How to Become an HVAC Technician in Florida

To work as an HVAC technician, you must form part of or have completed an HVAC educational program or apprenticeship. To be in charge of HVAC jobs, however, you’ll need to get an HVAC contractor license from the Sunshine State.

While Florida may be a warm escape for those in winter, the summer temperatures and humidity can be brutal. This is one of the reasons that Florida is the largest employer of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians and contractors in the country.

This article will break down how to become both an HVAC tech and an HVAC contractor in Florida, as well as what each job entails.

Do You Need an HVAC License in Florida?

If you are in charge of your own HVAC projects, you will need a contractor’s license in the state. 

While gaining work experience, you can work as an HVAC tech without a license so long as you are supervised and employed by a licensed HVAC contractor. 

Types of Licenses for HVAC Techs in Florida

HVAC programs and apprenticeships may issue a certification upon completion, but there is no statewide certification process. 

As a tech, you will work under a licensed HVAC contractor. Once you have sufficient experience and meet the requirements outlined further below, you can apply for your HVAC contractor license. 

HVAC Contractor Licenses in Florida

Florida offers certified licenses and registered licenses for contractors. Certified licenses are statewide, whereas registered licenses are only for one jurisdiction.

Certified licenses are Class A licenses. Registered licenses are offered in both Class A and limited Class B licenses. Both are given to “Air-Conditioning Contractors”, hereon after referred to as HVAC contractors.

  • Class A licenses allow a contractor to execute contracts for installing, maintaining, repairing, fabricating, altering, extending, and/or designing air-conditioning, refrigeration, heating, and ventilation systems. 
  • Class B licenses are limited to working with 25 tons of cooling and 500,000 Btu of heating in any one system.

FL Programs & Apprenticeships for HVAC Techs

HVAC technicians repair, maintain, and replace HVAC systems, as well as refrigeration systems. The first step to becoming an HVAC tech is to complete an accredited HVAC program or apprenticeship. 

HVAC programs can run anywhere from 6 months to 2 years and may or may not include a hands-on component. Always seek out an accredited program so that your studies are recognized by the state if you choose to apply for a contractor’s license in the future.

HVAC apprenticeships are generally 4 years long and include a paid work-experience portion that gets you out in the field. You can find a registered apprenticeship on the Florida Government Apprenticeship Finder. 

Getting an HVAC Contractor License in FL

HVAC technicians are limited in that they must work for a licensed HVAC contractor. If you want to work solo or have a business that employs HVAC technicians, you’ll need to get your HVAC contractor license. 

To begin, you’ll need to decide whether you want a license only in your jurisdiction (registered) or one that is valid across the state (certified). Then, before applying for your license, you’ll need to take the appropriate exam. Once you pass, you can apply for your license.

Registered HVAC Contractor Licenses

Registered HVAC contractors can choose between Class A or Class B licenses. The application procedure is similar for both, although the exams may differ.

Exam Requirements

If you are registering as an individual HVAC contractor, you’ll need to first take and pass a local exam and receive your Certificate of Competency. Once you have this certificate in your possession, you can apply for your Registered HVAC Contractor License.

Since these exams depend on the city you’re applying to work in, you should contact your municipality’s licensing board for more information. 

Applying for Your License

Once you pass the test and hold a Certificate of Competency, you can apply for your Registered HVAC Contractor License. 

To apply, you’ll need to:

When you have everything completed, mail it to:

Department of Business and Professional Regulation

2601 Blair Stone Road

Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783

Certified HVAC Contractor Licenses

Certified HVAC contractors can work across the state of Florida. Before receiving this license, you’ll need to pass a state exam and meet the requirements outlined below.

HVAC Exam Requirements

To apply for the Certified HVAC Contractor License, you’ll need to first apply for examination with Professional Testing, Inc., although the exam itself is administered by Pearson Vue.  

The exam is two-part and multiple choice: Business and Finance (part 1) and Trade Knowledge (part 2). Part 1 lasts 6.5 hours and part 2 lasts 5 hours. Both are computer-based and scheduled with the vendor. 

If you have previously passed the Business and Finance exam AND have a bachelor’s degree in building construction, you may be exempt from taking the trade portion of the exam. 

A full list of examination fees can be found on page 8 of the application.

Applying for Your License

Once you’ve passed your exam, you can apply for your Class A Certified Contractor license by meeting the following requirements. 

  • Be at least 18 
  • Have at least 4 years of verifiable experience or a combination of education and experience (further outlined on page 7 of the application)
  • Provide proof of financial stability through a credit report
  • Have your fingerprints taken as part of a background check
  • Hold liability insurance and worker’s comp coverage
  • Pay all applicable fees: $245 for odd-numbered years of $145 for even-numbered years
  • Not have any pending liens, judgments, or bankruptcy

Renewing Your Florida Contractor License

Renewal documents for Registered Contractor Licenses can be found here. For Certified Licensed Contractors, see here.

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