The average HVAC tech in the state of Michigan earns $20 per hour, which is well above both minimum wage and the national average hourly pay.
If you enjoy problem solving, working with your hands, and customer service, HVAC might be the perfect career for you. To work as an HVAC contractor in Michigan you will need a Mechanical Contractor’s license.
This article will talk about everything pertaining to Michigan HVAC — from how to get your license and schedule your exam to Michigan’s growing HVAC job market and regional salaries.
HVAC Licensing Requirements for Michigan
In order to perform repairs or installation of heating, cooling, ventilating, or refrigeration systems you must obtain a mechanical contractor’s license. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regularity Affairs, Bureau of Construction Codes, and the Mechanical Division oversee the application, examination, and license distribution process.
Michigan’s licensing process is unique because it is so specialized. You can use the examination process to your advantage while on the job hunt or if you are trying to move upwards within your current company.
What does a license permit you to do?
Mechanical contractors can perform installation, alternations, maintenance, servicing, and get the necessary permits from the state for projects.
Not everyone is eligible to take the mechanical contractor’s license exam.
Here is what you will need to become eligible:
You must have a minimum of 3 years of experience in every work classification that you would like to be licensed in. You must pass an exam for each desired classification.
General work classifications you have to choose from:
- Hydronic heating and cooling and process piping
- HVAC equipment
- Limited heating service
- Unlimited heating service
- Limited refrigeration and air conditioning service
- Unlimited refrigeration and air conditioning service
- Fire Suppression
- Solar Heating and Cooling
- Solid Fuel and Vented Decorative Gas Appliances
- LP Distribution Piping
- Fuel Gas Piping
- Fuel Gas Piping and Venting
To apply for the exam, it costs $100, plus an additional $25 to take the actual test. The licenses are issued in 3-year cycles, and all contractors share the same cycle and the fee is prorated depending on which year you receive your license in.
The total fee for 3 years is $300. You must pay $200 if you register in the 2nd year (applies to all contractors) and $100 in the third year. If you are an Electrical and Fire Alarm Contractor you have a membership fee of just $10 and a license renewal deposit of $10 as well.
Apply for the Exam
Before taking the exam, you must first fill out the application and pay an $100 fee to the state of Michigan. Once you have applied and are determined as eligible, you can schedule a date thereafter to take the test.
Here is the contact information for the state where you can send your application or call if you have any questions about the application process:
Application for Mechanical Contractor License Examination 127Michigan Department of Labor & Economic GrowthBureau of Construction Codes / Mechanical DivisionP.O. Box 30255, Lansing, MI 48909517-241-9325
Scheduling your Exam
Unlike many other state certifications or licenses, the Michigan Mechanical Contractor Licensing Exam is only offered four times a year, on site in Lansing, MI. Each exam date has a separate application deadline set a month in advance.
Taking the Exam
Before taking your exam you have to pay an additional $25 fee. The exam is a written test that covers the theories and practices specific to HVAC, mechanical codes, local laws, and specific work classifications. Our practice tests might be useful for studying.
The test has a 15-question section on Mechanical Contractor’s Law and Rules, The Construction Code Law and Rules, and Basic Safety Rules. To pass the exam you will need to get a 70% or higher within each work classification in which you would like to be licensed.
HVAC Schools in Michigan
Looking for an HVAC school or training program near you? A full list of Michigan HVAC schools can be found below:
Michigan HVAC Job Market
Employment within the HVAC industry is expected to grow steadily at a rate of 14% between now and 2024. This is unprecedented growth in the age of outsourcing. HVAC requires on site, manual labor to help install, maintain, and repair complicated new systems.
HVAC is an ever-evolving industry where equipment is constantly becoming outdated and then getting upgraded. Skilled technicians are in demand to help replace old equipment and troubleshoot their way through updated systems.
Michigan Cities with Highest Average HVAC Salaries 2017
Salaries can vary a bit even within a state. For instance, in Dearborn Heights you can expect to make around $42,557; in Warren, $42,557 and in Detroit, about $42,617. Canton HVAC techs are earning around $44,450. Ann Arbor comes in around $45,039.
More experienced technicians with more work classifications make upwards of $60,000 annually. These statistics just represent the median salaries. Michigan HVAC technicians are in the top 48% of trades workers as far as yearly take-home pay is concerned.
Getting your work classification within different specialized fields will help you thrive in the growing HVAC job market. Michigan’s licensing process might seem daunting at first, but it will actually help you secure more specific, higher paying work.
The more job classifications you can gain three years of hands-on experience in, the better. After you have three years under your belt, apply to see if you are eligible to take your exam.