Every state has a unique set of laws and regulations governing the HVAC licensing process. Alabama HVAC license requirements aim to ensure contractors have the training and knowledge to operate safely. Keep reading to learn more about how to get an HVAC license in Alabama.
Who Needs an HVAC License?
If you are planning to install, service, or repair heating or air conditioning equipment in the state, you need to obtain an HVAC license in Alabama. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as if the equipment is your own or it is used in farm operations.
HVAC License Types in Alabama
When learning how to get an HVAC license in Alabama, you should be aware of the different license types. There are four main HVAC licenses in Alabama:
Working as a registered apprentice for two years in one way to satisfy the Alabama HVAC license requirements for eligibility to take the exam. You need to submit an apprentice application, pay the $25 registration fee, and keep detailed records of your work. This should be done under the supervision of a licensed HVAC contractor.
According to the Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Contractors, you need an HVAC Contractor license if you plan to install or perform repairs on “heating and/or cooling apparatus consisting of an air heating and/or cooling fixture from pipes, plenums or blowers including any accessory and equipment installed in connection herewith” unless the equipment is for farm use or a window unit.
Unlike HVAC systems, refrigeration adjusts temperatures for spaces not intended for human occupation. If you will be installing or making repairs to equipment that uses mechanical means to adjust heat or humidity in a space that is not designed for humans to occupy, you need a separate refrigeration contractor license.
Reciprocal HVAC Contractor
HVAC contractors with an active license in certain states can apply for a reciprocal license by submitting form VL-2. The written exam and education requirements are waived in this instance. Participating reciprocal states include Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Louisiana.
Alabama HVAC License Requirements
There are several steps for how to get an HVAC license in Alabama. These include meeting an educational requirement, passing a written exam, and submitting an application. Applicants also need to pay fees for testing and licensure. The state licensing board provides this information sheet for a quick overview of the applications and licensing process. You do not need a background check to acquire a license.
It generally takes two years or longer to get licensed in the state. This includes time for an approved education program or apprenticeship, taking the HVAC contractor exam, and submitting all applications.
According to Alabama HVAC license requirements and the Alabama Department of Insurance, HVAC contractors are not required to carry general liability insurance. However, it is generally considered a good business practice to carry liability insurance.
According to the Alabama Department of Labor, HVAC contractors with five or more employees must maintain workers’ compensation coverage.
HVAC contractors must secure a $15,000 performance bond in order to get licensed. This helps protect consumers against damages made by contractors who break licensing laws.
Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners.
Continuing Education Credits
All Alabama HVAC contractors need to complete four hours of approved continuing education courses each year. There are numerous programs throughout the state; you can search for a course online.
An Alabama HVAC license is valid for the calendar year in which it was issued and expires on December 31st. A renewal application and fee must be submitted before that date in order to avoid a lapse.
It is possible to reinstate an expired license by paying a $250 fee to the Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Contractors. However, if a contractor fails to renew his license for a period of one calendar year after it expires, he will need to begin the application process.
Alabama HVAC Licensing and Registration Fees
At the time of this writing, there is an initial cost of $190 to apply for your HVAC license in Alabama. This is paid to the Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Contractors and submitted along with your application for licensure. Certification fees are in addition to exam fees.
Fee Schedule (at time of writing):
- Written examination fee: $150.00
- Practical examination fee: $350.00
- Initial certification fee: $190.00
- The annual renewal fee for active HVAC contractors: $190.00
- The annual renewal fee for inactive contractors: $95.00
- Late fee (for renewals received after December 31): $250.00
- Printed certification cards: $25.00
Payments can be made with credit cards, money orders, or cashiers checks (made out to the State of Alabama) and should be sent to the board at:
Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Contractors
P.O. Box 305025
Alabama HVAC License Education Requirements and Exam
Anyone wanting to obtain an HVAC license in Alabama must meet minimum qualifications before they can sit for the licensing exam:
- Successfully graduating from an approved commercial refrigeration or heating and air conditioning program
- Completing 3,000 hours of educational training in heating and air conditioning or commercial refrigeration
- Working for two years under a licensed HVAC or commercial refrigeration contractor with an active apprentice registration
There are many high-quality programs available, both online and in-person, to help you prepare for the Alabama HVAC licensing exam.
