Steadily rising temperatures and unpredictable weather mean that HVAC technicians are in high demand in Kentucky. However, the technical nature of the work requires training and testing to ensure HVAC contractors have a comprehensive understanding of heating and cooling equipment. This guide provides all the information you need to understand how to get an HVAC license in Kentucky.
It covers license requirements, types of licenses available, training programs, contractor exams, and how to apply for your license.
Who Needs an HVAC License?
Anyone performing work on heating and cooling equipment within the state is required to have an appropriate HVAC license. These are issued by the Kentucky Department of Housing, Building & Construction.
HVAC License Types in Kentucky
There are three classifications of HVAC licenses in Kentucky: Master HVAC Contractor, HVAC Journeyman, and HVAC Apprentice. Each level builds on the one before it, so individuals wanting to pursue a career in the HVAC field should begin the process at the apprentice level.
This is an entry-level license. To qualify, you must register with the DHBC by filling out Form HVAC3. You will need to perform work under the licensed master HVAC contractor listed on your registration.
HVAC journeymen can perform work independently but not engage in direct contracting. You must complete the HVAC contractor exam with a passing score and apply for licensure using Form HVAC2. License fees range from about $30 to $75 for initial licensure.
Master HVAC Contractor
This is the highest level of HVAC contractor license in Kentucky. You must pass the licensing exam and complete at least two years of work at the journeyman level to obtain it. Form HVAC1 is used to obtain this license. Application fees range from around $150 to $375.
Kentucky HVAC License Requirements
The process of how to get an HVAC license in Kentucky is relatively straightforward. You must meet each level’s basic education and training requirements, pass the required exam, pay any fees, and carry an established minimum amount of insurance.
Proof of valid insurance is required to obtain and renew your HVAC contractor license in Kentucky. The minimum requirements are $500,000 in commercial liability coverage and $300,00 in property damage coverage.
Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners.
Kentucky HVAC Licensing and Registration Fees
Obtaining a Kentucky HVAC license is relatively affordable. There is no fee to register as an apprentice mechanic, making it the most affordable option. The application fee for a Journeyman license is $75 or less, and it costs $50 per year to maintain. A master contractor license will cost up to $375 for an initial application and then $250 per year for renewal. An additional fee is required to take the Kentucky HVAC contractor exam, required for journeyman and master contractors.
Applications fees should be made out to Kentucky State Treasurer and mailed with your application form and supporting documentation to:
Kentucky Department of Housing, Buildings, and Construction
500 Mero Street
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Kentucky HVAC License Education Requirements and Exam
HVAC training in Kentucky is an individual decision. For example, there is no minimum requirement to register as an apprentice; however, individual contractors may expect you to have a basic understanding of HVAC principles.
There are many good online and in-person training programs for applicants who choose to pursue industry-specific training that can help prepare you for an HVAC career.
HVAC License Exam Details
The Kentucky Division of Housing, Building, and Construction has contracted with several providers, including ProV, Pearson VUE, and PRONTO, to administer the HVAC contractor’s exam. Fees range from $80 for ProV to $100 for Pearson VUE.
All exams are multiple, choice, open book, and computer-based. The journeyman exam is 60 questions, and applicants have three hours to complete it. The master contractor exam has 100 questions that must be completed in four hours. The passing score for both exams is 70%.
Exams can be taken at any approved proctor site. This includes many community colleges. Prov has 12 approved locations within the state. They are:
- Ashland Community and Technical College, Computer Access Center, 1400 College Drive, Ashland, Kentucky 41101
- Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Leestown Campus – 164 Opportunity Way, North Building, Suite 110, Lexington, Kentucky 40511
- Gateway Community and Technical College, Center for Adv. Manufacturing- Assessment, Center
500 Technology Way, Room B02, Florence, Kentucky 41042
- Madisonville Community College Assessment Ctr., Adult Education Center – ACE2, RM – 106, 100 School Avenue, Madisonville, Kentucky 42431
- Murray State University Testing Center, University Counseling Services-Testing Center, C105 Oakley Applied Science, Murray, Kentucky 42071
- Northern Kentucky University, 101 University Center, 1 Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, Kentucky 41099
- Owensboro Community and Technical College, Assessment Services, 1501 Frederica Street, Owensboro, Kentucky 42301
- Somerset Community College, Assessment Center, 808 Monticello Street, Somerset, Kentucky 42501
- Thorn Hill Education Center, 700 Leslie Ave, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
- University of Louisville, Belknap Campus Testing Services, Davidson Hall, Room 310, Louisville, Kentucky 40208
- West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Emerging Technical Center, Room 133, 4810 Alben Barkley Drive, Paducah, Kentucky 42001
- Western Kentucky University, Counseling, and Testing Center, 1906 College Height Blvd # 11024, Potter Hall 409, Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101
Test seekers should contact the individual testing sites for more information. You may also schedule your exam online through Prov.
HVAC Training Schools in Kentucky
You have plenty of opportunities to pursue specialized HVAC training in Kentucky. Some of the most popular programs include:
- Ashland Community & Technical College, Ashland, KY 41101, (606) 326-2000
- Bluegrass Community & Technical College, Lexington KY 40506, (855) 246-2477
- Hazard Technical College, Hazard, KY 41701, (606) 436-HCTC
- Madisonville Community College, Madisonville, KY 42431, (270) 821-2250
- Maysville Community College, Maysville, KY 41056, (606) 759-7141
- Owensboro Technical College, Owensboro, KY 42303, (270) 686-4400
- West Kentucky Technical College, Paducah, Kentucky 42001, (270) 554-9200
- Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College, Bowling Green, KY 42101, (270) 901-1000
Great HVAC training can be found both in-person and online. Use our tool below to find additional programs near you.
Kentucky License Application
The Kentucky Department of Housing, Building & Construction oversees license applications. According to state law, Kentucky HVAC license requirements include submitting a completed application form with supporting documentation. In addition, each type of license has its own unique form, all of which can be found on the DHBC licensing page. Contractors may also use the e-Services portal to submit renewal applications.
When completing your application, you should be prepared to provide the following information:
- Name and basic contact information
- Company name (where you perform HVAC services)
- Exam score certificate or license certificate from another state
- Proof of insurance
- Employment record showing hours worked
- Attestation about prior convictions
Registration and Permitting Requirements
Kentucky HVAC contractors must maintain an active license to operate in the state. According to Kentucky’s posted Laws and Regulations for HVAC licensees, there may be penalties for misrepresenting license status or type.
Kentucky HVAC License Renewals
HVAC licenses expire on the last day of the licensee’s birth month. Renewals are made by must be rewed each year by filling out a renewal application, providing the required information, and paying the applicable renewal fee.
There is a 60 day grace period for renewals, after which the license will terminate. If your Kentucky HVAC license is terminated, you may apply to have it reinstated.
Continuing Education Requirements
HVAC Registered Contractor Requirements in Kentucky
Kentucky does not have statewide general contractor licensing; However, certain municipalities, including Bowling Green, Louisville, and Lexington, require licensing or registration for general contractors. HVAC licensees do not need to be registered as general contractors to do HVAC work.
EPA Certification in Kentucky
All contractors working with refrigerants must receive EPA section 608 Technician Certification. Since air conditioning systems use refrigerants, EPA certification should be considered one of the Kentucky HVAC license requirements. This certification is obtained by successfully completing an exam. Section 608 Technician Certification is a lifetime credential that does not need renewal; however, lost certification cards should be replaced by following steps laid out by the EPA.
HVAC License Kentucky FAQ
We hear a lot of questions about how to get an HVAC license in Kentucky. Here are answers to a few of the most common ones.
How Long Is My Kentucky HVAC License Valid?
An initial Kentucky HVAC license is valid for between nine and 15 months, expiring on the last day of your birth month. The fee schedule reflects the variability of this method. Subsequent renewals are all valid for one year.
Can I Use My Kentucky HVAC License in the Other States?
Kentucky and Ohio share HVAC license reciprocity. Additionally, the Kentucky DHBC may grant licensing for states with similar education and exam requirements. This is done on a case-by-case basis.
It is always a good idea to verify eligibility with the appropriate building department before performing HVAC work in another state with a Kentucky HVAC license or performing HVAC work in Kentucky with an out-of-state license.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
You can direct questions about how to get an HVAC license in Kentucky to the Kentucky Department of Housing, Building & Construction. The office can be reached by phone at 502-573-2002 or email at [email protected]
Understanding the minimum requirements, how to get forms, and what fees you will need to pay are all part of learning how to get an HVAC license in Kentucky. Be sure to visit our other resources for questions about general, plumbing, and electrical contractor licenses in the state.
For More License and Career Guides
To find out how to become an HVAC-R technician in another state, start here.
For information on other trades in Kentucky, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: