HVAC Schools in North Carolina (Top Programs Listed)

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HVAC Schools in North Carolina

North Carolina seems a really good state to work as an HVAC mechanic, however for this occupation you need to have a certification recognized by the state.

Getting Licensed

The first thing to know is that cooling, heating, and refrigeration have separate certifications in North Carolina.

These are the 3 types of licenses you can get:

  • H1 – “Wet” or “water-based”: for comfort heating systems in any building; you can be:
    • Class 1: work in any building
    • Class 2: work only in single-family detached dwellings.
  • H2: for forced air heating and cooling units of over 15 tons
  • H3: for forced air heating and cooling units of under 15 tons; you can be:
    • Class 1: work in any building
    • Class 2: work only in single-family detached dwellings.

Each group has 2 further designations:

  • T – stands for the technician and it’s a sublicense of a contractor; on documents, it appears as H1-T, for instance.
  • SGLT- a designation used for employees of the state or local governments, appears as SGLT-H1 on documents.

Requirements for the Heating Exam

If you want to take the contractor exam yo must prove:

  • 4,000 hours of work experience, related to the category for which license is sought even if the field doesn’t require a certification
  • About half of the time can be in academic or technical training, related to the specialty you want.

If you want to be just a technician, then you must prove you accumulated 3000 hours of experience working on systems that are related to the field in which you’ll operate.

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This experience is mandatory regardless of a certification needed in the niche.

If you want to know where can you get trained for any of the fields, have a look at the schools below.

School NameAddress
Alamance Community College1247 Jimmie Kerr RoadGraham, North Carolina 27253
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College340 Victoria RdAsheville, North Carolina 28801
Cape Fear Community College411 North Front StreetWilmington, North Carolina 28401
Catawba Valley Community College2550 Hwy 70 SEHickory, North Carolina 28602
Central Piedmont Community College1201 Elizabeth AvenueCharlotte, North Carolina 28204
Cleveland Community College137 S Post RdShelby, North Carolina 28152
Coastal Carolina Community College444 Western BlvdJacksonville, North Carolina 28546
College of the Albemarle1208 N Road StElizabeth City, North Carolina 27906
Craven Community College800 College CtNew Bern, North Carolina 28562
Davidson County Community College297 Davidson Community College RdThomasville, North Carolina 27360
Fayetteville Technical Community College2201 Hull RdFayetteville, North Carolina 28303
Forsyth Technical Community College2100 Silas Creek PkyWinston Salem, North Carolina 27103
Gaston College201 Hwy 321 SDallas, North Carolina 28034
Guilford Technical Community College601 High Point Rd.Jamestown, North Carolina 27282
Johnston Community College245 College RoadSmithfield, North Carolina 27577
Martin Community College1161 Kehukee Pk RdWilliamston, North Carolina 27892
McDowell Technical Community College54 College DriveMarion, North Carolina 28752
Mitchell Community College500 W Broad StreetStatesville, North Carolina 28677
Pitt Community College1986 Pitt Tech RoadWinterville, North Carolina 28590
Richmond Community College1042 W Hamlet AveHamlet, North Carolina 28345
Roanoke-Chowan Community College109 Community College RdAhoskie, North Carolina 27910
Robeson Community College5160 Fayetteville RdLumberton, North Carolina 28360
Rockingham Community CollegeHwy 65w County Home RdWentworth, North Carolina 27375
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College1333 Jake Alexander BlvdSalisbury, North Carolina 28146
South Piedmont Community College680 Highway 74 WestPolkton, North Carolina 28135
Southeastern Community College4564 Chadbourn HwyWhiteville, North Carolina 28472
Southwestern Community College447 College DrSylva, North Carolina 28779
Surry Community College630 S. Main St.Dobson, North Carolina 27017
Vance-Granville Community College200 Community College RoadHenderson, North Carolina 27536
Wake Technical Community College9101 Fayetteville RoadRaleigh, North Carolina 27603

Heating Licensing Exam

This is a 4 hours long examination.

If you want to become a contractor, you’ll also have to pass the Business and Law exam.

The state’s licensing website has a complete and updated list with the materials you need to study for the test.

Remember to check the group for which you need to get the certification as the books differ.

This application form has the most current requirements and information related to this exam.

Refrigeration Contractor

Those who work with refrigeration systems, regardless of the type of work they perform, must be registered with the State’s Refrigeration Board.

Requirements for the exam:

  • Fill in the application form and pay the application fee – non-refundable.
  • Prove you accumulated 4000 hours in commercial refrigeration.
  • Pay the examination-license fee.

For this license, the experience is very important, and only 2000 hours of academic or technical training can be included in the required period of time.

The remaining 2000 hours must be accumulated while working under the supervision of another refrigeration licensed contractor, or a professional engineer or relevant work experience.

The Board will be able to tell you how much of your experience is accepted and whether you still need to accumulate more or not.

North Carolina has no reciprocity program with other states.

Application Process

Once you are sure you meet the criteria, you can download the application, fill it out and send it.

Make sure to include as well:

  • The history of licensing applications, if applicable
  • Any information related to your education, if you must provide it
  • Work history, including the dates and names of your past employers
  • A form from your supervisor, that attest the number of hours you completed
  • The exam licensing fee

Refrigeration Contractor Licensing Exam

This exam has 4 parts and you must pass all of them to receive your certification.

You can attempt each part 3 times in a row, and all parts must be passed in less than 12 months.

Failing to pass all parts within a year, or failing one part on all 3 occasions means you have to retake all 4 tests again.

Luckily, the exam is open-book, hence you an bring the material you think will help you the most.

These are the parts:

  • Part A: Law, Administrative Code, and Refrigeration Safety. (15 questions)
  • Part B: Equipment, Equipment performance, Refrigeration theory, and electrical aspects. (40 questions)
  • Part C: electrical and mechanical codes. (20 questions)
  • Part D: plans, specifications and estimates. (25 questions)

The exam for the transport refrigeration certification has just 3 parts and each part is shorter than described above.

This license must be renewed every year and failing to do so means you can no longer work.

Salary Expectations

In North Carolina, the average income of an HVAC technician is around $46,648 per year, with a higher limit for the best-paid of around $52,858 per year.

The average income of an HVAC technician is in the United States around $46,648 per year, with a higher limit for the best-paid of around $52,858 per year.

Annual Salary Range:
$39K
$44K
$50K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Charlotte$45,695
Raleigh$44,754
Greensboro$44,580
Durham$44,506
Winston-Salem$44,688
Fayetteville$42,804
Cary$44,754
Wilmington$42,547
High Point$44,847
Concord$44,786

Final Thoughts

Becoming an HVAC contractor is relatively easy in North Carolina.

This state also offers many employment opportunities for those that train and are willing to pass the needed exam.

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