According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a need for over 38,000 additional HVAC technicians each year of this decade. This career can be rewarding, both financially and otherwise, and those interested in pursuing it may find the barriers to be somewhat low compared to other technical fields. Of course, some states and localities require specific licenses or certifications in order to work there. Learn more on how to get an HVAC license in Illinois.
Who Needs an HVAC License?
There is no state-wide requirement for an HVAC license in Illinois. While many counties and cities within the state have licensing requirements, it should be noted that Illinois’ largest city, Chicago, also doesn’t require a license to conduct HVAC work.
If you already have your HVAC license or are planning on opening an HVAC-related business, you need to obtain a business license from the state.
HVAC License Types in Illinois
While there aren’t any Illinois HVAC license requirements, there are certain federal guidelines that apply to those working anywhere within the United States. For instance, you’ll need to receive certification from the Environmental Protection Agency if you handle refrigerants, a common component of most air condition systems.
Beyond certification from the EPA, HVAC technicians in Illinois can benefit from receiving North American Technician Excellence certification. NATE offers four different certifications based on your skill level and experience:
- Ready-to-Work Certificate
- HVAC Support Technician
- Core and Specialty Test
- Senior Level Efficiency Analyst
Unlike other states, Illinois doesn’t have legal designations for apprentices, journeymen, or master technicians. However, some counties, cities, or towns may require HVAC technicians to register as subcontractors in order to work within their boundaries.
Illinois HVAC License Requirements
HVAC license requirements in Illinois are set at the local level. It’s essential for anyone looking to operate as an HVAC technician to check the rules and regulations of the county or town in which they plan on working.
As with licensing requirements, the state of Illinois doesn’t require insurance for HVAC technicians to work. However, localities may have their own coverage requirements, such as:
- Commercial general liability
- Commercial property
- Errors and Omissions (also known as professional liability)
- Workers’ compensation
If you plan on operating an HVAC business in Illinois, you need to acquire workers’ compensation insurance even if your company only employs one person.
Additionally, the state has declared that all localities that require general liability insurance must accept proof of bond insurance in its place.
Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners.
Illinois HVAC Licensing and Registration Fees
With no requirements for a state license to perform HVAC work in Illinois, fees are set by individual counties and towns within Illinois. DuPage County, for instance, requires HVAC technicians to register and pay a fee of $100. For information on fees for the town or county in which you will conduct your HVAC work, you should contact your local board.
Illinois HVAC License Education Requirements and Exam
Despite the lack of state-wide requirements to operate as an HVAC technician in Illinois, localities within the state may offer different requirements. However, even if a city doesn’t have a licensing requirement, such as in Chicago, there are a variety of high-quality in-person and online training programs that can help you prepare for a career as an HVAC technician
HVAC License Exam Details
Many cities and counties in Illinois accept certification from the International Code Council instead of localized testing. To receive this certification, you’ll need to pay dues of at least $60 a year as well as pass a test.
Additionally, to receive your Section 608 certification from the EPA, you can do so at only one location in the state:
- Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, Chicago, Illinois, 800-621-0298
HVAC Training Schools in Illinois
There are many locations to receive HVAC training in Illinois. While this isn’t a state requirement, the knowledge, skills, and experience gained in these programs can help you get hired and progress in your career:
- College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL, 630-942-2800
- Illinois Central College, East Peoria, IL, 309-694-5422
- Kankakee Community College, Kankakee, IL, 815-802-8500
- Kenney-King College, Chicago, IL, 773-602-5000
- Parkland College, Champaign, IL, 217-351-2200
- Vatterott College, Quincy, IL, 217-224-0600
Great HVAC training can be found both in-person and online. Use our tool below to find additional programs near you.
Illinois License Application
As there is no state-wide license, all applications are offered by the locality in which you operate. Some localities may not require licensing and so do not have a necessary application.
Registration and Permitting Requirements
For any registration or permitting requirements, reach out to your local board.
HVAC Registered Contractor Requirements in Illinois
Any requirements to register as a contractor or general contractor are set by the town or county in which you operate. As with HVAC technicians, the state of Illinois has no state-wide general contractor licensing requirement.
EPA Certification in Illinois
If your duties require you to handle refrigerants, the Environment Protection Agency requires you to receive a Section 608 certification. Certification requires you to answer 100 questions with a minimum grade of at least 72%. Certification does not expire, but losing your physical license may require re-testing.
HVAC License Illinois FAQ
How Long Is My Illinois HVAC License Valid?
The length of a license’s validity depends on the locality that initially granted the license. Please reach out to your local board for more information.
Can I Use My Illinois License in the Other States?
Depending on the state, you may need to receive a license from that state to work or operate as an HVAC technician there.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
For additional questions, you should reach out to your local board.
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 Illinois, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: