Homeowners and businesses depend on HVAC services. If you want to become an HVAC technician or even start your own business, you need to have an Indiana HVAC license. In this guide, you will learn about the education and job requirements for getting your license.
Yes, you need an Indiana HVAC license. All technicians must have a Section 608 Certification to work on appliances that use refrigerants, including central air conditioning units.
Technicians working in Indianapolis and in Marion County must hold at least one of the following licenses issued by county officials:
Unrestricted Air Conditioning License A
Air Conditioning B (to work on cooling units up to 25 tons and boilers up to 15 psig steam and 30 psig water)
Air Conditioning D (to work on cooling units up to five tons and heating units as large as 300,000 BTUs)
In addition to an Indiana HVAC license, technicians must obtain certifications from one of the three following organizations: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the North American Technical Excellence (NATE), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineering (ASHRAE). Some schools also provide certification through HVAC Excellence.
Section 608 of the Clean Air Act requires anyone who wants to work with refrigerants to obtain EPA certification. The base certification, Type I, to service small appliances. Type II covers high to very-high pressure appliances; Type II covers low-pressure appliances; and Universal covers Types I, II, and III. You also must pass the core competencies, such as Section 608 regulations, the Montreal Protocol, and the Clean Air Act. Renewal is not required.
Professionals will not find a formal Indiana HVAC license system for apprentice, journeyman, and master designations in the state. Limited apprenticeships are available through union and non-union sponsors. Completing an apprenticeship takes about four years, and then you’ll pass an exam to attain journeyman status.
An associate’s degree in Applied Science or a certificate in HVAC through a college or university program also can qualify you for an apprenticeship program. Working as an apprentice is the first step to becoming a journeyman and eventually a master HVAC tradesman. Some Indiana municipalities require professionals to become a master tradesman to start their own contracting business.
Non-union apprenticeships are available through some employers. Trade organizations such as the Indiana/Kentucky Chapter of the Associated Builder and Contractors and the Indiana Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association also offer apprenticeships. Contact local pipefitters and sheet metal trade unions for their apprenticeship programs.
NATE Certifications are more comprehensive and go beyond cooling to incorporate heating applications and more specialized applications. The four different types of NATE certifications include:
HVAC Support Technician
Core and Specialty Tests
Senior Level Efficiency Analyst
ASHRAE certifications target designers and engineers of climate control systems. For instance, a Certified HVAC Designer focuses on the design and layout of residential and commercial systems, including sizing and load calculations.
Entry-level technicians start at $25,770 per year. Middle-level annual pay is $40,930, while master technicians earn $71,000.
Indiana has one of the fastest-growing markets for HVAC professionals. Obtaining as many licenses or certifications as possible will increase your earning potential. You can start your own business, too. A license demonstrates to clients that you have the education and experience to properly service their climate control units.
Because HVAC technicians must obtain an EPA 608 Basic Certification, the minimum cost is $24.95 for the initial test and $5.95 for each additional attempt. If you get certification through a school, that cost may be included. For a formal apprenticeship program through the Indiana Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association, the cost ranges from $1,200 to $1,425, depending on the program and location.
Indiana residents generally do an apprenticeship in conjunction with the Indiana Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association, a trade school, or community college. Apprentice programs combine on-the-job experience with night or weekend classes and take three to five years to complete.
The top HVAC programs in Indiana are:
Ivy Techcommunity College, various locations
Fortis College, Indianapolis
Prosser School of Technology, New Albany
AC/C Tech, Indianapolis
A wide range of costs encompasses HVAC schooling in Indiana, running from $1,200 to over $27,000. Schools generally provide financial aid, along with some HVAC professional organizations. For colleges and universities, students may also apply for help through FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid).
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