Being an HVAC technician requires a combination of specialized knowledge and practical skills. Whether you have chosen this career path because you prefer hands-on work or you simply enjoy learning how to repair and install HVAC equipment, you have picked a rewarding, stable career with the potential for growth. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that HVAC technicians nationwide are paid a median salary of $50,590 per year, but this is generally much higher in Alaska.
Every state has different requirements for becoming an HVAC technician, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with the guidelines for Alaska HVAC license requirements before applying to an educational program for HVAC training in Alaska or sitting for your license exam. Learn more about how to get an HVAC license in Alaska.
Who Needs an HVAC License?
Anyone in Alaska who wishes to gain employment in installing, servicing, or repairing heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration units should have a license. These technicians may work within residential or commercial properties. In Alaska, both a state license and insurance are required of business owners and mechanical administrators before they begin work. If you are a technician working for a licensed business owner, you do not need a license — but you may need to complete an educational program as well as an apprenticeship, depending on the job you want to do and the skill level it requires.
HVAC License Types in Alaska
There is no universal HVAC license in Alaska. These are the two most common types of HVAC workers in Alaska as well as the requirements for both positions.
The entry-level position of an HVAC technician is often referred to as a “journeyman” (not to be confused with other trades that use the same term to refer to experienced, licensed contractors). These technicians may not operate their own businesses, and they must work for a licensed HVAC technician.
The residential HVAC mechanical administrator position is considered a regulated profession. This means there are several laws governing those who hold this license. Contractors who violate these laws will be disciplined. These professionals may supervise others.
As a mechanical administrator in Alaska, you must declare your specialty, or specialties, and ensure you meet the education and experience requirements for each. Some of which pertain to HVAC while others include plumbing and construction.
These areas of expertise are each regulated differently and your license must indicate you are certified in that area in order to perform that type of work. Regulated professions of mechanical administrators include:
- Heating, Cooling, and Process Piping (HCPP)
- Mechanical Systems Temperature Control (CNTL)
- Residential HVAC (RHVC)
- Residential Plumbing and Hydronic Heating (RPHH)
- Unlimited Commercial and Industrial Plumbing (UCIP)
- Unlimited HVAC/Sheet Metal (UHVCS)
- Unlimited Refrigeration (UR)
- Construction Contractors
Most certified HVAC professionals in Alaska are Mechanical Administrators in RHVC or UHVCS. Though, CNTL, UR, or even HCPP can be considered HVAC-related and often fall under an HVAC license in other states.
Alaska HVAC License Requirements
Journeymen must work for licensed HVAC contractors. They may be trained on the job, but they are usually required to have completed an HVAC trade school program. These technicians must complete the EPA Section 608 Certification as mandated by federal law.
A mechanical administrator should complete an HVAC trade school program or work for at least two of the previous four years as an HVAC journeyman. HVAC contractors may wish to combine this license with sheet metal or refrigeration expertise. It’s important to choose a license that reflects the work you wish to do on the job. If you do not, your responsibilities will be limited.
To work as a contractor in Alaska, you will need workers’ compensation insurance (if you employ others) as well as general liability insurance. Specialty contractors in Alaska, including HVAC technicians, are required by law to be bonded before starting work. A surety bond protects both the technician and the customer, as it guarantees that the contract signed will be completed correctly. In Alaska, technicians are required to purchase a $10,000 surety bond.
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Alaska Licensing and Registration Fees
When you sit for your EPA Section 608 Certification Examination as a journeyman, you must pay a $24.95 fee. If you need to re-take it, you’ll pay $5.95 for every attempt at the exam. At the time of this writing, mechanical administrators pay $150 for their application (for all categories of administrators) and an additional $200 for the license. You pay these fees to PSI Exams directly. The state of Alaska does not require a background check for mechanical administrators.
Alaska HVAC License Education Requirements and Exam
You may enter a technical program at a local community college right after high school, or you might begin coursework during your high school years. Alternately, you may choose to switch careers to HVAC after working in another field. Regardless of your path, there are many in-person and online programs appropriate for beginning your studies. On-the-job training as a journeyman is sometimes appropriate, but most contractors begin their studies in trade school.
HVAC License Exam Details
Taking the EPA examination as well as practical experience is a state requirement in Alaska for every journeyman. Both journeymen and contractors who wish to sit for their exams can schedule their respective tests through PSI Exams online.
HVAC Training Schools in Alaska
Trade school programs for HVAC typically take two years to complete. Here are appropriate schools in Alaska to consider for your studies:
- Alaska Technical Center, Kotzebue, AK (907) 442-1500
- Alaska Vocational Technical Center Seward, AK (907) 224-3322
- Ashworth College, Wasilla, AK, (online only)
- Hvacredu.net, Heron, MT (online only)
- Kodiak College, Kodiak, AK (907) 486-4161
- Matanuska-Susitna Community College, Palmer, AK (907) 745-9774
Great HVAC training can be found both in-person and online. Use our tool below to find additional programs near you.
Alaska License Application
Journeymen who wish to sit for their EPA exam, as well as contractors hoping to gain a mechanical administrator’s license to work for themselves or hire others, register and pay fees through Professional Service Industries. You can pay with a credit card online, and you can change your test date or reschedule through the candidate portal as well.
Registration and Permitting Requirements
Most rural areas in Alaska follow the guidelines listed above for both journeymen and contractors. If you wish to work in Anchorage, you need to apply for an additional license that is often referred to as the “Muni card,” or Municipal Contractor’s license, before finding work in the city.
HVAC Registered Contractor Requirements in (State)
A licensed mechanical administrator does not need a separate General Contractor license to perform HVAC work in the state of Alaska.
HVAC Registered Contractor Requirements in Alaska
If you want to be a journeyman and work for someone else, you do not need an HVAC registered contractor license in Alaska. If you wish to hold the title of mechanical administrator, you should choose the license you want to hold in accordance with the type of work you wish to do.
For example, if you wish to work strictly in residential HVAC, you should complete your schooling or apprenticeship, pass your EPA exam, and work for at least two years as a journeyman before applying for your mechanical administrator license. If you wish to work with sheet metal or refrigeration as well, you should aim to complete the requirements for each license.
HVAC License Alaska FAQ
How Long Is My Alaska HVAC License Valid?
To remain valid, your HVAC license in Alaska must be renewed every year by December 31st.
Can I Use My Alaska HVAC License in the Other States?
Your Alaska HVAC license cannot be used to conduct work in other states.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
For more information, please visit the mechanical administrators’ page at Alaska.gov.
Get in Touch
Understanding how to get an HVAC license in Alaska is the first step to fulfilling the requirements for schooling and licensure, beginning a career in this skilled trade as an independent contractor, or managing your own HVAC company. Learn more about HVAC training in Alaska, Alaska HVAC license requirements, this skilled trade career, and more at General Contractor License Guide.
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 Alaska, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: