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Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) is a fast growing industry driven by advanced technology. Heating and air conditioning are basic aspects of residential, commercial and industrial buildings. The demand for HVAC professionals, both contractors and technicians, is on the rise.
The HVAC industry in the US is well regulated by the federal, state and local governments. HVAC professionals in most states need specific licenses or certifications to take up HVAC work. Requirements for these certifications and licenses differ from state to state.
For a contractor, having the right licenses will increase the chances of getting more clients and continuity of business. A novice HVAC tech can make around $15.67 an hour, while an experienced one may make over $29/hour. The best of the best can do even better, at around $34.15. HVAC Technicians earn more than 59% percent of Trades careers in North Dakota.
In this article, we will discuss how to attain HVAC contractor license and training in North Dakota.
If you work as an employee of a business or a contractor doing HVAC work, there is no specific license required by the state. We advise that you check with your city or county to see if there are local requirements.
If you work as or plan to start your own business as a contractor, you’ll want to read the following section closely.
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Contractor Licensing Requirements for North Dakota
In North Dakota, the office of the Secretary of State is responsible for issuing contractor’s licenses for various types of businesses, including HVAC-R.
According to their website, a contract is:
"any person engaged in the business of construction, repair, alteration, dismantling, or demolition of bridges, highways, roads, streets, buildings, airports, dams, pipelines, and every other type of structure, project, development, or improvement coming within the definition of real or personal property, including the construction, alteration, or repair of property to be held either for sale or rental, and shall include subcontractor, public contractor, and nonresident contractor."
A contractor can be a Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership or Corporation/Limited Liability Company.
Contractors working on any job costing $4,000 or more needs a license.
The contractor license class and fee are based on the cost, value or price of the job.
The below table shows the tariff of the filing fee.
|Class A||Over $500,000 per job||$450|
|Class B||Up to $500,000 per job||$300|
|Class C||Up to $300,000 per job||$225|
|Class D||Up to $100,000 per job||$100|
To attain a contractor’s license, the applicant must:
- Provide the details of registration of business entity, as well as the tax filings
- Provide a statement of the applicant's experience and qualifications as a contractor
- Provide a certificate of insurance indicating liability coverage as proof that the applicant has secured liability insurance
- Provide a statement from Workforce Safety & Insurance that the contractor has secured workers' compensation coverage
If a contractor does not have employees, a verification of non-employment from North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance must be filed.
Contractor’s licenses in North Dakota are renewed annually. North Dakota does not have a reciprocal license agreement with other states.
Some cities in North Dakota require contractors to hold city licenses in addition to the State license. For example, the City of Williston requires HVAC contractors to be licensed with the State as well as the City of Williston’s Department of Building Society.
Before taking up projects in a city, the contractors should check with the local departments for any licenses they may need.
To obtain their state contractor license, the applicant should fill out the form and send it and the other required documents to the office of the Secretary of State.
Contractors don't have to take an exam to get a contractor's license in North Dakota.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Certification is mandatory for all HVAC-R technicians who work with refrigerants across the country. Section 608 of the Clean Air Act requires certification for individuals who are involved in any kind of service, maintenance, or disposal of equipment that could release ozone-depleting refrigerants. To get this certification, they must pass a test at an EPA-approved test. They can choose a test based on the category of the equipment they seek to work on. These regulations are necessary to protect the environment.
Refrigerants are hazardous to people and environment. People who are working around commercial freezers and chillers need to be cautious about the gases contained in the refrigerated systems. Refrigeration and air conditioning equipment include risks of toxicity, flammability, and other hazards.
Contractors should make sure that their technicians have this certification before they are directed to work with refrigerants.
The EPA has four types of certifications:
This certification is for technicians who handle small appliances.
This certification is for technicians who service high-pressure or very high–pressure air conditioning and/or heating units.
This certification is for the technicians who work with low-pressure refrigerants.
This certification is for the technicians who work with equipment of all kinds and sizes. The certification includes Types I, II, and III.
HVAC Training In North Dakota
Though training in HVAC is not mandatory to get a contractor’s license in North Dakota, it is highly advisable. There are many trade schools or institutes that offer training at various levels in installation, service, design, and repair of HVAC-R systems. Many of these programs are accredited by industry organizations like HVAC Excellence and help you win customers’ trust.
The HVAC-R industry is growing rapidly with the advancement of technology. There is a high demand for qualified contractors and technicians. Obtaining the required licenses will help in getting more clients and growing your business. For contractors in North Dakota, a license for HVAC work can be obtained from the office of the Secretary of State. Some cities require a license from local departments, in addition to the State license.
Training in HVAC-R combined with the required licenses will give you an edge over the competitors and help build your own brand.