HVAC Contractor (Commercial)

License required by 37 states

6th most burdensome licensing requirements.

17th most widely and onerously licensed occupation.

HVAC contractors contract with clients to install, service or repair heating and air conditioning systems in residences and commercial establishments.

In most states, only contractors require licenses, not those who work for them. In some states, licensing requirements differ based on the setting. Those with a residential license may work only on residential properties, while those with a commercial license may work on commercial properties. Other states require the same license regardless of the setting, and this report records that license in both settings. Many states have contract minimums before the contractor’s license applies. See Appendix B for details.

Thirty-seven states license HVAC contractors working on commercial properties. Twenty-six states require between two and six years of experience working under a licensed contractor. Rhode Island, the most burdensome state, requires eight years of experience. At the other end of the spectrum, seven states require no education or experience at all. On average, states require over three years (1,197 days) of education and experience, $400 in fees ($1,078 in Nevada), and about two exams. These high barriers give commercial HVAC contractors the sixth most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied.

States With Licenses

Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Rhode Island 37 $660 2920 8 years 4 0 18
2 Iowa 37 $890 2190 6 years 2 12 18
3 Idaho 37 $395 2190 6 years 2 0 18
4 Maryland 37 $405 2190 6 years 2 0 0
5 Delaware 37 $109 2190 6 years 1 0 0
6 Virginia 37 $720 1826 8 clock hours 5 years 2 0 18
7 Arkansas 37 $485 1825 5 years 2 0 18
8 New Jersey 37 $331 1825 5 years 2 0 18
9 Georgia 37 $297 1829 24 clock hours 5 years 1 0 18
10 Ohio 37 $140 1825 5 years 1 0 18
11 D C 37 $45 1825 5 years 1 0 0
12 Connecticut 37 $465 1561 4 years and 432 clock hours 3 0 18
13 Nevada 37 $1,078 1460 4 years 2 0 18
14 California 37 $579 1460 4 years 3 0 18
15 Kentucky 37 $506 1460 4 years 3 0 18
16 Hawaii 37 $615 1460 4 years 2 0 18
16 Oklahoma 37 $615 1460 4 years 2 0 18
18 Florida 37 $364 1460 4 years 2 0 18
19 New Mexico 37 $318 1460 4 years 2 0 18
20 Oregon 37 $385 1463 16 clock hours 4 years 1 0 18
21 Texas 37 $209 1460 4 years 1 0 18
22 Alaska 37 $450 1460 4 years 1 0 0
23 Michigan 37 $400 1095 3 years 1 0 0
24 Massachusetts 37 $115 700 1000 clock hours 2000 clock hours 1 12 18
25 Arizona 37 $686 730 2 years 2 0 18
26 South Carolina 37 $385 730 2 years 3 0 0
27 Utah 37 $549 733 20 clock hours 2 years 2 0 0
28 North Carolina 37 $260 730 2 years 2 0 0
29 Alabama 37 $315 700 3000 clock hours 1 0 0
30 Mississippi 37 $640 67 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
31 Louisiana 37 $460 0 2 0 0
32 Tennessee 37 $360 0 2 0 0
33 West Virginia 37 $174 0 2 0 0
34 North Dakota 37 $125 0 0 0 18
35 Wisconsin 37 $175 0 0 0 0
36 Washington 37 $113 0 0 0 0
37 Nebraska 37 $0 0 0 0 0

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