Although the climate in Montana tends to be mild, residents of the state frequently need the help of HVAC technicians to help their homes maintain comfortable temperatures. As a result, the HVAC industry in Montana is expected to grow substantially over the next decade. Montana does not require HVAC contractors to hold a state license, but all contractors are subject to other state regulations. If you are curious about how to get an HVAC license in Montana, you may start working immediately to gain experience while you learn, but you must pass an EPA exam before you can handle any type of refrigerants.
Who Needs an HVAC License in Montana?
Montana does not issue HVAC licenses to contractors at the state level. However, anyone performing HVAC work of any kind is required to hold a general contractor license or work under the license of someone else. You must pass an EPA exam to certify you to work with refrigerants, and if you plan to open your own HVAC company, you must register with the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. You must also apply for a contractor’s license. Montana issues two types of contractor licenses.
Independent Contractor Exemption Certificate
You must obtain this certificate if you intend to perform HVAC contract work without employees. This certification exempts you from needing workers’ compensation insurance. You must submit documentation proving that you intend to work as an independent business. You also need to submit a notarized application. The fee for this certification is $125, and you must renew it every two years.
Construction Contractor Registration
You must apply for a CCR if you are a business owner. Along with your application, you need to submit proof that you have worker’s compensation insurance to cover your employees. The fee is $70, and this license is good for two years.
Montana HVAC License Requirements
To start an HVAC career in Montana, you must be at least 18 years of age and have your high school diploma or a GED certificate. You must also have basic math and reading skills in addition to a valid driver’s license. You may find an HVAC company that will hire you right out of high school in an entry-level position where you can start gaining experience, but most employers look for job applicants who have received HVAC training through a college or trade school program or a Montana Registered Apprenticeship. You must also pass an EPA exam before you can work with refrigerants, so you need to obtain this certification early in your career.
While the state of Montana does not issue licenses for HVAC contractors, it does require contractors who work in the industry to have insurance if they have one or more employees. All HVAC companies must show proof of workers’ compensation insurance when applying for a Construction Contractor Registration. Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners.
Montana HVAC Licensing and Registration Fees
Because Montana does not have an HVAC licensing exam, there are few fees associated with obtaining HVAC certification in the state. Fees are subject to change, but at the time of this writing, the only ones associated with performing HVAC work in Montana are for the EPA exam and contractor’s license. You must pay to sit for the EPA exam, and the fee varies depending on which certification you are seeking. The fees start at $20 for the Type I exam and cap out at $150 for the universal exam. You must also pay a contractor’s license fee. The Construction Contractor Registration fee is $70 every two years, while the Independent Contractor Exemption Certificate fee is $125 every two years.
Montana issues fines of up to $1,000 to HVAC contractors who misuse their licenses. You may incur a fine if you participate in any of the following practices:
- Performing HVAC work without an updated ICEC
- Forcing employees to obtain independent contractor licenses
- Misrepresenting independent contractor status
- Using control to create a relationship between employers and employees
- Transferring ICEC to another person without the proper documentation
Montana HVAC License Education Requirements and Exam
Most HVAC companies in Montana prefer to hire people with some knowledge of the industry, so it is rare to find entry-level positions that do not require post-secondary education through a college or trade program. Once you have fulfilled either of these education requirements, you may obtain a position as an HVAC technician working under the license of another contractor. You may work indefinitely for another contractor once you have passed the EPA exam and earned your certification, or you can apply for your own general contractor’s license through the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.
HVAC License Exam Details
Montana does not issue an exam for an HVAC license. There is also no exam for a contractor’s license. The only exam you must take for an HVAC license in Montana is the EPA examination.
HVAC Training Schools in Montana
There are two organizations that approve HVAC programs nationwide. The Partnership for Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation currently does not back any of the HVAC programs available in Montana. HVAC Excellence backs an online program called HVACRedu.net. There are numerous other programs in the state that can provide you with the training you need for a successful HVAC career. The following schools offer great HVAC programs:
- Gallatin College Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, 406-994-5536
- Flathead Valley Community College, Kalispell, Montana, 406-756-3822
- University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, 406-243-5600
Great HVAC training can be found both in-person and online. Use our tool below to find additional programs near you.
Montana License Application
You may apply online for a Montana contractor’s license. When you submit the application online, you must also submit the non-refundable fee for the license you are applying for.
Registration and Permitting Requirements
Montana does not issue HVAC licenses at the state level, but the state does require HVAC contractors to obtain general contracting licenses. Having a general contractor’s license allows you to perform HVAC work throughout the state, but some jurisdictions require you to hold a business license to work within a specific city. Check the requirements for the city you want to work in so you can be sure to meet all of the licensure requirements.
You must renew your Montana contractor’s license every two years to comply with state regulations. You may renew your license online. The fee is the same as you paid initially, so you will pay $70 to renew a CCR and $125 to renew an ICEC.
HVAC Registered Contractor Requirements in Montana
Montana does not recognize HVAC contractors as specialists, so you do not need an HVAC license to work in the state. Instead, Montana classifies HVAC contractors under the broad scope of general contracting. All HVAC contractors in Montana must hold a general contractor’s license rather than an HVAC license.
EPA Certification in Montana
You are not permitted to work with refrigerants until you have passed an EPA exam. The Environmental Protection Agency introduced the Clean Air Act to require HVAC technicians to require certification before handling any type of refrigerant. Under Section 608, you may obtain any of the following EPA certifications:
- Type I: You are permitted to work with any appliance that uses five pounds or less of refrigerant.
- Type II: You are allowed to work on appliances that use more than five pounds of refrigerant.
- Type III: You work with low-pressure appliances.
- Universal: You may work with any type of appliance that uses refrigerator.
To obtain your EPA certification, you must pass an exam that is made up of 80 multiple-choice questions. You have three hours to complete the test and must receive a score of at least 70% to receive your certification. The test includes questions from the following categories:
- Dehydration evacuation
- Section 608 regulations
- Ozone depletion
- Clean Air Act
HVAC License Montana FAQ
How Long Is My Montana HVAC License Valid?
All Montana contractor’s licenses are valid for two years. They can be renewed online for the original license fee.
What Is the Expected Growth for the HVAC Industry in Montana?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the HVAC industry will grow by 5% by 2030. The growth in Montana is expected to be nearly four times the national average at 19%.
Do Licensing Restrictions Vary Among Montana Jurisdictions?
There is no exam for a Montana HVAC license, but a general contractor’s license allows you to work anywhere in the state. Certain cities, such as Missoula, Great Falls, and Billings, also require you to hold a business license issued by the city to operate an HVAC company there. You should check the specific requirements of the jurisdiction you want to work in.
Can I Use My Montana HVAC License in the Other States?
While your EPA certification is valid in any state, you cannot legally perform HVAC work in another state under a Montana contractor’s license. If you meet the minimum training and education requirements, you may be eligible to take the licensing exam for another state, but it is important to check jurisdictional requirements before applying for an HVAC license.
Who Should I Contact If I Have Questions?
For any additional questions about how to get a contractor’s license for HVAC work in Montana, contact the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.
Becoming an HVAC technician in Montana offers a promising career path where you have the potential to be your own boss. You must understand all state regulations about how to get an HVAC license in Montana if you want to become a successful contractor or technician in the state. Start HVAC training in Montana today to prepare yourself for an exciting career.