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The HVAC industry is expected to grow in the next ten years, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. With new technology advances changing heating and cooling equipment daily, there is plenty of opportunity for growth and advancement within the industry.
The most confusing part of the HVAC field is figuring out what it takes to get started in it. Do HVAC technicians need a license? Do HVAC technicians need a certification? What is the difference between the two? The requirements for an entry-level position vary not only by state but also by the employers within the state. Some are willing to train on the job, while others want employees who are ready to get to work. Some states require certifications alone while some want technicians to be licensed with the state.
If working with your hands, helping people, and challenging yourself every day sounds like a dream job for you, it’s time to consider a career in HVAC seriously. Read on to see what the licensing and certification requirements are in your state.
If you’re interested in becoming an HVAC Technician, you should consider enrolling in Florida Career College’s HVAC Program. The program is short-term, allowing you to earn an HVAC Diploma in as few as 10 months! Enroll today to begin working on earning your HVAC Diploma.
Do HVAC Technicians Need a License?
An HVAC License is not required if you are going to work for a qualified and licensed contractor. However, if you are interested in advancing your career, working independently, or even owning your own company someday, obtaining an HVAC license is necessary. Furthermore, it is difficult to begin an HVAC Career without the 608 Certification even if you work under the supervision of a licensed contractor.
That said, let’s explore the difference between certification and license. An HVAC certification is a test given to an HVAC technician that proves the technician has the training and skills to do the job. It is administered by an independent organization, and in most cases, certifications are recognized nationwide. Certifications lend credibility to your resume and may help you achieve a higher level of pay or obtain a position as an HVAC Technician. The most popular certifications include the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) Certification and the EPA Section 608 Certification. Nationally, the EPA requires technicians to obtain their Section 608 certification. It is the only certification required in all states, and it is needed by HVAC Technicians to work on the refrigeration side of HVAC equipment. This certification is needed even to simply connect the gauges to HVAC systems.
A license is an application with a government organization that allows you to do work within their jurisdiction. You do not need an HVAC license if you’re planning on working under a contractor. However, if you start your own HVAC business, you will need to obtain an HVAC license to do HVAC installations, repairs, etc.
It is important to note there is a difference between HVAC technicians and HVAC contractors. Technicians are qualified to do the job but are not qualified to supervise others. Technicians must work under the authority of a contractor. Contractors are those who own their own businesses or supervise other technicians.
In many states, you can begin working as a technician without a license as long as you are working side by side with a trained and licensed contractor, but most employers like to hire technicians who are already certified so that they can work on jobs independently. Attending an HVAC training program will teach you the fundamentals needed to obtain certification.
Why Do HVAC Technicians Need a License?
HVAC Contractors operating in a state that requires licensing need to have a license to protect themselves and ensure that the work they perform for clients is up to par. This is the State’s way of ensuring the you have the skills and knowledge to work on HVAC systems. Also, if any mistakes are made in an installation, you may be held liable for any damages you’ve caused.
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How Much Does It Cost to Obtain HVAC Licenses?
The cost of HVAC certifications or licenses varies by jurisdiction. However, in Florida, the fee for an HVAC License is $100. Fees for a license are typically under $200. Furthermore, you can complete the EPA 608 test online for less than $50. If you attend an HVAC training program, the program should prepare you for this exam and guide you on any other licensing required in your state as well.
Consider Enrolling in FCC's HVAC Program
Exactly which licenses and certifications you need in your state can be very confusing but when you complete the HVAC Training program at Florida Career College you will leave armed with the knowledge, hands-on experience, and confidence to become licensed and certified to work in an entry-level position in Florida or Texas.
Our hybrid program allows you to learn the fundamentals of working as an HVAC technician with the flexibility of daytime or evening classes. With ongoing enrollment, you can enroll today, start classes quickly and graduate in less than 10 months.
If you’ve been thinking about a career as an HVAC Technician, take a tour of the Florida Career College campus nearest you and see what we have to offer! Also, consider enrolling in FCC's HVAC Program. Our HVAC Program is short-term, allowing you to earn an HVAC Diploma in as few as 10 Months!