If you are planning to make a career in the trades in Mississippi, you should consider the HVAC industry. The HVAC industry in Mississippi is booming and offers a promising career for anyone interested in trade careers.
HVAC career opportunities in Mississippi are projected to continue to grow over the next several years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job prospects will be excellent for technicians in this field.
This article will provide you important information about earning, licensing and examinations associated with HVAC career and business in Mississippi.
How to Become a Certified HVAC Technician in MS
The HVAC industry is a great choice for starting a career in Mississippi. It is on the rise and has a great prospect for employment and growth opportunities. You can find information regarding future wages, licensure, and examinations required for becoming an HVAC professional in Mississippi below;
Your first step as an aspiring HVAC technician must be to hone the skills required for the job. Usually, this calls for the completion of an apprenticeship, diploma, or certification. In Mississippi, you can find countless apprenticeship programs that consist of five years of training, which builds the applicant’s professional skills while also earning wages as a journeyman.
Short programs and technical courses are also available. These are often flexible, offered in day and night time. The tuition fee for short programs amounts up to $1,500 per semester.
Applicants in Mississippi must also apply for exams that are held by PSI Examination Services (PSI). Important subjects in this matter are Law and Business Management for which applicants must be prepared for thoroughly. The HVAC exam consists of 80 questions and has to be completed within four hours. To pass this exam and obtain the license, a score of 70% has to be obtained.
What Makes Mississippi a Great Place to Start an HVAC Career?
If you are familiar with Mississippi’s climate, you would know that a functioning air conditioning system is nothing less than a necessity there. The setting up of an HVAC system calls for skilled technicians, which means that job opportunities in this field are in abundance in Mississippi.
As an aspiring technician, you are sure to have a stable career. Here are a few more reasons why Mississippi is the best place to start your HVAC career;
Abundance of HVAC Unions
This state offers a lot of support to aspiring and professional AC technicians. The United Association Union of Plumbers, Fitters, Welders & Service Techs administers areas in Gulfport, Pascagoula, and Vicksburg. Through this union, technicians get fringe benefits and other advantages such as networking opportunities to strengthen their job prospects along with a pension plan. There are hundreds of such unions spread throughout the state.
High Occupational Demand
According to BLS, the demand for this industry is high throughout the state and is expected to grow by 15% between 2016 and 2026. In comparison, other industries in Mississippi are predicted to develop only 7% in the same time period.
High Pay Rate
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 307,000 HVAC technicians currently earn an average annual salary of $49,530, which is expected to rise in the near future. Moreover, 250 HVAC technician job openings can be expected by 2026, which equals an HVAC industry growth of about 9%.
How To Get an HVAC Certification in Mississippi
Obtaining certification to become an HVAC technician in Mississippi is fairly easy. All that is required is EPA Section 608 Certification. Any individual aspiring to complete the apprenticeship program or a short training program must have this certificate before they graduate. If you are looking to specialize in a skill, Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association and multiple other organizations offer skill-specific certifications that are acceptable throughout the United States.
The last step is to get the license so you can start practicing. For this, you need to clear the examination, as mentioned earlier, as well as be covered for insurance and liability for at least $300,000. This procedure costs about $200.
HVAC Contractor Licensing
HVAC licensing in Mississippi is regulated by the Mississippi State Board of Contractors. HVAC contractors need a license to take up any type of HVAC projects. Technicians working as employees of a licensed contractor do not require a license. The license pertaining to HVAC work falls under Mechanical Work Certificate. It covers all aspects of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration including fuel gas systems, appliances and duct work.
Privately funded jobs over $100,000 per job or publicly funded jobs over $50,000 per job require a state contractor’s license. For anything that falls below that amount you do not need a state license but should meet the requirements of the city or county where you will be doing the job.
There are two categories of state licensing: Commercial and Residential. The application fee for a commercial license is $200 and the esidential license fee is $50.
Application forms can be downloaded from the Board’s website.
Applicants are required to:
- Submit a financial statement that is reviewed by CPA within the last twelve months with a net worth of at least $20,000
- Submit proof of general liability insurance
- Submit proof of workers’ compensation insurance
- Pass Law and Business Management and trade exams
- Submit details of any experience in HVAC projects
The Board meets four times a year, on the second Wednesday of January, April, July and October. You must have your application in 30 days prior to the Board meeting and then pass your exam before the Board meets.
A licensed HVAC contractor in Mississippi is eligible to handle all aspects of heating and cooling, including equipment and ductwork.
Currently, the state of Mississippi does not require continuing education for HVAC license.
The state of Mississippi has license reciprocity agreements with Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and South Carolina. Contractors who are already licensed with at least one of these states can obtain the license to work in Mississippi without repeating the same testing and licensing process. To avail the license reciprocity, the contractors must have held the license in one of these states for at least three consecutive years.
Contractor exams in Mississippi are conducted by PSI Examination Services (PSI). Applicants must pass examinations in HVAC and Law and Business Management. Upon the submission of an appropriate application, the State Board will notify PSI of the applicant’s eligibility to take the examinations. Subsequently, PSI will email the applicant a confirmation notice.
The HVAC exam has 80 questions and a 4-hour time limit. A score of 70% is required to pass the exam.
