The Badger State isn’t nearly as fierce as its namesake when it comes to HVAC license and certification.
With starting salary over $31,000 a year and experienced techs making nearly $47,000 - and even better earnings for those who score the most elite jobs - it’s important to develop your skills.
Wisconsin does offer an optional certification, which can also be a big aid to increasing your earnings potential.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Wisconsin
Becoming an HVAC technician while living in Wisconsin is a dream-come-true for any individual. If you are seeking to pursue a career as an HVAC technician, Wisconsin might be the perfect start. The reason is that Wisconsin is one of those few states that offers handsome salary packages and job prospects.
If you are a resident of Wisconsin, becoming an HVAC Technician means you have to go through three basic levels. The state government designs these certification and licensure levels.
The following are the various certification and licensure levels that you need to surpass.
City or County Level
There are separate rules and regulations of each city for HVAC contractor certification. However, employees are exempted from this case.
Amazingly, Wisconsin doesn’t have any state-specific qualification requirements for HVAC technicians. However, an optional HVAC Qualifier Certification is offered to individuals pursuing an HVAC career. This certification is quite handy, considering it fulfills any certification or licensing requirement on the city or state level.
While working with ozone-depleting refrigerants, you are required to earn Section 608 certification. This certification is normally regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
What Makes Wisconsin a Great Place to Start an HVAC Career?
Wisconsin is a perfect place to start your HVAC career. This is because it offers a handful of opportunities for all individuals with an HVAC background. If you are looking to pursue your career in the field of HVAC, nothing gets better than working in Wisconsin. There are ample job growth prospects in the field of HVAC with rising modern demands.
Here are some of the major reasons that make Wisconsin a great place to start an HVAC career.
One of the major reasons that make Wisconsin favorable for pursuing an HVAC career is growth prospects. The current growth in the field of HVAC suggests a major increase in job opportunities for individuals having an HVAC background.
Salary Packages and Other Benefits
Who doesn’t love earning money? The thirst increases with increased salary packages and benefits. Wisconsin is one of those states which pays well for your services. Therefore, starting as an HVAC technician here means you can earn well.
Earning a license or getting certified while living in Wisconsin is not a difficult path. If you’re looking to work as an employee, you instantly get exempted from local jurisdictions, which is a huge plus.
Requirements for Becoming an HVAC Tech in Wisconsin
Becoming an HVAC technician in Wisconsin requires you to go through a series of procedures. These are designed to test you based on your skills and knowledge. The HVAC industry is one of those few industries that require a lot of skill and knowledge. This is why a series of regulations are in place by the state government to hire HVAC professionals on merit.
In order to become an HVAC technician, you are required to qualify for the HVAC Qualifier Examination. This is a state-level certification that is issued by the Department of Safety and Professional Services. This is an optional certification that exempts you from almost any state-wide certification required.
Anyone working as an HVAC contractor in America’s Dairyland is required to register with the Department of Safety and Professional Services. Registration consists of filling out a simple, two-page form. This may be done by the owner, a partner, or the chairman of the board or CEO if it’s a corporation.
The registration costs $160, plus a $15 filing fee. It’s valid for four years.
If you are only to be working on your own property - including a property owned by the business entity - you do not have to register.
Certification in Wisconsin is optional but can help your job prospects. With certification, you are categorized as an “HVAC Qualifier.” This also makes your employer a certified HVAC business. One advantage is that by law, local jurisdictions cannot put further requirements on you.
There is an exam associated with this. The prerequisites for taking the exam are any one of the following:
Experience: at least 1000 hours per year for at least 4 years “in supervising or performing the design, installation, servicing or maintenance of HVAC systems or equipment”.
Education: a minimum of four years in a school of mechanical engineering or in an accredited college; technical, vocational or apprenticeship school; or university, in an HVAC-related program.
A combination of the experience and education totaling four years. Exam dates are listed on the application form itself. Fees are $15 for an application fee and $25 for the open-book exam.
Under state law, cities, counties, town and villages are restricted in what further restrictions they can make requiring certification.
If you are an “HVAC Qualifier” under state law, you are covered everywhere. Other than that, you only need to be registered unless the locality had laws in place prior to the mid-1990s. If you have doubts, check with local licensing offices.
EPA Section 608
Federal, not state, law governs the handling and purchase of refrigerants. You must obtain a 608 certification if you’ll be handling refrigerants in the course of your work - including purchasing them. The Environmental Protection Agency offers three types of certification, as well as a “universal certification” that covers all three. The types are based on the size or type of appliance you’re working with.
How to Get a WI Master HVAC License
In case of a state-level HVAC Contractor license, the following conditions must be met:
- A few years of experience in the HVAC industry and a good track record
- Must have completed HVAC Qualifier Certification or HVAC Journeyman
- Minimal liability insurance, surety bond, or workers compensation insurance
- Passing the HVAC Contractor examination
How to Become an HVAC Apprentice in Wisconsin
To make this come true, you must fulfill one of the following conditions:
- Four years of HVAC training at an HVAC school; Mechanical Engineering would apply
- Four years of work experience in the HVAC industry with 1000 hours experience noted per year
- A combination of HVAC education and experience; four years in total
HVAC Exam Preparation in Wisconsin
You need to pass two major examinations before being eligible for hire: the HVAC Qualifier examination and the EPA examination. The former is a state-wide qualifier examination that allows you to fulfill city-level certifications as well. In other words, you don’t have to pass any other local certifications to start your career in the HVAC industry.
