Journeyman License

  9. Topeka Mechanical Master License

  10. Topeka HVAC Contractor License

  11. EPA Certification for Kansas and Beyond

  12. National HVAC Certifications

  13. How Long Does it Take to Get an HVAC License in Kansas?

  14. How Much Does It Cost to Become an HVAC Technician in Kansas?

  15. What is the Mean Wage for an HVAC Professional in Kansas?

  16. Kansas HVAC Training Programs and Trade Schools

  17. Does My Kansas HVAC License Work in Any Other States?

Most states require training and licensure before you can legally design, install, repair, and maintain heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. As today’s HVAC technology becomes increasingly complex, and we place more emphasis on energy efficiency and reducing pollution, HVACR systems need retrofitting, upgrading, or replacement to remain compliant.

Learning this essential trade takes years, but once you complete the necessary training, your skills will be in high demand in the home services and construction industry.

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are over 380,400 heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers nationwide, and almost 3,790 work in Kansas. The national number is expected to grow 5% from 2020 to 2030 — adding 19,000 of these skilled workers to the ranks. That growth rate is expected to be slightly higher in Kansas — projected at 6%, according to CareerOneStop, the U.S. Department of Labor’s job search website. 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 68% of firms in Kansas had unfilled hourly craft positions.

Licensing requirements for HVAC workers and technicians vary widely from state to state and, in Kansas, from locality to locality. 

License Requirements for HVAC Professionals in Kansas

Is a state license required to perform HVAC work in Kansas? No, Kansas has no state board and doesn’t require licenses for apprentices, technicians or HVAC contractors at the state level.

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

Typically, Kansas cities license HVAC apprentices, journeyman and master HVAC techs. Those who wish to own their own HVAC business need to obtain an HVAC contractor license, but there is no statewide contractors licensing board.

It’s also important to note that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under section 608 of the Clean Air Act, requires any technician who maintains, services, repairs, or disposes of equipment that could release refrigerants into the atmosphere to earn a Section 608 technician certification. HVAC apprentices don’t need to hold a certification as long as “they are closely and continually supervised by a certified technician,” according to the EPA.

Read on to learn more about becoming an HVAC technician in Wichita and Topeka, Kansas.

Who Issues HVAC Licenses in 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. 

Note: The HVAC license in Wichita is referred to as a "mechanical license," and the county issues both a journeyman mechanical and master mechanical license.

Wichita HVAC Apprentice Program

An apprenticeship program is the first step to starting a career in the HVAC industry. Candidates typically need a high school diploma or GED, photo ID, and a valid driver’s license to be eligible. Candidates can join an apprenticeship program offered by a local company or trade union, or through the Kansas Works Registered Apprenticeship Program.

HVAC apprentices in Wichita need to complete one year of work experience and one year of HVAC trade school, or two years of experience and score 75% or better on an approved International Code Council or IAPMO Exam. There is no registration fee or required testing to become an apprentice HVAC tech.

Wichita Journeyman Mechanical License

After completing the required apprenticeship HVAC training, candidates become eligible to take the journeyman mechanical licensing exam. The open book exam consists of 100 questions and requires a score of 75% or higher to pass. Candidates also need to pay a $125 application fee.

After passing the exam, journeyman candidates need to complete the license application and pay a $35 license fee. 

To renew a journeyman mechanical license, Wichita HVAC techs need to pay a $35 renewal fee and complete 12 hours of continuing education every two years.

Wichita Master Mechanical License

To work as a licensed master mechanical pro, candidates must demonstrate at least two years of verifiable work experience as a licensed mechanical journeyman, or four years of experience and score 75% or better on an approved International Code Council or IAPMO Exam.

After passing the exam, master candidates need to complete the license application and pay a $35 license fee. 

To renew a master license, Wichita HVAC techs need to pay a $35 renewal fee and complete 12 hours of continuing education every two years.

Wichita Trade Contractor License

Wichita HVAC pros who wish to operate their own businesses need to obtain a trade contractors license (not a general contractor license) from the MABCD Mechanical Division. To be eligible, candidates need to submit the following:

  • Trade Contractors Application along with $360 license fee

  • Trade Certificate showing they employ at least one licensed Mechanical Master

  • Certificate of liability insurance (at least $300,000 in general liability) showing MABCD as the certificate holder

  • Certificate of workers’ compensation insurance

  • Auto certificate of insurance

  • Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of the State of Kansas

Licensed contractors must renew their trade licenses every two years on odd years at a fee of $360.

Who Issues HVAC Licenses in Topeka?

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

Topeka Apprentice HVAC License

To start the process, candidates need to fill out a license application with the DSD and pay a $33 fee. 

Topeka apprentice candidates can join an apprenticeship program offered by a local company or trade union, or through the Kansas Works Registered Apprenticeship Program. Apprentices need to complete two years of practical experience and a minimum of 930 hours of classroom training to become eligible for the journeyman exam.

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Topeka Mechanical Journeyman License

After completing the required apprentice training, candidates become eligible to take the journeyman licensing exam via the International Code Council or Pearson VUE. The exam requires a score of 75% or higher to pass. Candidates also need to pay a $50 application fee.

After passing the exam, journeyman candidates need to complete the license application and pay a $53 license fee. 

Topeka mechanical journeyman license holders must complete six hours of continuing education every year, with at least three hours covering the local code.

Topeka Mechanical Master License

To become eligible for a mechanical master license, candidates need to hold a valid journeyman license for a minimum of two years, or provide proof of four years of work experience under a licensed mechanical master. 

Master candidates can complete the licensing exam via the International Code Council or Pearson VUE. The exam requires a score of 75% or higher to pass. 

After passing the exam, master candidates need to complete the license application and pay a $103 license fee. 

Topeka master license holders must complete six hours of continuing education every year, with at least three hours covering the local code.

Topeka HVAC Contractor License

Topeka HVAC techs who wish to operate their own businesses need to obtain a trade contractors license from the DSD. To be eligible, candidates need to hold a master mechanical license or employ at least one master, and pass a contractor exam. 

Click here for the full contractor license requirements and application.

EPA Certification for Kansas and Beyond

Across the U.S., including Kansas, 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 refrigerant to existing air-conditioning systems needs to hold the certification.

In most cases, your employer will require you to obtain the certification as part of your training program. 

You must acquire your EPA Certification from an approved organization. There are four types of EPA certifications for refrigerant, including:

  1. Type I: for servicing small appliances containing five pounds of refrigerant or less.

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

  3. Type III: for servicing or disposing of low-pressure appliances.

  4. Universal: for servicing all systems and appliances covered under Types I, II, and III. 

For all certifications, you must pass 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

National HVAC Certifications

Other certifications can help you demonstrate your proficiency to potential employers and clients. The North American Technical Excellence (NATE) certification, ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers) certification and other professional certifications can add to your marketability and increase your opportunity to make more money.

How Long Does it Take to Get an HVAC License in Kansas?

The length of required training in Kansas varies by the type of license and municipality, but it typically takes two years of apprentice training to become a journeyman, and an additional two years to become a master.

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 Much Does It Cost to Become an HVAC Technician in Kansas? 

How you get started will determine your upfront costs. If you start by getting some kind of college degree or certificate you’ll have tuition expenses. For instance, the tuition and fees at North Central Kansas Technical College are $175/credit for technical courses and the Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning program is a 44 credit hour course, so it will cost about $7,700. Johnson County Community College is the only program in Kansas to be accredited by the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). The Associate of Applied Science degree is 63 credits and the HVAC Certificate is 33 credits. If you live in Johnson County the tuition is $94 per credit hour. For other Kansas residents it is $112 per credit hour. 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 again if you start with a program, that may be included.

In both Wichita and Topeka after completing the required training you become eligible to take the required examination to earn your journeyman license.  For Wichita that exam is offered through the International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and costs $125. After passing the exam you’ll need to apply for your license and pay a $35 license fee. To renew a journeyman mechanical license, Wichita HVAC techs need to pay a $35 renewal fee every two years. You’ll pay the same fees to test and be licensed as a master. The license fee for Trade Contractors in Wichita is $360 and renewal every two years is $360. Topeka’s testing fee is $50 and the license application fee for journeymen is $53. Master candidates pay a $103 license fee.

What is the Mean Wage for an HVAC Professional in Kansas?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the annual mean salary for HVAC mechanics and installers nationally as $54,690, and in Kansas it’s $51,270. The salary for an HVAC Technician increases, as you might expect, as you acquire more experience, according to Indeed.com.

  • HVAC Installer: The average wage for an HVAC installer is $23.55 per hour in Kansas and $6,250 overtime per year.

  • HVAC Technician: The average wage for an HVAC Technician is $26.74 per hour in Kansas and $6,500 overtime per year.

  • HVAC Mechanic: The average wage for an HVAC Mechanic is $27.21 per hour in Kansas and $7,875 overtime per year.

  • HVAC Supervisor: The average base wage for an HVAC Supervisor is $69,748 per year in Kansas 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. 

Kansas HVAC Training Programs and Trade Schools

Kansas offers a wide variety of training opportunities across the state, including trade schools and community colleges that offer HVAC programs. 

Some of the top training schools include:

Does My Kansas HVAC License Work in Any Other States?

No, Kansas doesn't offer state-level reciprocal agreements with other states, even nearby states like Missouri, Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Arkansas, or Texas. Make sure to check local licensing regulations on license reciprocity.

Additional Resources for Kansas HVAC Techs

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

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