New Mexico’s desert climate brings about temperature extremes, making summer days hotter and cold nights colder. As such, the demand for indoor climate control for both commercial and residential buildings is huge. This is where HVAC professionals enter the picture. As an HVAC technician, you can gain access to more than a thousand job opportunities throughout the state. In this article, we’ll give you information about the New Mexico HVAC certification and licensing requirements.
New Mexico Certification and Licensing Requirements
In order to start as an HVAC contractor, you should get a Business and Law License as well as a Conditioning Contractor License. With these licenses, you can bid and take on HVAC-related projects such as installation, repair, or maintenance. You can also handle both commercial and residential projects.
If you want to work with ventilation systems that make use of natural gas fittings, a Natural Gas Fitting Contractor’s license is required. This allows you to install or maintain appliances or systems that use natural gas.
Both licenses share the same examination process and requirements. You only need the following:
- A $500 to $5,00 bond or audited financial statement
- A certificate of competence
- At least two to four years of work experience
- A passing score in the business and law exam and trade exam
You need to pay $30 for the examination, $30 for licensing, and another $30 for annual renewal. In order to keep your license, you need to take 5 hours of continuing education every renewal period. Your license is renewable every two years.
Taking the Examination
Once you have successfully applied for your license, you may then book your exam at a nearby testing center. Exams are proctored by PSI which you can contact at 1-800-733-9267.
For the Heat, Air Conditioning Contractor’s License exam, you are given 3 hours to answer 100 questions. The passing score is at least 75%. On the other hand, the Business and Law exam consists of 50 questions which should be answered within 125 minutes. The passing score is the same, but you need to pay $45 for the examination fee.
The topics covered are as follows:
- Giving estimates
- Organizing a business
- Risk assessment
- State laws
- Finance management
- Project management
Meanwhile, for the MM-2 Natural Gas Fitting Exam, you need to answer 100 questions within 4 hours. It should be taken alongside the Business and Law exam; the passing score is the same. Topics range from appliances, chimneys, combustions, and piping to vents, gas sizing, and flues.
As mentioned earlier, there are tons of job opportunities you can find as you start your HVAC career in New Mexico. As an entry-level technician, you can expect a $13.30 hourly rate which can easily increase as you gain experience. It has been estimated that job availability for entry-level technicians will increase by 20% over the next ten years.
Once you get your HVAC certification and license, you can earn an average of $40,600 per year. Experienced technicians, on the other hand, can earn up to $60,000 – sometimes even more.
As far as job opportunity is concerned, Santa Fe has the highest average income at $47,000 per year. Second on the list is Albuquerque at $40,000. As the two biggest cities in New Mexico, it’s not surprising that they offer the highest salaries considering the huge demand for HVAC professionals. Other high paying cities include Farmington, Alamogordo, and Rio Rancho.
The Bottom Line
If you’re living in New Mexico, you might want to start your career as an HVAC professional. You first need to undergo training and education. You basically start as an apprentice, and after two to four years of hands-on experience, you may then apply for a contractor’s license.
Once you can secure your New Mexico HVAC certification and license, you may then take on bigger, more lucrative projects. You also get the chance to start your own business as an HVAC contractor.
The licensing process might be a bit lengthy and complicated, but the long-term benefits you can enjoy are all worth it. Regardless if you obtain your New Mexico HVAC certification and license in air conditioning, gas fitting, or both, you can definitely earn a decent income and enjoy great rewards. What are you waiting for? Get started now!
Check out nearby states HVAC certification requirements: