There has never been a better time to consider a career in the HVAC industry.
The opportunities are plentiful. On top of that, HVAC technicians are amongst the top earners in the trade industry.
You do have to meet certain licensing requirements, and respect the state laws.
This article will supply you with all the information you need as a future HVAC technician.
- Journeyman and Contractor Licenses
- Limited Journeyman or Contractor
- Unlimited Journeyman or Contractor
- Limited Residential Journeyman
- Refrigeration Journeyman or Refrigeration Contractor
- License Requirements
- Additional Contractor Requirements
- Licensure and Examination
- Exam Topics
- Ongoing Education
- Top HVAC Programs Around Oklahoma
While in Oklahoma technicians earn a little bit under the national average, the salaries are still decent.
As a technician you can expect to earn anywhere between $20.34 and $29.92 per hour.
Your salary will depend on many factors such as education, skills, experience, licensing, and certification.
The median salary is around $42,300 annually, but it can reach $62,240. Here are salaries you can expect in the ten largest cities in Oklahoma:Annual Salary Range:
Average Salaries of Welders in Oklahoma
Majority of trades offers apprenticeships as a way of picking up the trade. The field of HVAC is no exception to that.
However, the state does require the apprentices to register in order to make sure that the apprenticeships programs are genuine and with a proper master.
You do not need to take any form of test to register.
To register as an apprentice, you need to have a minimum of 14 years of age and fill in the form.
In addition to that, you have to be legally able to work in the United States.
Your first apprentice card is valid for one year, and the fee you have to pay for it is $25.
The card renewal fee is $20.
Finally, you will need to supply a filled out page which verifies that you are lawfully in the USA.
The page has to be notarized.
The notarization will set you back a few dollars. The application and the affidavit can be found here on the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board website.
Journeyman and Contractor Licenses
In the state of Oklahoma licenses are administered by the Construction Industries Board.
The HVAC/R license is a “Mechanical license.”
There are two primary categories of licensing. Both of them have different classifications.
Limited Journeyman or Contractor
If you own a Limited Journeyman or a Limited Contractor License you are certified to carry out work on cooling products, equipment or systems up to 25 tons; heating products, which do not exceed 500,000 Btu/h per appliance.
The license also allows you to work on refrigeration, natural gas piping and sheet metal.
Unlimited Journeyman or Contractor
A technician that holds this license is not restricted.
He or she can work on any size heating or cooling unit.
Limited Residential Journeyman
The Limited Residential Journeyman License allows you to work only on two-family dwellings or house-type dwellings that are no more than three stories high.
These properties must have separate means of egress.
That means that you cannot perform work either on apartment houses or buildings.
The license’s scope allows you to work on cooling systems up to 5 tons or heating systems up to 150,000 Btu/h.
In addition to that, you will be able to install related accessories, such as clothes dryer ventilation, kitchen vent hoods, or exhaust fans.
However, you cannotdo welding, soldering or brazing; fuel gas piping, or final electrical connections.
This type of work does not allow for a contractor license. If you want to do residential work you need to acquire a Limited Contractor license.
Refrigeration Journeyman or Refrigeration Contractor
With a license of a Refrigeration Journeyman/Contractor you can work on refrigeration systems, equipment or products.
However, in addition to this license you must acquire an EPA Section 608 certification.
That is required by federal law, as you cannot purchase or work with refrigerants without this certification.
In order to start a career of a HVAC journeyman, you need to have a minimum of 18 years.
One of the following requirements is also needed for eligibility:
- Three (3) years of verifiable experience in HVAC;
- Any of these combinations of classroom education and experience:
- Associate’s degree that required at least 1000 years of an educational program and 1 year of experience;
- Vocational diploma that required at least 500 hours of an educational program, and 2 years experience;
- Vocational diploma that required a minimum of 375 hours of an educational program, plus 2 ¼ years of experience;
- Vocational diploma from a program requiring a minimum of 334 hours of an educational program, and 2 ⅓ years of experience;
- Vocational diploma requiring at least 250 hours of an educational program, and 2 ½ years of experience
- Equivalent experience in the US military;
- Have a verifiable out-of-state license in HVAC.
The license must:
- be current,
- be in good standing, and
- meet the qualifications listed above for training and experience.
You must submit proof of experience in each case.
Apart from meeting one of the above requirements, to be eligible for the exam you need to submit your application and pay a fee.
The fee for a journeyman is $75, while the fee for a contractor is $330. The application for contractors and journeymen is the same.
If your application has been approved, you will be notified about the exam.
Additional Contractor Requirements
There is only one difference when it comes to acquiring a Contractor license.
That difference is that you need to have one more year of experience than a journeyman.
Along with the documentation, you need to submit a surety bond of $5,000, worker’s compensation and liability insurance of $50,000.
Licensure and Examination
If and when your application is approved, you will receive a notification to schedule your exam with the PSI Exams.
Once you contact them you will set a date, time, and a location of your exam.
