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One of Ohio’s leading trade occupations is in the HVAC industry. If you are mechanically inclined and ready to launch a lifelong career, becoming an HVAC contractor or HVAC service technician is a worthwhile choice.
Work as HVAC technicians or contractors is profitable from the beginning of the career. The annual starting salary is approximately $40,000 for a beginning mechanic. The salary climbs in proportion to the years of experience and the size of the company.
If the salary and work interests you, we have the details for what you need to do to become licensed in Ohio as an HVAC contractor.
HVAC Contractors in Ohio
HVAC Contractors have experience in the installation and repair of central heat and air systems. These systems provide comfortable controlled air temperatures in residences and commercial locations. Attending vocational training provides the foundational skills needed to be a successful HVAC service technician in Ohio. The extensive apprenticeship work provides vital experience as an installer or mechanic.
Each HVAC contractor in Ohio must work at least five uninterrupted years as an apprentice to learn the ins and outs of the HVAC industry. During that time, they must demonstrate successful practice before being able to start their own business as a contractor.
To become an HVAC contractor who performs commercial work in Ohio, you must be 18 years old and a United States citizen. You must have experience as an HVAC service technician or be a registered engineer. Potential contractors must obtain liability insurance coverage of at least $500,000, pay the application fees, and pass an extensive background check. They must have first worked as an apprentice under a journeyman contractor with appropriate licensure.
Ohio’s requirements are stringent, and show your commitment to the trade.
If you hope to become a contractor, be sure keep a record of jobs you have worked on and the permits that have been issued for the commercial projects. You’ll need this to show the required five years of experience. This documentation must be submitted with the application to get licensed as a contractor yourself.
To start your journey as an HVAC service contractor, you must either be an apprentice or attend a vocational trade school. Also, you have to have the 5 years of continuous experience immediately before your application.
You must have your application notarized, and send it with the nonrefundable application fee of $25.00. To be able to complete your application correctly, you must also provide a copy of your employer’s certificate of liability insurance. If the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board approves your application, you must then pass the trade examination. This will allow you to be a contractor in the HVAC industry in Ohio.
If you're already licensed elsewhere, you may have other alternatives. You can get your license through reciprocity if you are properly licensed in select other states such as Louisiana or Kentucky. Ohio’s Department of Commerce provides applications online.
If you’re a veteran of the armed forces, there are additional specific application instructions that can be found on the Ohio.gov website. There, you can find out about presenting the training certificates and the DD214 form to submit with your application.
To become a licensed HVAC contractor, you must pass the Ohio HVAC Contractor exam. The Ohio HVAC licensure exams are provided by PSI Exams. Online practice tests are available to prepare you to be successful when you sit for the actual exam.
It is a lengthy open book exam, with 240 minutes allotted. This portion costs $138.00. The business and law exam for contractors is 120 minutes long and costs $69.00. These fees are a mere drop in the bucket compared to the salary that you will be raking in over the course of your career.
These exams test your knowledge of building codes and HVAC theory as well as your knowledge of repair and installation of HVAC systems. The test should be easy because you will have five years of work experience behind you when you sit for these exams. It is unlikely that you will need a second chance to pass these tests.
Refrigerants are toxic substances that require careful handling by HVAC technicians. EPA Section 608 training is available and will provide the necessary information needed to pass the exam. All HVAC technicians must enroll in the course and pass the exam because handling refrigerants is delicate work. It also requires tons of paperwork! Everything done with refrigerants has to be documented precisely.
The Environmental Protection Agency regulates the distribution and disposal of refrigerants. HVAC personnel must be certified by the EPA to either buy or dispose of the refrigerants used in commercial and residential HVAC systems. Certification is mandatory according to federal regulations.
Section 608 certification is accepted in all 50 states. Type I certification provides for working with small appliance refrigerants. Type II certification is for high-pressure appliances, and Type III is for low-pressure appliances. You can earn Universal certification that covers all refrigerants and the required documentation for each.
Trained and licensed HVAC contractors can repair or install commercial or residential heating and air-conditioning systems. After extensive work experience, the HVAC technicians can become a contractor and build their own businesses. It is a career path with a multitude of options and job security because conditioned air is always in demand.