How to Become an HVAC Tech in Arkansas

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians save many of us from the brutal summer heat or dreaded cold of winter. In Arkansas, the situation is no different. 

HVAC techs in AR need to be registered with the state to work. If you plan to have your own company or do independent HVAC work, you’ll also need a contractor’s license. 

This article will discuss how to become a registered or licensed HVAC tech in Arkansas, as well as what additional certifications are available.

Do You Need an HVAC License in Arkansas?

The Arkansas Department of Labor and Licenses requires all individuals completing HVAC work to be registered with the state – including technicians.

Licenses are only required for contractors who can design, construct, fix, maintain, install, alter, and modify HVAC equipment on their own. 

HVAC Tech Registration in AR

To become an HVAC tech, you’ll need to be trained in HVAC work through a program or apprenticeship. It’s important to receive formal training and education so that you can meet all local regulations and pass any future licensing exams. 

HVAC programs can last anywhere from a few months to four years. Apprenticeships incorporate a hands-on learning experience that is usually paid.

Once you have the necessary knowledge, you can apply for HVAC-Refrigeration (HVAC-R) registration with the state. This will allow you to work under a licensed HVAC contractor in Arkansas. 

You will need to:

  • Complete the application
  • Pay a $25 registrant fee
    • This fee may be waived for low-income applicants
  • Submit your employer’s information, if applicable

Additional HVAC Tech Certifications

If you plan to work with refrigerants, you’re also required to hold the EPA’s Section 608 Technician Certificate. For more information, see here.

HVAC Contractor Licenses in AR

If you plan to work solo or hire HVAC techs under your wing, you’ll need to get your HVAC-R contractor’s license. There are 6 types of contractor licenses available for those who have at least 2 years of experience in HVAC work:

  • Class A licensees can perform HVAC work without limitation.
  • Class B licensees can work with 15 tons or less of cooling capacity per unit or 1 million BTUH per unit or 15 horsepower (refrigeration) per unit.
  • Class C license holders work for the public service with the same limitations as Class B licensees. They cannot, however, install or replace any original equipment.
  • Class D licensees perform sheet metal ductwork for HVAC-R systems.
  • Class E license holders perform refrigeration work without limit. They cannot work on HVAC systems used for treating human air. 
  • Class L licensees obtain a restricted lifetime license with no specialization. They are 65 years or older and have a current license in good standing.

Getting Your HVAC Contractor’s License

Applicants for a contractor’s license will need to:

  • Complete, sign, and notarize the application
  • Pay the fee (according to the license class)
    • Fees may be waived for low-income applicants
  • List all verifiable work history (2+ years)

Once your application is approved, you’ll have to sit for an official exam. If you pass the exam, you’ll show proof of your liability insurance to receive your license.

To read this article in Spanish, click here.

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