Oregon requires workers in the construction industry to hold a license in the state, including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technicians and contractors. Before you can get a license, you need to complete the required training, complete an application and pass an exam. You can begin your career as an apprentice, but you still have to be registered with the state. This guide provides you with everything you need to know about how to get an HVAC license in Oregon.
Who Needs an HVAC License?
Anyone who maintains, repairs, replaces or installs electrical equipment or systems that are 100 volt-amperes or less is covered under electrical limited energy technician licenses, including those who work with communication systems and specialized control systems.
HVAC License Types in Oregon
Oregon divides its licenses into individual licenses and contractor licenses. HVAC technicians are included under two electrical individual licenses: Limited Energy Technician Class A and Limited Energy Technician Class B. You are qualified to work on HVAC systems with either license. The difference between the two is the full scope of the types of jobs a license holder is eligible to perform.
Limited Energy Technician Class A
A technician who holds this license can work on all limited energy systems. With a Class A license, you are qualified to install, repair, maintain and replace:
- Communication systems: These systems include paging, data telecommunications, and intercom.
- Signaling systems: Fire alarms, security, and nursing call systems fall within this category.
- Specialized control systems: Examples of this type of system include HVAC, boiler, medical, instrumentation, and clock systems.
If you have an LEA license, you cannot work independently unless you also hold an electrical contractor license. Otherwise, you must work for a limited energy contractor, an electrical contractor, or a single employer within an industrial setting.
Limited Energy Technician Class B
This license is the same as the Class A license in every way but one. With a Class B license, you cannot work on signaling systems. Otherwise, all other parameters of the license are the same. For those who only intend on working in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, the Class B license may be sufficient. If you want to keep your options open, the Class A license provides a broader range of possibilities under the same license.
Oregon HVAC License Requirements
To obtain an individual license, you must meet the qualifications for the license you are applying for, apply for the license and take the appropriate qualifying exam. Specific Oregon HVAC license qualifications vary based on whether you want the Limited Energy Technician Class A or Limited Energy Technician Class B license.
Limited energy technicians cannot work independently unless they also hold an appropriate contractor license. As an employee of a contractor or industrial company, you do not need to carry your, insurance. The state requires contractors to be bonded and have liability insurance, but not LEAs or LEBs.
Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners.
Oregon HVAC Licensing and Registration Fees
Oregon only has one fee associated with obtaining your HVAC license. When you submit your application packet, you will include a $50 payment with your application. The fee is the same for both license types and is accurate at the time of writing, but it’s important to note that fees are subject to change. The state does not require a background check for this license, so you will not incur a charge. There is also no charge to take the exam.
You can pay using a check or money order made out to the Department of Consumer & Business Services. Alternatively, you can pay via credit card, either by completing the credit card information box (including your signature) on the first page of the application or by FAX at (503) 947-2333. The FAX line is secure. Don’t forget to check the appropriate box for the license you are applying for, as your fee is based on your license type.
Oregon HVAC License Education Requirements and Exam
Before the state issues a license that allows you to work in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, you need to complete the education and exam requirements. If you meet and can verify the state’s qualifying experience requirements, you do not need to complete any further training. However, you still need to take the associated exam for the license you are applying for.
You can achieve HVAC training in Oregon through an approved apprenticeship program. Available programs vary depending on the license you want to obtain, but numerous good online and in-person training programs help prepare someone for an HVAC career. Both LEA and LEB licenses require applicants to take and pass an open-book exam before the state issues the license.
HVAC License Exam Details
You must complete and pass a qualifying exam before your license is approved. You can’t take this exam until after you submit your completed application packet. When you fill out your application, you need to include your preferred testing location.
You can take the exam at one of the following locations:
Central Oregon Community College
2600 NW College Way
Bend, OR 97701
Monday – Thursday
University of Oregon
Counseling / Testing Center
1590 E 13th Ave., Room 270
Eugene, OR 97420
Blue Mountain Community College
975 SE Columbia Dr.
Hermiston, OR 97838
Klamath Community College
7390 S. 6th St.
Klamath Falls, OR 97603
Oregon Coast Community College
Attn: Tonia Anderson
3788 SE High School Dr
Lincoln City OR 97367
541-996-6222 ext. 201
Treasure Valley Community College
650 College Blvd.
Ontario, OR 97914
Blue Mountain Community College
2411 NW Carden Ave.
Pendleton, OR 97801
1st and 3rd Tuesday
Umpqua Community College
1140 Umpqua College Rd.
Roseburg, OR 97470
1st Monday and 2nd Tuesday
Chemeketa Community College
Counseling Dept. – Bldg. 2
4000 Lancaster Dr. NE
Salem, OR 97305
Monday – Friday
(Summer term: Monday – Thursday)
Rogue Community College
Table Rock Campus
Learning Resource Center
7800 Pacific Ave.
White City, OR 97503
Monday – Thursday
When the Building Codes Division approves your exam, you receive a letter of authorization. This letter contains information about your testing location, including the phone contact number.