HVAC License Exam Details
Alabama HVAC license requirements include passing the written state licensing exam. You must submit an application (form EA1 through EA4) and pay the $150 exam fee before you can schedule your test. The application consists of four main sections that request information about:
- Identifying and contact information
- Work experience
- Disclosure of previous activity
- Proof of citizenship
Prov, Inc. administers the Alabama HVAC license exam for the state. It is an open-book exam consisting of 110 questions. Applicants have five hours to complete the exam and must answer 70% of the questions correctly to pass. The questions cover topics including:
- Air conditioning and heat pump systems
- General heating and cooling principles
- Vents, chimney, and flues
- Furnaces and heating units
- Residential load calculations
- ventilation and exhaust
- Hangers and supports
Prov, Inc. operates several exam centers throughout the state:
- Athens State University, 300 North Beaty Street, Athens, AL 35611
- Auburn University, Biggio Center Testing Services, 112 S. College Street, Auburn, AL 36849
- Jefferson State Community College – Jefferson Campus, 2601 Carson Road, Birmingham, AL 35215
- Jefferson State Community College – Shelby-Hoover Campus, 4600 Valley dale Rd, Birmingham, AL 35242
- Enterprise State Community College, 600 Plaza Drive, Enterprise, AL 36331
- Calhoun Community College, Huntsville Campus Academic Testing Center, 102 B Wynn Drive,
Huntsville, AL 35805
- University of Alabama Huntsville Campus, 301 Sparkman Drive, Huntsville, AL 35899
- Jacksonville State University, 700 Pelham Road North, Jacksonville, AL 36265-1602
- University of South Alabama, 307 University Boulevard N, Mobile, AL 36688
- Alabama State University – Testing Center, 915 S. Jackson Street, Montgomery, AL 36104
- Auburn University Montgomery, 7400 East Drive, Montgomery, AL 36117-3596
- North Alabama Electrical JATC, 1805 E. 17th Street, Sheffield, AL 35660
- Shelton State Community College, 9500 Old Greensboro Road, #188, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
Applicants who do not pass this written exam have an option to submit a written request for a practical exam covering the same material. This alternative exam must be administered within six months of the unsuccessful written exam attempt.
HVAC Training Schools in Alabama
If you want to pursue an educational program to meet testing and licensing requirements, you have plenty of choices in Alabama. One of those is to earn a degree at a community college. Many of Alabama’s technical schools offer HVAC programs. You might also pursue an accredited certificate program. According to the exam application, all long certificates from an Alabama two-year or community college meet these requirements.
Two main organizations provide accreditation for HVAC educational programs. These are the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation, and HVAC Excellence. They have approved programs at the following locations:
- Alabama Power Company, Verbena, AL (205) 755-4262
- Bevill State Community College, Sumiton, AL (800) 648-3271
- Calhoun State Community College, Tanner, AL (256) 306-2500
- Gadsden State Community College, Anniston, AL (256) 835-5400
- J. F. Drake State Community and Technical College, Huntsville, AL (256) 539-8161
- Wallace State Community College, Hanceville, AL (256) 352-8238
Great HVAC training can be found both in-person and online. Use our tool below to find additional programs near you.
Alabama License Application
Alabama HVAC license candidates must submit a notarized application (form AL-1) along with any required documentation and fees to begin the application process. This must be received by the Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Contractors at least 10 working days before their meeting.
The application consists of five main sections that request information about:
- Identifying and contact information
- Licensure history
- Proof of citizenship
- Payment information
Regulations, forms, and meeting dates are available on the Board’s website at www.hacr.alabama.gov. If you have additional questions, reach out by email at [email protected] or by calling (334) 242-5550.
Registration and Permitting Requirements
In addition to obtaining an HVAC contractor’s license, you may need to secure special permits or certifications for certain projects. Consider these contractor requirements when working in Alabama.
HVAC Registered Contractor Requirements in Alabama
HVAC contractors in Alabama do not need a general contractor license to do HVAC work. However, if work will routinely include items not covered by an HVAC contractor’s license, they may want to seek additional licenses. The following certifications complement an HVAC license.
Duct Air Tightness Testing (DATT) Contractor Registration
This certification is required for anyone doing duct leak detection and testing in conjunction with energy code compliance. Submit form DA-1 to apply for certification, which must be renewed annually.
All HVAC contractors who handle refrigerants must undergo training and obtain EPA certification under section 608 of the Clean Air Act. This certification requires completing an approved training program and passing an exam.
HVAC License Alabama FAQ
How Long Is My Alabama HVAC License Valid?
Your HVAC license in Alabama is good for one year. It must be renewed each year before December 31, 2022.
Can I Use My Alabama HVAC License in the Other States?
In some states, yes. Alabama has reciprocal agreements with Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
Please contact the Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Contractors.
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 Alabama, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: