Are you at least 18 years old, have a GED or high school diploma, and looking for a steady job with a long-term career path? Have you been working in HVAC but want to start your own company? Residences and businesses in Tennessee require HVAC services to keep their equipment in good condition. Some businesses also use coolers and need licensed HVAC/ Refrigeration specialists for regular maintenance and troubleshooting.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 38,500 HVAC mechanic and installer job openings are expected annually through 2030. Wages for HVAC workers depend on several factors such as your experience, additional skills, certifications, and education. In the state of Tennessee, many HVAC workers can expect to make an average of:
- HVAC installer — $19.89/ hour plus overtime
- HVAC mechanic — $22.31/ hour plus overtime
- HVAC technician — $22.36/ hour plus overtime
- HVAC supervisor — $55,433/ hour plus overtime
HVAC licensing requirements differ for each state. Are you wondering how to get an HVAC license in Tennessee? This guide will tell you everything you need to know.
Who Needs an HVAC License?
Anyone in Tennessee wishing to be an HVAC professional must obtain licenses, which are required by most local governments in addition to the state. The state of Tennessee only deals with HVAC Contractor licenses, while local governments provide journeyman or master contractor licensure.
In Tennessee, any HVAC contractor who bids on projects worth over $25,000 must have a state-issued license before bidding. This applies even if the HVAC work will be done as a subcontractor.
Technicians and installers who work for a licensed contractor don’t have to obtain state licenses, but these employees must satisfy local licensure requirements. Anyone with a Tennessee Certified Mechanical Contractor license doesn’t have to take local government tests.
HVAC License Types in Tennessee
Your road to an HVAC license in Tennessee begins with classes at a vocational school or technical training and work experience as a registered helper or apprentice.
Journeyman (locally issued license)
A journeyman has completed the local minimum requirements training and experience/work hours; the number of hours varies across the state. He or she must work for a licensed contractor.
There are two HVAC contractor licenses available at the state level in Tennessee.
CMC — Full Mechanical Contractor
To take this exam, you must have plumbing education and training. You’ll also need to obtain prior approval from the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors before taking the exam. In some areas, you’ll need a state-issued Limited Licensed Electrician license in addition to the CMC unless you have the CMC-C license.
CMC-C — Mechanical – HVAC/Refrigeration Contractor
This license allows you to work on commercial refrigeration units. It’s also required to perform geothermal or solar thermal work relating to air conditioning, heating, and ventilating.
Tennessee HVAC License Requirements
To obtain an HVAC license in Tennessee, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have a GED or high school diploma.
- Gain the required hours of classroom instruction and work experience
- Take the journeyman license test in the locality where you plan to work after you’ve completed enough education and work/experience hours
- Pass the Business and Law exam and the statewide trade exam.
- Submit the Contractor’s License Application Package along with other required documents.
In Tennessee, HVAC contractors must carry commercial auto, general liability, and workers’ compensation insurance.
This insurance protects your vehicles, employees, and company if your vehicles are involved in an accident.
This helps to protect your company against third-party injury medical damages and the cost to repair damage to or replace other people’s property if you or an employee is responsible.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Workers’ comp pays the medical bills for your employees if they are injured performing job-related duties. It also pays them a portion of wages lost due to being unable to work because of their injuries.
Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners.
Tennessee HVAC Licensing and Registration Fees
The fees associated with local-level licenses vary; you’ll need to check with your local county and city or municipal governments. State fees are:
- Business and law exam — $57
- Statewide trade exam — $57
- CMC or CMC-C license application fee — $250
- Limited Licensed Electrician exam — $57
- LLE license application fee — $55
PSI administers the exams required as a prerequisite to obtaining your HVAC contractor license. Fees are listed above. Payment can be made using a cashier’s check, company check, credit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa), or money order made payable to PSI. You must submit your payment along with your exam registration:
- By fax to (702) 932-2666
- By phone at (855) 868-1882
- Mail to: PSI * ATTN: Examination Registration TN CO
3210 E Tropicana * Las Vegas * NV * 89121
Include your social security number on your check or money order
- Online via the PSI website
These fees are accurate at the time this article is written, but they are subject to change.
