HVAC Classes in Alabama (Top Schools)

Alabama map

If you are planning to do business as a heating and air technician in Alabama, then you need to have a license.

There are two possible ways for you to acquire a license.

Those include either graduating from a two year or a community college, which have an approved curriculum that features Heating and Air Conditioning or Commercial Refrigeration; or completing 3,000 hours’ worth of course work or job experience.

Salary

HVAC technicians in Alabama may earn between $35,000 and $49,000 per year, the average wage being $20 per hour.

The salary depends on many factors, just some of which are: education, certification, additional skills, and a number of years spent in the profession.

Here is an overview of HVAC technician salaries in the 10 largest cities in Alabama.

Annual Salary Range:
$35K
$41K
$49K

Average Salaries of Welders in Alabama

City NameSalary
Birmingham$43,890
Montgomery$41,743
Mobile$43,184
Huntsville$44,123
Tuscaloosa$43,738
Hoover$43,390
Dothan$41,188
Decatur$42,784
Auburn$41,822
Gadsden$43,638
* Salary information last updated 2019

Requirements

Unless one has a license to practice the trade, they cannot be a HVAC technician in Alabama.

To get a license, a technician must be well trained.

Those two factors enable a technician to practice their trade legally.

The body that issues the licenses to HVAC technicians is The Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Contractors.

These technicians are in charge of servicing heating and cooling units, excluding the cooling and heating units inside automobiles and farm implements.

Licensed HVAC technicians are granted permission to work on HVAC and refrigeration systems.

Those systems encompass: central heat, heat pumps, ventilation, forced air systems, gas piping, walk-in coolers, reach-in coolers, and commercial refrigerators.

HVAC technician HVAC training provides its technicians with the title of air conditioner mechanics.

A skill of particular importance that is taught is reading blueprints and technical plans.

The training further includes: replacement of defective electrical equipment (i.e. fuses and breakers), pipe fitting, gas leak recognition, adding Freon to air conditioner units.

Additionally, the technicians receive training on using nitrogen to discover gas leaks and safe ways of handling refrigerants.

Examination

In order to acquire a license, a new technician must pass an examination. The fee for this examination is $150, 00.

Only those who have completed an apprenticeship or have graduated from an approved curriculum are eligible candidates for the examination.

Approved curricula in Alabama are:

  • Alabama Power Company
  • NARS Training System
  • Construction Education Foundation of Alabama
  • Trenholm State Technical College
  • Fortis College
  • West Georgia Technical College
  • Gwinnett Technical College, Lawrenceville, Georgia
  • George Stone Technical Center HVAC Program
  • Virginia College – Birmingham
  • Lindsey-Cooper Refrigeration School
  • J. F. Drake State Technical College
  • Columbus Technical College

Furthermore, new technicians must submit proof of their work experience as HVAC technicians.

It is enough to provide a W-2 tax form or a signed affidavit from the employer.

However, the Board will make its own judgment on the matter.

If you are after an active status as a contractor, then you have to have a performance bond of $15,000 in addition to passing your exam.

Schools

While many HVAC technicians pride themselves on taking apprenticeships, and picking up the trade informally, acquiring some formal accreditation in the field from a formal training program or apprenticeship is valuable.  

22 Top HVAC Schools in Alabama

School NameAddress
Ashworth College6625 The Corners Pkwy NW #500, Norcross, GA 30092
Alabama Power HVAC TrainingCenter2388 County Road 93, Verbena, AL 11111
Bevil State Community CollegePO Box 800, Sumiton, AL 65148
Bevil State Community CollegePO Box 9, Hamilton, AL 35570
Bishop State Community College-Southwest Campus925 Dauphin Island Parkway, Mobile, AL 36605
Blount County Career Technical Center61500 U.S. Hwy 231, Cleveland, AL 35049
Calhoun State Community CollegePO Box 2216, Decatur, AL 35602
Central Alabama Community College34091 US Hwy 280, Childersburg, AL 35044
Cullman Area Career Center17640 US Hwy 31 N, Cullman, AL 35058
Fortis Institute & Fortis College4 Locations in Alabama, Birmingham, Dothan, Foley & Montgomery, AL 35211
Gadsden State Communit Collge/Ayers Campus1801 Coleman Road, Anniston, AL 36202
Gadsden State Community College/Valley St Campus600 Valley Street, Gadsden, AL 35901
HVAC Career TrainingCenter - AlabamaBirmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Hoover, Dothan, AL 11111
hvacredu.net (Online Training)P.O. Box 77, Heron, MT 59844
J F Drake State TechPO Box 17439, Huntsville, AL 35810
Lawson State Community College1100 North Avenue SW, Bessemer, AL 35022
Northwest-Shoals Community CollegePO Box 2545, Muscle Shoals, AL 35662
Shelton State Community College/Martin Campus9500 Old Greensboro Road, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
Southern Union State Community College1701 Lafayette Parkway, Opelika, AL 36801
Tennessee Technology Center-Pulaski1233 E. College Street, Pulaski, TN 00000
Trenholm State Technical College1225 Airbase Blvd., Montgomery, AL 36108
Wallace Community College1141 Wallace, Dothan, AL 36303

Reciprocity

If you were licensed in the neighboring states of Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi, Alabama honors these licenses.

