Maryland HVAC license:
Everything you need to know
Want to begin a career in the HVAC industry? Right now, the industry is experiencing growth. You can work in management with an employer, or you can take the leap and start your own business.
No matter your decision, read this guide to learn the licensing requirements to earn your Maryland HVAC license.
Do you need a license in Maryland to become an HVAC technician?
Yes, you need a Maryland HVAC license to work as an HVAC technician in the state.
What are the different types of HVAC licenses?
There are three types of HVACR licenses: a journeyman license, a limited contractor license, and a master contractor license. There are also subcategories for journeyman restricted and master restricted licenses. These licenses allow you to work on a singular type of HVAC unit, including air conditioning, forced air, hydronic, refrigeration, and ventilation.
With a journeyman license, you will be able to work on all types of heating and air conditioning units. However, you must work under the supervision of a licensed contractor. A limited contractor license allows for the repair and maintenance of one or more types of HVAC systems, while a master contractor license allows you to repair, maintain, and install all types of HVAC units without supervision This license provides you with the ability to open your own HVAC business.
An HVACR journeyman in Maryland can make an average salary of $49,000. A master contractor makes about $68,000. The Maryland HVAC licenses are considered to be HVACR licenses, allowing you to work with refrigerant.
Benefits of getting an HVAC license
The HVAC industry has continual signs of growth. By 2022, the number of employees in the HVAC industry is expected to grow by nearly 21% within the next decade. This growth rate amounts to more than 55,000 new jobs.
Even when performing entry-level work as an apprentice, you can make around $40,000 per year. Being an HVAC contractor also allows you to work with new technologies, the latest involving a Freon ban and dual-fuel heat pumps.
How much does it cost to get an HVAC license in Maryland?
The license fee for an apprenticeship is $10, while the licensing fee for a journeyman license is $20. The costs associated with limited contractor and master contractor licenses are $75. To become a contractor, you also must carry property damage insurance that amounts to $100,000 as well as liability insurance coverage of $300,000.
How to get an HVAC license in Maryland
Even though it takes time, getting an HVAC license in Maryland is a simple process.
Attending a vocational school or HVAC technical college can help you gain the education to learn about modern HVAC systems. The top HVAC schools in Maryland include the Community College of Baltimore County, Montgomery College, and Brightwood College.
Tuition for an associate’s degree can cost around $10,000-$15,000. If you want a bachelor’s degree in the HVAC field, the top universities in Maryland include Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering and the University of Maryland in Baltimore. For a state university, tuition can cost about $40,000 for a four-year program. As for a private university, like Johns Hopkins, the costs can be as much as $50,000 per year.
Contact the schools to ask about financial aid options. It’s also possible to take a portion of your classes online. The curriculum for these programs focuses on both theory and practical lessons.
To obtain a journeyman license, you must gain three years of experience. This experience can be gained in three ways. First, you could complete an HVACR certificate program or degree along with a year or two of experience under a master HVACR technician or journeyman.
You also could enter into an apprenticeship program for three years, which equates to 1,875 hours of experience. This work mainly involves assisting journeyman and master technicians in standard repair and maintenance services. Finally, you could gain the three years of experience in the HVAC industry while working in another state. To obtain a master contractor license, you will need to work for three years as a journeyman.
Who actually issues the licenses?
The Maryland Board of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors issues all licenses.
Are there exams?
You are required to pass an examination to receive your HVACR license. The exam type depends on the license classification. The journeyman, limited contractor, and master contractor licenses have exams that cost $150. You will have 120 minutes to complete the limited contractor exam and 240 minutes to complete the journeyman and master contractor exams. If you want specialized licenses, like the journeyman restricted or master restricted license, the testing fees are $50. You also will have 120 minutes to complete these exams.
These exams are administered daily throughout Maryland. If you happen to fail the test, you can retake it again in 30 days. Your education and/or training will prepare you for the exams. If you want to practice for the test, you’ll find a variety of HVAC practice tests at this link.
Do the licenses need to be renewed?
You must renew any Maryland HVAC license every two years. The renewal fee is $20.
How long does it take to get an HVAC license?
It will take at least three years of experience or education before you can apply for your journeyman or contractor license. After passing the necessary exams, it can take a few weeks before you receive your Maryland HVAC license.