On the other hand, the EPA exam is only necessary if you wish to work with ozone-depleting refrigerants. The certification is commonly known as 608 Certification. However, if you wish to work with motor vehicle air conditioning, you must pass Section 609.
The Wisconsin Division of Professional Credentialing is responsible for conducting the HVAC Qualifier Examination. The test itself evaluates your knowledge regarding safety measures, regulations, and various HVAC procedures. The exam is open-book, so you can always consult from course books.
To pass the examination, it is necessary that you score at least 70%. The result is emailed to you after 21 days, while the validity remains for four years.
The best way to clear each examination is either by enrolling in an HVAC Training program or an apprenticeship. Both options provide you with basic and practical knowledge of carrying out HVAC procedures.
Job Outlook and Salary for HVAC in Wisconsin
The job outlook and salary packages seem very promising for HVAC in Wisconsin. Recent graphs show a significant rise in the currently available job opportunities for Wisconsin. HVAC job opportunities pay handsomely for your services.
How Much Do HVAC Techs Make on Average in Wisconsin?
According to a survey, the starting salary for HVAC technicians is over $31,000 a year, which can rise to as high as $47,000. If you make it to a higher post, your salary will increase further. Also, passing the optional certifications can bring a rise in your potential earnings.
The following is a detailed overview of various salary packages offered to HVAC professionals in Wisconsin.
Entry-level job opportunities in the HVAC industry pay impressively in Wisconsin. Considering you have a work experience of up to one year, you can earn as much as $22.89 per hour.
Mid-level prospects are also quite promising here in Wisconsin. If you have been working in the HVAC industry for more than five years, you can earn a lot of money. Precisely, with more than five years of working experience, you can earn as much as $28.17 per hour.
With an experience of more than ten years, you can earn $33.46 hourly for master-level job opportunities.
Wisconsin Cities With Highest Average HVAC Salaries
Wisconsin is considered as one of those few states that offer high salary packages to HVAC professionals. Salary packages might differ from city to city with local jurisdictions; however, all packages are quite attractive.
The following are the top five cities of Wisconsin with the highest average HVAC salaries recorded by the US Department of Labor.
Sheboygan is the leading city with the highest HVAC salary packages in Wisconsin. According to the US Department of Labor, the hourly income for an HVAC professional ranges between $33.70 and $46.83 per hour. Meanwhile, the annual salary ranges from $70,100 to as high as $97,420.
Eau Claire is not far behind in this regard. With an hourly salary ranging between $28.40 to $37.65, you can earn quite a lot of money. Annually, you can earn as much as $59,080 to $78,320.
Bloomington is yet another high paying city in Wisconsin. As an HVAC professional, you can expect hourly rates ranging from $26.89 to $46.85. Moreover, annual earnings lie between $55,930 and $88,500.
Oshkosh is second to none. With an hourly salary rate ranging from $24.92 to $30.19, it’s an HVAC paradise. The annual income is also quite impressive, ranging from $51,830 to $62,790.
Last but not least, Milwaukee offers hourly salary rates of $23.59 to $38.97 to HVAC professionals. Besides, the expected annual earnings can vary from $49,070 to $81,060.
Insurance and Tax Information for HVAC in WI
Like all other states, Wisconsin has its own set of rules for insurance and tax collection. The most familiar tax regulated in the state is the Sales tax.
According to state law, services that can be sold, licensed, achieved, or equipped are subjected to sales tax. Apart from certain exceptions, the sales tax is due on selling or acquiring such goods or services.
Wisconsin offers optional certification for HVAC Qualifiers and contractors. We recommend this because it offers prospective employers more confidence in your skills.
Contractors must register, but this is simply a matter of filing paperwork and paying a fee. Doing so helps to show that you are a law-abiding contractor and gives your clients greater confidence in your work!
People Also Ask
There are always some questions in the minds of people regarding various aspects of the state. When it comes to pursuing a career in a particular state, it’s necessary to get rid of ambiguities you might have. Therefore, we have come up with some commonly asked questions by most individuals. These frequently asked questions might help you find answers to your questions as well.
How Many Years Does it Take to Become an HVAC Journeyman Wisconsin?
Becoming an HVAC Journeyman in any state requires a lot of hard work and dedication. It includes basic knowledge as well as the required skills to pursue an HVAC career. Typically, it takes about five years to be certified as an HVAC Journeyman in Wisconsin.
Do You Have to be a Licensed HVAC For New Construction in WI?
The answer is yes. You have to be a licensed HVAC for new construction in Wisconsin. Amazingly, the state offers quite a few licenses that you can obtain to work without any hassle. You can apply for a Dwelling Contractor License or a Dwelling Qualifier Contractor License. You can achieve either of them to apply for building permissions for your business.
Where to Find the Wisconsin HVAC Qualifier Exam Sample Questions?
The HVAC Qualifier Exam introduced by Wisconsin is a state-wide certification for HVAC professionals. After passing that exam, you won’t be liable for any other local certifications. To pass the exam, the sample questions can be found on various online websites that deal with this specific examination.