New Mexico is a land of extreme temperatures, with summer daytime temperatures often exceeding 100°F and winter nighttime temperatures dropping to below 0°F. Due to the extreme climate, there is always a need for HVAC technicians throughout the state. If you decide to become an HVAC technician, you will likely find yourself in a stable and rewarding career with significant potential for growth. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top 10% of technicians earn an annual wage of $80,820. The median annual wage for all techs is $50,590.
Becoming an HVAC technician requires a unique combination of practical skills and specialized knowledge. It also requires you to meet New Mexico HVAC license requirements and to go through specific HVAC training in New Mexico. Before you embark on your new career path, familiarize yourself with the state’s unique requirements. Learn more about how to get an HVAC license in New Mexico.
Who Needs an HVAC License?
Any professional who performs HVAC work in New Mexico requires an HVAC license. “HVAC work” includes the installation, fabrication, or repair of any residential or commercial HVAC system. Types of projects that require a license are as follows:
- Install, repair, service, or alter refrigeration or HVAC air handling equipment
- Piping, including coils, fans, and condensing units
- Installation of controls and control wiring that does not exceed 24 volts
- Connection of water to existing valve outlets
- Work on ductwork, solar energy systems, and pneumatic tubing systems
- Work on evaporative cooling units, heating units, and self-contained packaged air conditioning
HVAC License Types in New Mexico
New Mexico offers several options for HVAC licensing and certification. To become a professional in this field, you would need to obtain your Journeyman Certificate of Competence from the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department in one of the following areas.
Journeyman refrigeration technicians install, troubleshoot, and repair refrigeration systems in homes and businesses. In addition to working on climate control systems such as HVAC units, they also work on ice machines, storage units, and beverage equipment.
Journeyman Gas Fitter
A journeyman gas fitter is a professional who installs, repairs, or alters gas water heaters, gas piping, gas vents, or any part or parts of the aforementioned equipment.
Journeyman Plumber and Natural Gas Fitter
A journeyman natural gas fitter is a professional who has the licensure to provide natural gas services to homes and businesses throughout New Mexico.
Journeyman Boiler Operator, Low and High Pressure
Boiler operators maintain the boilers, refrigeration, and air-conditioning equipment in large industrial facilities. They also a startup, maintain, repair, regulate, and shut down equipment. They ensure boilers and other large equipment operate safely by monitoring gauges, meters, and computerized controls.
HVAC Contractor License
New Mexico also offers licensure for aspiring HVAC contractors. You may obtain your contractor license in the form of MM-4: Heating, Cooling and Process Piping Contractor;
MM-3: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning; MM-2: Natural Gas Fitting Contractor; and MM-98: Mechanical Contractor.
New Mexico HVAC License Requirements
Though New Mexico uses the journeyman nomenclature to classify the various types of HVAC professionals, it does not require aspiring technicians to gain any actual apprenticeship experience. Rather, to obtain certification, you must obtain between 1,000 to 4,000 hours of hands-on experience as an employee of a contractor who possesses the license you are working toward. Though the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department does not require you to attend a trade school, attending trade school may be beneficial, as it can help to speed up and streamline the licensing process.
In addition to obtaining work experience, RLD requires that you take and pass the journeyman certification exam. Though NMRLD is responsible for issuing licenses, it delegates exams to PSI Exams. You will also have to pass business and law exams to become a contractor. Per federal law, you must also obtain EPA Section 608 certification.
Additional licensure requirements are as follows:
- At least 18 years of age.
- A valid U.S. identification
- A currently clean criminal record with no felonies
New Mexico does not require journeymen to obtain HVAC business insurance before obtaining certification. It does, however, require that applicants purchase or have an active $10,000 surety bond.
If you file for your contractor’s license, you must obtain workers’ compensation. Per New Mexico state law, all contractors must carry workers’ comp, regardless of how many people they employ.
Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners.
New Mexico HVAC Licensing and Registration Fees
To obtain HVAC journeyman or contractor licensure in New Mexico, you will have to pay various application and filing fees to PSI Exams. The fee schedule is as follows:
- $75 journeyman application fee, $25 late fee, $6 per duplicate card
- $30 contractor application fee, $6 certificate fee (per classification)
- $150 per license category for which you apply, with a $300 maximum within a single category
- $120 fee for EPA Section 608 certification
These fees are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change.
New Mexico HVAC License Education Requirements and Exam
New Mexico does not require its HVAC journeymen or contractors to have a degree or certification from a trade school. It does, however, require that all aspiring HVAC technicians undergo so many hours of on-the-job training.
To obtain licensure as a journeyman gas fitter, refrigeration, or plumber and natural gas fitter, you must obtain 4,000 hours of on-the-job training. To obtain licensure as a journeyman boiler operator, you will need to show proof of 1,000 hours of on-the-job training. You will need a total of 8,000 hours of work experience in the field to obtain licensure as a contractor.
Though New Mexico does not mandate that aspiring HVAC techs go to a trade school or enroll in a technical college program, doing so can have several benefits, including a leg up as an entry-level job applicant. There are several good online and in-person training programs that can help prepare you for a career in HVAC.
