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.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Ohio
An HVAC expert is qualified to repair, maintain, install, and properly check the air conditioning systems. These could be for commercial or residential buildings.
A career in this industry is a pretty great opportunity, especially in Ohio. That is because it is easier to become a technician or contractor than most other states, such as North Carolina, Delaware, Alabama, Alaska, etc.
Technicians do not need to hold separate licenses in plumbing or electricity. They also do not require municipal or state-level licenses to be certified. But, they do need to:
- Hold a degree that is viable in the HVAC field.
- Or have an apprenticeship that requires them to have at least 2000 hours of on-the-job training.
There is also the need to hold the EPA section 608 certification, which is for people who work with refrigerants. That is because this is a country-level certification.
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.
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.
So to become a technician in Ohio, you need to:
- Be on the lookout for good HVAC study programs that cover all the work and basics. And also familiarise you with specializations, if there are any.
- Have good on-hands experience. You are more likely to be hired when you have experience under your belt.
- Know about the companies that offer jobs, what they want in an employee, the skills, experience, etc.
As a contractor, you need to have a state-level license, which you can get from the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board after you pass the contractor exam.
For this, you need to have a few things under your belt, such as:
- Five years of experience working as a technician
- $500,000 of liability and workers’ compensation insurance or coverage.
You can also have additional certifications, such as the NATE. It is only an optional certification and stands for the North American Technical Excellence Certification. This just shows that a technician has undergone additional training and knows how to handle common units.
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.
What Makes Ohio a Great Place to Start an HVAC Career?
The reasons Ohio is the perfect place to start your HVAC career are:
Second-Best Rated State
Ohio is ranked second in the national listing for the best places to have an HVAC career. This is because the state is easiest to work in. Here, as a technician, you do not require any state-level licensing. There are also several job opportunities here, as HVAC is a fast-growing industry.
HVAC technicians get different benefits from their jobs here, such as paid holidays, time off, fuel discount, disability insurance up to 401k, and so much more. The salaries in this field are also highly competitive, and it is a great place for growth.
People primarily look for stability in their careers. This industry is not affected by the recession. Everyone needs heating or cooling systems, all year round. It also requires individuals with a specific set of skills, as these jobs can’t be done by just anyone and are certainly not at-home jobs.
Job Outlook and Salary for HVAC in Ohio
The job outlook for HVAC experts in Ohio is pretty good. It is the second-best state for HVAC experts to work in, as they have enough jobs and a good salary and benefits package for all their employees.
In short, they are paid quite well; not extravagantly, but enough to live comfortably.
How Much Does an HVAC Technician Make in Ohio?
In Ohio, the average income for an HVAC technician ranges from $19,133 to $81,664. All the companies that hire them pay them based on their expertise, education, and experience.
The average yearly income of an entry-level technician in Ohio ranges from $26,599 to $36,398. The annual median income is $32,966.
The average annual income of a mid-level HVAC technician starts from $32,665 and goes up to $52,264. The yearly median income is $46,048.
The income of a senior or master level worker can go from $33,132 to $59,264. The annual median income is $47,532.
Keep in mind that these salary estimates will vary hugely from city to city or even company to company.
Ohio Cities with Highest Average HVAC Salaries
The wage rates for technicians in this industry vary from one city to another, so it’s important to know the highest-paying locations you can choose from. These cities are:
The annual salary of a tech ranges from 45,220 to $66,480.
Cleveland has extraordinary wage rates, ranging from $46,070 to $70,920.
The starting salary of tech in Cincinnati is impressive. It ranges from $50,470 to $67,540.
The annual salary of tech in Toledo ranges from $40,850 to $68,570.
Akron has a decent, medium-level payscale. The average salary for an HVAC tech is somewhere between $42,010 and $58,040.
Some of these salaries, such as Cleveland, Elyria, Lorain, Columbus, etc. are higher than the national median income, which is impressive.
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.
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.
People Also Ask
We tried our best to help our readers attain all the necessary information. But there still may be some things that they need to clear up or are confused about.
So, this section will further help you out.
It is not difficult to get the license if you have studied and given time to retain the necessary information. It is just a matter of a lot of learning and practicing, which will prepare you for the day of the test.
For the HVAC contractor license, you need to be 18 years old, be a US citizen, and have at least five years of experience working as a technician under a reputed or professional contractor.
Entry-level HVAC jobs usually consist of working together with a team to install, repair, and maintain a heating or cooling system. You are also required to assist your seniors and service the units.