New Hampshire HVAC License: How to Become an HVAC Contractor in New Hampshire
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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 380,400 heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers nationwide, and 1,970 work in New Hampshire. The BLS predicts employment to grow 5% by 2030 nationwide, adding 19,000 of these skilled workers to the ranks. That growth rate is expected to be even higher in New Hampshire — projected at 7%, according to CareerOneStop, the U.S. Department of Labor’s job search website, 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. had unfilled hourly craft positions.
Licensing requirements for HVAC workers and technicians vary widely from state to state and, in New Hampshire, from locality to locality. Read on to learn more about becoming an HVAC tech in The Granite State.
License Requirements for HVAC Professionals in New Hampshire
Is a state license required to perform HVAC work in New Hampshire? At the state level, New Hampshire regulates gasfitters and oil heating technicians, 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 license.
While HVAC workers do not obtain local licensing, many New Hampshire cities, such as Manchester and Nashua, require trade permits for commercial and residential mechanical or heating work for new or renovated structures, or for equipment installation or replacement.
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.
New Hampshire License Types and Requirements
The Mechanical Safety and Licensing Board, within the New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification (formerly within the Department of Safety), issues licenses for gasfitters and voluntary certifications for oil heating technicians.
Fuel Gasfitter License
Fuel gas installation techs, service techs, and trainees must obtain a Fuel Gas License issued by the state board. In addition to proper forms of identification, a fuel gas application for installation and service technicians requires:
Proof of current, valid New Hampshire fuel gas trainee card or out-of-state licensure.
Successful completion of licensing exam.
One letter signed and written by a licensed gasfitter who supervised, sponsored, or directed the applicant's fuel gasfitting training and development, stating that the applicant meets the minimum competency requirements for the licensing endorsement.
Affidavit signed by the licensee on hours of field experience.
Proof of hours of education by a board-approved school.
License fee: $190 for a two-year license; $180 renewal
Fuel Gas Trainee License application requirements include:
Trainee endorsement letter completed and signed by the applicant and the sponsor.
License fee: $90 for a two-year license; $80 renewal.
Gasfitter License education and years of experience criteria differ for fuel gas installation technicians and fuel gas service technicians.
Fuel Gas Installation Technicians:
100 hours of educational training.
Minimum 1,000 hours of on-the-job experience in the trade or its equivalent in an approved educational setting with 60 consecutive months, of which 500 hours may be applied with proof of relevant field experience.
Fuel Gas Service Technicians:
140 hours of educational training.
Minimum 2,000 hours of on-the-job experience in the trade or its equivalent in an approved educational setting within 60 consecutive months, of which 750 hours may be applied with proof of relevant field experience.
For Fuel Gas License renewals, gasfitters must show proof of three hours of code update every year, totaling six hours per two-year renewal cycle. Those with licenses expired past 365 days or more must pass an exam and reapply for the license.
Oil Heating Technicians
The New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office developed a voluntary certification for oil heating technicians, and the Mechanical Safety and Licensing Board provides oversight. Oil heating equipment installation certification includes:
Proof of 4,000 hours of appropriate field experience with a signed affidavit by employer.
Valid silver or gold certificate from the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA), or North American Technician Excellence (NATE) oil heating installation module and oil heating service technician module.
Certification $50; $50 renewal fee.
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Mechanical Business License
While New Hampshire does not mandate HVAC contractor licensing, businesses working with fuel gas must obtain a state Mechanical Business Entity License. Requirements for this type of license include:
Naming a responsible managing employee, who must be a New Hampshire-licensed master plumber, fuel gas service technician, hearth system technician, or domestic appliance technician.
A letter of good standing from the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office
Proof of liability insurance
Fees for the two-year Mechanical Business License:
Sole licensure: No fee
1-5 employees: $190
6-20 employees: $300
21+ employees: $460; renewal $450
EPA Certification for New Hampshire and Beyond
Across the U.S., including New Hampshire, 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.
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.
For all certifications, you must pass the EPA certification exam. It covers the following topics:
Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol
Section 608 regulations
Substitute refrigerants and oils
The Three R’s (Recover, Recycle, Reclaim)
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 New Hampshire?
Since New Hampshire does not require HVAC licenses, the amount of time to complete education or training varies. For state-regulated Fuel Gas Licenses, fuel gas installation techs need 100 hours of educational training and a minimum of 1,000 hours (about six months) of work experience. Fuel gas service techs need 140 hours of educational training and 2,000 hours (about one year) of work experience.
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.
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.
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How Much Does It Cost to Become an HVAC Technician in New Hampshire?
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 Manchester Community College are $215/credit for New Hampshire Residents, $323/credit for New England Regional Students from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont, or $490/credit for out of state students. This school offers five different HVAC programs. The longest and most expensive would be the Associate of Applied Science Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Degree which takes four semesters and is 67 credits. Another option is the New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades. They have six different programs for HVAC that range in price from $2,300 to $4,200. The Granite State Trade School offers a two-year HVAC Certificate Course that costs $6,800. 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. Apprentice programs are often paid for by your employer. A New Hampshire Fuel Gas Fitter License will cost you $190 for two years and renewal is $180. The Fuel Gas Trainee License application Is $90 with renewal of $80. An Oil Heating Technician pays $50 for certification and $50 for renewal. If you choose to own your own business, you’ll need a Mechanical Business License. If you only want sole licensure it has no fee and then it is prorated by number of employees. 1-5 employees costs $190. 6-20 employees costs $300. 21+ employees costs $460; and renewal is $450.
Benefits of Becoming an HVAC Professional in Nevada
There are many benefits of working in the HVAC field in New Hampshire.
The lack of statewide licensing means you need only to meet employer expectations and get federal EPA certification if you will be handling refrigerant to get started as a technician.
You will earn as you learn with a guarantee of pay increases as you develop new skills.
The EPA and other certifications you earn over your years of experience are proof of your knowledge and expertise.
Being a skilled tradesman gives you a competitive advantage and job security.
You will be embarking on a career, not just doing a job.
If you go through the contractor licensing you can eventually own your own business and be your own boss.
What Is the Mean Salary for an HVAC Professional in New Hampshire?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the annual mean wage for HVAC mechanics and installers nationally as $54,690, and $59,960 for those in New Hampshire. 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 $24.20 per hour in Montana and $6,250 overtime per year.
HVAC Technician: The average wage for an HVAC Technician is $27.67 per hour in Montana and $6,500 overtime per year.
HVAC Mechanic: The average wage for an HVAC Mechanic is $28.33 per hour in Montana and $7,875 overtime per year.
HVAC Supervisor: The average base wage for an HVAC Supervisor is $70,751 per year in Montana 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.
New Hampshire HVAC Training Programs and Trade Schools
There are two main organizations that accredit HVAC programs, schools, and apprenticeships nationwide: HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). While several schools offer HVAC education and training for forced-air and hydronic systems in and near New Hampshire, neither organization offers accredited programs in the state.
New Hampshire HVAC Apprenticeship Programs
Apprenticeship programs enable candidates to get paid while obtaining practical work experience.
ApprenticeshipNH lists HVAC mechanics, installers, and technicians in its construction and infrastructure category. Job seekers must sign up for placement on a list of interested candidates.
The NH School of Mechanical Trades posts apprenticeship opportunities.
Apprenticeship.gov allows candidates to search by state and job category.
National job-search websites show local HVAC employers offering apprenticeships.
Does My New Hampshire HVAC License Work in Any Other States?
Since New Hampshire does not issue HVAC licenses, there aren't reciprocity agreements with nearby states.
An out-of-state licensee working with fuel gas must apply for a state Fuel Gas License, showing proof of licensure and meet or exceed the minimum qualifications for the licensing endorsement.
In New Hampshire, the electrician's board has active reciprocal agreements for master and journeyman licenses with Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts. New Hampshire also is a member of the National Electrical Reciprocal Alliance (NERA) and has reciprocal journeyman licensing agreements with Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Additional Resources for New Hampshire HVAC Techs
You can stay up to date on all HVAC industry news several ways: