When it comes to Tennessee’s climate it gets quite harsh.
The summer temperatures are extremely high, and there are cold winter freezes.
That makes air conditioning a necessary part of everyday life.
Therefore, if you are thinking of becoming a HVAC technician in Tennessee, there has never been a better time.
There is a high demand for Installing new equipment or maintaining and repairing existing central heating and air units.
The career of a HVAC technician is especially good as you can run your own business, and be your own boss.
You can build your own brand as a business owner and a contractor. Thus, this profession lends itself to entrepreneurship perfectly.
If you are a contractor that wants to bid and carry out projects on commercial HVAC/R systems that exceed $25,000, then you are required to obtain a Tennessee Mechanical HVAC/R Contractor License.
The owner does not have to be the person who obtains the license.
The license can be obtained by a corporation or by a full-time employee.
To bid on a contract that is over $25,000 you have to hold a contractor license.
HVAC contractors need to know the ins and outs of heating and cooling principles and theory as well as heating and cooling equipment.
As a contractor your job is twofold. You are a HVAC journeyman and a businessman simultaneously.
Also, you will need to know how to load calculations, safety measures and fire prevention.
With this license you will be able to carry out work that includes ventilation or ductwork in new construction or replacing existing ductwork.
In addition to that, you will be able to install, maintain, or replace any heating unit or air conditioning unit or appliances that involve refrigeration or heating elements.
Besides that, you can install, maintain or repair gas pipelines for furnaces or appliances.
The person who holds this license will not be allowed to do electrical work.
However, given that electrical work is closely tied to modern HVAC systems, you will be best advised to obtain the electrical contractor license.
If you work as an employee of a HVAC contractor you do not need to acquire a license.
However, the contractor you do work under has to be properly licensed.
As a contractor your responsibilities will include overseeing the whole project, and to obtain liability insurance for all projects you take on.
HVAC technicians do not need to attend any vocational schools or formal trade schools and colleges.
If you feel that the school setting is not for you, then you can take the other route and become an apprentice.
Through an apprenticeship you can pick up the ways of the trade form a journeyman. You will obtain on-the-job training.
That means that you will be working under the supervision of a licensed HVAC contractor.
To become the qualifying agent for a contractor, you need to pass the HVAC trade exam and an additional business and law exam.
It is advisable, if you are an apprentice, that you read and study books on the principles of heating and cooling and about repair practices.
That way you can advance your career by passing the trade exam.
The business and law exam serves to prove that you possess the knowledge on running a successful business while you abide by the Tennessee law.
The whole licensure process is in charge of the The Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors.
You will need to provide a financial statement prepared by a CPA.
The license will be in the name of the business, not the qualifying agent; unless the qualifying agent is the business owner.
Complete documentation for the application process should have the financial statement, proof of General Liability insurance and Workers’ Compensation, and references, exam scores, and a $250 application fee.
Once your application is received, there is a slim chance that you will be called in to do an interview.
However, that step is usually skipped.
In case you hold a license in one of the neighboring states of Tennessee, then your trade exam results can be accepted by reciprocity.
You will still need to meet other requirements.
Licenses are valid for two years. Three months before your license expires you will be notified.
It is advised that you renew your license one month prior to its expiration.
If you failed to renew your license on time, you can renew it within twelve months without having to meet additional requirements.
Do be careful, as you cannot work legally without a valid license.
The tests are administered by the PSI Exams Online.
To be eligible for the examination, you have to supply proof of your work experience, and information about your employer along with your exam application.
Testing locations are in Chattanooga, Jackson, Johnson City, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville.
Be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before the exam.
That is the time when you should check-in.
If you fail to arrive on time, you cannot take the exam.
In addition to that, you will forfeit your registration fee and the business and law exam fee. The fees are $57 dollars each.
The exam is done on the computer.
You will have a tutorial that will show you how to properly select and review your answers.
The Business and Law Management Examination is open-book.
It consists from 50 questions that you need to complete within 140 minutes.
The topics that are featured on the test are tax laws, contracts, risk management, and environmental safety.
The Trade exam tests HVAC industry practices and specialized trade knowledge.
It is also open book.
The exam covers topics like load calculations, heating and cooling principles, and refrigerants as well as electrical knowledge, ducts, and piping.
You need to study reference materials before the test.
Even though you do not need to complete any form of formal education, it is definitely something that will bring you benefits.
You will gain the knowledge needed to pass your tests, as well as gain the practical knowledge that you will need on the job itself.
It will definitely make you an asset every employer would want.
Here are the schools which offer approved HVAC training programs in the state of Tennessee:
29 HVAC Schools in Tennessee
|Ashworth College||6625 The Corners Pkwy NW #500, Norcross, GA 30092|
|Chattanooga State Technical Community College||4501 Amnicola Highway, Chattanooga, TN 37406|
|Cleveland State Community College||PO Box 3570, Cleveland, TN 37320|
|Fortis Institute||2 Locations in Tennesse, Cookeville & Nashville, TN 37211|
|HVAC Career Training Center||Multiple Locations in Tennessee, Nashville, Knoxville, Clarksville, Memphis, Chattanooga, TN 37201|
|hvacredu.net (Online Training)||P.O. Box 77, Heron, MT 59844|
|Itawamba Community College-Tupelo Campus||2176 S. Eason Blvd., Tupelo, MS 38804|
|Northeast State Technical Community College||PO Box 246, Blountville, TN 37617|
|Northwest Mississippi Community College||4975 Hwy 51 N, Senatobia, MS 38668|
|Tennessee Technology Center||2468 Technology Center, Jackson, TN 38301|
|Tennessee Technology Center||PO Box 427, Mc Kenzie, TN 38201|
|Tennessee Technology Center||340 Washington Street, Newbern, TN 38059|
|340 Washington Street, Newbern, TN 38059||1600 Hwy 51 South, Covington, TN 38019|
|Tennessee Technology Center||3070 Hwy 64 W, Crump, TN 38327|
|Tennessee Technology Center||426 Hwy 91, Elizabethton, TN 00000|
|Tennessee Technology Center||910 N. Miller Avenue, Crossville, TN 38555|
|Tennessee Technology Center||550 Alabama Avenue, Memphis, TN 38105|
|Tennessee Technology Center||1685 Hwy 64, Whiteville, TN 38075|
|Tennessee Technology Center||821 West Louise Avenue, Morristown, TN 37813|
|Tennessee Technology Center||1303 Old Fort Parkway, Murfreesboro, TN 37129|
|Tennessee Technology Center||3789 Guthrie Hwy, Clarksville, TN 37040|
|Tennessee Technology Center||100 White Bridge Road, Nashville, TN 37209|
|Tennessee Technology Center||1405 Madison Street, Shelbyville, TN 37160|
|Tennessee Technology Center||740 Highway 46, Dickson, TN 37055|
|Tennessee Technology Center @ Knoxville||1100 Liberty Street, Knoxville, TN 37919|
|Tennessee Technology Center-J.L. Bomar Jr Campus||1405 Madison Street, Shelbyville, TN 37160|
|Tennessee Technology Center-Pulaski||1233 E. College Street, Pulaski, TN 00000|
|Vatterott College||6152 Macon Road, Memphis, TN 38134|
|Wm R Moore College of Technology||1200 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104|
As a HVAC technician you will work with refrigerants.
Therefore, you are required to have the EPA Certification.
This is stipulated by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Section 608.
EPA training will enable you to properly handle and recover refrigerants, as well as accurately keep record of refrigerants you worked with.
There are three tiers of certification.
There are Type I, Type II, Type III EPA certification.
Each type differs from the other based on the type of pressure that the refrigerant used in the refrigeration equipment is under.
There is an additional type of EPA certification – the EPA universal certification that covers all types of refrigerants.
It is advisable to obtain the universal certification as it gives you flexibility as a contractor and you can work on all equipment.
However, if you want to specialize in particular type of equipment individual certificates will do.
If you do not hold the EPA certificate, you will not be allowed to purchase, charge, or recover refrigerants in any state.
The certificate does not expire and it is transferable from state to state.
As a HVAC technician you can make a decent salary.
There are various factors that will affect it.
You will start out with a lower salary, but as your experience and skills become higher so will your salary.
Additional things you should pay attention to are education, licensure, and certification.
Each of those can make an impact on your salary. Here are the salaries you can expect as a HVAC technician in the ten largest cities in Tennessee:
Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of HVAC Techs in Tennessee
If you are searching for a career that is promising, then a career in the HVAC industry in Tennessee is the one for you.
You can work on large projects that have the budget over $25,000.
If you are mechanically-inclined, diligent, and motivated, then this is the path you should give a chance to.