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.
License required by 37 states
6th most burdensome licensing requirements
17th most widely and onerously licensed occupation
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.