HVAC License and Certification in Kentucky
The Kentucky Board of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Contractors issues licenses and registrations to Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) professionals in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Newly certified technicians don’t need a license to work on HVAC systems, but they do need to be registered with the Board and work under the supervision of a master HVAC contractor. HVAC licenses and registrations are issued under the following categories.
- Master HVAC contractor – is an HVAC contractor who is licensed by the board to advertise and practice heating, ventilation, and air conditioning contracting in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
- Journeyman HVAC mechanic – is an individual who is licensed by the board to perform HVAC work under the supervision, direction, and responsibility of a master HVAC contractor.
- Limited journeyman HVAC duct/HVAC installer mechanic – is an individual who is licensed as a journeyman HVAC mechanic but chooses to use his experience and career goals to function in a limited capacity to install HVAC duct work/HVAC systems as applicable.
- Apprentice HVAC mechanic – is an individual in the process of learning the HVAC trade who assists and is under the general supervision of a master HVAC contractor and under the direct supervision of a journeyman HVAC mechanic. An apprentice HVAC mechanic must be registered with the Board.
HVAC License and Registration Requirements
The Board of HVAC Contractors has laid out specific application requirements for each of the aforementioned categories. All license applicants are required to be at least 18 years of age and be a citizen of the United States or a resident alien who is authorized to work in the United States. In addition, the applicants must comply with the experience and examination requirements applicable to each category.
For a master HVAC contractor’s license, an applicant should have been regularly and principally employed or engaged in HVAC trades as a journeyman HVAC mechanic for at least 2 years under the direction and supervision of a master HVAC contractor. An applicant for a master HVAC contractor license must also maintain general liability insurance of $500,000 and property damage insurance of $300,000 underwritten by an insurance carrier licensed and approved by the Kentucky Department of Insurance.
A journeyman HVAC mechanic’s license requires the applicant to have been regularly and principally employed or engaged in HVAC trades for at least 2 years under the supervision of a master HVAC contractor.
If an applicant for either a master HVAC contractor’s license or a journeyman HVAC mechanic’s license has acquired the relevant training and experience while serving as a member of the United States Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard, as annotated on the Department of Defense Form DD 214, the board may accept such training and experience towards the experience requirements of the applicable license.
For the purpose of evaluating an applicant’s HVAC experience, the Board will consider 1 year of HVAC experience as the equivalent of a minimum of 1,500 hours of HVAC work in a contiguous twelve-month period.
All HVAC license applicants must pass an examination relevant to the category of license being applied for with a score of at least 70 percent. The examinations are administered and scored by the International Code Council.
Applicants for the master HVAC contractor’s license must pass a two-part examination which includes a business and law exam and a trade-specific exam. These exams test the applicant’s knowledge of codes, standards, and current technological and industry recommended practices with respect to the proper installation, maintenance, repair, remodeling, or alteration of all types of HVAC systems. Journeyman and limited journeyman license applicants need only appear in the relevant trade-specific examination.
The Kentucky Contractor/Trades Examination Information Bulletin outlines the subject areas, weightage, question formats and test durations for each of the license examinations.
The license application fee for a master HVAC contractor’s license is $250. The fee for a journeyman or limited journeyman (HVAC duct/HVAC installer) mechanic’s license is $50. There is no application fee for registration as an apprentice HVAC mechanic.
The examination fee for the master HVAC contractor’s license is $160 ($60 for the business and law exam and $100 for the trade-specific exam). All journeyman license examinations cost $100 each.
In addition to the above licenses and certifications, HVAC license holders may have to obtain an EPA Section 608 certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency if they intend to work on high and/or low-pressure refrigerants. This certification is necessary to ensure that the individual performing work on these systems is aware of the ozone-degrading characteristics of refrigerants, and how they affect the ozone layer.
At present, the Commonwealth of Kentucky has a reciprocal agreement with the State of Ohio. If the applicant has a valid Ohio mechanical contractor’s license, he or she may be eligible to obtain a Kentucky master HVAC license without meeting certain requirements.