Colorado is known for its beautiful landscapes and outdoor activities, but plenty of HVAC techs are needed to keep indoor spaces intact for residents. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) positions are regulated independently by each city in CO. This means the steps to licensure are different depending on where you live in the state.
To become an HVAC technician in Colorado, you’ll first need the right training through an apprenticeship or trade school program. After this, you’ll be able to pursue further certification or licensure to work as an HVAC tech in your city.
We break it all down below, including the licensing procedures for the three most populated cities in the state: Denver, Colorado Springs, and Aurora.
Do You Need an HVAC License in Colorado?
As per national law, any HVAC tech working with refrigerants must get their EPA Technician Certification.
Colorado, on the other hand, does not issue state-wide licensing for HVAC professionals. Instead, you must abide by the regulations of the city you’re working in. Some cities require you to take a test and be licensed by the city, while others will allow HVAC techs to work without a license so long as they’re employed by a licensed contractor.
This article will discuss HVAC training, as well as the HVAC licensing options in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Aurora as examples.
HVAC Training in CO
Generally speaking, HVAC techs must be trained to work in the field. There are two main paths you can take.
First, you could attend an HVAC trade school program. These are paid for out of pocket and focus on HVAC theory and classroom learning. Programs can range from six months long to two years.
Second, you may want to become an HVAC apprentice. Apprenticeships combine classroom learning with extensive hands-on learning over four years. The work experience is usually paid.
While some programs or apprenticeships may take on younger students, most require you to be 18+ with a high school degree or equivalent.
EPA Certifications for HVAC Technicians
Any HVAC tech planning to work with refrigerants must have their EPA Technician Certification. This is a national requirement due to the Clean Air Act. Find an approved program to issue your certification exam before seeking employment to improve your job prospects in Colorado.
Become an HVAC Technician in Denver
- Heating and Ventilating Journeyman Certificates are issued to HVAC techs who are employed by an HVAC contractor and have at least 4 years of experience (can be apprenticeship experience).
- Heating and Ventilating Class A Supervisor Certificates are issued to HVAC techs with at least 8 years of experience.
- Heating and Ventilating Class B Supervisor Certificates – Residential are issued to those with at least 6 years of experience.
- Heating, Ventilating, A/C Certificates – Residential are issued to techs with at least 6 years of experience.
If you want to work in HVAC in Denver, you’ll first complete an apprenticeship or training program that has at least 7,000 hours of on-the-job training. This experience must be verified through notarized letters from your employers.
After working as an HVAC journeyman tech for at least two years, you can apply for a Residential HVAC Supervisor Certificate. If you have four years’ experience as a journeyman (plus four years of training experience) you can then apply for the Class A HVAC Supervisor Certificate. Supervisors can oversee other journeyman HVAC techs or apprentices on the job.
You must hold a Supervisor Certificate if you want to become a contractor.
Renewing a Denver HVAC Certificate
HVAC Certificates must be renewed every three years. Your certificate will state its expiration date. It is your responsibility to renew your license – you will not receive a reminder from the city.
Become an HVAC Technician in Colorado Springs
The HVAC Service Technician License (M-M4) allows techs to repair and service HVAC equipment and systems while employed by a mechanical contractor. To apply for this license, you’ll first need to take and pass the National Standard Journey Mechanical Exam (F31). This is a 3-hour, 50-question open-book exam that costs $110.
When you’ve passed the exam, you’ll apply for your license, submit the required documentation, and pay a $10 license fee plus a $50 application fee.
Renewing a Colorado Springs HVAC License
To renew your HVAC Service Technician License, you’ll need at least 6 hours of Continuing Education technical training by an approved agency.
Become an HVAC Technician in Aurora
Aurora does not issue certifications or licenses for general HVAC techs. You can work as an HVAC tech so long as you’re employed by a licensed contractor.
HVAC contractors in Aurora can receive their Mechanical Systems Contractor License after passing the ICC Mechanical B Exam. The exam fee is $110 and the license fee is $139.
Contractors will need the following to apply:
- General liability insurance of $1,000,000 per occurrence
- Property damage of $1,000,000 per occurrence
- A license and permit bond of $20,000 valid for at least 2 years
- 3 job references
Renewing Contractor Licenses in Aurora
Expiration dates will be listed on your contractor license. Instructions for renewal can be found here.
HVAC Tech Salaries in Colorado
The average HVAC tech makes $55,600 per year in Colorado. Salaries range greatly depending on experience, employer, and where you’re working.
City-specific average salaries are listed below.
- Denver, CO: $61,970
- Colorado Springs, CO: $52,300
- Aurora, CO: $87,400
HVAC techs enjoy a varying schedule with the opportunity for overtime. A general HVAC tech makes an additional $6,500 per year in overtime, leaving plenty of room for growth throughout your career.