Heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems are becoming more technologically advanced every year, requiring knowledgeable technicians to install and repair. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 375,000 HVAC technicians in the U.S. Approximately 3,500 of these technicians live and work in Utah. The industry is expected to grow nationwide by about 4% by 2029, adding nearly 15,000 jobs to the sector. However, the HVAC industry is projected to grow by a whopping 31% in Utah. Thus, Utah is an excellent place to start an HVAC business. This article details everything you need to know about how to get an HVAC license in Utah.
Who Needs an HVAC License?
HVAC technicians specialize in maintaining the systems that control the temperature and air quality inside a building. They install and repair heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems. Some technicians may also work with refrigeration systems.
You need a license if you want to work as an HVAC business owner or perform work without a supervisor. HVAC licenses are issued by the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. Specifically, the permit required is a Specialty Contracting License that focuses on cooling and heating equipment. You must work as an apprentice under a licensed contractor if you do not have a license.
HVAC License Types in Utah
While some states have many different HVAC licenses, there is only one HVAC contractor license in Utah. This license is labeled with the trade number S350. This license is labeled a Specialty Contracting License by the State Licensing Board. There are a few other licenses that relate to the HVAC profession. These licenses include:
- HVAC Contractor (S350): The basic category for all types of heating and air conditioning work except for S354.
- Refrigerated Air Conditioning (S351): The license is needed for those who install and maintain refrigeration systems that control air temperatures below 50 degrees.
- Evaporative Cooling (S352): This license is required for those who install and maintain evaporative cooling systems.
- Warm Air Heating (S353): This type of license is needed for technicians who install, repair, and fabricate the ducting, furnaces, and piping required for warm air heating systems.
- Radon Mitigation (S354): This type of license is required for those who install and operate radon mitigation systems.
You may need multiple licenses if you perform various duties within the HVAC industry. Check with the Utah State Licensing Board to ensure you obtain all the proper permits and carry the appropriate licensure.
Utah HVAC License Requirements
There are several Utah HVAC license requirements you must follow before obtaining a contractor license. These steps include:
- Take a 25-hour pre-license course from an approved organization. The approved organizations include the Utah Home Builders Association and the Associated General Contractors of Utah.
- Register your business with the Utah Division of Corporations if you plan to operate your own company.
- Get a Federal Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service, a number that uniquely identifies your business for tax purposes.
- Complete the contractor application and submit the fee to the appropriate entity.
- Register for and pass the licensing exam.
- Finish six hours of approved continuing education courses every two years to maintain your license.
If you plan to hire technicians or apprentices, you need to follow some additional steps, including:
- Obtain a workers’ compensation insurance certificate from Utah’s Professional Licensing Department.
- Register for tax withholding with the Utah State Tax Commission.
- Complete unemployment registration with the Utah Department of Workforce Services.
If you hold a Specialty Contractor License, at least three hours of your continuing education courses to maintain your license must directly relate to installing and repairing HVAC systems.
All HVAC contractors in Utah are required to hold certain types of insurance to protect themselves and their customers. You must have a minimum of $100,000 worth of general liability insurance for each incident. This coverage must include a total of $300,000 liability insurance. All business owners with employees must hold worker’s compensation insurance to cover on-the-job accidents.
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Utah HVAC Licensing and Registration Fees
The costs vary depending on the type of license you obtain. It costs between $150 and $250 to apply for the Specialty Contractor License. You can also apply for a license in one of the subcategories for approximately $100. Please keep in mind these costs are subject to change, and you should contact your local board for exact information. You are subject to a background check during the licensing process.
All license and registration fees are non-refundable and should be paid directly to the Utah Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing.
Utah HVAC License Education Requirements and Exam
Before you can obtain a license in Utah, you must meet several important education and experience requirements. Utah DOPL provides a convenient checklist before you submit your application to ensure you meet the criteria. Utah uses the legal term “qualifier” to determine eligibility for a license. All businesses must have at least one person who holds the appropriate license. This person is called the qualifier. This individual does not need to be the business owner, but it needs to be a 20% owner or an employee working at least 10 hours a week. It is best to act as your own qualifier if you are the business owner.
To qualify, the individual must have two years of HVAC experience totaling at least 4000 hours within the past ten years.
HVAC License Exam Details
Before registering for the official examination, you need to take a 25-hour pre-requisite course. This course provides an overview of Utah Construction Law and covers accounting skills, labor laws, safety, and business management. It is essential to note this is a foundational class only and will not teach you HVAC skills.
The qualifier also needs to pass a Utah Laws and Rules examination. This exam is approximately $70 and can be taken simultaneously as the official HVAC trade exam. The test has 60 questions, and you need to receive a score of 70% to pass.
The official HVAC contractor exam cost was $72 when this guide was written. The exam has 75 questions, and you must complete it within three hours. You need to answer 53 of the 75 questions correctly to pass the exam. You can use copies of the International Mechanical Code for reference while taking the exam. The test can be taken online or in a proctored, in-person format. If you pass both exams and your application is approved, you will receive your HVAC license.
HVAC Training Schools in Utah
Many people living in Northern Utah apply to HVAC training programs in Southern Idaho to receive training. The following colleges have HVAC training programs:
- College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls, Idaho, 208-733-9544
- College of Eastern Idaho, Idaho Falls, Idaho, 208-524-3000
Great HVAC training can be found both in-person and online. Use our tool below to find additional programs near you.
Utah License Application
The application has multiple steps that need to be followed precisely for your application to be approved. Below is an overview of the sections on the application and what you need to provide:
- Applicant information: Provide basic information, including your full name, business information, current mailing address, and phone number. Include your business address and phone number.
- Ownership information: Provide information on your company’s owners and give a list of employees if applicable.
- Affidavit and release: This section requires you to certify that you are qualified to perform HVAC work. You need to certify that all information in the application is correct and include your master electrician license number if applicable.
- Qualifier questionnaire: Provide information on the financial history and criminal record of your company’s qualifier.
- Business information: Detail whether your business is formed as a sole proprietorship, LLC, or S-Corp.
- Financial responsibility: Provide information about your credit history, including liens, outstanding debts, and child support payments. You also need to give authorization for the review committee to request a copy of your credit report.
- Qualifier information: Provide information on the person in your business who holds the HVAC contractor license. You must provide this person’s legal name, mailing address, position, date of birth, and social security number.
- Insurance information: You must provide information on your general liability insurance, which all contractors must have in Utah.
- Fees: You must pay the applicable fee to the Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing.
Registration and Permitting Requirements
You should check with your local city government to see if you need a business license or another type of permit to run your HVAC business. You need to meet the appropriate licensing requirements if you plan to practice in one of the contracting subgroups, such as a warm hair heating contractor.
You need to renew your HVAC contractor license every two years. You must pay a small fee and provide documentation of your six hours of continuing education courses to renew your license. All licenses expire on July 31 in an odd number of years.
HVAC Registered Contractor Requirements in Utah
All HVAC business owners must obtain the Specialty Contracting License from the Utah State Licensing Board. All business owners are considered contractors for classification purposes, so no additional contractor license is needed.
EPA Certification in Utah
The Environmental Protection Agency administers a certification that determines whether a technician can work with units containing refrigerants safely. Some states require this certification, while others do not. Utah is one of the states that requires all HVAC technicians to have an EPA certification. Follow these steps to obtain your certification:
- Take an EPA-approved preparation course
- Find a local organization that administers the exam
- Pass the certification exam
EPA certifications do not expire, and continuing education courses are not required to keep your certification active.
HVAC License Utah FAQ
How Long Is My Utah HVAC License Valid?
Utah HVAC licenses need to be renewed every two years. You must renew your license before the expiration date, or you will need to retake the test. At least 60 days before your expiration date, you will receive a renewal notice in the mail.
Can I Use My Utah HVAC License in the Other States?
Utah holds reciprocity agreements with other states for General Contracting licenses. You can apply for reciprocity agreements with the following states:
- South Carolina
You will want to call the state board to ensure this reciprocity also applies to Specialty Contracting Licenses.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
You can contact the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing for specific questions regarding HVAC licenses. For general inquiries, you can call (801) 530-6628.
Wondering how to get an HVAC license in Utah? The steps involved include taking a pre-requisite course, passing an examination, and submitting an application to the Utah State Department of Commerce.