You’ve decided on a career in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, so now you need to know how to get an HVAC license in South Dakota. With this northern state’s freezing cold winters and blazing hot summers, HVAC techs are in high demand. Learn everything you need to know, from whether you need a license and insurance to what education costs to expect.
Who Needs an HVAC License?
South Dakota has no statewide requirements for contractors to hold HVAC licenses. However, some of the larger cities require contractor licenses that encompass HVAC work. Sioux Falls and Rapid City are two cities where you need a license to work on HVAC systems. Other municipalities may have similar requirements; check with your local government for more information.
HVAC License Types in South Dakota
How to get an HVAC license in South Dakota depends on the city you’re in. For example, Sioux Falls and Rapid City each have their own requirements for HVAC licensing.
The City of Sioux Falls requires a Mechanical Contractors License for anyone looking to do HVAC work. To get this license, you first need to pass the Master Mechanic exam. You have to demonstrate four years of experience when you submit your application to take the exam. During those four years, you have to show 2,000 hours of work per year as a general manager, sheet metal mechanic, refrigerator technician or engineer.
Once you’ve passed your Master Mechanic exam, you have 90 days to apply for a Mechanical Contractor’s License. When you submit your application, you must also submit a $10,000 surety bond with the city named as the obligee.
If you plan to do refrigeration or coolant work, you’ll have to apply for a Refrigeration Contractor’s license. You’ll have to pass the Refrigeration Contractor exam, showing the same work requirements, then apply for a Refrigeration Contractor License.
In Rapid City, there are three levels of licensure for HVAC professionals. The first is Mechanical Apprentice, where you work under the guidance of a Mechanical Installer or Mechanical Contractor to learn the trade. All you have to do is fill out the application and pay the associated fee.
A Mechanical Installer or Journeyman has worked for a Mechanical Contractor for at least four years. An 18-24 month mechanical education program counts as one year of experience. A 9-12 month program counts as one-half of a year.
A Mechanical Contractor must have six years of verifiable work experience. The same educational allowances apply. The Mechanical Contractor must be qualified to plan, oversee, and install mechanical systems such as HVAC apparatus.
In both cities, as in all jurisdictions, if you will be dealing with coolants at all, you’re required to have an EPA Section 608 Technician Certification. You are required to pass a test specific to the kind of work you’ll be doing with coolant. The safest way to go is to get the Universal certification, which covers all types of coolant work.
South Dakota HVAC License Requirements
Mechanical Apprentices and Mechanical Installers both must work under the guidance of Mechanical Contractors to learn the trade. They may also use an HVAC training school to make up part of the requisite experience needed to progress in their careers.
All Mechanical Contractors in South Dakota are required to carry a $10,000 surety bond. This insurance must name the city in which they work as the obligee. Different jurisdictions in South Dakota may have different insurance requirements.
For example, in Rapid City, Mechanical Contractors must hold general aggregate liability insurance for $1,000,000, each occurrence liability for $1,000,000, and fire damage liability of $300,000.
Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners.
South Dakota HVAC Licensing and Registration Fees
In Sioux Falls, obtaining a license first requires passing a Master Mechanic exam:
- To take the exam, there’s a $75 fee.
- Your Mechanical Contractor’s license in Sioux Falls is good for two years and costs $100-200 depending on when you apply.
- For your Refrigeration Contractor’s license, the financials are the same: $75 for the exam, $100-200 for the license, and a $10,000 surety bond.
In Rapid City:
- Your Mechanical Apprentice license costs $25 and renews every three years for $25.
- Your Mechanical Installer license costs $40 and renews every three years for $40.
- Your Mechanical Contractor license costs $205 and renews every three years for $80.
Across the state, your EPA 608 exam fee varies depending on the agency you test through, usually between $25 and $150. All of these fees are accurate as of March 1, 2022.
South Dakota HVAC License Education Requirements and Exam
South Dakota HVAC license requirements don’t exist on a state level, and there is no statewide exam. Consult your local government to learn about the various education requirements and exams they require.
HVAC Training Schools in South Dakota
You can choose from a variety of in-person and online schools for HVAC training in South Dakota. Rapid City allows your schooling to count toward your four years of work history to become a Mechanical Installer. You could start with on-the-job training as a Mechanical Apprentice, but attending classes gives you a leg up when you begin your career.
- George S. Mickelson Center at Southeast Technical College, Sioux Falls, SD, 605-367-7624
- Mitchell Technical College, Mitchell, SD, 605-995-3025
- Western Dakota Tech, Rapid City, SD, 605-718-2400
- Lake Area Technical College, Watertown, SD, 605-882-5284
- Hot Rod Institute, Rapid City, SD, 605-342-1195
- South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-2511
- Oglala Lakota College, Kyle, SD, 605-455-6000
- South Dakota Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, Inc., Sioux Falls, SD, 605-271-7255
Great HVAC training can be found both in-person and online. Use our tool below to find additional programs near you.
South Dakota License Application
For EPA licensing, Mechanical Installers, Mechanical Contractors, and Master Mechanics have to pass a rigorous exam. Mechanical Apprentices are exempt as they will be closely monitored by their superiors. While there aren’t any approved testing centers in South Dakota, there are many sites that offer remote testing.
Registration and Permitting Requirements
HVAC professionals must be registered in Sioux Falls and Rapid City. Other jurisdictions may require a general contractor’s license for HVAC workers. Consult your local government to determine whether this is the case for you. Sioux Falls may require a Refrigeration Contractor’s license for certain work.
HVAC Registered Contractor Requirements in South Dakota
South Dakota does not regulate the licensure of HVAC technicians. However, since HVAC overlaps with plumbing and electrical work from time to time, you may want to obtain licenses in those fields.
South Dakota requires plumbers to have a state license. There are a variety of plumbing licenses available, including:
- Sewer and water
- Water conditioning
- Underground irrigation
- Mobile home
South Dakota also requires electricians to have a state license. The South Dakota Electrical Commission regulates who may take the exams and what requirements must be filled beforehand.
EPA Certification in South Dakota
All HVAC technicians should be EPA certified if they are going to work with any kind of coolant at any time. There are four types of certifications:
- Type I — Servicing small appliances
- Type II — Servicing or getting rid of high- or very high-pressure appliances
- Type III — Servicing or getting rid of low-pressure appliances
- Type IV — Universal, covering Types I-III
HVAC License South Dakota FAQ
How Long Is My South Dakota HVAC License Valid?
The length of time varies from city to city. Check with your local governing body for more information.
For example, your HVAC license in Sioux Falls is good for a two-year period that begins on January first of even-numbered years. If you acquire your license in an odd-numbered year, it is still only valid until December 31 of that year. The price of the license is prorated in that case.
Can I Use My South Dakota HVAC License in the Other States?
Since there is no South Dakota HVAC licensing, it’s up to individual cities to decide whether to offer reciprocity with other jurisdictions. Sioux Falls, for example, does not reciprocate licenses with other states.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
You can contact your local government’s building commission to get South Dakota HVAC License information.
Now that you know how to get an HVAC license in South Dakota, you can start your education and be on your way to a bright future in, Mount Rushmore state. Let those bold leaders inspire you to great heights in your new career.
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 South Dakota, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: