In Oregon, you can enjoy a decent pay of $20.30 per hour by working as an HVAC technician. However, the salary can go even higher as the more experienced you get. With an increase in demand for HVAC technicians in the state, you can definitely secure a lifelong job with a decent income by taking the HVAC career path. Moreover, there’s a projected 20% job growth in the state within the next 10 years. So if you’re wondering what it takes to start working as an HVAC professional in Oregon, we recommend you read this guide on Oregon HVAC certification.
Oregon HVAC Certification and Licensing Requirements in the State
Once you finish a formal HVAC education in any accredited schools or apprenticeship under a licensed contractor, you may then decide whether to obtain a CCB (commercial and residential contractor) license or a limited maintenance specialty contractor license.
With a CCB license, you can render your services on both commercial and residential buildings. To obtain it, you need to pass the examination. You can schedule an examination after completing at least 16 hours of required education. Aside from providing you with tools to properly manage a project while adhering to the state’s laws and regulations, the course will also help you become fully prepared to take the exam.
You can register for the exam online or contact PSI via their hotline. Examinations are held from Monday to Saturday in various locations like Aurora, Bend, Independence, Portland, Eugene, and more. Since the examination is open book, you can carry with you some guides and reference materials. If you want to achieve the best results, make sure to bring the NASCLA Contractors Guide to Business, Law, and Project Management. However, though the exam is open book, the test is still difficult and requires preparation and study.
You are given 3 hours to answer all 80 questions. You should also get at least 70% passing score. Test results are posted on site, so you can immediately know if you pass or fail.
The limited maintenance specialty contractor license, on the other hand, doesn’t require any examination in order to obtain Oregon HVAC certification or a license. Instead, you only have to apply for the license with the board and pay $75 to receive a three-year license given that you met the requirements.
As the name implies, the scope of this license is limited. However, this limitation is only confined by the licensing limitations of your supervisor. Therefore, if your supervisor has no expansive licensing, you won’t be able to conduct work on bigger projects. Still, there’s a wide range of services you can offer, such as repair, installation, servicing, maintenance, and replacement of commercial and industrial units.
Income Opportunities in the State
As of now, there are an estimated 2,500 HVAC technicians throughout the state. This number is expected to rise significantly in the next 10 years. As of 2014, the average annual salary for HVAC professionals in Oregon is around $50,000 which is a lot more than that of other HVAC professionals from other states. However, Oregon has a higher cost of living than other states. HVAC professionals in Eugene earn an average of $54,400 per year. Mount Hold comes close at $54,150. You will also find that HVAC technicians in other locations near the coast can earn up to $49,000.
Despite the lack of Oregon HVAC certification and licensing requirements in the state, obtaining yours can still benefit you a lot. For one, you can expect to earn even higher salaries and enjoy more opportunities for large-scale projects.
Meanwhile, if you are not an employee and want to become an HVAC contractor instead, it is advised that you obtain your CCB license or have a member of your team do so. If you’re fairly new to the trade and just finished your apprenticeship or training recently, you will be able to gain hands-on experience. This will ultimately help you choose whether to work on residential or commercial projects, or obtain a dual license.
HVAC professionals in the state of Oregon can easily make a sizeable income. In fact, the income they earn is slightly higher than the national average in the industry. Hence, if you’re looking for a lifelong job with a decent pay, you might want to consider working as an HVAC professional.