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:

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  • 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.

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 Name Address
Alamance Community College 1247 Jimmie Kerr Road Graham, North Carolina 27253
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College 340 Victoria Rd Asheville, North Carolina 28801
Cape Fear Community College 411 North Front Street Wilmington, North Carolina 28401
Catawba Valley Community College 2550 Hwy 70 SE Hickory, North Carolina 28602
Central Piedmont Community College 1201 Elizabeth Avenue Charlotte, North Carolina 28204
Cleveland Community College 137 S Post Rd Shelby, North Carolina 28152
Coastal Carolina Community College 444 Western Blvd Jacksonville, North Carolina 28546
College of the Albemarle 1208 N Road St Elizabeth City, North Carolina 27906
Craven Community College 800 College Ct New Bern, North Carolina 28562
Davidson County Community College 297 Davidson Community College Rd Thomasville, North Carolina 27360
Fayetteville Technical Community College 2201 Hull Rd Fayetteville, North Carolina 28303
Forsyth Technical Community College 2100 Silas Creek Pky Winston Salem, North Carolina 27103
Gaston College 201 Hwy 321 S Dallas, North Carolina 28034
Guilford Technical Community College 601 High Point Rd. Jamestown, North Carolina 27282
Johnston Community College 245 College Road Smithfield, North Carolina 27577
Martin Community College 1161 Kehukee Pk Rd Williamston, North Carolina 27892
McDowell Technical Community College 54 College Drive Marion, North Carolina 28752
Mitchell Community College 500 W Broad Street Statesville, North Carolina 28677
Pitt Community College 1986 Pitt Tech Road Winterville, North Carolina 28590
Richmond Community College 1042 W Hamlet Ave Hamlet, North Carolina 28345
Roanoke-Chowan Community College 109 Community College Rd Ahoskie, North Carolina 27910
Robeson Community College 5160 Fayetteville Rd Lumberton, North Carolina 28360
Rockingham Community College Hwy 65w County Home Rd Wentworth, North Carolina 27375
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College 1333 Jake Alexander Blvd Salisbury, North Carolina 28146
South Piedmont Community College 680 Highway 74 West Polkton, North Carolina 28135
Southeastern Community College 4564 Chadbourn Hwy Whiteville, North Carolina 28472
Southwestern Community College 447 College Dr Sylva, North Carolina 28779
Surry Community College 630 S. Main St. Dobson, North Carolina 27017
Vance-Granville Community College 200 Community College Road Henderson, North Carolina 27536
Wake Technical Community College 9101 Fayetteville Road Raleigh, North Carolina 27603
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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:
Location Avg. 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.

USA HVAC Schools by State


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