What Are the Requirements for an HVAC License?

Common requirements for a heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) license include obtaining a high school diploma, completing an accredited program and completing and passing industry competence certifications and exams. HVAC license requirements vary by state and specialization, notes HVACclasses.org.

During high school, people who plan to become HVAC technicians take courses in shop and mathematics. HVAC technicians often obtain employment in electronics or mechanical fields to begin learning their trade after graduating high school. A minimum of a high school diploma is often a licensure or employment requirement.

Some states do not require completing an accredited HVAC program, especially if the candidate already has extensive experience. However, other states mandate formal training at a trade school or community college prior to seeking certification. This training may include both classroom and on-the-job instruction and can last from six months to two years.

A formal program helps candidates prepare for the certification and license exams. Although requirements vary by state, nearly all states mandate some form of certification to obtain a license. An added benefit is that many agencies that offer HVAC licenses help certified technicians obtain jobs after licensure.

Certification is optional in some HVAC areas; however, anyone who plans to work with refrigerant recycling and recovery is required by law to have national certification by the Environmental Protection Agency. HVAC technicians who will deal with the maintenance, service or disposal of this type of equipment must pass an exam and be certified by an Environmental Protection Agency-approved organization, reports HVACclasses.org.