HVAC License and Certification in Nevada

Nevada is home to both Las Vegas and Reno, two cities famous for their multitude of casinos, hotels, restaurants and theaters. With Reno’s growing popularity (its nickname is “The Biggest Little City in the World,”) and Las Vegas consistently being one of the top tourist destinations in the world, there are a lot of industrial buildings to keep warm and cool in Nevada. Every casino, hotel, and building requires HVAC technicians to install, service, and repair the AC, heating and refrigeration systems. People can attend a trade school, or one of the many other types of HVAC schools in Nevada to receive classroom and hands-on HVAC training. In some cases they can even obtain a degree in HVAC. They could alternatively enroll in an apprenticeship, to learn the ins and outs of HVAC under a certified professional journeyman while getting in-class schooling simultaneously, and being paid for their on-the-job hours. Researching the Nevada education and training requirements might help to narrow down which path you’d prefer to take on the road to your HVAC career. The last step to becoming an official Nevada HVAC technician is to get certified and licensed.

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Being licensed is a requirement by the state. Being certified proves that a technician has acquired a certain skillset, and is proficient in specific areas of heating, ventilation and refrigeration. Also, since some employers seek out industry-certified HVAC techs, being certified could contribute to Nevada HVAC salary determination.

Nevada Licensing Requirements:

Depending on the level of management that an HVAC technician in Nevada wishes to take on will determine how many and which licenses he will need to obtain. In order to become a licensed contractor in the state of Nevada, HVAC technicians are required to sit for and pass both the Contractor Management Survey Exam, and the (C-21) Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractor exam.

The Contractor Management Survey Exam costs $300, consists of 60 questions, and takes two hours to complete. Test-takers must receive a 75 or above to pass the exam. Subject matter like labor laws, risk management and licensing requirements are included on the test. Test-takers can use the Nevada Contractor Management Survey Exam book during the test, open-book-style. Techs who want to sit for this exam first need to receive approval from the Nevada Board for Licensing Contractors, by calling them at 775-688-1141.

A Nevada HVAC technician who has had four or more years of experience can sit for the Specialty Contractor License. This test costs $270 plus an additional $40 management fee. It includes Classifications C-1 (heating, cooling and air circulation) as well as plumbing and heating. Test-takers are also required to have already passed the Contractor Management Survey Exam.

All HVAC technicians in the state of Nevada are required to obtain a Classification C-21 in Refrigeration and Air-conditioning, whether or not they intend to go into supervision or contracting. The (C-21) Refrigeration and Air Conditioning exam covers subject matter such as piping, controls, furnaces, ducts, fuel systems, chillers, heaters, load calculations, and hangers. Any technician who will be working in refrigeration, sheet metal, air-conditioning, and industrial piping is required by Nevada law to obtain this licensure. The test is 85 questions, take 3 hours to complete, and requires a 70 or higher in order to pass. To apply for this test, contact one of the two Nevada State Contractor’s Boards (in either Reno or Henderson), at the contact information below. Aside from becoming C-21 licensed, HVAC technicians also have to pass a specific Trade Exam as well.

If a Nevada HVAC technician will be working with installing solar-powered heating or other energy systems, by Nevada law he must take and pass the Solar Contractor Licensing exam. License Classification C-37 includes contracting for solar services such as solar water heating, solar space heating, solar pool heating, solar thermal process heat, and solar air conditioning. A technician must be licensed by the Nevada State Contractors Board. Techs interested in sitting for this exam start by submitting an application to the Division, pay the fee, and finally take the exam. Contractors also need to provide a copy of their state licensure.

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    Contact info for the Nevada State Contractors Board:

    Customer Service Representative

    Nevada State Contractors Board – Reno

    Licensing Division

    9670 Gateway Drive, Suite 100

    Reno, NV 89511

    Phone- 775-688-1141

    Website: http://www.nscb.state.nv.us


    Customer Service Representative

    Nevada State Contractors Board – Henderson

    Licensing Division

    2310 Corporate Circle, Suite 200

    Henderson, NV 89074

    Phone- 702-486-110

    Website: http://www.nscb.state.nv.us

    Certifications and other Exams:

    The requirements for certifications vary based on state, however the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all HVAC technicians to be trained in the proper handling of refrigerants and other chemicals that are potentially harmful to the ozone layer. According to Section 608 of the Clean Air Act, any technician or journeyman who will be repairing, servicing, or otherwise working on refrigerators or air conditioners must take the EPA Refrigerant Certification exam.

    Many Nevada HVAC trade schools provide training and preparation for this test as well as the opportunity to sit for the exam. For instance, the Quality Technical Training Center (QTTC) in Las Vegas, NV includes a certification program designed to prepare students for the test material, as well as administering the test itself. Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, NV has an EPA accredited training center to provide courses to students who wish to become proficient in EPA safety regulations. Likewise, the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) in Henderson has a training course available and also administers the test. Both the CSN and QTTC are approved by the EPA to provide Section 609 technician certification programs, and also provide on-site testing.

    The EPA exam consists of questions that require test-takers to prove their knowledge of proper handling of ozone-depleting refrigerants. Applicants must also demonstrate their familiarity with the EPA refrigerant laws and regulations. The test is closed-book, and consists of 100 questions. Test-takers must receive a 70 or higher to pass. Usually the test costs $30-60, although training courses, materials and programs are an additional cost. If your Nevada HVAC school does not offer to administer the EPA test, it can be taken online.

    Licensing and Recovery Fees:

    For the Nevada contractors’ licenses, each comes with a nonrefundable $300 application fee to sit for the exam. The Contractor Management Survey Exam costs $85 for the 1-portion exam, $130 for the 2-portion, and $160 for the 3-portion exam with the actual license cost of $300.