Now is the time to consider a career in the HVAC industry. You can expect to earn a livable wage and enjoy a variety of work. This guide will provide you with information about obtaining your Arkansas HVAC license, including the different levels, fees, educational requirements, and benefits of starting your own HVAC business.
You are not required to have an Arkansas HVAC license to become an HVAC technician. However, contractors are required to be licensed.
There are 6 types of HVAC Certification Practice Tests:
Class A license. A Class A license allows the holder to work on heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems without limitation to the horsepower or BTUH (British Thermal Unit per Hour) capacities.
Class B license. A Class B HVAC License gives the technician authority to install, repair, and maintain heating and air conditioning systems that produce no more than 1 million BTUH heating input per unit, or 15 tons of cooling capacity per unit. Class B technicians are also authorized to work on refrigeration systems of 15 horsepower or less per unit.
Class C license. Class C licenses permit the licensee to service, repair, and replace components in HVAC/R systems and equipment that produce no more than 15 tons of cooling capacity per unit or 1 million BTUH heating input per unit, as well as refrigeration systems of 15 horsepower or less. The holder of this license is not allowed to install any original HVAC/R system or replace any entire existing HVAC/R equipment.
Class D license. This classification allows the license holder to perform sheet metal work for duct systems connected to HVAC/R equipment, regardless of the levels of horsepower or output of the equipment. A Class D license holder cannot sell, install, or service any HVAC/R systems or equipment.
Class E license. A Class E licensee may perform refrigeration work. There is no horsepower limitation. This type of license does not allow the holder to sell, install, or service heating and air conditioning equipment.
Class L license. The Class L license, also known as a “Lifetime” license, allows the license holder to perform service and maintenance work on systems that develop no more than 15 tons of cooling capacity per unit or 1 million BTUH heating input per unit and refrigeration systems of 15 horsepower or less. A Class L license does not cover installation or replacement of original or existing HVAC/R systems. This class of license is open only to individuals 65 years of age or older.
Each of the licenses are valid for one year from the date of issuance. On average, certified HVAC/R contractors in Arkansas earn $56,645 a year. There’s a high demand for qualified technicians, and the industry is growing rapidly.
If you complete a job worth more than $50,000 as an HVAC/R contractor, you may be required to apply for a state contractor’s license with the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board. If you want to get HVAC contractor's license, you must provide proof of workers’ compensation coverage for any employees and a cash or surety bond of at least $10,000. You must hold a Class A or B HVAC/R license.
There are two other certifications that Arkansas HVAC technicians commonly earn:
EPA certification. The Environmental Protection Agency requires that technicians who service, maintain, dispose of, or repair equipment that has the potential to release ozone-depleting refrigerants be certified. The requirements are set forth in Section 608 of the Clean Air Act. HVAC technicians who are EPA certified can perform this type of work.
NATE certification. The North American Technician Excellence requires that the technician demonstrates a working knowledge of HVAC systems and equipment.The NATE test covers heat pumps, oil furnaces, gas furnaces, and air conditioners. Most NATE certifications need to be renewed every five years.
There is no official requirement for an Arkansas HVAC license. If you are a licensed technician, you will stand out from other people working in the industry. You’ll find it easier to secure a better job and further your career.
For contractors, securing an Arkansas HVAC license means they can employ technicians, advertise, and solicit HVAC job opportunities. NATE certified technicians also can attract more clients.
The licensing fee for a Class A contractor is $200 per year. Class B, D, and E contractors are charged $150 for a license, and Class C contractors are charged $100. Class L license holders are not charged an initial licensing fee. Annual license renewal carries a fee of $25 for each of these licenses. A pencil and paper exam costs $56, and a computer-based test costs $80.
To become a certified HVAC/R contractor in Arkansas, you must be at least 18 years old and pass the examination. You also must have at least 2 years of on-the-job training or earn educational certification from an approved HVAC/R program. The educational certification must include at least 6 months of on-the-job training and be approved by the Arkansas Department of Health. The applicant’s educational transcripts will be reviewed by the state board as part of the approval process.
A selection of 2-year and 4-year course providers are listed below:
Arkansas State University in Newport
University of Arkansas Community College in Morrilton
Arkansas Tech University
Pulaski Technical College
Penn-Foster (online courses)
Internships are offered as well. Costs for these programs depend on several factors, including the particular school, the length of the course and whether or not a candidate qualifies for in-state tuition. Tuition and fees can start at $2,800 for a 2-year course and up to $12,700 for a 4-year program.
The Arkansas State Department of Health is the governmental body responsible for issuing HVAC/R licenses. To sit for a licensing exam, a candidate must mail a notarized application to the department, and then be approved by the board. Exams are proctored by licensing and exam services provider Arkansas State Department of Health.
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