You will need to schedule your exam at the approved testing location identified in your letter. You have 60 days from the date of the letter of authorization to take your test. The exam doesn’t cost.
The LEA and LEB exams are both open-book tests. The state provides a list of approved materials that you can take into the testing room with you. When you go to the testing site, you need to bring your letter of authorization and a photo I.D. with you. You also need to have your own pencils. The testing site provides scrap paper for you to use, and it is included in your test packet. If you take the exam for the LEA license, you get three hours to complete the test. The LEB qualifying exam has a two-hour time limit.
After the Exam
The testing site does not grade your exam or receive your results. You cannot contact the people at the exam location to find out your test results. The BCD grades your exam within two weeks. If you receive a score of at least 75%, the division mails your results to you along with your license.
If you do not pass the exam, you receive your results in the mail along with a report on your strengths and weaknesses. The division also sends you a license reapplication form that allows you to retake the test, but you must wait 30 days after each failed attempt to try again.
HVAC Training Programs in Oregon
There are two ways you can obtain the appropriate HVAC training in Oregon. Both methods involve an apprenticeship. In the first option, you sign on with an approved employer, while the second method is through an approved post-secondary school program.
Employer Apprenticeship Programs
The Bureau of Labor & Industries maintains lists of available trade apprenticeship programs approved by the state for the LEA license and the LEB license. The identified programs all lead to a specific license. If you want to go this route, make sure you apply to the correct program for the license you want.
HVAC Schools in Oregon
Another option for those who want to pursue a career in HVAC is to go through an education program at an approved school. The programs provide coursework that gives you the foundation for work in HVAC. They may also partner with apprenticeship programs to provide on-the-job training. Depending on which program you choose, you can earn a certificate or a degree. You often have the flexibility to move through the program at your own pace. You may also be able to take classes online.
The following schools offer HVAC training:
- Lane Community College, Eugene, OR (541) 279-1543
- Northwest College of Construction, Portland, OR (503) 256-7300
- Clackamas Community College, Oregon City, OR (503) 594-3031
- Chemeketa Community College, Salem, OR (503) 399-5255
Excellent HVAC training can be found both in-person and online. Use our tool below to find additional programs near you.
Oregon License Application
Once you meet the qualifications for either license, you can complete the application process. Make sure you complete all sections of the electrical license application, including your work history and signed affidavit.
You also need to complete an experience verification form for each relevant employer. Your experience must match what the state requires for each work category. Your application packet includes:
- Completed application form
- Signed affidavit
- Experience verification forms
- Transcripts for coursework or proof of approved apprenticeship
- Copy of your high school diploma or GED (you may provide evidence of a college degree instead)
- A 2” x 2” passport-style photo (you can obtain these at many chain drug stores)
- The required $50 fee
You can review the application instructions and follow the checklist as you complete your application to ensure you include everything the state asks for. You will mail your packet to:
DCBS Fiscal Services
P.O. Box 14610
Salem, OR 97309-0445
Oregon does not allow you to email any part of your application. The state only accepts documents through the mail to protect your privacy.
Registration and Permitting Requirements
Once you receive your license, you are eligible to work as a limited energy technician. Your license is valid for three years. During that time, you will need to earn continuing education credits. Renewing your license costs $50.
HVAC Registered Contractor Requirements in Oregon
As a licensed limited energy technician, you must either hold a contractor’s license as an electrical contractor or a limited energy contractor if you want to work independently. Otherwise, you must work for a qualified contractor or a single industrial plant employer.
EPA Certification in Oregon
As a technician who works with equipment that could release refrigerants into the air, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires you to take and pass an EPA-approved exam to obtain a Section 608 Technician Certification. The test you take is explicitly related to HVAC equipment and processes. The EPA requires technicians to participate in an approved Section 608 certification program.
Once you pass the exam, your certificate never expires. The EPA does not require apprentices to take the exam during their apprenticeship, as long as they are sufficiently and consistently supervised. However, you will need to take it before practicing under your license.
HVAC License Oregon FAQ
Following are the three most common questions we get asked about how to get an HVAC license in Oregon.
How Long Is My Oregon HVAC License Valid?
Your license is valid for three years, during which time you must earn continuing education credits. At the end of the three years, you can apply for renewal.
Can I Use My Oregon HVAC License in the Other States?
No, Oregon does not have a reciprocity agreement for limited energy technicians with any other state.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
If you have questions about the LEA or LEB license, you can contact the BCD’s licensing department via email at [email protected] or by phone at (503) 373-1268.
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 Oregon, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: