HVAC Tech Classes in North Carolina (Top Schools)

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North Carolina is said to be one of the best states to work for HVAC technicians.

Not only does it have a good job outlook but also competitive salaries.

To work as an HVAC technician in North Carolina, you need to know the educational and experience requirements to obtain a license.

So read on to learn information about these.

HVAC Programs in North Carolina

HVAC technicians need education and practical experience in the trade to enter the industry.

That’s why many would enroll in approved HVAC programs to acquire the necessary technical skills and knowledge.

The table below lists some of the accredited HVAC schools in North Carolina that you can consider.

40 HVAC Schools in North Carolina

School NameAddress
Ashworth College6625 The Corners Pkwy NW #500, Norcross, GA 30092
Alamance Community CollegePO Box 8000, Graham, NC 27253
Ashville Buncombe Technical College340 victoria Road, Asheville, NC 28801
Bismark State College1500 Edwards Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58506
Blue Ridge Community CollegeCollege Drive, Flat Rock, NC 11111
Brunswick Community College50 College Road, Supply, NC 28462
Cape Fear Community College411 N. Front Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
Catawba Valley Community College2550 Hwy 7055, Hickory, NC 28602
Central Carolina Community College-Harnet Campus1075 E. Cornelius, Lillington, NC 27546
Central Piedmont Community College-Southwest CampusPO Box 35009, Charlotte, NC 28204
Cleveland Community College137 S. Post Road, Shelby, NC 28150
Coastal Carolina Community College444 Western, Jacksonville, NC 28546
College of AlbemarlePO Box 2327, Edenton, NC 27932
Craven Community College800 College Court, New Bern, NC 28562
Davidson County Community CollegePO Box 1287, Lexington, NC 27295
Fayetteville Technical Community CollegePO Box 35236, Fayetteville, NC 28303
Forsyth Technical Community College2100 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
Gaston Community College201 Highway 321 South, Dallas, NC 28034
Guilford Technical Community College601 High Point Road, Jamestown, NC 27282
hvacredu.net (Online Training)P.O. Box 77, Heron, MT 59844
Johnston Community CollegePO Box 2350, Smithfield, NC 27577
Lenoir Community CollegePO Box 188, Kinston, NC 28502
Martin Community CollegePO Drawer 866, Williamston, NC 27892
Mayer Electric Supply1150 N. 23rd Street, Wilmington, NC 28405
Mitchell Community College500 W. Broad Street, Statesville, NC 28677
Nash Community College522 N. Old Carriage Road, Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Pitt Community College1986 Pitt Tech Road, Winterville, NC 28590
Roanoke-Chowan Community College109 College Drive, Ahoskie, NC 27910
Rockingham Community CollegePO Box 38, Wentworth, NC 27375
Rowan-Cararrus Community CollegePO Box 1595, Salisbury, NC 28145
Sampson Community CollegePO 318 Hwy 24W, Clinton, NC 28328
South Piedmont Community College-West Campus721 Brewer Drive, Monroe, NC 28112
Southeastern Community CollegePO Box 151, Whiteville, NC 11111
Southwestern Community College447 College Drive, Sylva, NC 28779
Stanly Community College141 College Drive, Albemarle, NC 28001
Surry Community College630 S. Main Street, Dobson, NC 27017
Vance-Granville Community CollegePO Box 917, Henderson, NC 27536
Wake Technical College9101 Fayetteville Road, Raleigh, NC 27603
Wayne Community College3000 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro, NC 27534
Wilson Technical Community College902 Herring Avenue, Wilson, NC 27893

How to Get Licensed in North Carolina

In North Carolina, only HVAC contractors are required to obtain state-level licenses.

There are 2 types of licenses that you can apply for:

  • Heating and air conditioning contractor license
  • Refrigeration contractor license

Heating and Air Conditioning Contractor License

This license is issued through the NC State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors.

It’s divided into 3 groups and 2 classes:

  • Heating Group 1 – “wet” or “water-based” comfort heating systems
  • Heating Group 2 – forced air heating/cooling system with cooling capacity in excess of 15 tons
  • Heating Group 3 – forced air heating/cooling system with a cooling capacity of up to 15 tons
  • Class I – allows you to service any building (residential, commercial, industrial)
  • Class II – allows you to service single-family detached dwellings only

Here are the license designations for each group:

  • Heating Group 1
    • H1 Class I (H1-I) Contractor
    • H1 Class II (H1-II) Contractor
    • *H1 Technician (H1-T)
    • *State and Local Government Technician – H1 (SLGT-H1)
    • *Private Educational Institution Technician – H1 (PEIT-H1)
  • Heating Group 2
    • H2 Contractor
    • *H2-T
    • *SLGT-H2
    • *PEIT-H2
  • Heating Group 3
    • H3-I Contractor
    • H3-II Contractor
    • *H3-T
    • *SLGT-H3
    • *PEIT-H3

Note:
Those marked with asterisks are NOT contracting licenses.
H1/2/3 Technicians must be a sublicensee of an H1/2/3 Contractor.
SLGTs must be employees of a state or local government.
PEITs must be employees of private educational institutions.

