If you plan to become an HVAC contractor in Hawaii, now is the right time to do so. The state is currently teeming with opportunities for individuals who want to work in the field of HVAC. On average, the annual HVAC salary you can get while working as a technician in Hawaii is at a whopping $61,340! HVAC certification isn’t needed here, but it is still wise to get it.
Hence, if you want to learn the trade, this article will guide you; from education to training and HVAC certification.
How to Get an HVAC License in Hawaii
You don’t need a license or HVAC certification if you want to work as an HVAC technician in Hawaii. This only applies to contractors who require a license in their field of specialty. However, getting a license as an HVAC technician is beneficial, especially if you have years of working experience or attended a registered training school.
In Hawai one of the most popular specialty trade licenses is C-40 Refrigeration Contractor. This license allows you to install equipment and units such as blowers, thermostatic controls for air temperature, refrigerated rooms, ducts, insulation units, walk-in refrigerator boxes, and more. If you’re interested to get your contractor license, these are the requirements you need to collect:
- A minimum of $100,000 bodily injury liability per person and $300,000 per instance
- Proof of where your business is based
- At least four years of working as a foreman, journeyman, contractor, or supervisor. It should be within the last 10 years.
- A $50,000 property damage liability per instance
- Pay a $50 application fee
- Curreent worker’s compensation insurance
- A passing score in Business and Law and also Trade examinations
- A $545 contractor’s fee upon passing the exam (only applicable if you obtain your license between the first of October in an even-numbered year and the 30th of September in an odd-numbered year).
- A $415 contractor’s fee upon passing the exam (applies if your license is awarded between the first of October in an odd-numbered year and the 30th of September in an even-numbered year).
- A $335 fee if you’re a Responsible Managing Employee (applies if licensed between the first of October in an even-numbered year and the 30th of September in an odd-numbered year).
- A $225 fee if you’re a Responsible Managing Employee and has a license between the first of October in an odd-numbered year and the 30th of September in an even-numbered year.
Getting EPA Certified
The EPA Section 608 of the Clean Air Act mandated that HVAC technicians who want to handle refrigerants should be properly certified, especially considering that the release of these substances can bring harm to the environment. If you’re planning to obtain a C-40 Refrigeration Contractor’s License, getting an EPA Certification is ideal as well.
Before you can obtain your Section 608 Tech Certification, you need to pass an EPA-approved test first. Upon successfully passing the examination, you can receive one of the three HVAC certification types:
- Type I EPA Section 608 HVAC – Type 1 certified technicians who have this certification can only handle small appliances that have five pounds of refrigerant or less.
- Type II EPA Section 608 HVAC – Type II certified technicians can deal with high and very high-pressure units. These include split systems as well as non-automative systems.
- Type II EPA Section 608 HVAC – If you obtain a Type III certification, you are allowed to handle low-pressure units.
HVAC Exams in Hawai
There are three types of examinations you need to prepare for if you want to get your contractor’s license. They are the Business and Law Exam, the Companion Exam which is in accordance with your specific trade (the C-40 Refrigeration exam in this instance), and the Section 608 Certification Exam.
You will be scheduled for an examination and are required to take both exams with either Experior or Prometric. For the contractor licensing exam, these are the details you need to know:
- You need to get in touch with either Experior or Prometric to schedule an exam in a nearby testing center
- There are two sections: Business and Law section and the trade-specific section
- You need to pay the examination fee of $65
- The exam is not open book. Therefore, you need to properly prepare and study before the examination day.
- The first part of the examination will cover the following: bidding, estimating, contract management, financial management, risk management, safety, project management, tax laws, lien laws, business organization, and public works.
- The second part, on the other hand, includes construction codes, building codes, equipment and methods, regulations, tools, and trade specifics.
For the C-40 Refrigeration Exam, these are what you should know:
- The examination is also not open book, thus preparation and prior study is crucial
- You are given a maximum of 3 hours to answer all 80 questions
- The passing score is 75%
- The exam covers the following topics: commercial refrigeration, ventilation, test and inspection, troubleshooting, sizing and estimating, refrigeration, controls, and walk-in construction.
- Before you can even take this exam, you are required to pass the Business and Law exam first.
For the Section 608 Certification Exam, these are the details:
- The examination is open book for Type I certification. However, you need a passing score of at least 84% for every section. Moreover, each of the core questions should be repeated inside a proctored environment in the event you want to pursue other HVAC certification types. A good idea is to look for a nearby testing center then take a proctored examination right after testing.
- You can choose between Type I, II, or III
- You are given a 12-page manual which you can study or use to prepare
- You need to pay for the certification cost which is $24.95
- Upon failure on your first attempt, you can pay an additional $5.95 if you want to retake. Any succeeding attempts will cost the same amount per retake.
- The topics included are the following: Clean Air Act, refrigeration, recycling, safety, 608 regulations, ozone depletion, recovery, substitute refrigerants, recovery techniques, shipping, and dehydration evacuation.
What to Look Forward to as an HVAC Technician in Hawaii
The state has an estimated job growth of nearly 14% in the next ten years. This is easily supported by the increasing demand for HVAC technicians in the area. On average an HVAC technician can earn $45,000 per year in Hawai in HVAC salary, but this can vary from town to town.
If you ever make it back to the mainland, be sure to check other states requirements as well, as they will likely differ.