Topics of the examination include:
- Hangers and Supports
- Sound, Vibration and Seismic Control
- Heating and Cooling Principles
- Refrigerants and Refrigeration
- Load Calculations
- Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing
- A/C and Heat Pump Equipment
- Furnaces and Heaters
- Chimneys, Flues and Vents
- Combustion Air
- Fuel Gas Systems
- LP Gas Systems
- Boilers and Hydronics
- Machine Room
- Evaporative Cooling
The Law and Business Management exam has 50 questions and a 2-hour time limit. A score of 70% is required to pass the exam
Topics of this examination include:
- Estimating and bidding
- Lien law
- Financial management
- Tax laws
- Labor laws
- Project management
- Business organization
- Risk management
- Environmental and safety
These are open-book examinations. The Board recommends these books for preparation and reference:
- 2006 International Mechanical Code
- 2006 International Fuel Gas Code
- OSHA Code of Federal Regulations Part 1926
- Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning and ACCA Ductulator
You might also find useful some of the other useful HVAC reference material we’ve reviewed.
Contractors may sign up for prep courses offered by American Contractors and Mississippi Contractor Licensing Service.
More information about the examination is available in Candidate Information Bulletin.
EPA Section 608 Certification
Technicians must pass an EPA-approved exam to obtain this certification. They can take specific tests to suit the type of equipment they seek to work on.
For more details, check our article about EPA 608 Certification.
Job Outlook and Salary for HVAC in Mississippi
Overall, the job outlook and salary for HVAC in Mississippi are better than average in comparison to the other states, thanks to the occupational demand. HVAC technicians in Mississippi usually earn about $16.07 per hour. If you are a professional, you can expect to earn up to $23.83.
HVAC-related jobs make up for the top 51% of all career choices in Mississippi. Currently, there are 1,980 HVAC workers in this state.
How Much Does an HVAC Tech Make in Mississippi?
- Entry-Level: $36,256/year
- Mid-Level: $50,357/year
The figures above are estimates and depend on various factors such as the certification(s) obtained the applicant’s experience, and the type of position offered. If a beginner HVAC technician decides to specialize in a certain skill set, then according to BLS, they have a higher chance of earning more generously in the following years.
As an HVAC technician, you can expect to work on heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems that regulate and administer the air quality and temperature in various building typologies. You will be required to handle the design, fitting and repair, replacements, maintenance, and testing of these systems. A lot of trips to various residences, apartment buildings, schools, hotels, offices, and healthcare facilities can be expected due to the nature of the work.
Mississippi Cities With Highest Average HVAC Salaries
According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, Mississippi has the lowest cost of living in the United States, which means you get to save up a lot from your salary. You can hook up with private firms that offer one of the highest paying HVAC related jobs.
In Mississippi, Starkville pays its HVAC technicians and professionals the highest salaries. Below is a list of Mississippi cities that have the highest salary averages;
- Starkville – $29,50/hour
- Pascagoula – $24.70/hour
- Jackson – $24.61/hour
- Columbus – $23.36/hour
- Hattiesburg – $23.00/hour
- Latimer – $22.40/hour
- Lyman – $21.36/hour
Not only do these cities have the highest paying salaries in the state, but they also offer multiple fringe benefits including fuel discounts, paid time off, 401(k), disability insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, vision insurance, health insurance, paid sick time, and free flu shots along with flexible working hours.
According to Indeed, 53% of HVAC technicians in these areas find their salaries more than enough in regard to the cost of living in their cities.
Insurance and Tax Information for HVAC in Mississippi
After having obtained the commercial HVAC license, the applicant has to pay a $200 application fee. Residential HVAC license only costs $50. However, either of these has to be covered by liability insurance, so the HVAC technician is safe from any possible harm when on the job.
The fees incurred in the process can range from $100 to $300. This also calls for the applicant giving proof that they have a net worth of at least $20,000 to ensure that they can cover any possible damages caused by their personal faults. The insurance amount is not payable unless an accident occurs, and it will keep adding up as savings until you have your license.
Scope Of HVAC Work
HVAC technicians work on heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems that control the air quality and temperature in many types of buildings. The capabilities of HVAC techs and contractors include design, installation, repair, change-outs, preventative maintenance, and testing.
Projects for HVAC professional can include individual houses, high-rise apartment buildings, schools, hotel and gaming resorts, office buildings, government, military, and healthcare facilities.
Well-trained contractors and technicians are crucial in the HVAC industry. Demand for certified and professional tradespeople is on the rise in Mississippi. Certified HVAC contractors can enjoy a promising career and grow their businesses as they gain experience in the field.
People Also Ask
If you are seriously interested in embarking on a journey of becoming an HVAC technician, you are sure to have a lot of questions in mind. To save your time on researching, we have answered the most commonly inquired things below:
A list of the schools that offer the certification test can be found here. Programs mentioned on this list are permitted to supply the EPA Section 608 technician certification test by EPA itself.
The state of Mississippi has license reciprocity agreements with:
HVAC technicians and professionals already associated with regards to licensure with at least one of these states can get permission to work in Mississippi without having to retake the examination or re-applying for the license.