Colorado HVAC License: Everything You Need to Know

It’s an exciting time to become an HVAC technician in Colorado. The industry is growing rapidly and your career can benefit from the growth.  You can work for HVAC companies or consider starting your own HVAC business. But first you’ll need to learn what it takes to earn your Colorado HVAC license. In this guide, you’ll learn about the requirements.

Do You Need a License in Colorado to Become an HVAC Technician?

HVAC work isn't regulated at the state level, so there is no formal Colorado HVAC license. However, licensing requirements do exist at the city and county level.

What are the Different Types of HVAC Licenses?

There’s an overlap among the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing fields. While installing, maintaining, or repairing cooling and heating systems, HVAC technicians often need to work on water supply lines, piping, electric motors, and electric wiring. So, although there is no specific Colorado HVAC license, obtaining an electrician license or a plumber license can help you find work in the HVAC field.

There are three types of electrician licenses in Colorado. You can be:

  • Residential wireman — Performs the wiring and installation of electrical apparatus and equipment for one-, two-, three-, and four family dwellings.

  • Journeyman electrician — Installs and repairs electrical apparatus and equipment for heat, power, electric light, and other related purposes.

  • Master electrician — Plans and supervises electrical apparatus and equipment installation and repair.

There are three types of Colorado plumbing licenses. You can be:

  • Residential plumber —Installs plumbing and equipment in one-, two-, three-, and four family dwellings that are not more than two stories tall.

  • Journeyman plumber — Engages in the installation, alteration, repair, and renovation of plumbing.

  • Master plumber — Plans, repairs, and installs plumbing apparatus and equipment or supervise others who perform the work.

To work with refrigerants, you also must have EPA certification. Section 608 Technician Certifications are issued by the Environmental Protection Agency; they don’t expire and are transferable from one state to another. This certification allows a home service professional to work on HVAC systems and handle refrigerants. The certifications are either Type I, Type II, or Type III and cover everything from small window air conditioners to high and low-pressure systems to leak detection. There’s also a universal certification that lets you work on all types of equipment.

When working as an HVAC technician, you may possess a Colorado electrician or plumber license, but this wouldn’t necessarily make you an HVAC contractor. A technician is an individual tradesman, but many HVAC contractors function as businesses. As a result, they must comply with business license and contractor license requirements. 

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office is where you would submit the necessary documentation for a business license. Colorado doesn’t issue contractor licenses that are valid statewide; this type of licensing is done at the local level.

Average hourly pay for HVAC technicians in Colorado is $29.33. Of course, experienced professionals can command a higher rate per hour.

Benefits of Getting an HVAC License

The biggest advantage of being licensed is the opportunity to secure more work. Increasingly, customers only want to hire those who are duly bonded, insured, and licensed. A license shows customers you understand how to perform the work properly. So,  licenses and certifications give you a competitive edge in the field.

How Much Does It Cost to Get an HVAC License in Colorado?

Applying for a residential wireman’s or journeyman electrician’s license costs $175. This includes the $100 fee for the license and the $75 exam fee. A master electrician’s license application fee is $140 and the exam fee is $75.

The cost for a residential plumber’s license is $175, which covers the application fee and exam. This total rises to $195 for a journeyman plumber’s license and $215.00 for a master plumber’s license.

How to Get an HVAC License in Colorado

First, you’ll want to get an apprenticeship working under the supervision of a licensed HVAC contractor. Apprenticeships allow you to learn while also getting paid. The are usually sponsored by a local union or trade association. For example, there’s a five-year HVAC apprenticeship available through the Local 58 of the Plumbers & Pipefitters and the HVAC Service Journeyman Union in Colorado Springs. To be eligible, you must have an interest in HVAC, be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, have a valid driver’s license, and be physically able to work in the trade.

Formal schooling is another path into the HVAC profession. The Emily Griffith Technical College in Denver offers an eight-month program teaching installation, repair, and troubleshooting of light commercial and residential air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration. Estimated total cost for the program is around $9,000. Upon completion of IntelliTec College’s 18-month program, you can graduate with an associate’s degree; EPA training and preparation for certification testing is included.

Online learning also is possible through programs, such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. Their Residential HVAC Online Certificate Program lets you work at your own pace for a $495 fee.

Financial aid is available to help pay for schooling. For example, Women in HVACR offers a scholarship to females looking to enter school in the HVAC field. Scholarships of up to $2,000 are available from the Clifford H. “Ted” Rees, Jr. Scholarship Foundation for students enrolled in HVAC study.

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies issues the licensing for plumbers and electricians.

To get an electrician’s license, you must fulfill the following requirements:

Residential wireman

  • Provide proof of 4000 hours of residential experience earned in no less than two years.

  • Submit an application to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.

  • Pas the appropriate exam covering topics like electrical calculations, conductors and cables, grounding, and overcurrent protection.

Journeyman electrician

  • Provide proof of 8000 hours of experience, with at least 4000 being in commercial/industrial work.

  • Provide proof of 288 hours of classroom education as an apprentice. Electrician apprentices must first register with the State Electrical Board.

  • Submit an application to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.

  • Pass the appropriate exam covering topics like motors, transformers, and photovoltaics.

Master electrician

  • Provide proof of the same number of hours of experience required of Journeyman electricians, and, in addition, 2000 hours of experience in laying out and planning installations. Certain diplomas from some accredited community colleges, trade schools, and universities may be substituted for some of the required experience.

  • Submit an application to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.

  • Pass the appropriate exam covering topics like raceways and boxes, special occupancies, and special equipment.

To get a plumber’s license, you must fulfill the following requirements:

Residential plumber

  • Verify 3400 hours of experience earned in no less than two years on an Affidavit of Eligibility.

  • Submit an application to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.

  • Pass an exam covering topics like water supply, fixtures and equipment, sanitary drainage systems, and water heaters.

Journeyman plumber

  • Verify 6800 hours of experience earned in no less than four years on an Affidavit of Eligibility.

  • Submit an application to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.

  • Pass an exam covering topics like storm drainage systems, indirect and special waste piping, and isometric analysis.

Master plumber

  • Verify 9780 hours of experience earned in no less than five years on an Affidavit of Eligibility.

  • Submit an application to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.

  • Pass an exam covering topics like piping support and system protection, residential fire sprinklers, traps, interceptors, and separators.

PSI is the organization in charge of administering the licensing exams in Colorado. 

Colorado plumbing licenses expire on February 28 of odd numbered years. There is no continuing education requirement.

Colorado electrician licenses expire on September 30 and must be renewed every three years. You must show 24 Professional Development Units of continuing education.

For electrical licenses, Colorado has a reciprocity agreement with Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. No reciprocity agreements exist for plumbing licenses.


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