Michigan is a state with drastic seasonal changes and anticipated inclement weather, and that creates a continued demand for HVAC professionals. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for HVAC mechanics and installers in Michigan projects an annual increase of 5% until 2030. If you are interested in learning how to get an HVAC license in Michigan, you will find information on the necessary requirements, training resources, and links to applicable forms.
Who Needs an HVAC License?
In Michigan, there is no state-level licensing requirement for HVAC technicians beyond EPA certification, but HVAC contractors must have a mechanical contractor license with a chosen classification. The Bureau of Construction Codes, Mechanical Division issues the mechanical contractor license. However, some cities require licenses for specific systems, and each license has specific requirements.
HVAC License Types in Michigan
The three major types of HVAC license in Michigan are:
- HVAC apprenticeship
- HVAC contractor/mechanical contractor
- Specialty license
The mechanical contractor license has several classifications, and a mechanical contractor may hold as many as they choose. Each one has a specialty:
- 1(a): hydronic heating and cooling and process piping
- 2(b): HVAC equipment, including ductwork, gas piping, and venting
- 3(c): ductwork
- 4(d): refrigeration
- 5(e): limited heating service
- 6(g): unlimited heating service
- 7(f): limited refrigeration and air conditioning
- 8(h): unlimited refrigeration and air conditioning
- 9(i): fire suppression
- 10(j): specialty license
A specialty license may include knowledge in:
- Solar heating and cooling
- Solid fuel equipment and vented decorative gas appliances
- LP distribution piping
- Fuel gas piping
- Fuel gas piping and venting
HVAC technicians that work with boiler systems must obtain a state-level license under two classifications: boiler installer and boiler repair. A boiler installer classification has seven categories:
- A 1B license permits the installation of low-pressure boilers of less than 1 million BTU/hour
- A 2B license permits the installation of low-pressure boilers with no restrictions on size.
- A 3B license permits the installation of power boilers with less than 5,000 pounds of steam pressure.
- A 4B license permits the installation of boilers with a limited of 300,000 pounds of steam pressure.
- A 5B license permits the installation of boilers of any capacity.
- A 6B license permits the installation of nuclear boilers.
- A P license permits the installation or replacement of non-boiler exterior piping.
A boiler repair classification has six categories:
- A Class I license permits repairs that do not require welding.
- A Class II license permits repairs on low-pressure boilers.
- A Class III license permits repairs on high-pressure boilers.
- A Class IV license permits the repair or field-erection of a boiler with no pressure restrictions.
- A Class V license permits the repair or erection of nuclear boilers.
- A Class P license permits the installation or repair of non-boiler exterior piping.
All licensing is administered by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
Michigan HVAC License Requirements
The requirements for an HVAC license in Michigan vary depending on the classification, but the requirements for an HVAC contractor include:
- Minimum age of 18
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent
- Earn a two-year degree from a community college or vocational school, or complete a two-year formal apprenticeship through a local trade organization or an informal apprenticeship supervised by a licensed contractor
- Gain three years, or 6,000 hours, of experience in at least one of the mechanical contractor classifications
- Apply and pass the licensing exam with at least 70% for the mechanical contractor license
Once you begin working as an HVAC/mechanical contractor, you can add classifications to your license by acquiring three years of experience in the classification you choose.
HVAC contractors in Michigan should carry the following insurance:
- Commercial general liability insurance covers third-party injuries and property damage, issues with installation and repair, and moisture damage.
- Workers’ compensation insurance is required for any contractor with a business that employs people. This covers employees with job-related illnesses and injuries.
- Personal liability insurance, or errors and omissions, protects your company against claims of negligence filed by clients.
- Commercial property insurance protects your business, particularly your equipment and buildings.
Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners.
Michigan HVAC Licensing and Registration Fees
Applicable fees for a Michigan HVAC/mechanical contractor are:
- Application fee: $300
- HVAC equipment test: $100
- Adding classification to your license in the second year: $200
- Adding classification to your license in the third year: $100
These fees are accurate as of February 2022 but are subject to change.
Michigan HVAC License Education Requirements and Exam
The state of Michigan does not require a formal degree to qualify for an HVAC or mechanical contractor license. However, it does require a minimum of three years, or 6,000 hours, of experience to apply. You can obtain that experience through an apprenticeship, and a degree betters your chances of getting an apprenticeship. Education will also help you score better on the required examinations.
HVAC License Exam Details
Mechanical contractor licensing exams are conducted by the Bureau of Construction Codes in Michigan. The admission requirements and exam regulations include:
- A valid admission card provided with application acceptance
- An official form of identification
- Arrive before the scheduled start time
- Bring #2 pencils with good erasers
- Bring current State of Michigan Codes and other approved reference material
- Bring a silent, battery-operated, nonprinting, nonprogrammable calculator
The exams consist of a written test for the chosen work classification as well as a law test. All questions are multiple-choice and cover specific work classification, understanding of mechanical code, and all applicable laws. The licensing agency notifies you of your score within 30 days, and you must pass with at least 70%.
HVAC Training Schools in Michigan
The following are accredited schools that offer HVAC training in Michigan:
- Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, MI, (616) 234-4000
- Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor, MI, (734) 973-3300
- Dorsey School, Roseville, MI, (888) 422-1188
- Dorsey School, Wayne, MI, (888) 422-1188
Great HVAC training can be found both in-person and online. Use our tool below to find additional programs near you.
Michigan License Application
The Application for Mechanical Contractor Examination & Licensing is accepted by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. You can submit your application online or fill out the printable pdf version and mail it to the address listed on the form. If accepted, you will receive a notification with information about scheduling your licensing examination.
Registration and Permitting Requirements
HVAC technicians and contractors must acquire EPA certification. NATE certification is optional but advised. Additionally, HVAC contractors that want to work as general contractors in Michigan must also acquire a general contractor’s license and all the applicable building permits subject to the project’s location.
An HVAC/mechanical contractor license must be renewed every three years
HVAC Registered Contractor Requirements in Michigan
HVAC contractors must be registered, mechanical contractors as well. The process and requirements for a mechanical contractor’s license were discussed above.
EPA Certification in Michigan
EPA certification is a nationwide mandate for all HVAC professionals. Section 608 of the Clean Air Act allows four categories of certification:
- Type I allows the service and repair of small appliances containing five pounds of refrigerant or less.
- Type II is the most common for HVAC technicians because it allows the service and repair of high-pressure refrigeration equipment, including heat pumps and residential and small commercial systems.
- Type III allows the service and repair of low-pressure equipment.
- Universal certification permits the service and repair of all the systems permitted by Types I-III.
Most HVAC training programs include education on the requirements of EPA certification, including preparation for the Core Section of the exam, which covers:
- Ozone depletion
- Dehydration evacuation
- The recycling process
- Regulations from Section 608
- The Clean Air Act
EPA certification never expires.
NATE Certification in Michigan
The North American Technician Excellence organization provides an optional HVAC support technician certificate for technicians that have worked in the field for at least 6-12 months. Certification requires taking an examination, and being NATE certified shows that you have additional knowledge in the HVAC field. It often leads to a pay increase or a higher hiring salary.
By now you should know how to get an HVAC license in Michigan. You can start with a degree at any one of the training schools mentioned above, or apply for an HVAC apprenticeship to start your professional journey. On average, it takes between three and five years to complete all the steps to becoming an HVAC/mechanical contractor in Michigan.
HVAC License Michigan FAQ
How Long Is My Michigan HVAC License Valid?
An HVAC license in Michigan must be renewed every year.
Can I Use My Michigan HVAC License in the Other States?
No, Michigan does not have a reciprocity agreement with any other states.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
Further questions can be directed to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs by calling (517) 241-9316 or visiting the website.
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 Michigan, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: