HVAC Tech Classes in Rhode Island (Top Schools)

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Rhode Island does not have any specific licensure and certification requirements.

However, there are different types of degrees and trainings you can pursue, which will help you develop your career.

This article will inform you on all you need to know about becoming a licensed technician or a contractor.

Additionally, there will be word about certifications you need to acquire according to federal law.


HVAC technicians earn a decent salary across the nation.

In Rhode island the average is $55,000 annually.

Many factors will determine the height of your earnings. Some of them are skills, education, experience, and licenses and certifications you hold.

Here is what HVAC technician salaries in ten largest cities in Rhode Island look like:

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of HVAC Techs in Rhode Island

City NameSalary
East Providence$49,485
North Providence$49,485
West Warwick$49,485
* Salary information last updated 2022

Master and Journeyman Refrigeration

There are certain requirements you have to meet for the Refrigeration Journeyperson or a Refrigeration Master license.

Here are the requirements for all the types of these licenses. Each license has the limited and the unlimited class.

Refrigeration Journeyperson Class I

This class is the Journeyman I Unlimited classification.

According to the requirements you have to be employed by someone else to apply for this license.

Also, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Minimum of 10,000 hours of on the job training
  • Minimum of 144 hours of trade-related schooling per year as a properly registered apprentice in a Rhode Island approved apprenticeship program.
  • A copy of the certificate of completion of the apprenticeship program should be submitted with the application

There are a few options as alternatives to the full 10,000 hours:

  • 2 years of schooling in an accredited institution recognized by the Rhode Island Department of Labor may be deducted from the apprentice program
  • If you hold a Refrigeration Journeyperson Class I license outside of this state, you will need to pass the Refrigeration Journeyperson Class I exam for Rhode Island.
  • If you cannot send in your license, you can submit a notarized resume showing 5 years of experience as a journeyperson with your application

You will need to display knowledge in these subjects:

  • Refrigeration Journeyperson Class II
  • Line sizing, soldering, and evacuation, charging and testing of systems utilizing any size liquid or suction line
  • Electrical and mechanical problems diagnosis
  • Blueprint reading
  • Wiring related to systems and controls
  • OSHA, and State Building Codes (Mechanical system)

You will not be restricted in regards to the type of work you can do.

Refrigeration Journeyperson Class II

Once again, to apply for this license you need to be an employee of someone else.

Here are the requirements you have to meet:

  • At least 4000 hour of job training with a minimum of 288 hours of trade related schooling
  • Be a properly registered apprentice with a state approved program and complete the program
  • 2 years of schooling in an accredited institution recognized by the Department of Labor can be deducted from the apprentice program
  • If you hold a Refrigeration Journeyperson Class II license out-of-state, you need to pass the state’s Refrigeration Journeyperson Class II exam, you can be exempted from the experience requirement
  • If another license is not available a notarized resume showing 5 years of experience as a journeyperson can be submitted along with the application.

You will need to display knowledge in the following areas:

  • Single and three-phase power wiring and control systems
  • Evacuation of fractional Horsepower systems
  • Charging and testing small closed systems and their adjustment
  • Use of gases, refrigerants, fluxes, solder, and torches
  • OSHA, State Building Codes and currently approved edition of the International Mechanical Code

If you are a Refrigeration Journeyperson II and want to apply for the Refrigeration Journeyperson I license, you can do that by re-entering the Refrigeration Journeyperson I apprenticeship program.

You will also need to do additional 6,000 hours of on-the-job training plus an additional 432 hours of related training.

As a Journeyperson II you will need to work under the supervision of a Refrigeration Master I or a Refrigeration Journeyperson I.

There is a limit to what work you can do.

You can only work on installations limited to 20-ton comfort cooling systems and installations up to 3 tons product cooling or up to 1 Horsepower freezing.

Refrigeration Master Class I

This license class is unlimited.

You can be self-employed if you hold this license.

To be eligible for the license you need to have held one of the following licenses:

  • Rhode Island Refrigeration Journeyperson I license for at least 1 year
  • Rhode Island Refrigeration Master II license for at least 1 year
  • Out of state Master Class I Refrigeration License and a passed exam for Refrigeration Master Class I Rhode Island License
  • If this license is not currently available, a notarized resume showing 6 years of experience, including at least one year of those 6 as a contractor) needs to be supplied with the application

To be a Master I, you need to have a regular place of business.

Along with that you need to be knowledgeable in the areas a Journeyperson I and II and a Master II are.

This license certifies you to work in any area of HVAC/R.

You will need to register your business, and identify your business location and vehicles.

Additionally, you will need to abide by the Worker’s Compensation and federal and state tax laws.

Knowledge of OSHA laws, as well as BOCA State Building Codes, is a must to keep the workplace safe.

Refrigeration Master Class II

This license is limited.

You can be self-employed.

To be eligible for the license you need to have had a Journeyperson Class II license for at least 3 years.

If you have done work outside the state of Rhode Island, the requirements for Master Class I apply to your case.

The areas you need to display knowledge in are controls, wiring, layout and blueprint reading, as well as all areas that are required of a Refrigeration Journeyperson Class II.

The limitation that is imposed on the work you can do is that you can work on installations up to 20-ton comfort cooling systems and up to 3 tons product cooling or 1 Horsepower freezing.

The business requirements for Master Class I apply for this license class as well.


If you feel that you are not completely cut out for the formal education and want to learn skills hands-on, finding an apprenticeship is the option for you.

This will also allow you to establish connections in the HVAC community.

However, you will have to make a signed commitment that you will spend 144 hours in the classroom in addition to working full-time.

Apprenticeship sponsors are employers and labor groups, or individual employers.

The local sponsor is the one who will help you to be placed in an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships will provide you with a learning experience through the apprenticeship.

However, there is no guarantee that you will have a job in the place of your apprenticeship once it is finished.

As a licensed apprentice you need to work under the direct supervision of a Refrigeration Master I or II or a Refrigeration Journeyperson I or II.

A contractor is allowed to train 1 apprentice per 2 licensed persons for on-the-job training.


To obtain a license in Rhode Island you will need to take an exam.

Before you can take the exam, you need to supply a completed application and the following documentation:

  • Passport style photograph or copy of driver’s license
  • Last 2 pages of the packet with the application signed and notarized
  • The application fee of $75
  • Detailed notarized statement on company letterhead signed by present or past employer stating all work-related experience

If you want to be a pipefitter, refrigeration technician, sheet metal journeyperson, or a sprinkler fitter journeyperson, you will need to complete an apprenticeship program.

If you hold a license out of the state of Rhode Island you must supply proof of current licensure from that state.

You must not submit a copy of the license as proof.

The license can be reviewed every two years.

The fees you have to pay for the licensure are different.

They can be from $60 to $240.

The price depends on the class that you want to obtain the license in.

The fee you have to pay for the Master Mechanical Contractor id $480.


Exams are not scheduled, but they function on the first-come, first-serve basis.

The exam fee is $75.


Since there is experience that you need to have as an eligibility requirement it would be amazing to earn part of it by completing an official HVAC training program.

These programs will prepare you for the exams, as well as for the job itself. They are a perfect marriage of theory and practice.

Here is a table of schools that offer approved HVAC training programs in Rhode Island:

3 HVAC Schools in Rhode Island

School NameAddress
Ashworth College6625 The Corners Pkwy NW #500, Norcross, GA 30092
hvacredu.net (Online Training)P.O. Box 77, Heron, MT 59844
New England Institute of Technology2500 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886

EPA Requirements

If you hope to work with refrigerants, and thus become more marketable, you need to obtain the EPA Section 608 certification.

This is stipulated by federal law.

There are different types of the EPA certification.

They depend on the appliances you hope to work with.

There are Type I, Type II, Type III certifications, and a universal certification that covers all three types and enables you to work with all appliances.

The EPA certification will allow you to purchase and handle refrigerants.

It will also make sure that you know how to keep record of the refrigerants you have worked with.


You do not need a license to become a HVACR technician in the state of Rhode Island.

However, it definitely will work in your favor if you obtain one.

You can become your own boss and have a higher salary.

You can also bid on large projects, and take on the new project manager/ business owner job.

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