The Board advises using this additional reading material:
- Oklahoma Fine Schedule of the Construction Industries Board, Oklahoma Code, Title 158, Chapter 10, Oklahoma Construction Industries Board
- Oklahoma Worker’s Compensation Act, Oklahoma Statutes, Title 85, Oklahoma Construction Industries Board
- Oklahoma Rules of Workers’ Compensation Court, Oklahoma Statutes, Title 85, Chapter 4, Appendix, Oklahoma Construction Industries Board
- Oklahoma Mechanical Licensing Act, Oklahoma Statutes, Title 59, Chapter 43A, Oklahoma Construction Industries Board
- Oklahoma Mechanical Industry Regulations, Oklahoma Code, Title 158, Chapter 50, Oklahoma Construction Industries Board
- Oklahoma Lien Law, Oklahoma Statutes, Title 42, Chapter 3, Oklahoma Construction Industries Board
All exams are open book.
What sets them apart is the number of questions and the time you will have to complete them.
The journeyman limited exam has 60 questions you have to complete within 180 minutes, whereas the journeyman unlimited exam has 70 questions you have to finish within 180 minutes.
The contractor limited exam has 80 questions. You will have 240 minutes at your disposal to complete the test.
On the other hand, the contractor unlimited exam has 90 questions you have to complete within the same time frame od 240 minutes.
The refrigeration contractor exam has 80 questions; and there are 210 minutes designated for completing the exam.
The general topics that are featured on the exams will be listed below.
However, the PSI will inform you on what to study in more detail.
- Electrical Knowledge and Controls
- Natural Gas Air Distribution Systems
- Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Systems
- Heating Systems Safety
- Refrigeration Contractor
- Electrical Knowledge and Controls
- Refrigeration Equipment and Components
- Refrigeration Systems Operations
Those technicians who hope to be licensed journeyman or contractors will have to pass the Oklahoma Business and Law Exam in addition to their trade exam.
The license is renewed every three years.
You will need to gain at least 6 continuing education credits for your license to be renewed.
These credits should be earned through an approved program, the lists of which you will receive from the Board.
In order to renew the license you will need to submit a renewal form and pay a fee. The fees differ depending on the type of license.
Journeymen have to pay a fee of $75, while contractors have to pay a fee of $200.
However, if you fail to submit a renewal form and pay the fee on time, the fee you will have to pay as a contractor is $300.
There are official HVAC training programs that will prepare you not only for the exams you will need to take but for real-life challenges that await you on the job.
The education is definitely beneficial. It may be what sets you apart from other HVAC technicians.
Here is a table of schools that offer approved HVAC training programs in the state of Oklahoma:
24 Top HVAC Schools in Oklahoma
|Ashworth College||6625 The Corners Pkwy NW #500, Norcross, GA 30092|
|Autry Technolgoy Center||1201 West Willow, Enid, OK 73703|
|Caddo-Kiowa Tech Center||Box 190, Fort Cobb, OK 73038|
|Canadian Valley Technology Center||6505 E Hwy 66, El Reno, OK 73036|
|Eastern Oklahoma County Technical Center||4601 N Choctaw Road, Choctaw, OK 73020|
|Gordon Cooper Technology Center||One John C Bruton Blvd., Shawnee, OK 74804|
|Great Plains Technical Center||4500 S. Lee Blvd., Lawton, OK 73505|
|hvacredu.net (Online Training)||P.O. Box 77, Heron, MT 59844|
|Indian Capitol Technical Center||2403 N. 41st Street East, Muskogee, OK 74403|
|Kiamici Technical Center||301 Kiamichi Drive, Mcalester, OK 74501|
|Meridian Technology Center||1312 S. Sangre Road, Stillwater, OK 74074|
|Metro Tech-South Bryant Campus||4901 S. Bryant Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73129|
|Mid-America Technical Center||PO Box H, Wayne, OK 73095|
|Mid-Del Technical Center||1621 Maple Drive, Midwest City, OK 73110|
|Moore Norman Technical Center||4701 12th Avenue N.W., Norman, OK 73069|
|Oklahoma State University-Okmulgee||1801 East 4th Street, Okmulgee, OK 74447|
|Red River Technical Center||PO Box 1807, Duncan, OK 73534|
|Rose State College||6420 S.E. 15th Street, Midwest City, OK 73110|
|Southern Oklahoma Tech Center||2610 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, OK 73401|
|Tri-County Technical||6101 S.E. Nowata Road, Bartlesville, OK 74006|
|Tulsa Technology Center/Lemley Campus||3420 South Memorial Drive, Tulsa, OK 74147|
|Vatterott College||4629 NW 23rd Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73127|
|Vatterott College||555 S. Memorial, Tulsa, OK 74112|
|W.T.I.||708 S. Sheridan, Tulsa, OK 74112|
If your aim is to become a top-paid technician Oklahoma is just the state to become one.
It has a fair share of extreme weather.
The only thing you have to do is work on your education and start gaining and charting your experience. Good luck!