Heating and cooling is a stable industry in Georgia, where the weather is hot and humid in the summer and dips to below freezing in the winter. The climate provides a steady flow of work for HVAC professionals and keeps the career in high demand. Anyone wondering how to get an HVAC license in Georgia can use this comprehensive guide to learn the necessary requirements. Get information on training programs both in-person and online, applicable fees, exam details, and more.
Who Needs an HVAC License?
To be an HVAC technician or contractor in Georgia, you must have a license registered with the Division of Conditioned Air Contractors of the Construction Industry Licensing Board. The license requirement applies to anyone planning to establish an HVAC business, hire employees, work for another contractor, work independently, or bid on jobs.
HVAC License Types in Georgia
There are two types of HVAC contractor licenses in Georgia:
- A Class I license is restricted and allows work only on systems with 175,000 BTUs or less for heating and 60,000 BTUs for cooling.
- A Class II license places no restrictions on the BTU limit.
The class you choose depends on the type of jobs you intend to bid on, and the requirements are different for each, but all HVAC professionals may seek certification from the North American Technical Excellence agency. NATE certification is a voluntary license that proves you have had extra training, and it may increase your salary by several thousand dollars.
Georgia HVAC License Requirements
To get either type of HVAC license in Georgia, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be 18 years of age or older and have a high school diploma or GED
- Have four years of work experience to apply for a Class I license or five years of work experience for a Class II license
- Submit a completed application
- Schedule a date for the licensing examination and pass with a minimum score of 70%
- Pay the applicable fees
- Submit three references using the required form
- Secure a $10,000 surety bond to be deposited in the county where you intend to work
The three references must come from industry professionals and may include engineers, registered architects, city or county inspectors, or licensed HVAC contractors.
The four years of experience for the Class I license must include:
- Two years of residential installation experience as a lead
- One year of residential experience as a supervisor
- One year as a service technician
The five years of experience for the Class II license must include:
- Two years of experience in installation, with one in commercial only
- Two years of experience as a supervisor for commercial installations
- One year a service technician or service supervisor
Both licenses require completion of a course covering heat loss/gain and duct design.
The insurance requirements for an HVAC license depend on the type of work you intend to do. All HVAC professionals must have general liability insurance to cover accidents or property damage that happens on the job where you own a business or work independently.
Business owners with employees, vehicles, and high-value equipment need the following:
- Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical care and provides wage protection for technicians and other workers that are injured on the job.
- Tools and equipment insurance covers damaged or stolen tools and equipment used on the job.
- Commercial property insurance covers damaged property owned or rented by your business. However, review the terms of the coverage carefully, because it may not apply to all commercial property.
- Commercial auto insurance covers the standard costs related to vehicle accidents as well as towing, repairs, rental reimbursement, and legal defense and damages for other drivers.
Georgia HVAC professionals are required to have a certificate of insurance that proves they possess general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners
Georgia HVAC Licensing and Registration Fees
There are four fees associated with Georgia HVAC licensing and registration:
- The license application fee is $30.
- The required exam fee is $143.
- The federally required EPA certification fee is $25
- The $10,000 surety bond requires a $100-$200 underwriting fee.
These fees are accurate as of February 2022 but are subject to change.
Georgia HVAC License Education Requirements and Exam
You may substitute some of the work experience requirements with formal education through an accredited technical school or community college. A diploma from a completed program can replace up to two years of experience. A certificate from a certificate program may take the place of up to one year of experience.
There are many good online and in-person training programs to help prepare you for a career in HVAC.
HVAC License Exam Details
Georgia requires pre-approval through the state to sit for the conditioned air contractor exam. Other important details include:
- The fee is $143.
- Testing is offered all year.
- The exam is open-book with a time limit of seven hours.
- It consists of 100 weighted questions and is divided into two parts.
- You must pass with a minimum of 70%, and if you fail twice, you can retake it after you complete a state-approved training course.
- Veterans may submit documentation proving their service and receive an additional 5 to 10 points on their final score.
The business and law exam is not required to obtain a license because it is incorporated into the conditioned air contractor exam. The 100 questions on the exam cover the following topics:
- Equipment and system design
- Compliance with laws, regulations, and administrative requirements
- Gas piping and tubing
- Electrical control systems
- Duct systems
- Refrigerant and condensate piping, tubing, and accessories
- Placing a system in operation
- System maintenance and repair
- Flue venting
Visit the America Contractors Exam Services website for a list of books you may use to study. Any of them may be brought with you to the exam.