Tennessee HVAC License Education Requirements and Exam
Many local Tennessee local jurisdictions require at least 8,000 hours of HVAC work experience and between 576 and 900 hours of instruction in a classroom or as a registered apprentice before you’re allowed to take the test to become a journeyman. Be sure to check your local requirements.
Those wishing to obtain state CMC or CMC-C licenses must submit the Pre-Approval Request form to the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors, along with proof that you have worked in HVAC for at least three years. After you receive approval, you’ll apply to take the Tennessee Business and Law exam and the mechanical contractor’s exam; PSI administers both.
If your business structure is a corporation, LLC, or partnership, you’ll need to register your company with the Tennessee Secretary of State. The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance will issue your HVAC contractor license.
Many schools and training programs, either in-person or online, offer courses to prepare you for an HVAC career.
HVAC License Exam Details
You can take state-level exams administered by PSI at several locations throughout Tennessee. Fees and additional requirements are listed above.
- Chattanooga — 6918 Shallowford Rd., Suite 314 * Chattanooga, TN 37421
- Jackson — 368 North Parkway, #3 * Jackson, TN 38305
- Johnson City — 904 Sunset Drive, Suite 7A * Johnson City, TN 37604
- Knoxville — 301 South Gallaher View Rd., Suite 114 * Knoxville, TN 37919
- Memphis — Apple Tree Center * 6099 Mt. Moriah Extended, Suite 17 * Memphis, TN 38115
- Nashville — The Oaks * 1102 Kermit Drive, Suite 101 * Nashville, TN 37217
PSI’s customer service phone number is (855) 868-1882, or you can visit their website for more information.
HVAC Training Schools in Tennessee
If you’re interested in HVAC training in Tennessee, there are approximately 22 training courses offered by colleges and technical schools in Tennessee. Among them are:
- Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN, (931) 221-7011
- Miller-Motte Technical College, Madison, TN, (615) 859-8090
- Nashville State Community College, Nashville, TN, (615) 353-3333
- Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Shelbyville, TN, (931) 685-5013
- Tennessee Technology Center at Memphis, Memphis, TN, (910) 543-6100
- Volunteer State Community College, Gallatin, TN, (615) 452-8600
Great HVAC training can be found both in-person and online. Use our tool below to find additional programs near you.
Tennessee License Application
After passing your exams, Tennessee HVAC license requirements state that you must complete the Contractor’s License Application Package, which includes proof of workers’ compensation and general liability insurance in addition to a financial statement prepared by a CPA. This statement will be reviewed if you plan to do work worth $3 million or less, but it will be audited if you want to perform jobs worth over that dollar amount.
Registration and Permitting Requirements
Only HVAC licensed contractors can pull building permits or pass inspections. An HVAC license is also required to bid on government or public jobs. Some local jurisdictions may require additional licenses; check with the locality before bidding.
The LLE renewal costs $50, while the CMC and CMC-C renewals cost $200. At the time this guide is written, Tennessee doesn’t require continuing education courses for licensed HVAC contractors.
HVAC Registered Contractor Requirements in Tennessee
Those with CMC and CMC-C HVAC licenses can perform HVAC work.
EPA Certification in Tennessee
Section 608 of the Clean Air Act requires anyone who repairs, maintains, disposes of, or services equipment that contains refrigerants to be certified by an approved organization. Before adding or handling refrigerants or conducting pressure tests, you must obtain the EPA Section 608 HVAC Certification.
HVAC License Tennessee FAQ
How Long Is My Tennessee HVAC License Valid?
You must renew each HVAC license every two years.
Can I Use My Tennessee HVAC License in the Other States?
Some states have reciprocal licensing agreements which allow you to work in those states; however, check with the licensing board in any state you intend to work in for current reciprocity information.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
If you have questions about HVAC licensure in Tennessee, contact:
Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors
500 James Robertson Parkways
Nashville, TN 37243-1150
Website * E-mail
For questions about the required exams, contact PSI.
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 Tennessee, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: