Due to temperature extremes during summer and winter seasons, HVAC units have become an integral part across the US. Moreover, the various advancements in technology have increased the demand for skilled and experienced HVAC technicians than before. In most states you need to get the right qualifications to work in the industry, including Virginia HVAC certification.
As such, the field of HVAC has become a lucrative industry for those who want a high paying career salary. This can be evidenced by the average national income which is at $42,000. The figure becomes even more for experienced HVAC professionals.
Thus, if you want to pursue an HVAC career in the state of Virginia, this guide is for you.
Virginia HVAC Certification and Licensing Requirements
The HVAC industry in Virginia offers three different licensing levels: journeyman, master, and HVAC contractor. Additionally, there are three different licensing classes under the contractor level: A, B, and C. You need a contractor’s license if you want to work on projects that exceed $1,000. Also, you need to have your application approved by the board before you can proceed to any licensing examination.
If you have a journeyman or master level license from another state, you can apply for a license reciprocity agreement. To do so, simply provide a copy of your license to the board. The following are the requirements you need to comply with for each license level:
- Journeyman License
For the journeyman license, you should meet one of the following:
- A minimum of two years of trade experience along with a certificate of completion from a community college or trade program
- At least four years of experience in the HVAC industry along with 240 hours of vocational training
- Five years of HVAC-related experience and an additional 80 hours of vocational training
- Ten years of experience along with verifications from previous employers
- A bachelor’s degree in any engineering-related curriculum and an additional one year of HVAC-related work experience
- Master License
To obtain your Virginia HVAC certification and license as a master level technician, you should have at least one year of experience as a licensed journeyman in Virginia or at least ten years of HVAC experience with verified affidavits from previous employers.
- Contractor License
As mentioned earlier, the contractor license is categorized into three different classes which are as follows:
Class A License
With a Class A contractor license, you can perform unlimited work on any project regardless of its size. Additionally, you are not limited by any monetary cap. To obtain the license you should:
- Send your application to the state
- Have at least 5 years of HVAC-related experience along with proof and a $45,000 net worth
- Complete 8 hours of pre-licensing course
- Obtain a passing grade in specialty exams
- Get a passing score at the General, Advanced, and Law examinations
- Have insurance
- Pay an application fee worth $385
Class B License
As a Class B contractor, you can take on projects not exceeding $120,000. You are also restricted from accumulating up to $750,000 of projects per year. To get this license, you should follow these requirements:
- A completed 8-hour pre-licensing course
- A completed application which should be submitted to the state
- A passing score in the specialty exams
- A passing score in the General, Advanced, and Law exams
- At least 3 years of experience along with proof and a $15,000 net worth
- $370 for the application fee
Class C License
The Class A license allows you to handle projects not exceeding $10,000. Also, they shouldn’t accumulate more than $150,000 in a year. To obtain your license, you should follow the same requirements as the previous licenses, except that you only require a minimum of two years working experience and pay only $235 for the application.
The Application and Examination Process
To apply for the Virginia HVAC certification and license, you should first contact the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation State Board for Contractors in Virginia through this hotline: 1-804-367-8511.
Once your application is approved, you may then schedule your exams and pass them. The examinations for journeyman and master HVAC level consist of two parts. One is for the traditional trade exam while the other is for the statutory and regulatory examination. Here are some details to help you prepare for the HVAC certification and licensure exam:
Master + Journeyman Examination
This section features the same questions for both licensing levels. It has 85 questions which should be answered within 3 ½ hours. You also have to pay an examination fee of $100 for journeyman license and $125 for a master level license. You need a passing score of at least 60% for journeyman and 64% for master level. Some of the topics include air conditioning, chimneys, combustion air, ducts, flues, piping, vents, refrigerants, insulation, licensure procedures, fire safety, standards for conduct and practice, ventilation, warm air heating, and more. To schedule your exam, simply contact PSI at 1-800-733-9267.
You also have to take two additional exams (three for the Class A license). For the two sections, you should pay $72 for both and $85 if you take the third. It is also required to pass the specialty exam for your field.
Contractor A + B Examination
There are 24 questions which you should answer within 48 minutes. Also, the passing score is at least 75%. Some of the topics include codes, board rules, regulations, and transaction recovery fund.
General A + B Examination
For this examination, you are given 50 questions which should be answered within 100 minutes. The passing score is 70%. The topics include general safety, estimation, business organisation, risk management, fiscal responsibility, lien laws, project management, taxes, and more.
Advanced Class A Examination
This examination includes 24 questions within a 60-minute time frame. The passing score is 71%, and the topics include the same topics in the General A + B examination.
Class C Examination
Fortunately, there is no examination in order to become a Class C contractor. However, you are still required to apply for the license and take the speciality examination.
In Virginia, you can expect to earn an average of $22.77 according to 2017 data. For entry-level technicians, the hourly rate starts at $13.88 and can go up to $31.99 with experience. The average annual salary is also considered high at $47,370.
With the increase in demand for HVAC services, the field is projected to grow significantly in the next few years. Therefore, if you’re looking for a high paying job in Virginia, you should consider working as an HVAC technician. But before you do so, make sure you obtain Virginia HVAC certification and licenses.
As a Class A, B, or C contractor, you have the option to start your own business and become your own boss. It also allows you to take on larger projects depending on your license class.
Check out nearby states HVAC certification requirements: