HVAC Contractor (Commercial) Occupational Licensing
License required in 37 states
6th most burdensome licensing requirements among moderate-income occupations
Average Fee for License:$399
What They Do
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.
HVAC Contractor (Commercial) Licensing Overview
Thirty-seven states (more than half of states) require a licence to work as a HVAC Contractor (Commercial). On average, these laws require $399 in fees, 1,155 days of education and about 2 exam. HVAC Contractor (Commercial) Licenses have the 6th most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied. Fees for a license exceed $1000 in Nevada.
Where is a HVAC Contractor (Commercial) the most regulated?
Out of the 37 states that require an occupational license, an occupational license for a HVAC Contractor (Commercial) has the highest burden in Rhode Island. Rhode Island requires $660 in fees, 4 exams, 8 years experience, and no education.
Where is a HVAC Contractor (Commercial) the least regulated?
Out of the 37 states that require an occupational license, an occupational license for a HVAC Contractor (Commercial) has the lowest burden in Nebraska. Nebraska requires $0 in fees, no exams, no experience, and no education.
Where is a HVAC Contractor (Commercial) license the most expensive?
An occupational license for a HVAC Contractor (Commercial) costs the most in Nevada. Nevada requires $1040 in fees, 2 exams, 4 years experience, and no education.
Where is a HVAC Contractor (Commercial) license the least expensive?
An occupational license for a HVAC Contractor (Commercial) costs the least in Nebraska. Nebraska requires $0 in fees, no exams, no experience, and no education.
Where does it take the longest to obtain a HVAC Contractor (Commercial) license?
An occupational license for a HVAC Contractor (Commercial) takes the longest to obtain in Rhode Island. It takes 2920 days (8 years). Rhode Island requires $660 in fees, 4 exams, 8 years experience, and no education.
Where is it fastest to obtain a HVAC Contractor (Commercial) license?
An occupational license for a HVAC Contractor (Commercial) takes the least time to obtain in North Dakota, Nebraska, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin (0 days).
What states require exams for a HVAC Contractor (Commercial) license?
To obtain an occupational license for a HVAC Contractor (Commercial) there is at least one exam required in: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia. Rhode Island requires 4 exams.
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 Ranked by Average Licensing Burden for 102 Lower-Income Occupations
More Burdensome Less BurdensomeBased on data released in November 2022
|Burden Rank||State||Occupations Licensed||Fees||Estimated Calendar Days Lost||Education||Experience||Exams||Minimum Grade||Minimum Age|
|28||Alabama||63||$340||700||None||3000 clock hours||1||0||0|
|10||District of Columbia||61||$45||1825||None||5 years||1||0||0|
|9||Georgia||41||$297||1829||24 clock hours||5 years||1||0||18|
|31||Louisiana||77||$400||0.20||1 clock hours||None||2||0||0|
|23||Massachusetts||50||$115||700||1000 clock hours||2000 clock hours||1||12||18|
|30||Mississippi||65||$640||67||None||3 jobs, contractors||2||0||0|
|26||North Carolina||66||$280||730||None||2 years||2||0||18|
|7||New Jersey||54||$331||1825||None||5 years||2||0||21|
|17||New Mexico||66||$324||1460||None||4 years||2||0||18|
|20||Oregon||69||$310||1463||16 clock hours||4 years||1||0||18|
|1||Rhode Island||70||$660||2920||None||8 years||4||0||18|
|27||South Carolina||60||$385||730||None||2 years||3||0||0|
|34||Utah||64||$405||4||25 clock hours||None||0||0||0|
|6||Virginia||72||$720||1826||8 clock hours||5 years||2||0||18|
|29||West Virginia||67||$296||365||None||1 years||3||0||18|
License to Work
The data and information here come from IJ’s License to Work report, released in November 2022.View Report