Thus, if you are licensed in one of the abovementioned states, you can apply for a license in Alabama by reciprocity.

In order to apply for the reciprocity license, you should submit notarized application forms, a performance bond of $15,000 in the name of the contractor’s business, and pay a processing fee.

The processing fee is $165.00 for an active, and %85.50 for inactive contractors.

Disclosure of any penalties regarding practice in Refrigeration or HVAC in any locale, formal reprimands, and license suspensions is necessary.

Additional Requirements

Having successfully passed the examination and submitted the applications, a new technician has to complete four hours of continuing education every year.

Besides the licensure exam, in order to buy refrigerants, HVAC technicians must be EPA certified.

Technicians also have to be wary of the federal regulation concerning refrigerants.

Examination Process

If one wants to become an HVAC technician, they must pass both the Alabama Licensure Exam and the EPA Certification Exam.

EPA Certification

Without Section 608 EPA certification, a person cannot buy refrigerants legally in the United States.

That is why the EPA Certification Exam is mandatory for any future HVAC technician.

There are Type I, Type II, and Type III certification, as well as universal certification.

With a Type I certification, a technician is licensed to work on small appliances.

Type II certification means an authorization to work on high-pressure appliances.

And, Type III certification allows for disposing or servicing low-pressure appliances.

Universal certification, of course, covers all three types of above-explained certification types.

The exams are proctored. A site that could be used as a source for preparation is Mainstream Engineering.

Alabama Licensure Exam for HVAC Technicians

The test fee for HVAC Licensure in Alabama is $125.00, and it is paid on the Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Contractors upon registering for the exam.

You are expected to complete a test of 80 questions within four hours.

The minimum score that is needed to pass the test is 66.25 percent.

Registration can be done online or over a telephone once your test application has been approved by the Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Contractors.

The test is administered by PSI Exam Services in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery.

You should arrive in good time for your test.

This means coming in at least thirty minutes prior to the exam in order for your identification documents to be checked. 

You have to bring in two identification forms that contain your legal name and your signature.

One of these identification forms must have a photograph of you.

Residential load calculations, ventilation and exhaust, refrigerants, air conditioning, and heat pump systems, and furnaces and heaters will be the topics that appear in the test.

You are allowed to use some reference materials during the exam. These materials must be bound together.

They can be downloaded from the internet, or from the PSI Online Store.

Highlighting, indexation, and writing notes on the reference material before the test is permitted.

On the other hand, removable pages, bookmarks, post-it notes must not be in your reference material while you are taking the exam.

In case you need additional material that is not in the reference materials, you may add them.

But, those additional materials must be bound to the rest of the material and inseparable from the original page.

As a material that has been written on over the course of the exam must not leave the exam room, you are not allowed to write on your reference materials during the exam itself.

In case you do write on them, you must turn them into the test proctor.

Calculators are also permitted. You may bring a non-programmable, silent calculator that doesn’t have an alphabetical keyboard.

Personal items like cellular phones, electronic watches, cameras, laptop computers, pagers, tablet computers, iPods, smartwatches, or electronic games are strongly forbidden.

Additionally, your attire may not consist of bulky clothing like hooded clothing, heavy jackets, overcoats, or shawls, which can conceal notes.

Similarly, unless worn out of religious reasons, hats and headgear are not allowed.

Personal belongings, drinks, purses, briefcases, notebooks, wallets, food, and lucky charms must all be left at a designated area at the testing site.

Family members and other people are not allowed at the testing site.

They can neither escort you, nor wait for you to finish the exam on the test site’s property.

Finally, both your eyeglasses and tie tacks may be checked for recording devices.

And, the test proctors have the authority to ask you to empty your pockets before the exam.

Topics

You will have 150 minutes at your disposal to complete 60 questions from the Refrigeration section.

In order to pass the exam, you must have at least 40 correct answers in this section.

The subjects that are covered by the exam are testing, inspecting, and troubleshooting refrigeration appliances, refrigerant piping, refrigeration systems and controls, and general knowledge of the subject area.

Next is the HVAC section of the test for which you will have 240 minutes to complete.

The test will feature 80 questions, out of which 53 answers must be correct to pass the test.

This portion of the exam tests your knowledge of insulation, load calculations, piping, safety, combustion air, ducts, chimneys, flues, vents, heating and cooling principles, furnaces and heaters, and air conditioning and heat pump systems.

Licensed HVAC technicians have permission to take on apprentices on the job and train them.

Conclusion

In order to acquire an HVAC license in Alabama, an individual must take an exam.

One can take the exam if they have 3,000 hours’ work experience, or if they have completed an approved trade training curriculum at a two-year community college.

Having acquired a license, the technicians must attend and complete continuing education courses to keep their license.

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