Why Get HVAC Certified in Massachusetts?

Even though the state of Massachusetts does not mandate a general HVAC licensure for HVAC contractors, they are required to obtain a license that is relevant to their field of work.

What Does an HVAC Certified Technician Do?

Generally, HVAC contractors install, maintain and repair various appliances. To practice in this profession, they must acquire knowledge of local rules and regulations. HVAC contractors need to complete formal education i.e., a certification or an associate’s degree to develop foundational knowledge for state regulations.

How to Become an HVAC Certified Technician in Massachusetts?

The state of Massachusetts follows an apprenticeship system. The apprenticeship/traineeship system requires you to find a sponsor who is willing to teach you the skills of the trade. You must be registered as an apprentice by your employer if you want to become licensed.

A few steps in the application process may differ based on the type of license you apply for. However, the general process follows these steps:

  1. Complete the necessary education.
  2. Find an apprenticeship sponsor and complete the required work hours.
  3. Register as an apprentice with the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Apprentice Standards.
  4. Pay $35 annual registration fee, subject to change.
  5. Take and pass an examination to acquire the Apprentice License.

What Types of HVAC Certifications Can I Get in Massachusetts?

Usually, HVAC contractors obtain the EPA Section 608 Certification. However, based on the job sector, they can acquire one of the following licenses:

  1. Refrigeration Technician License

To get this license, interested candidates must complete one of the following:

  • 6,000 hours of field experience.
  • 100 hours of study in Refrigeration Theory.
  • 150 hours of training in State Electrical Code.

OR

  • 4,000 hours of field experience.
  • 500 hours of an accredited refrigeration course (250 of which must be shop related).
  • 100 hours of study in Refrigeration Theory.
  • 150 hours of State Electrical Code training.

OR

  • 2,000 hours of field experience.
  • 1,000 hours of an accredited refrigeration course (700 of which must be shop related).
  • 100 hours of study in Refrigeration Theory.
  • 100 hours of State Electrical Code training.

 

  1. Oil Burner Technician Certificate

This certification is further divided into 3 sub-categories. Interested candidates must pass the exam to become licensed. To be eligible for the exam, candidates must have field experience. Each category has a different requirement mentioned below:

  • Group-1: At least 5-7 years of field experience.
  • Group-2: 26 weeks of classroom education and time as an apprentice.
  • Group-3: Exam only.

 

  1. Sheet Metal Workers License

This certification also has 2 sub-categories. The requirements for each sub-category are mentioned below.

J-1 Category: Unrestricted

  • 8,000 hours of field experience supervised by a licensed journeyman or a master.
  • 750 hours of formal education over a period of no more than 5 years.

J-2 Category: Restricted

  • Restricted to residential places that are less than 3 stories or commercial developments that are under 10,000 square feet.
  • 4,800 hours of field experience supervised by a licensed journeyman or a master.
  • 450 hours of formal education over a period of no more than 3 years.

How Much Can I Make with an HVAC Certificate in Massachusetts?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the annual mean income of Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers for 2016 to 2018 as:

2016 2017 2018
Annual Mean Salary (MA) $57,110 $59,100 $59,890
Annual Mean Salary (US) $48,320 $49,530 $50,160

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

The afore-mentioned income chart depicts a stable increase in the annual mean salary of Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers in Massachusetts from 2016 to 2018. Massachusetts also became the 5th top paying state for HVAC Technicians in 2018.

Career Outlook of an HVAC Certified Technician

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted a rise of 13% in employment growth for Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers from 2018 to 2028. This employment growth rate is reported to be much faster than the average for other occupations.