HVAC License Exam Details
Only once you fulfill the necessary work requirements may you submit an application for testing with PSI Exams. You must include a notarized form that proves your work experience from a qualified party, along with the $75 nonrefundable application fee, with your application. Once PSI establishes your eligibility, it will notify you that you are approved to take the text. It will provide instructions for how to register and information on the state’s five testing sites:
- Roswell: 105 Fifth St., Roswell, NM 88201
- Santa Fe: 4001 Office Court Drive, Suite 301, Santa Fe, NM 87507
- Albuquerque: 2820 Broadbent Pkwy NE, Suites E & F, Albuquerque, NM 87107
- Las Cruces: 1001 N. Solano, Suite # D, Las Cruces, NM 88001
- Farmington: 1307 E. 20th St., Farmington, NM 87401
Depending on what type of licensure for which you apply — contractor or journeyman — there are one to two parts of the exam. As a journeyman applicant, you will take the HVAC Licensure portion. This consists of 100 questions. You have 250 minutes to take the test. You must receive a passing score of at least 75%.
To obtain a contractor’s license, you will also need to take the New Mexico Business & Law Exam. This exam is 50 questions, which you must answer in 130 minutes. On this, too, you must receive a passing rate of at least 75%.
HVAC Training Schools in New Mexico
A handful of community colleges and state universities throughout New Mexico offer HVAC technician programs. Below are a few schools to consider for your HVAC training in New Mexico:
- Central New Mexico Community College, 525 Buena Vista SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106, (505) 224-3000
- New Mexico State University Carlsbad, 1500 University Dr, Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220 (575) 234-9200
- Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Campus, 52 University Blvd, Roswell, New Mexico 88202, (575) 624-7000
- New Mexico State University – Dona Ana, 3400 S Espina, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003, (575) 527-7500
- Santa Fe Community College, 6401 Richards Ave, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508, (505) 428-1000
Great HVAC training can be found both in-person and online. Use our tool below to find additional programs near you.
New Mexico License Application
To obtain either a journeyman’s certificate or a contractor’s license in New Mexico, you will need to submit your passing scores to the same organization with which you took the test: PSI Exams. You must submit all your original score reports, so safeguard all of them. If you file for a contractor’s license, you will need to submit $150 for each license category for which you apply, up to $300.
You must submit your passing score reports within six months. If you fail to do so, you forfeit your application fee. Moreover, PSI Exams will purge your application and you will have to file for an extension by submitting another Journeyman Certification application, plus the fee. If you submit your scores within six months of receiving them, however, you will receive your certificate by USPS shortly thereafter.
Your test scores are valid for one year. If you fail to submit your score results within a year, even with an extension, you will have to retake the test.
Registration and Permitting Requirements
As a journeyman, there are no additional registration or permitting requirements you must meet. However, as a contractor, you must form a legal business entity with the New Mexico Secretary of State. This is because HVAC licenses can only be issued to legal business entities that operate within the state.
License Renewal Requirements
Your journeyman’s certificate is good for three years from the date it was issued. Once your certificate expires, you can apply for renewal with PSI for another $75. You must pay a $25 late fee if you do not renew on time. To qualify for recertification, you must obtain at least 16 hours of continuing education credits each license period. Eight of those hours must pertain to changes or updates in codes.
Contractor licenses also expire after three years. The fee to renew a contractor’s license is $150 for each license category, up to $300.
HVAC Registered Contractor Requirements in New Mexico
To do work as an HVAC contractor in New Mexico, you must apply for and receive a New Mexico Contractor’s License. To apply, submit a completed packet to the following address:
PSI – New Mexico Construction Licensing Services
2820 Broadbent Pkwy NE, Suite E&F
Albuquerque, NM 87107
A completed application packet for your contractor’s license should contain the following:
- A completed and notarized Contractor License Application
- Proof of financial responsibility (a $10,000 surety bond)
- A copy of a Qualifying Party Certificate
- Proof of your New Mexico Tax ID number from within the past year
- Proof of registration as a legal business entity
- Appropriate fees
EPA Certification in New Mexico
Journeymen are not technically required to obtain EPA Certification in New Mexico. Contractors, on the other hand, are. However, most HVAC employers require even their apprentices to possess EPA Certification. Any HVAC professional who services maintains, repairs, or disposes of equipment that could potentially release refrigerants into the environment must have EPA Certification. So, too, must any professional who performs pressure tests on refrigerant lines or adds refrigerant to already established air-conditioning systems.
There are four types of EPA Certification you may obtain. For each, you must pass the EPA certification exam.
HVAC License New Mexico FAQ
How Long Is My New Mexico HVAC License Valid?
Your HVAC certification and license are valid for three years.
Can I Use My New Mexico HVAC License in the Other States?
New Mexico has reciprocal licensing agreements in several states. Those are Colorado, Alaska, Wyoming, South Dakota, Arkansas, Montana, Idaho, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, and Utah. These agreements apply to journeyman certifications as well.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
If you have additional questions regarding HVAC certification or licensure, reach out to the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department.
Learning how to get an HVAC license in New Mexico is the first step toward becoming a certified or licensed technician. You can learn more via this New Mexico General Contracting Guide.