HVAC Training Schools in Georgia
The following schools offer accredited programs for HVAC training in Georgia:
- Albany Technical College, Albany, GA (229) 430-3500
- Athens Technical College, Athens, GA (706) 355-5000
- Atlanta Technical College, Atlanta, GA (404) 225-4400
- Augusta Technical College, Augusta, GA (706) 771-4000
- Central Georgia Technical College, Macon, GA (478) 757-3400
- Chattahoochee Technical College, Marietta, GA (770) 975-4064
- Coastal Pines Technical College, Jesup, GA (912) 427-5800
- Columbus Technical College, Columbus, GA (706) 649-1800
- Fortis College, Smyrna, GA (770) 980-0002
- Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Rome, GA (706) 295-6963
- Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Clarkston, GA (404) 297-9522
- Gwinnett Technical College, Lawrenceville, GA (770) 962-7580
- Interactive College of Technology, Chamblee, GA (770) 216-2960
- Lanier Technical College, Oakwood, GA (770) 531-6300
- Laurus Technical Institute, Decatur, GA (404) 303-2929
- Lincoln College of Technology, Marietta, GA (770) 226-0056
- Middle Georgia Technical College, Warner Robins, GA (478) 988-6800
- Savannah Technical College, Savannah, GA (912) 443-5700
- South Georgia Technical College, Americus, GA (229) 931-2394
- Southern Crescent Technical College, Griffin, GA (770) 228-7248
- West Georgia Technical College, Waco, GA (770) 537-6000
Great HVAC training can be found both in-person and online. Use our tool below to find additional programs near you.
Georgia License Application
The conditioned air contractor license application is available for download online. A complete application packet includes:
- A list of providers for the required heat loss/gain and duct design course
- Instructions for out-of-state applicants
- Exam review providers
- Applicable excerpts from licensing board
- A list of reference books you may use in the exam
- The application along with the three personal reference forms and instructions
Read the application carefully and familiarize yourself with the laws and rules that govern the exam. Once you complete the application, mail it and your reference forms to the address in Macon, Georgia, provided at the top of the form.
Registration and Permitting Requirements
Awarded conditioned air contractor licenses are registered with the Division of Conditioned Air Contractors of the State Construction Industry Licensing Board. Before installing a new HVAC system, HVAC contractors must acquire a building permit through the city.
HVAC Registered Contractor Requirements in Georgia
Conditioned air contractor license holders must renew every two years for a fee of $75, and renewal requires four hours of continuing education annually. However, anyone licensed for under one year is not required to complete continuing education. Failure to complete the continuing education requirements will result in denial of renewal or revocation.
Completion of an accredited course about the field is acceptable, and you must provide the following on the record:
- Name of school or organization conducting the course
- Title of the course
- Date and location when and where the course was taken
- Outline of the topics covered
- Hours of instruction completed
- Documentation proving attendance and completion
Licenses are good until the next renewal after the completion of the course, and the continuing education requirement may be waived under circumstances of hardship.
EPA Certification in Georgia
Under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act, EPA certification is a nationwide requirement for HVAC technicians. The four types include:
- Type I: working on small appliances of 5 or fewer pounds of refrigerant
- Type II: working on high-pressure appliances with 5 or more pounds
- Type III: working on or disposing of low-pressure appliances
- Universal license: allows work on all the appliances listed in types I, II, and III
To receive certification, you must complete the Core section of the exam and pay an exam fee of up to $150. In Georgia, you are required to obtain EPA certification before applying for the conditioned air contractor license.
Once you finish reading this guide, you should have a thorough understanding of how to get an HVAC license in Georgia. From start to finish, it takes an average of four to five years to receive your license. However, the required work experience guarantees that you will make money along the way.
HVAC License Georgia FAQ
How Long Is My Georgia HVAC License Valid?
Your license remains valid as long as you meet the continuing education requirements and renew every two years.
Can I Use My Georgia HVAC License in Any of the Other States?
The Georgia Construction Industry and Licensing Board recognize exams taken in Louisiana, South Carolina, and Texas. A letter of verification is required, and you may submit it along with the application for licensure by reciprocity form found online.
Who Can I Contact if I Have Questions?
For questions about the licensing process, contact the State Construction Industry Licensing Board Division of Conditioned Air Contractors online.
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 Georgia, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: