Getting an HVAC license in Arizona can appear daunting in the beginning, but with a little guidance, it can be a simple process.
This article will explain everything you need to do from start to finish!
You will need the following:
- Qualifying Person - This person can either be a licensed contractor, employer, fellow employee, supervisor, journeyman, foreman or someone that has the required level of experience and can personally vouch for your level of experience
- Required Level of Experience - In Arizona each license classification requires a different level of experience. Most licenses require at least 4 years experience at the journeyman level. You will need to be able to prove this experience with documentation at the AROC's request.
- Pass an Exam - You will need to pass a two-part exam (Business Management/Trade) with a score of 70% or higher. . Some classifications only require that you to take the business management license. To see whether or not your trade requires both exams, see below. You can apply for these exams through PSI's website. See Below
- Criminal Background Check - All applicants in Arizona have to pass a criminal background check. It is not impossible to get a contractor license in Arizona if you have a criminal record, just be hones ton the application. However, charges associated with: Fraud, Embezzlement and Forgery are big red flags
- Form a Legal Entity - Arizona only issues licenses to legal entities. This includes: Sole Proprietorships, Limited Liability Companies, S-Corp, C-corporations and partnerships. To learn how to set up a business click here.
- Contractor Bond - All Contractors in Arizona are required to have an active construction bond in place for a license can be activated. The amount for your contractor bond depends on the classification you are applying for. To learn more about construction bond requirements in Arizona, read below
- Pay License Fees - Contractor license fees are paid every two years. The amount you have to pay depends on the classification you apply for, however they typically range between $580 and $1050. To see a the full breakdown of Arizona license fees click here.
- Identification - You must have a USA issued form of identification along with a social security. You must be at-least 18 years of age and you cannot currently be on probation or parole.
- Complete Application - You can find the license application form here.
- It can be either sent by mail to:
- Registrar of Contractors
P.O. Box 6748
Phoenix, AZ 85005-6748
- or delivered to:
- 1700 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2812
How To Get the Arizona HVAC License
In Arizona, anyone charging over $1000 for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning services has to have a contractor license.
The classification is called the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration License (R-39 / C-39 / CR-39)
There are 3 HVAC license options available:
Residential – (also known as R-39)
Commercial – (also known as C-39)
Dual License - (also known as CR-39)
- Be at least 18 years of Age
- Form of USA Issued Identification
- Social Security Number
- Not Currently On Probation or Parole
You Must also have
- 4 Years of Journeyman Level Experience
- Be able to verify work experience in at least 7 recent Air Conditioning or Refrigeration projects
- Be able to document your experience at the request of the ROC
- A Business Entity
What is Journeyman Level Construction Experience?
Arizona has no journeyman HVAC certification. The definition of a journeyman can vary based on your region.
The universal expectation of a journeyman is that they can perform all of the duties associated with their trade un-supervised.
A Journeyman is someone who has demonstrated a level of mastery in their trade.
The Arizona Registrar of Contractors may request to see the documentation of your experience.
It is important that you have some way to prove your claim of being a journeyman HVAC technician.
Acceptable residential and commercial HVAC experience documentation includes:
- Tax Returns
- Check Stubs
- Letter from a licensed contractor
EPA 608 Certification
Arizona requires all HVAC technicians to hold an EPA 608 certification.
Under the clean air act, this law applies to technicians that: maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release ozone depleting refrigerants into the atmosphere
This law also applies to anyone who is:
- Attaching and detaching hoses and gauges to and from an appliance to measure pressure within the appliance.
- Adding refrigerant to or removing refrigerant from an appliance.
- Any other activity that violates the integrity of a motor vehicle air conditioner (MVAC)-like appliance or small appliance (other than disposal).
To learn more about getting an EPA 608 Technician certification, visit the EPA.GOV website
Form a Business Entity
Arizona LAW requires all contractors to have a business entity set up before applying for the CR-39 HVAC license.
You must first choose a name and then you can choose the type of entity you want.
Typically, construction companies choose either:
- Sole Proprietor
For a complete explanation of the difference between these types of entities and which one makes the most sense for someone applying for the Arizona HVAC contractor license, check out this free guide!
Once you have chosen an entity, simply follow these steps:
- Check Name Availability with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors
- Apply with the Arizona Corporation Commission
- Apply for an EIN #
Responsibilities of an HVAC Contractor
You should be familiar with the following areas:
- Air Conditioning
- Warm-air Heating
- Controls and Motors
- Steam, Hot, Chilled and Condensing Water
- Job Site Safety
- Evaporative Coolers
- Controls and Motors
- Fuel Piping Systems
- Water Piping Systems
- Testing, Balancing, and Inspections
- Sizing and Estimations
Arizona Business Management Exam
You will need to pass a two-part exam.
The first part of the exam covers business management. All contractors must pass this exam.
As a contractor, you must have a basic knowledge of proper business practices and accounting.
These laws are put in place to protect the consumer public.
The Arizona business management exam will cover the following topics:
- Contracts and Agreements
- Insurance and Bonding
- Safety, Record Keeping and Employment Regulations
- Financial Management
- Tax Laws
- Arizona Registrar of Contractors Statutes
- Arizona Registrar of Contractors Rules
- Workmanship Standards
- Business Management
- Business Mathematics
- Environmental Regulations
The second part of the exam will cover residential and commercial HVAC and Refrigeration maintenance or installation topics.
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Exam
- 80 Questions
- Passing Score: 70%
- Time Allowed: 210 Minutes
- $66 per exam
Business Management Exam
- 80 Questions
- Passing Score 70%
- Time Allowed: 180 minutes
- $66 per exam
HVAC Trade Exam
Topics you will want to be familiar with for the trade portion of the test include:
- Warm Air Heating
- Controls and Motors
- Sizing and Estimating
- Piping and Tubing
- Ducts and Insulation
- Evaporative Cooling
- Inspections and Testing
Arizona Registrar of Contractors Test Locations
The Contractors license exam is facilitated by a 3rd party company called PSI.
They have test locations in the following cities:
- The exam is multiple choice and taken on a computer
- On test day you must bring two forms of identification
- You will be given a piece of scratch paper and pencil
- Non-programmable calculators are permitted
- No electronic devices are allowed inside the testing area
- If you do not pass after 3 attempts you have to wait 180 days to take the exam again
Learn more about the Arizona Registrar of Contractors!
Request an Arizona Contractor License Application
First apply for a test date here
After you receive your passing scores. Fill out one of theses applications
and send it to:
The State of Arizona Registrar of Contractors
1700 West Washington Street, Suite 105
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Click here to see the most up to date Arizona License Fees!
Arizona Contractor License Reciprocity Agreement
Contractor License reciprocity is an agreement between the Contractor licensing boards of two different states.
It can mean that they have similar building standards, allowing contractors to work freely between states.
In the context of licensing, it means that a contractor who is licensed in one state, may not need to retake an exam to get licensed in another state.
Learn more about California’s Contractor License reciprocity agreement with Arizona!
Apprentice vs. Journeyman?
One of the best ways to build a solid foundation in your career is by looking into an apprenticeship program or an hvac school.
If you are new to the world of construction and have heard the term “journeyman” or “apprentice” and are not sure what these terms mean, or perhaps where to even start.
Learn more about the step by step path from an Apprentice to Journeyman!
Blueprint Reading Course
Those looking to do HVAC installation should be able to read construction blueprints and identify basic lines and symbols.
Construction blueprints communicate important information about the way in which a structure is built as well as what materials are necessary or have been used for its construction.
Being comfortable with construction blueprints is an invaluable skill for those looking to get the contractor license low voltage electrical work.
See our Free Blueprint Reading Course!
Statistically, 21% of all work-related fatalities are in construction.
That equals about 1 and 5 worker deaths on average.
In the construction industry, the leading cause of worker deaths is reported as falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between.
If you or your workers are not properly trained, electrical installations and repair can be very hazardous work.
For employment with an HVAC contractor, you may be asked to complete some level of Arizona OSHA Safety Training.
Learn more about OSHA Certifications!
Getting the Arizona air conditioning and refrigeration contractor license can be a huge step up in your career if you are looking to start your own business or become an RMO for an existing company!
If you are looking to get work in another state you can find information here about HVAC contractor licenses in: California, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida
The key is to take action and follow these steps from beginning to end.
If you have found this article, be sure to let us know! and check back for more updates in the future.