Being an HVAC technician means you’ll always be able to have an income.
In Rhode Island, these mechanics don’t need special certifications or licenses to start working, but training and getting certified will sure help them in their careers.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Income
- 2 Master and Journeyman Refrigeration Licenses
- 3 Apprenticeship
- 4 Getting the License
- 5 EPA Requirements
- 6 Conclusion
In Rhode Island, HVAC techs can make on average $49,255 per year, but those with more experience and training would earn around $55,811 annually.
If you want to compare these numbers with those across the nation, the national average one is $46,731 per year and for those at the top, it is $52,951 per year.
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Let’s see how you can improve your skills and get the right certifications.
Master and Journeyman Refrigeration Licenses
Below we’ll learn about the requirements to get these licenses.
Each of them has 2 classes: limited and unlimited.
Refrigeration Journeyman Class I (unlimited)
To get the Journeyman I Unlimited classification, you must find an employer, other than yourself.
- Minimum 10,000 hours of on the job training
- At least 144 hours of trade related schooling per year
- Be registered as an apprentice in a Rhode Island approved apprenticeship program.
You must successfully complete the apprenticeship program and obtain a certificate of completion.
A copy of this certificate must be attached to the application.
Alternatives to the 10,000 hours:
- Completing 2 years of schooling in an accredited institution recognized by the Rhode Island Department of Labor, that could be deducted from the apprentice program.
- Having an out-of-state Refrigeration Journeyman Class I license allows you to only pass the Refrigeration Journeyman Class I exam in this state.
- If you don’t have a license, you can bring a notarized resume proving 5 years of experience as a journeyman.
You must also have skills or knowledge in the following areas:
- Know everything a Refrigeration Journeyman Class II knows
- Line sizing, soldering, evacuation, charging and testing of systems utilizing any size liquid or suction line
- Know how to diagnose electrical and mechanical problems,
- Know how to read blueprints and do wiring related to systems and controls.
- Familiarity with pipe hangers and supports.
- Knowledge of OSHA, and State Building Codes (Mechanical system)
You have no restriction on the type of work you can perform under this license.
Refrigeration Journeyman Class II (Limited)
Like above, you must be employed by someone else, such as Refrigeration Master I or Refrigeration Journeyman I.
With this license, you can only work on systems:
- Under 20-ton comfort cooling systems
- Installations up to 3 tons product cooling
- Systems under 1 Horsepower freezing.
- Minimum 4,000 hours of job training and at least 288 hours of trade-related schooling
- Be properly registered as an apprentice and be enrolled in a state approved program and complete it
- You can deduct 2 years of schooling in an accredited institution recognized by the Department of Labor, from the apprentice program
- Having an out-of-state Refrigeration Journeyman Class II license and passing the state’s Refrigeration Journeyman Class II exam, means you can skip the experience requirement
- If you don’t have an out-of-state license but you can provide a notarized resume showing 5 years of experience as a journeyman, attach it to the application instead of the license.
You must also have the following knowledge:
- Electrical knowledge of single and three-phase power wiring and control systems.
- Ability to evacuate fractional Horsepower systems, charge and test small closed systems and to balance or adjust them.
- Strong familiarity with the use of gases, refrigerants, fluxes, solders, and torches.
- Knowledge of OSHA, State Building Codes and the current edition of the International Mechanical Code.
Journeymen Class II can become journeymen Class I by re-becoming apprentices and completing 6,000 hours of on-the-job training and an additional of 432 hours of related training.
Refrigeration Master Class I (Unlimited)
This license allows its holder to be self-employed.
Only people who held one of these licenses can qualify:
- Rhode Island Refrigeration Journeyman I – at least 1 year
- Rhode Island Refrigeration Master II – at least 1 year
- An out of state Master Class I Refrigeration certification and have passed the exam for Refrigeration Master Class I in Rhode Island
- If you don’t have such a license, provide a notarized resume showing at least 6 years of experience, that includes at least 1 year as a contractor.
Additionally, the candidate must have a regular place of business and know everything a journeyman I, II and Master II, know.
With this license, there are no restrictions on the type of work you can perform in the HVAC field.
Business related requirements:
- proper registration of the business
- identifying your business’ location
- identifying your business’ vehicles
- having Worker’s Compensation
- following the federal and state tax laws
- knowledge of OSHA laws
- knowledge of BOCA State Building Codes.
Refrigeration Master Class II (Limited)
The holder of this license can also work for themselves.
To get this license, they must prove at least 3 years as a Journeyman Class II.
Those who worked out of state must meet the same requirements as for the Master Class I license.
They need to know controls, wiring, layout and blueprint reading, as well as the knowledge of a Refrigeration Journeyman Class II.
- working on installations under 20-ton comfort cooling systems
- under 3 tons product cooling or under 1 Horsepower freezing.
The business requirements from Master Class I apply here as well.
The apprenticeship programs mean a commitment of 144 hours in the classroom in addition to working full-time.
Usually, the programs are sponsored by:
- An employer and labor groups; OR
- Individual employers
Apprentices need to be registered with the state and they must work supervised by someone with any license mentioned above.
It’s important to know that a contractor can’t have more than 1 apprentice if they employ just 2 licensed people.
You can have a look at the places below if you’re searching for an apprenticeship.
|CARJON Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc.||4 Enterprise Ln, Smithfield, RI 02917|
|Cassana HVAC||1345 Plainfield st. Johnston R.I. 02919|
|CMags HVAC Inc||PO Box 7232, Warwick, RI 02887|
|GEM Plumbing and Heating, LLC||1 Wellington Rd, Lincoln, RI 02865,|
|GKT Refrigeration, Inc.||115 India St, Pawtucket, RI 02860,|
|Johnstone Supply||50 Niantic Ave, Providence, RI 02907|
|Johnson Controls Providence Office||6 Blackstone Valley Pl #202, Lincoln, RI 02865|
|New England Institute of Technology||2500 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886|
|New England Tractor Trailer Training School||600 Moshassuck Ind Hwy, Pawtucket, RI 02860,|
|Ocean State Air Solutions, Inc||1844 E Main Rd, Portsmouth, RI 02871|
|Providence Career & Technical Academy||41 Fricker St, Providence, RI 02903|
|Regan One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning||16 Hylestead St, Providence, RI 02905|
|Rhode Island Construction Training Academy||249 Roosevelt Ave #203, Pawtucket, RI 02860|
|RI`s Affordable Heating Airconditioning Services inc||pobox 114020, North Providence, RI 02911,|
|S. G. Torrice Company||300 Niantic Ave, Providence, RI 02907|
|Valley Heating & Cooling Inc||98 Kenyon Hill Trail, Richmond, RI 02898|
Getting the License
To obtain the contractor license, you must file an application along with the following documents:
- Passport style photo or copy of driver’s license
- Last 2 pages of the packet with the application signed and notarized
- The application fee of $75
- Detailed and notarized statement on company letterhead signed by present or past employer stating all work-related experience of the candidate
Complete the apprenticeship if you want to become: pipefitter, refrigeration tech, sheet metal journeyman, or sprinkler fitter journeyman.
If you apply out-of-state, you must provide proof of licensure from that state, which is not a photo-copy.
You have to renew your license every 2 years.
The fees for the certification range between $60 and $240 as they depend on which type and class you want to obtain.
The fee for the Master Mechanical Contractor is $480.
The fee for the exam is $75.
The exams are held on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The federal law requires everyone working with refrigerants to get the EPA 608 certification.
If you want to stand out at the beginning of your HVAC career, it’s best to get this certification.
Remember that there are 3 levels of certification here, and they’re based on the type of equipment you’ll work with.
Becoming an HVAC certified technician means you’ll always have a way of making money, and even have the possibility of working for yourself, and not for others.
Read the full guide: How to Become an HVAC Technician