If you're looking for a field with opportunities and variety, the HVAC industry is an excellent choice. The skilled tradesmen who perform the work of installing air conditioning systems, maintain, repair, and improve ventilation and heating systems, and any other activity related to keeping our homes, businesses, and industrial sites at the right temperatures all year-round are in demand.
Learning how to provide air conditioning and other HVAC services requires specific skills, the proper education, and most importantly the proper license and certification. In this article, we'll examine the licensing process and structure in Texas and look at the prospects for HVAC technicians in the state.
To work on cooling systems as an HVAC technician in the state of Texas you'll need an Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractor License from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Depending on the level of licensure, you'll be able to perform different levels of HVAC service.
There are some real advantages in pursuing a career as an HVAC installer. Pay is competitive, the training time is relatively short, and according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth in the number of jobs is projected to be good.
The median pay for HVAC contractors is competitive with many skilled trades. Nation-wide the average annual compensation for an HVAC installer is about $50,000 per year. Pay in Texas is comparable with the national average.
In Texas, licenses for those working on HVAC systems are classified under Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors. To start your career path, you'll need to get a Technician License. There are two levels of technician license class: Registered Technician and Certified Technician.
The first step in license classes is the Registered Technician. As a registered technician, you'll shadow a licensed air conditioning and refrigeration contractor to gain experience. There is no exam for this license, just complete an application and submit the necessary fee
After you've gained 24 months of experience working under the supervision of a licensed air conditioning and refrigeration contractor, you may apply to become a Certified Technician. There is no exam for this level. An application, proof of experience, and a fee are the only qualifications that are required.
Once you've met either of the following requirements, you may apply for a contractor license:
There are exceptions to these requirements. You can examine these at the TDLR website.
HVAC contractors have the choice of applying for a Class A or Class B license. Here are the differences between the two license classes:
The Class A license allows you to work on HVAC systems of any size.
With a Class B license, you may work on heating systems of up to 1.5 million BTUs per hour and less. You may work on air conditioning units of 25 tons and less.
Endorsements qualify the contractor to perform work in a variety of specialized subcategories, including:
These endorsements cover a variety of air treatments, including humidity, temperature, cleanliness, circulation, and ventilation.
This endorsement is for the use of absorption and mechanical equipment for humidity and temperature control in refrigerated spaces.
Oriented towards production spaces and equipment enclosures, including temperature, humidity, and cleanliness of the air in a designated space.
There are minor differences between the actual exams for the Class A and Class B licenses. The Class B exam consists of 100 questions with a 3-hour time limit, while the Class A license consists of 120 questions and has a 4-hour time limit. Experience requirements and exceptions are the same for both exams.
Examination eligibility requirements are set by the TBLR. You can find current information here.
You have a one-year window to retake your examination. You may retake as many times as you wish until your current application expires.
A score of 70% is required to pass the examination. Be sure to study - the pass rate is usually between 30 to 50%, depending on the examination!
Once you've passed the examination, you'll need to submit a Certificate of Insurance to the TDLR before becoming an HVAC installer contractor. The insurance requirements vary depending upon your license class. The form listing insurance requirements can be found here.
One of our bedrock principles is providing professional services to our customers. We're one of the fastest-growing home service providers in the DFW area because we pride ourselves on our “Customer First” philosophy. This allows us to provide excellent service and value to our clients while growing and maintaining our stellar reputation. We are looking for individuals who share our business ethos and are willing to always go the extra mile to please our valued customers.
If you're interested in furthering your HVAC career in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and want to join our team, please visit our Now Hiring page to see our current openings.