Application Requirements for Licensure

To obtain the license, you need to meet the following:

  • Proof of full-time experience relevant to the chosen license
    • For contractor license – at least 2 years or 4,000 hours
    • For technician license – at least 1 ½ years or 3,000 hours
    • One-half of experience may come from academic or technical training relevant to the chosen license
    • You can submit one of the following:
      • Current / Past North Carolina Licensed Employer Statement
      • Applicant Employment History Form 1-C – if you didn’t work under an NC licensee
      • Applicant Employment History Form 1-D – if you gained experience while in the military
  • Provide employment records (W-2 or 1099 forms)
  • Undergo a complete background check and obtain the report from CastleBranch.com
  • Completed license and exam application form
  • Payment of the required fees
  • Successfully pass the licensure exam for the chosen license
  • Submit a completed License Activation Form within 45 days of passing the exam
  • Pay the license fee
    • H1/2/3-T – $75
    • All else – $150

Exam Details

The Board has contracted with PSI to administer the exams.

Here are the exam details:

  • You’ll take 2 exam portions:
    • Business and law (for contractors only) – 1.5 hours
    • Trade-specific – 4 hours (for each license type)
  • Exam fee – $100
  • It’s an open-book exam where you can bring approved reference materials to the testing center
  • Passing rate – 70%

Renewal Requirements

Your heating and air conditioning contractor license will need to be renewed annually on December 31.

To renew, you need to complete the following:

  • Renewal of State License form
  • Pay the required fees
    • Contractor licenses and SLGT or PEIT qualifiers – $150
    • Technician licenses – $75

Refrigeration Contractor License

This license is issued through the NC State Board of Refrigeration Contractors.

It has 4 classes:

  • Class I – Commercial refrigeration contractor
    • Engaged in the installation, maintenance, service, and repair of refrigerating machinery, equipment, and relevant devices and components
  • Class II – Industrial refrigeration contractor
    • Engaged in commercial refrigeration contracting with the use of ammonia as a refrigerant gas
  • Class III – Refrigeration service contractor
    • Engaged in the maintenance, service, and repair of refrigerating machinery, equipment, and relevant devices and components
  • Class IV – Transport refrigeration contractor
    • Engaged in the installation, maintenance, service, and repair of transport refrigeration

Application Requirements for Licensure

To obtain the license, you need to meet the following:

  • Proof of at least 4,000 hours of refrigeration experience in the chosen classification
    • One-half of experience may come from academic or technical training relevant to the field
  • Supervisor’s Statement from your direct supervisor verifying the experience
  • Completed an EPA-approved course and exam and holds an EPA Section 608 Technician Certification (more info below)
  • Completed license and exam application forms
  • Pay the required fees
  • Successfully pass the licensure exam for the chosen classification

Exam Details

The Board will administer the exams, and you have 1 year upon approval to successfully pass them.

Other exam details are as follows:

  • Exams are divided into parts
    • Commercial refrigeration contractor – 6.5-hour exam
      • Part A – Law, administrative code, and safety – 15 questions
      • Part B – Equipment, equipment performance, theory, and electrical – 40 questions
      • Part C – Electrical and mechanical code – 20 questions
      • Part D – Plans, specifications, and estimating – 25 questions
    • Industrial refrigeration contractor – 6.5-hour exam
      • Part A – Law and administrative code; purging, piping, and safety – 25 questions
      • Part B – Compressors, evaporators, condensers, and control -25 questions
      • Part C – Ammonia basics; electrical code – 25 questions
      • Part D – Plans and specifications – 25 questions
    • Refrigeration service contractor – 4-hour exam
      • Part A – Law, administrative code, and safety – 15 questions
      • Part B – Equipment, equipment performance, theory, and electrical – 40 questions
      • Part C – Electrical and mechanical code – 20 questions
    • Transport refrigeration contractor – 4-hour exam
      • Part A – Law, administrative code, and safety – 15 questions
      • Part B – Equipment, equipment performance, theory, and electrical (includes diagnostic and maintenance) – 35 questions
      • Part C – Transport-specific applications – 25 questions
  • Exam fee – $100
  • Exam may be written or computer-based
  • It’s an open-book exam where you can use approved reference materials at the testing center
  • Passing rate – 70%
  • You have 3 attempts to successfully pass the exams

Renewal Requirements

Your refrigeration license expires on October 31 and needs to be renewed annually.

To renew, you need to complete the following:

  • Renewal application form
  • Pay the renewal fee of $80

EPA Certification

Under the Clean Air Act, technicians who handle and dispose of refrigerant-containing equipment must be certified.

The EPA Section 608 Technician Certification has 4 types that you can apply for:

  • Type I
  • Type II
  • Type III
  • Universal

To learn which type to certify for, check out our guide to the EPA certification.

Potential Salary

As with most professions, your potential salary will vary, depending on several factors, such as:

  • Education and training
  • Skills and experience
  • Nature of work
  • Workplace location

In North Carolina, you can earn an annual average salary of $47,570 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021).

The table below shows the salaries in 10 of the state’s cities that you can use for reference.

Annual Salary Range:
$30K
$47K
$63K

Average Salary of HVAC Techs in North Carolina

City NameSalary
Charlotte$45,774
Raleigh$44,831
Greensboro$44,532
Durham$44,578
Winston-Salem$44,766
Fayetteville$42,878
Cary$44,831
High Point$44,924
Wilmington$42,621
Asheville$42,924
* Salary information last updated 2022

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