HVAC Technician Licensing and Certification

HVAC Technician licensing is required by some States and localities. Requirements vary but all States or localities that require an HVAC license have a test that must be passed. These tests also vary. Some require extensive knowledge of electrical codes and others focus more on HVAC-specific knowledge. Completion of an apprenticeship program or 2 to 5 years of experience are also common HVAC licensing requirements.

HVAC Technicians with relevant coursework and less than 2 years of experience may take the "entry-level" HVAC certification exams. These exams test basic competency in residential heating and cooling, light commercial heating and cooling, and commercial refrigeration. Technicians can take the exams at technical and trade schools.

HVAC Technician Certification can be helpful because it shows that the technician has specific competencies. Some employers actively seek out industry-certified HVAC technicians. HVAC technicians who have at least 1 year of installation experience and 2 years of maintenance and repair experience can take a number of specialized HVAC exams. These exams certify their competency in working with specific types of equipment, such as oil-burning furnaces or compressed-refrigerant cooling systems.

Many organizations offer certifying HVAC exams. For example, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute offers the Industry Competency Exam. HVAC Excellence offers a Secondary Employment Ready Exam, a Secondary Heat exam, and a Heat Plus exam. The National Occupational Competency Testing Institute offers a secondary exam. The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society offers two levels of certification.

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Information on this page summarized from:
(1) Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers,  http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/heating-air-conditioning-and-refrigeration-mechanics-and-installers.htm

This site is intended only for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional guidance.
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