To get certified as an HVAC contractor in Florida, you need to follow these steps:
- Meet the requirements: You must be at least 18 years old and have a social security number or a federal tax ID number to apply for an HVAC license in Florida.
- Complete pre-licensing education: You must complete a state-approved 4-year apprenticeship program or a 4-year degree in HVAC from an accredited college or university. You can also complete a combination of 3 years of practical experience and 1 year of technical training in HVAC.
- Pass the Florida HVAC Contractor Exam: The Florida HVAC Contractor Exam consists of two parts: a business and finance exam and a technical exam. The business and finance exam covers topics such as accounting, business management, and Florida laws and regulations. The technical exam covers topics such as HVAC system design, installation, maintenance, and repair.
- Obtain liability insurance and workers’ compensation: You must obtain liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage before you can apply for an HVAC license in Florida.
- Submit the application: Once you have met all the requirements, you can submit your application for an HVAC contractor license to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).
- Renew your license: HVAC licenses in Florida must be renewed every two years. You must complete 14 hours of continuing education during each renewal cycle, including 1 hour of workplace safety and 1 hour of business practices.
Requirement to obtain HVAC license in Florida
In Florida, to obtain an HVAC license, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.
- Have four years of experience in the trade or a combination of college-level education and experience.
- Pass the required examinations, which include a business and finance exam and a trade knowledge exam.
- Submit a completed application and pay the required fees.
- Obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage (or be exempt from coverage) and general liability insurance.
Note that there are different types of HVAC licenses in Florida, including a certified HVAC contractor license, a registered HVAC contractor license, and a specialty HVAC contractor license. The requirements for each type of license may vary slightly.
Type of HVAC License in Florida
In Florida, HVAC licenses are issued in two categories: Registered and Certified. A registered HVAC license allows a technician to work only in a specific locality within Florida, while a certified HVAC license allows them to work anywhere in the state. There are three types of certified HVAC licenses in Florida: Class A, Class B, and Class C.
Submit Application for Certified HVAC Contractor License in Florida
To apply for a Certified HVAC Contractor License in Florida, you can follow the steps below:
- Complete the application form: You can download the application form from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) website or complete it online. You will need to provide your personal and business information, including your name, address, social security number, and proof of insurance.
- Meet the requirements: To be eligible for the license, you must meet the requirements set by the DBPR, including having at least four years of experience in HVAC work, a passing score on the contractor’s exam, and a certificate of insurance with minimum coverage amounts.
- Submit the application and fee: Once you have completed the application form and met all the requirements, you can submit it to the DBPR along with the required fee. As of 2022, the application fee is $249.
- Schedule and pass the exam: After your application has been processed, you will receive information about scheduling your exam. The exam tests your knowledge of business and trade practices, laws and regulations, and construction and installation methods. You must pass the exam with a score of at least 70%.
- Receive your license: Once you have passed the exam, submitted any required documentation, and paid the licensing fee, you will receive your Certified HVAC Contractor License from the DBPR.
Florida HVAC Contractor Exam Detail
To become a certified HVAC contractor in Florida, you need to pass two exams – the Business and Finance exam and the Trade exam.
- Business and Finance Exam: The Business and Finance exam consists of 6 sections, including:
- Establishing the Contracting Business
- Managing Administrative Duties
- Managing Trade Operations
- Conducting Accounting Functions
- Managing Human Resources
- Complying with Government Regulations
- Trade Exam: The Trade exam includes content related to the specific type of HVAC license you are seeking. For example, there are separate Trade exams for Class A, B, and C Air-Conditioning Contractor licenses, as well as a separate exam for Mechanical Contractor licenses.
Both exams are computer-based and can be taken at one of several testing centers throughout Florida.
You must pass both the Business and Finance exam and the Trade exam with a score of at least 70% to obtain your Florida HVAC contractor license.
Obtain insurance in Florida for HVAC
In Florida, HVAC contractors are required to have general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. The general liability insurance should cover at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence for bodily injury and $50,000 per occurrence for property damage. The workers’ compensation insurance is required if the contractor has one or more employees, including the owner of the business. It provides coverage for medical expenses and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job. It’s important to note that the insurance requirements may vary depending on the county or city in which the contractor operates, so it’s important to check with the local authorities to ensure compliance with all regulations.
Cost to get an HVAC license in Florida
The cost to get an HVAC license in Florida varies depending on the type of license you are applying for. The fee for an initial application for a certified or registered contractor’s license is $249, while the fee for a provisional license is $103. In addition to the application fee, you will need to pay a fee for the required exam and any background checks or fingerprinting that may be necessary. The exact fees and requirements can vary, so it’s best to check with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for the most up-to-date information.
Steps to Becoming HVAC Professional in Florida
To become an HVAC professional in Florida, follow these steps:
- Meet the eligibility requirements: To be eligible for an HVAC license in Florida, you must be at least 18 years old and possess a high school diploma or GED.
- Obtain the necessary education and experience: You must have at least four years of experience in the HVAC industry and complete 144 hours of classroom instruction or 288 hours of on-the-job training to be eligible to take the licensure exam.
- Pass the HVAC licensure exam: The licensure exam consists of two parts: a business and finance section and a technical section. You must pass both sections to obtain your license.
- Obtain liability insurance: Before you can receive your license, you must provide proof of liability insurance.
- Submit your application: Once you have met all the requirements, you can submit your application for an HVAC license in Florida. You must include all required documents, such as proof of experience, education, and insurance.
- Renew your license: In Florida, HVAC licenses must be renewed every two years. To renew your license, you must complete 14 hours of continuing education and pay the renewal fee.
- Maintain your license: To maintain your license, you must comply with all state and local regulations and maintain your liability insurance coverage.
Benefits of becoming a Florida HVAC Professional
Becoming a Florida HVAC professional can offer several benefits, such as:
- Good job outlook: The HVAC industry is growing rapidly, and there is a high demand for skilled professionals in Florida.
- Competitive salary: HVAC technicians in Florida can earn a competitive salary, which can increase with experience and certification.
- Flexibility: HVAC professionals in Florida can work in a variety of settings, including residential, commercial, and industrial settings.
- Job security: As HVAC systems are essential in many buildings, HVAC professionals in Florida can enjoy job security, especially if they stay up to date with the latest technology and regulations.
- Opportunities for growth: HVAC professionals in Florida can advance their careers by specializing in a particular area of HVAC, such as installation, maintenance, or repair, or by obtaining advanced certifications.
- Contributing to a sustainable future: HVAC professionals in Florida can play a crucial role in promoting energy-efficient and sustainable HVAC systems, which can help reduce energy consumption and protect the environment.
What is the Mean salary for an HVAC technician in Florida
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2020, the mean hourly wage for HVAC technicians in Florida was $23.93, and the mean annual wage was $49,800. However, salaries can vary based on experience, education, certifications, and location within the state.
How to Become HVAC professional in Florida
To become an HVAC professional in Florida, you typically need to follow these steps:
- Obtain a high school diploma or GED.
- Enroll in an accredited HVAC program at a technical school or community college, or participate in an apprenticeship program with an HVAC company.
- Complete the required HVAC coursework and training, which usually includes both classroom instruction and hands-on experience with HVAC equipment.
- Consider earning additional certifications or licenses, such as EPA Section 608 Certification or NATE Certification, to improve your job prospects and earning potential.
- Once you have completed your education and training, apply for an HVAC license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
- Pass the required HVAC contractor examination.
- Obtain liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.
- Renew your HVAC license every two years and complete any required continuing education courses to maintain your license.
It is important to note that specific requirements may vary depending on the type of HVAC license you are seeking and the requirements of your local jurisdiction. You should always consult with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and your local HVAC licensing authority for detailed information and guidance.
How much does it cost to become an HVAC Technician in Florida
The cost of becoming an HVAC technician in Florida varies depending on the type of training program you choose.
Trade schools and community colleges typically offer HVAC programs ranging from $1,500 to $15,000 or more, depending on the length of the program and the institution. Apprenticeship programs are often offered through labor unions, and the cost can vary depending on the specific union and program.
In addition to tuition, there may be additional costs associated with becoming an HVAC technician, such as tools and equipment, certification exams, and licensing fees. It is important to research and budget for these costs in addition to the cost of the training program itself.
How long does it take to become an HVAC tech in Florida
In Florida, it typically takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to become an HVAC technician. The length of time depends on the type of program you choose and how much time you can devote to studying and hands-on training. Some HVAC programs in Florida may offer accelerated training options that can be completed in as little as 6 months, while others may take up to 2 years to complete. It’s important to research different programs and choose one that meets your career goals and fits your schedule.
Florida HVAC Training programs and schools
There are several HVAC training programs and schools in Florida. Here are a few examples:
- Florida Career College: They offer a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Technician diploma program at their campuses in Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Tampa, and Lauderdale Lakes.
- Lincoln Tech: They have an HVAC training program at their campus in West Palm Beach.
- Tulsa Welding School: They offer an HVAC/R-MAR technician program at their campus in Jacksonville.
- Pinellas Technical College: They offer an HVAC/R program at their campus in Clearwater.
- Lake Technical College: They have an HVAC program at their campus in Eustis.
These are just a few examples of the HVAC training programs and schools available in Florida. It’s important to research and compare different options to find the best fit for your needs and goals.
Florida Licensing exam details and EPA certification
To become a certified HVAC contractor in Florida, you must pass the Florida HVAC Contractor Exam, which is administered by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). The exam covers topics such as HVAC equipment, installation, ductwork, refrigeration, electrical wiring, and safety regulations.
To qualify to take the exam, you must have at least four years of experience in the trade or a combination of education and experience that equals four years. You must also have a valid Florida driver’s license or a state-issued ID card.
In addition to passing the exam, you must also obtain Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification to handle refrigerants. This certification can be obtained by passing the EPA Section 608 certification exam, which covers the safe handling and disposal of refrigerants.
Core Exam details in Florida for HVAC Professional
In Florida, to become a certified HVAC contractor, you must pass two exams, which are the Business and Finance Exam and the Trade Knowledge Exam. The Business and Finance Exam covers topics such as business management, contracts, and financial management. The Trade Knowledge Exam covers topics such as HVAC systems and equipment, refrigeration, and ventilation.
Both exams are administered by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). The Business and Finance Exam has 120 questions, and you must score at least 70% to pass. The Trade Knowledge Exam has 80 questions, and you must score at least 75% to pass.
In addition to the core exams, you may also need to pass the EPA Section 608 Certification Exam. This exam covers the handling and disposal of refrigerants and is required for anyone who works with refrigeration systems.
Who issues HVAC Licenses in Florida
In Florida, HVAC licenses are issued by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).
Does my Florida registration allow me to work in any other state?
Florida does not have reciprocity agreements with other states for HVAC licensing. Therefore, your Florida HVAC registration does not automatically allow you to work in other states. However, you may be able to obtain a license in another state through reciprocity or by meeting that state’s requirements for licensure. It is important to check with the specific state’s licensing board for their requirements.
National HVAC Certifications
There are several national HVAC certifications that an HVAC professional can obtain to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in the field. Some of the most widely recognized certifications include:
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE)
- HVAC Excellence
- Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES)
- Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA)
- National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI)
These certifications typically require passing an exam that covers various topics related to HVAC systems, including installation, repair, maintenance, and troubleshooting. Some certifications may also require completing a certain number of hours of on-the-job experience or continuing education courses to maintain the certification.
Continuing education and renewal of Florida license for HVAC
In Florida, HVAC professionals are required to renew their license every two years. To renew the license, they must complete 14 hours of continuing education, including 1 hour in workplace safety and 1 hour in business practices. The renewal fee for the license varies depending on the type of license and can be paid online using the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation website. The renewal process can be completed up to 90 days prior to the expiration date of the license. Failure to renew the license on time can result in additional fees and penalties, as well as a suspension of the license.