There are many reasons to want to become certified as an HVAC technician in Florida, such as a good field to work in and having a decent income.
Let’s learn more about this occupation and how to get licensed.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Job Overview
- 2 HVAC Certification Programs
- 3 Contractor License
- 4 Exam Process
- 5 Extra Considerations
The demand for these technicians is expected to increase by 30% in the future, so now it’s a really good time to start your training.
In Florida, HVAC specialists earn on average $44,315 per year, versus the national average of $46,648 per year.
The top 10% of these professionals earn as much as $50,215 per year, compared to the highest salary at a national level which is $46,648 per year.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Regional Salary in Florida
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL||1,210||$49,010||$23.56||$63,600||$31,780|
|Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL||440||$48,900||$23.51||$62,960||$36,300|
|Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL||740||$44,710||$21.5||$58,120||$29,510|
|Homosassa Springs, FL||170||$43,290||$20.81||$57,430||$31,040|
|Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL||820||$48,030||$23.09||$63,700||$35,870|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL||9,130||$50,410||$24.23||$68,130||$31,380|
|Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL||760||$52,980||$25.47||$86,920||$31,470|
|North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL||1,640||$48,410||$23.28||$62,890||$34,720|
|Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL||860||$47,730||$22.95||$61,380||$35,250|
|Panama City, FL||570||$51,570||$24.79||$76,780||$32,910|
|Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL||840||$47,900||$23.03||$61,520||$34,320|
|Port St. Lucie, FL||510||$47,430||$22.8||$62,340||$31,810|
|Punta Gorda, FL||300||$47,540||$22.86||$62,200||$36,090|
|Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL||300||$47,580||$22.88||$63,100||$31,150|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL||5,830||$49,170||$23.64||$62,310||$36,700|
|The Villages, FL||110||$46,030||$22.13||$59,970||$35,020|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
HVAC Certification Programs
There are several ways to get a certification as an HVAC specialist in Florida.
Enrolling in a technical or public college is one of the easiest routes to enter this work field.
The length of the program depends on the institution, but it can last anywhere from 1 semester up to 4 years.
Possibly the best program would be one lasting about 2 years as they specifically prepare students for the licensing exam in Florida.
The certification programs for this occupation include:
- Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating Systems Assistant Certificate
- Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating Systems Technician Certificate
- Associate in Applied Science in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Systems Technology
- Associate in Science in Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Systems Technologies
Let’s have a look at the types of licenses you can obtain, and remember that all of them are either certified by or registered with the State of Florida.
Certified ‘Class A’ Florida HVAC License
With this license, you can work anywhere within the State of Florida.
To qualify, you must meet the educational requirements – this includes training on the job, known as an apprenticeship.
You’ll then have to pass the exam for which you have to pay a fee of $355.
The license itself and its renewal cost $125 each.
Make sure to have workers compensation as well.
Registered ‘Class A’ Florida HVAC License
Holders of this license can work in certain areas where local requirements are met, regardless of unit size.
Local authorities have more details reading this option, and you’ll have to fill out an application.
Both the registration and the renewal fees are $100 each.
Certified ‘Class B’ HVAC License
There are several requirements to obtain this certification that allows you to work in any region of the state.
The limitation comes from the equipment you can service:
- Up to 20 tons cooling systems
- Up to 500,000 BTU heating systems
- 18 years old
- 4-year accredited degree
- 1 year of experience (or 2000 hours)
- Pass the exam
- Have workers compensation
4 years of active experience is also accepted instead of the 4 year degree and 2000 hours of experience on the job.
You’ll have to pay $354 to take the exam.
Registered ‘Class B’ HVAC License
This license poses the most limitations, as it allows you to work only:
- In areas where you meet the requirements
- On up to 20 tons cooling systems
- On up to 500,000 BTU heating systems
Local governments have more details regarding this license for which you must submit an application.
For this license, you have to pay the $100 registration fee and the $100 renewal fee.
Have a look at the list of schools in the table below.
|Apex Training Center Inc||12490 NE 7th Ave #216, North Miami, FL 33161|
|Atlantic Technical College||4700 Coconut Creek Parkway Coconut Creek, FL 33063-3902|
|Brevard Community College||1519 Clearlake Rd Cocoa, Florida 32922|
|CHOICE High School and Technical Center||1976 Lewis Turner Blvd Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32547|
|College of Business and Technology-Flagler||8230 W Flagler St. Miami, FL 33144|
|College of Business and Technology-Hialeah||935 West 49 Street # 203 Hialeah, FL 33012|
|D G Erwin Technical Center||2010 E Hillsborough Ave Tampa, Florida 33610|
|Deliver My AC Unit HVAC School||15224 E Colonial Dr #5101, Orlando, FL 32826|
|Everest University||111 NW 183rd St, Ste 200 Miami, Florida 33169|
|First Coast Technical College||2980 Collins Ave Saint Augustine, Florida 32084|
|Flagler Technical Institute||1 Corporate Drive Suite 2-J Palm Coast, Florida 32137|
|Florida Career College-Miami||1321 SW 107 Ave Ste 201B Miami, FL 33174|
|Florida Academy HVAC||4387 Colonial Blvd Suite 105, Fort Myers, FL 33966|
|Florida Air Condition Apprent||4420 Georgia Ave, West Palm Beach, FL 33405|
|Florida Technical College||12900 Challenger Parkway Orlando, Florida 32826|
|Fort Myers Institute of Technology||3800 Michigan Ave Fort Myers, Florida 33916|
|Fortis Institute||5995-2 University Blvd West Jacksonville, Florida 32216|
|George Stone Technical Center||2400 Longleaf Dr Pensacola, FL 32526-8922|
|HVAC Training Solutions||4475 U.S. 1 South #607, St. Augustine, FL 32086|
|Indian River State College||3209 Virginia Ave Fort Pierce, FL 34981-5596|
|Jack Rase HVAC Technical Training||8720 Exposition Dr, Tampa, FL 33626|
|Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center||750 NW 20 Street Miami, Florida 33127|
|Lively Technical Center||500 N Appleyard Dr Tallahassee, Florida 32304|
|M-DCPS The English Center||3501 SW 28 St. Miami, Florida 33133|
|Manatee Technical Institute||6305 State Rd 70 East Bradenton, Florida 34203|
|Marchman Technical Education Center||7825 Campus Dr. New Port Richey, Florida 34653|
|Miami Lakes Educational Center||5780 NW 158th St Miami Lakes, Florida 33014|
|Mid Florida Tech||2900 West Oak Ridge Road Orlando, Florida 32809|
|Pinellas Technical College-St. Petersburg||901 34th St S Saint Petersburg, FL 33711-2209|
|Radford M Locklin Technical Center||5330 Berryhill Rd Milton, Florida 32570|
|Ridge Career Center||7700 State Rd 544 Winter Haven, Florida 33881|
|Robert Morgan Educational Center||18180 SW 122nd Ave Miami, Florida 33177|
|Sheridan Technical Center||5400 Sheridan St Hollywood, Florida 33021|
|South Florida Academy of AC||3343 W Commercial Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309|
|South Florida Institute of Technology||720 NW 27th Avenue, 2nd Floor Miami, FL 33125|
|Southern Technical College||2910 S. Orlando Drive Sanford, Florida 32773|
|Technical Education Center-Osceola||501 Simpson Rd Kissimmee, Florida 34744|
|Tom P Haney Technical Center||3016 Hwy 77 Panama City, Florida 32405|
|Traviss Career Center||3225 Winter Lake Rd Lakeland, Florida 33803|
|Tulsa Welding School - Jacksonville||3500 Southside Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32216|
The EPA Certification
Those who want to work with refrigerants that are ozone-depleting need to get the additional EPA license.
You can get this license either from one of these organizations: HVAC Excellence or the North American Technician Excellence (or shortly, NATE).
There are additionally a few other certifications you can get, they’re recommended if you want to prove you really know your profession.
The more licenses you have, the more valuable you can be when it comes to searching for a job.
Florida has different types of contractor licenses, and these have some common requirements:
- Being over the age of 18.
- Get a credit report and a financial statement from current year
- Net worth between $2,500 – $20,000
- General liability insurances:
- $100,000 for bodily injury
- $25,000 for property damage
For the mechanical contractor license you need minimum 4 years of experience.
For the A + B Air conditioning contractor license, you need to take 2 exams:
- In business/finance
- For the desired trade
These 2 exams are not for electrical contractors as they need to sit through other state-regulated examinations.
There are 2 different fees that must be paid as follows:
- $249 From May 1st of an even year through August 31st of an odd year
- $309 From September 1st of an odd year through April 30th of an even year
As you already know, you have to sit through a test for each license you want to obtain.
Mechanical Contractor’s License Exam:
- The exam is taken in two sections lasting each 4.5 hour, with one taken in the morning and the other at night
- You need to score at least 70% to pass
- The exam fee is $135
- The test is taken onsite at the date and location selected on your application
A + B Air Conditioning Contractor’s License:
- The requirements are the same as above
- You will need 14 hours of continued education to acquire and maintain this license
- Choose your technician type: installation or service.
- Identify which specialty exam you would like to take in addition to the core exam
- Register for a testing session in your area
- It costs $95 to maintain a 5-year certification
A successful HVAC career is possible with classroom education along with workshops apprenticeships, followed by obtaining a license.
This field allows for further specialization, however specific certification is also needed, but the process can mean you have less competition in your field and a higher chance of finding a better position.