How to Become an Licensed HVAC Contractor in Texas

What Work Needs an HVAC Certification in Texas?

Heating and air conditioning technicians perform routine work on air conditioning, heating equipment, and ventilation systems. They may complete various tasks, such as installing new systems, repairing existing ones, and performing essential maintenance. For example, an HVAC technician in Texas might:

  • Run tests for leaks and other common issues
  • Connect equipment to fuel or power sources
  • Install new and replacement systems

Because of the work required to install HVAC systems, technicians should be able to read blueprints and mechanical drawings and make modifications to structural components of buildings. For example, they may need to drill holes to install fuel lines or ductwork. This is why all HVAC contractors are required to obtain a Texas HVAC certification.

Types of Certifications in Texas

HVAC professionals in Texas can obtain three types of licenses: registered technician, certified technician, and contractor. Each license builds upon the one before, requiring more knowledge, skills, and experience.

Registered Technician

HVAC professionals start by registering as a technician. This allows you to work as an apprentice or in other supervised roles. You must be at least 18 years old, complete a brief application, and pay a fee to register. Then, after two years of supervised work, you can proceed to the next step.

Certified Technician

After completing two years as an HVAC apprentice, you can apply for a Certified Technician permit. In addition to work experience, you must also be at least 18 years old, pay a $50 fee, complete an approved training program, and pass the certification exam. All work performed at this level is done under the direct supervision of a licensed contractor.

HVAC Contractor

The final step is to become a licensed HVAC contractor. Contractors can perform work without supervision. However, they must undergo a rigorous application and testing process to get a Texas HVAC license. So, while you do not have to get a certified technician permit before applying for a contractor license, it is a helpful step in the process.

There are two main classifications of HVAC contractors: A and B. Class B license holders can work on units up to a certain size. Class A holders have no equipment restrictions.

While it is not required, there are also several endorsements that you might want to pursue. Some examples include:

  • Process cooling and heating
  • Commercial refrigeration
  • Environmental air conditioning

HVAC License Requirements in Texas

Once you have the training and experience required to work unsupervised, you can apply for a Texas HVAC contractor's license. Basic requirements include being at least 18 years of age, completing the required application, and paying the $115 fee. You should know what license class and endorsement you want to pursue at the time of application.

Submitting an application does not guarantee you will get a license. You must also pass several screenings and an industry-specific exam administered by PSI testing services. Additionally, you will need to maintain minimum insurance requirements set by the state.

What Training Is Required for Certification in Texas?

In order to obtain a license, you must first go through training that equips you with the knowledge and hands-on experience to perform the job. Then, you will need to gain supervised work experience in order to qualify for a license. Depending on your formal education and previous certification status, experience requirements range from 36 to 48 months. This must be verified by a supervisor.

Some people choose to go through a formal HVAC education program. Many technical schools and colleges offer this type of program. An HVAC-related or engineering degree may exempt you from all or part of the supervised work experience requirements. Exemptions are also granted for military HVAC training and certain types of employment.

The Application Process

In order to qualify to take the Texas HVAC exam, you must first submit an application to the Department of Licensing and Regulation. The application includes information such as your name, address, and date of birth. If you are submitting on behalf of a business, you must also provide information about that company.

In addition to the application, you must also submit the appropriate filing fees and information for a background check. There is also a criminal history questionnaire for applicants with certain prior convictions. A criminal history does not automatically disqualify you from getting a license. Once your application is reviewed, the board will make a decision based on the information provided. If it is approved, you will receive information about scheduling your exam. However, you can request a review if your application is denied.

HVAC Exam Details

Upon approval of your application, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation will notify you of your eligibility to sit for the HVAC certification exam. You can then register with PSI testing services, pay any exam fees, and schedule the test.

The HVAC test consists of 120 questions for Class A certification and 100 questions for a Class B. You must get at least 70 percent of the questions correct to pass. However, you can schedule a retest if you do not pass on the first attempt.

Costs for Certification

The costs for your HVAC certificate will vary depending on the route you take to get one. Application fees are $20, $50, and $115 for registration, certification, and contractor licensing, respectively. There is also an exam fee set by and paid to the test administrator.

If you are interested in becoming a certified HVAC technician in Texas, you must first learn the requirements for the position. In most cases, you must be 18 years old, submit an appropriate application, and display the knowledge and skills required for the role by taking an exam. Contact Service Box today to learn more about how they can help you manage your HVAC business.

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