HVAC Contractor (Residential)

License required by 35 states

8th most burdensome licensing requirements.

24th 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-five states license HVAC contractors working on residential properties. On average, states require almost three years (1,055 days) of education and experience, $397 in fees, and about two exams. All in all, 30 states require at least one exam (Rhode Island requires four). These requirements rank as the eighth most burdensome.

States With Licenses

Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Rhode Island 35 $660 2920 8 years 4 0 18
2 Iowa 35 $890 2190 6 years 2 12 18
3 Idaho 35 $395 2190 6 years 2 0 18
4 Maryland 35 $405 2190 6 years 2 0 0
5 Delaware 35 $109 2190 6 years 1 0 0
6 Virginia 35 $720 1826 8 clock hours 5 years 2 0 18
7 New Jersey 35 $331 1825 5 years 2 0 18
8 D C 35 $45 1825 5 years 1 0 0
9 Nevada 35 $1,078 1460 4 years 2 0 18
10 California 35 $579 1460 4 years 3 0 18
11 Kentucky 35 $506 1460 4 years 3 0 18
12 Connecticut 35 $465 1460 4 years 3 0 18
13 Hawaii 35 $615 1460 4 years 2 0 18
13 Oklahoma 35 $615 1460 4 years 2 0 18
15 Florida 35 $364 1460 4 years 2 0 18
16 New Mexico 35 $318 1460 4 years 2 0 18
17 Georgia 35 $297 1463 16 clock hours 4 years 1 0 18
18 Texas 35 $195 1460 4 years 1 0 18
19 Michigan 35 $400 1095 3 years 1 0 0
20 Arizona 35 $956 730 2 years 2 0 18
21 Utah 35 $549 733 20 clock hours 2 years 2 0 0
22 Arkansas 35 $255 730 2 years 1 0 18
23 North Carolina 35 $260 730 2 years 2 0 0
24 Alaska 35 $450 730 2 years 1 0 0
25 South Carolina 35 $280 365 1 years 2 0 0
26 Mississippi 35 $290 67 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
27 Oregon 35 $410 3 16 clock hours 1 0 18
28 Louisiana 35 $460 0 2 0 0
29 Tennessee 35 $360 0 2 0 0
30 West Virginia 35 $174 0 2 0 0
31 North Dakota 35 $125 0 0 0 18
32 Wisconsin 35 $175 0 0 0 0
33 Washington 35 $113 0 0 0 0
34 Pennsylvania 35 $50 0 0 0 0
35 Nebraska 35 $0 0 0 0 0

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