Looking to pursue a career in HVAC?
HVAC technicians earn on average $20 per hour nationally and the demand for techs is on the rise. Before entering the HVAC workforce though, it is important to know the different certifications and credentials you might need to work in your state. Different states have different requirements.
To put you ahead of the curve, this article will discuss both Georgia’s mandatory requirements as well as additional certification opportunities.
HVAC Licensing Requirements for Georgia
While you may not be required to attend an HVAC program at an educational institution in Georgia to work in HVAC, you will need a Conditioned Air Contractor license to contract work on any conditioned air systems or equipment. Like most other states, it is also necessary to have your high school diploma or a GED to work as an HVAC contractor.
In addition to getting your conditioned Air license you should also consider getting an EPA 608 certification or a NATE certification, or both! The more certifications the better when it comes to securing higher paying jobs at well-established companies. If you are interested in attending schooling, you can schools near you below:
Conditioned Air Contractor License
This license is mandatory for bidding, contracting, installation, repair, or service of air conditioned systems. Even servicing the electrical connections to the systems requires this licensing. There are two different classes of certification to work in air conditioning. You will need to apply to see if you are eligible before sitting for the exam.
Class I (restricted)
Allows contractors to work in conditioned air contracting with equipment less than 175,000 BTU for heating and 60,000 BTU for cooling.
Class II (unrestricted)
These licenses are unrestricted and Class II techs can work with any air conditioning equipment and systems.
All licenses are valid for two years after which they must be renewed. The current cost of renewal is $75. The board sends a renewal notice about eight weeks before the expiration date. You can renew your conditioned air contractor license online on the Georgia Secretary of State's website.
Documented two years of installation as a lead mechanic or one year as a service tech or service supervisor, one year of residential supervisory experience and a board-approved heat loss and gain and duct design course
- Documented five years of experience
- Documented experience with installations of conditioned air systems that exceed 175,000 BTU of heating and 60,000 BTU of cooling
- Two years of installation as a lead mechanic with at least one of the years being exclusively commercial work, one year as a service tech or service supervisor
- Two years of commercial supervisory experience and a board-approved heat loss and gain and duct design course
- If you have received an engineering or engineering technology diploma from a technical school it can count towards no more than two years of experience
- If you have completed a certificate program you can count it as no more than one year of experience
NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. Statistics show that 87% of clients prefer certified technicians. Passing the NATE tests demonstrates your knowledge in a specific subject area related to HVAC. While it is not mandatory in the state of Georgia, it can be very useful to have on a resume.
Mandated by Section 608 Refrigeration Recycling Rule, the EPA requires HVAC professionals to learn about environmental protection when working with dangerous materials. The good news about EPA certifications is that they never expire. Once you pass your exam you will be certified for life. if you need help studying for the exam, check out out practice tests here
There are three different certification types a technician can acquire:
EPA Section 608 HVAC Type I
Certifies techs to work on small appliances containing five pounds of less of refrigerant
EPA Section 608 HVAC Type II
Allows techs to work with high- and very high-pressure appliances, including non-automotive systems and split systems.
EPA Section 608 HVAC Type III
This certification permits techs to work on low-pressure appliance
Georgia HVAC Salaries
A service technician in Atlanta, Georgia makes on average $20.38 per hour. If you have additional skills and certifications you are more likely to make above average wages. Median annual salary for a Georgia HVAC tech is $42,270. Entry level technicians can expect to start around $27,000, while more senior techs make up to $63,000.
HVAC Job Market in Georgia
According to the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2014, 8,270 people were employed in the HVAC industry in Georgia. Georgia’s HVAC salaries fluctuate by location within the state. Those techs with the highest annual wages, coming in at $47,000 annually, work in the Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Marietta area. Augusta/Richmond County have similar salaries.
More urban areas aren’t the only great locations for work in Georgia - Gainesville has only 110 techs in the area. This has created a demand that has helped to drive up the wages, like Atlanta’s $24/ hr average.
To apply for your Conditioned Air License, you must first get an application from the Georgia State Construction Industry Licensing Board. The application fee is just $30.00 and your application must be approved by the Board 60 days prior to your exam.
Conditioned Air License Exam
- The test is open book
- There are 100 questions that you must complete within 7 hours
- You will need to get 70% of the questions correct to pass
- The exam costs $240
- The exam covers: regulations, laws, system design, installation, maintenance and repairs
If you pass your exam, you will receive your identification card in the mail. Georgia has state agreements that license you in South Carolina and Texas as well. If you happen to fail you will need to process a New Examination Scheduling Form to apply for an upcoming exam date. To keep your license valid, it is required you complete an extra 4 hours per year of additional education.
Georgia Conditioned Air Exam Dates
April 23, 2018
June 4 - 16, 2018
August 20, 2018
October 1-13, 2018
Here are the basic steps you will need to take to get your NATE certification:
- Choose your technician type, whether it be installation or service.
- Identify which specialty exam you would like to take in addition to the core exam
- Register for a testing session in your area
The Section 608 EPA certification is available both online and on site in Georgia. There is a comprehensive and concise 12-page manual that will help prepare techs prior to the exam. You can purchase and take your exam online at ESCO Testing.
The certification cost is $24.95 for the first attempt and $5.95 for each additional attempt at the certificate.
Georgia only expects to see job growth over the next decade within the HVAC industry. With tech jobs paying well over the national average and growth anticipated at 14% up through 2024, there has never been a better time to work in HVAC or get certified. By putting a little bit of time, money, and effort into your career you can secure higher paying jobs through getting certified.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Georgia Warm Air License?
If you've been around a while, or talk to a veteran HVAC contractor, you might have heard of the "warm air license." This was the former name of the Conditioned Air Contractor license. So you're in the right place!
Looking For Information On Nearby States?
You might also be interested in HVAC licensing requirements in bordering states:
10 thoughts on “Georgia HVAC Certification and Licensing Requirements”
A lot of false info here. You don’t need a high school diplomas or conditioned air license to work as a tech.
Hi, and thanks for your comment. I’ve made some edits to make it clear that the GED or diploma is a requirement for contractors, not for techs. I have to rely on information I can find from each state’s website and other info, and it was a little unclear when I first read it. But I checked again and you’re definitely right – it only applies to contractors!
I am a resident of Alabama. After I obtain an Alabama HVAC contractors licence would I be eligible to sit for a Class 1 or 2 Georgia Conditioned Air licence with the following credentials: Alabama HVAC contractor licence,community college HVAC certificate and universal EPA licence. No hvac company work experience though I am head of maintenance for an apartment complex.
To the best of my knowledge, there’s no reciprocity agreement between Georgia and Alabama. But I guess that’s not exactly what you’re asking since yo do say you want to qualify to take the test, not just get a license.
The Georgia application for Class 1 is here. It doesn’t specifically call for you to work currently for an HVAC company, but it does require you to have some specific education. I don’t have all the details of what either state expects, but to me, it looks like your prospects are reasonably good. I believe most state boards do allow some leeway in how they interpret these things for cases like yours. But it’s always best to get an official response from the board itself.
Can convicted felon have a hvac type 2 or universal technical career ?
In Georgia, a convicted felon cannot have an AC contractor license, according to the GA Center for Opportunity.
If you’re referring to the EPA Certificate though, I’m not aware of any restrictions. That’s from the federal government and is separate from a license to actual work in the field.
My fiance went to school for HVAC and is now a sub contractor but cannot purchase the units until he is licensed. Hes been doing this for 3 years. Is it true you must be signed off by 3 different companies in order to get licensed?
That is strange. I haven’t heard that. It’s unfortunate they are not letting him purchase the units.
Does he have 608 certification?
I am a Florida resident with a Florida Mechanical License. Is there a residency requirement to apply for a Class II license in Georgia?
Are you looking for HVAC license or some other license?
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