How to Become an HVAC Technician in Indiana – HVAC Contractor License

If you’ve ever had your air conditioner or heating system break down, you know how important HVAC techs can be. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians are consistently in high demand and the situation in Indiana is no different. 

Most HVAC techs can start working in the field as they train as apprentices. Others may choose to complete a trade school program before being hired by a licensed contractor. Keep reading to learn about the step-by-step process to become an HVAC technician, as well as the licensing requirements in the 2 most populated cities of Indiana.  

Do You Need an HVAC License in Indiana?

Unlike most other states, Indiana does not have statewide licensing practices for HVAC technicians. Instead, each city determines its regulations for HVAC employees independently; however, if you plan to work with refrigerants, you must get your national EPA Technician Certification.

In most cases, you can work as an HVAC tech without a license, but you may have to be supervised by a licensed contractor. If you want to work independently or start your own HVAC business, you’ll need to get an HVAC contractor license in your city. 

HVAC Training in IN

To start your HVAC career, you’ll need to learn how to properly repair, replace, maintain, and install HVAC systems. There are three ways you can gain this knowledge. 

The most popular option is to find and apply for a registered HVAC apprenticeship. Apprenticeships offer work-based learning that partners reliable HVAC companies and businesses with trainees who are new to the field. Most apprenticeships last roughly 4 years, include some classroom hours and are paid. Some apprenticeships will first require you to join a union.

The second way you can get HVAC training in Indiana is by completing an HVAC trade school program. These may be independent programs or offered through your local community college. Programs last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years and students usually receive a certificate or a diploma of some sort upon completion. Students must apply for and pay to be a part of these programs.

The third way you can start training as an HVAC tech is to be directly hired by an HVAC company. Most companies look for someone that has some experience or formal education in HVAC, so this method is the most difficult of the three.

Work as an HVAC Tech in Indiana

Once you have the right training and education, you can apply to HVAC tech jobs across Indiana. When applying, read through the requirements and look for any additional requirements listed on the city’s licensing board page. 

Some cities may require registrations, certifications, or licenses from HVAC techs. Many will not require any form of licensure and will allow you to work so long as you’re supervised by a licensed contractor. 

HVAC Tech Certifications

If you want to stand out from the competition and learn more about HVAC, you may want to get an HVAC certification from a nationally-recognized entity. 

For those working with refrigerants, you are legally obligated by the Clean Air Act to receive an EPA Technician Certification.

Some recognizable HVAC certifications include the Nate Certification by the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) training academy and the Certified HVAC Designer certification by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Become an HVAC Contractor in IN

If you want to work independently or start your own business, you’ll need to be licensed as a contractor in the city you’re working in. Some cities may have HVAC specializations while others will only offer general contractor licenses. Below we’ll explore the licensing procedure for the 2 most populated cities in Indiana: Indianapolis and Fort Wayne.

Indianapolis HVAC Licenses

Indianapolis licenses HVAC contractors who work independently or those who employ other HVAC techs to work for them. HVAC techs in Indianapolis do not have to be licensed but must work under a licensed HVAC contractor.

There are 5 types of HVAC contractor licenses (and corresponding exams) to choose from:

  • A License: air conditioning, unrestricted
  • B License: air conditioning, restricted to 25 tons of cooling/500,000 BTUs of heating, boiler pressure equal to or less than 15 PSIG
  • D License: air conditioning, restricted to 5 tons of cooling and 300,000 BTUs of heating
  • Refrigeration
  • High Pressure Steam

Requirements

To get an HVAC Contractor License, you will need to apply for the HVAC Contractor Exam through Prometric. You’ll need to include the following when applying:

  • Your completed application
  • Your resume with 5+ years of verified work experience in HVAC-R (refrigeration)
    • Verify this experience on company letterhead signed by your former employers
    • You can combine education and experience to meet the 5-year requirement
  • At least 3 signed reference letters from the industry
  • A copy of your EPA certification
  • A copy of your driver’s license
  • Copies of any other licenses or certifications you hold

Once your application has been submitted, you’ll be called to present yourself in front of the board. If they approve your application, you can sit for the exam. 

After scoring 70% or higher, you’ll attend an orientation where you’ll pay all fees and show proof of a surety bond, liability insurance, and worker’s compensation. After all of this, you’ll receive your license.

Fort Wayne HVAC Licenses

Fort Wayne issues 4 types of HVAC licenses:

  • HVAC Contractor Licenses for those who contract for HVAC work. HVAC contractors must also hold a Supervisor License. 
  • HVAC Supervisor Licenses for those who supervise other HVAC techs and complete HVAC work themselves. Supervisors must have worked as journeyman HVAC techs for at least 4 years.
    • There are 3 categories of HVAC supervisor licenses, listed on page 11 of this licensing guide.
  • HVAC Journeyman Licenses are for HVAC techs who have 4+ years’ experience as HVAC apprentices.
    • You can choose between the Mechanical/Air Conditioning Journeyman License or the Sheet Metal Journeyman License.
  • HVAC Apprentice Registrations are for HVAC apprentices.

Each license requires you to pass an exam. More information on the exam and applicable fees can be found here.

For more information on contractor licenses, contact Allen County Licensing Specialist Tina Gebert at tgebert@co.allen.in.us. 

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