The HVAC industry is growing in Utah, and now is the time to seriously consider becoming an HVAC service tech. Heating and air conditioning service technicians can work with a licensed HVAC contractor. This trade has a starting pay of $20 to $25 per hour immediately after finishing training.
If you are looking for steady work and excellent pay, entering the HVAC field in Utah is a great option to consider. If you are great at math and have mechanical skills along with the willingness to work hard, you can be successful as a heating and air mechanic.
What a Utah HVAC Contractor Can Do
The Utah Plumbing and Heating Contractors Association is a professional organization for plumbers and HVAC service technicians who work with the public in Utah. Contractors are able to work on both residential and commercial projects. They are able to provide HVAC plans for the ductwork in new construction. The HVAC contractor can hire service technicians to install new HVAC systems or dispatch them to repair existing systems.
Contractors are businessmen who oversee projects that they have been hired to do. Independent contractors are able to obtain work on their own as their own boss.
HVAC technicians are able to check for leaks in cooling systems and add refrigerants if necessary. To work on complete systems, they should work under a contractor licensed in this area.
They can also expand their business and hire employees. These employees are trained to perform installations or replacement of equipment. Contractors are business owners who are responsible for the work that is performed by their employees.
Those contractors trained to work on industrial-sized units are able to work on large air conditioning units in facilities like hospitals or factories. Each of these units requires specialized care for routine maintenance.
Technicians are able to service the units to extend their useful lifetimes.
Keeping the conditioned air flowing at comfortable temperatures year round is the primary goal of all HVAC technicians and contractors. When they have done their jobs well, the customers are able to feel the results of their hard work.
Categories Of HVAC Contractor License in Utah
Utah has various types of HVAC-related contractor licenses, depending on the system you plan to work with:
- S350 - Heating, Ventilation and Air Condition
- S351 Refrigeration Air Conditioning
- S352 Evaporative Cooling
- S353 - Warm Air Heating
- S360 - Refrigeration
In Utah, the HVAC license is a primary class of contractor’s license. The Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing located in Salt Lake City awards it. Refrigeration is a different class. There are also various subclasses under the HVAC license.
Contractors must provide proof of liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. The contractor’s business must register with the Utah State Tax Commission, the Utah Department of Employment Security, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Utah Division of Corporations.
The contractor’s business must also show proof of the DBA registration with the Utah Division of Corporations. They must submit a financial statement and three credit reports for all personnel.
After meeting the initial requirements, the contractor must sit for and pass the business and law exam as well as a trade exam. Contractors in the HVAC industry must have proof of four years of full-time work experience in the field. You can also get your license through reciprocity if you have a license in a few other states.
The application fee for a primary classification license is $200. Additional classification applications cost $100 application fee.
Renewing your license requires six hours of continuing education courses. To renew a contractor license, you can include up to three online course hours from the Continuing Education Courses for the Construction Trades provided by the state government of Utah to fulfill the renewal requirements. Three of the continuing education hours must be earned through attending and participating in a live seminar.
To be licensed to perform work as a contractor in the HVAC industry in Utah, your application to sit for the exam must be approved by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. The application must include payment of testing fees.
Testing fees are $79 for the business and law exam. The business and law exam is an open book test featuring multiple choice questions. These exams ensure that contractors are knowledgeable of state and federal laws and accounting procedures. The Utah’s Contractor’s Reference Manual can be used. Be sure to buy one in advance. There are practice exams available as well.
Trade exams are based on code and OSHA standards. Each of these trade exams is open book as well. The trade exam fee is an additional $79. After the application and testing fees are paid, the license is free and expires after two years on July 31 of an odd-numbered year. PSI Examination Services is responsible for administering the exams.
All HVAC technicians across the nation must obtain Section 608 EPA certification. This certification tests the technician’s knowledge of how to safely recover refrigerants. It also tests their knowledge of how to charge refrigeration systems.
Refrigerant technicians must be certified in order to legally purchase refrigerants. It is wise to obtain universal certification so that you can service refrigerant appliances of all sizes. Individually, there are three types of certification. Type I certification is certification for technicians to service the small appliances. Type II certification covers high-pressure appliances. Type III certification allows technicians to service low-pressure appliances.
Each of these categories covers specific refrigerants that must be handled properly according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards. EPA Section 608 training includes record keeping rules based on the amount of refrigerant that has been added to each appliance. This training is available in all 50 states. The certification is valid across the country.
Prospective HVAC technicians and contractors must be licensed to practice in Utah. After fulfilling the required work experience and passing the tests, HVAC technicians may become contractors who run their own businesses.
If you choose to be your own boss, your earning potential is limited only by your own personal work ethic and the hours and number of dedicated employees that you decide to hire. Being your own boss is its own reward, but you can reap the profits and enjoy your lifelong career.