Certified HVAC professionals are in high demand in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry is expected to grow approximately 4 percent by 2029. The HVAC industry in Virginia is particularly strong with the state’s hot summers and cool winters. Like each U.S. state, Virginia sets its own requirements for HVAC technicians, and it is vital to know these regulations so you can get to work as soon as possible. Learn more about how to get an HVAC license in Virginia, including license types, training, and EPA requirements.
Who Needs an HVAC License?
You must be licensed to perform HVAC work in Virginia legally. License requirements are established and enforced by Virginia’s Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations. The DPOR and other state agencies establish Virginia HVAC license requirements for technicians. Virginia’s Board for Contractors regulates the work performed by HVAC technicians.
HVAC License Types in Virginia
There are three HVAC licenses in Virginia. You earn these licenses through a combination of work experience and formal education. The permit levels build on each other, and you learn more practical skills as you become eligible for additional licenses. Here is more information about Virginia’s journeyman, master, and contractor HVAC licenses.
The most basic HVAC permit in Virginia is the journeyman license. This professional permit allows you to work unsupervised on heating and air conditioning projects valued at less than $1,000. To obtain this basic license, you must acquire a certain number of years of practical experience and pass an examination. You can satisfy the requirements in the following ways:
- Obtain a four-year degree from an accredited college in a related field and obtain at least twelve months of hands-on HVAC experience.
- Obtain a two-year degree or diploma from an accredited program in a related field and complete at least 24 months of hands-on HVAC experience.
- Acquire four years of related work experience and 240 hours of formal practical training.
Please keep in mind that each additional year of on-the-job experience can substitute for a certain number of years of vocational training. For example, one year of experience counts as 80 hours of formal classroom experience.
A master’s license builds on the skills obtained with the journeyman’s license. This license allows you to plan and supervise HVAC work valued at less than $1,000. This license also requires a minimum amount of practical and classroom experience. You can satisfy the requirements in one of the following ways:
- Acquire one year of practical experience as a licensed journeyman.
- Provide evidence of 10 years of practical HVAC experience.
You are eligible to take the master’s license exam if you meet one of the requirements detailed above.
You can only obtain a Virginia HVAC contractor license after earning your master’s license. There are three classes of HVAC contractor licenses.
Generally, the class you apply for correlates with your business’s value or the projects you plan to complete. Any project valued at more than $1,000 requires a licensed contractor to supervise the work. For each of the three levels, you are required to complete a pre-licensure education course. These are the following three classes:
Class A: Obtaining a Class A license enables you to complete jobs of any size or value. To obtain this license class type, you must have at least $45,000 in the bank and five years of practical experience.
Class B: Getting a Class B license enables you to work on projects valued at less than $75,000 over the course of twelve months. You must have at least $15,000 in your business bank account and three years of experience to get this license class type.
Class C: Obtaining a Class C license allows you to complete up to $150,000 worth of HVAC projects over the course of a year. You need two years of practical experience for this license class type.
Virginia HVAC License Requirements
You can apply for a Virginia HVAC contractor license after earning a master’s license. You must be at least 18 years of age and pass the applicable state-mandated exam to be eligible for the license. You must meet the education and experience regulations described above before sitting for the exams.
On the application, you need to provide a physical home address. A post office box is not enough to meet the address requirement. You also need to pay the applicable licensing fees. All license applicants also need to meet specific financial solvency regulations. Those who do not qualify under these solvency guidelines must purchase a surety bond.
HVAC technicians in Virginia must carry general liability coverage to perform work legally. These requirements vary by jurisdiction, so you should check with your local board. You also need workers’ compensation insurance if you plan to hire employees. The Virginia Board of Contractors does not require applicants to have a bond to apply for a contractor license.
However, you need to purchase a bond worth $50,000 if you cannot prove that you possess the required net worth. Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners.
Virginia Licensing and Registration Fees
Each HVAC license type comes with different license and exam fees. At the time of writing, the journeyman license fee is $130 and the cost to take the exam is $100. The master license fee is $140, and there is a $125 fee to take the test.
The test fees vary depending on the contractor class you want. The Class A contractor license fee is $385, and the exam fee is $85. The Class B contractor license fee is $370, and the exam fee is $72. Finally, the Class C contractor license costs $235. There is no exam associated with the Class C license. The cost to renew each license is $90.
Virginia HVAC License Education Requirements and Exam
You must meet minimum qualifications before taking the Virginia HVAC licensing exam. The education requirements vary whether you take the journeyman, master, or HVAC contractor examination. However, all applicants must complete a pre-license education course before taking their respective exams. Your course must be approved by the Virginia Board of Contractors.
There are many online and in-person requirements to help you prepare for the Virginia HVAC licensing exam.
HVAC License Exam Details
All technicians applying for the Virginia contractor license must pass two examinations. The first covers the practical aspects of HVAC work, while the other test covers Virginia business laws. If you want the Class A license, you must pass a third exam covering advanced business topics.
HVAC Training Schools in Virginia
Many programs provide HVAC training in Virginia. Here are some schools that offer HVAC courses or programs:
- Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale, VA (703) 323-3000
- Virginia Beach Technical and Career Education Center, Virginia Beach, VA (757) 648-5850
- Advanced Technology Institute, Virginia Beach, VA (757) 490-1241
Great HVAC training can be found both in-person and online. Use our tool below to find additional programs near you.
Virginia License Application
You must submit an application along with the required fees to the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. You must provide information on your criminal background on the application. The board will evaluate the nature of your convictions on a case-by-case basis and reserves the right to deny your license based on the nature of your background.
You must also provide information on any previous trade license suspension or revocations and associated disciplinary actions. The board may deny your application based on the information provided.
You should provide complete and truthful information on each section of the application. The board is more likely to look favorably upon applicants that provide comprehensive information upfront.
Registration and Permitting Requirements
Some jurisdictions have their own HVAC registration and permitting requirements separate from those established by Virginia. You should check with your local board for more information on permits or business licenses you need to obtain before starting work. You will likely have additional permitting requirements if you plan to employ workers.
Your license expires two years from the date of issue. You need to submit a renewal application and a $90 fee before it expires, or you may be required to retake the examination. To keep your license active, you must also complete three hours of continuing education courses every two years.
HVAC Registered Contractor Requirements in Virginia
A licensed HVAC contractor does not need a separate General Contractor license to perform work in Virginia.
EPA Certification in Virginia
Virginia requires all HVAC technicians who perform refrigerant line-pressure tests or handle existing air conditioning systems to obtain an EPA Section 608 HVAC Certification. You can find a list of local institutions approved to administer the test by visiting the Environmental Protection Agency website.
HVAC License Virginia FAQ
How Long Is My Virginia HVAC License Valid?
Your Virginia HVAC contractor license is valid for two years from the issue date.
Can I Use My Virginia HVAC License in the Other States?
At the time of writing, Virginia has reciprocity electrical license agreements with Alabama, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, West Virginia, and North Carolina. These agreements allow you to use your Virginia license to perform work in the states mentioned above.
However, you should contact the board in these other states to verify current agreements before completing projects.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
For more information, please visit the Tradesmen Program page on Virginia.gov.
Learn More Today
Are you wondering how to get an HVAC license in Virginia? Learning about HVAC training in Virginia and Virginia HVAC state license requirements is the most important thing to understand. Learn more at General Contractor License Guide.
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 Virginia, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: