Florida is famous for its beaches and year-round warmth. HVAC services are in high demand to keep homes and businesses temperate and comfortable. Becoming an HVAC tech is generally a shorter program and will get you out in the job market quickly.
If you are considering an HVAC career in Florida, this article will help you decide if it’s for you and how to start your new career path.
How to Become an HVAC Technician in Florida
If you want to become an HVAC technician, you can start by choosing one of the two options available. You could enroll in a proper training program at an accredited school and then earn 2,000 hours of work experience. Or, you could simply gain four years of active work experience. Once you have done that, you can take the exam and earn your license to practice as an HVAC technician.
What Certifications Do You Need For HVAC in Florida?
In order to work as an HVAC technician in Florida, all you need is the basic HVAC license. Without a license, you may be able to earn an internship or apprenticeship, but no company is likely to hire you for a proper job.
Once you have your HVAC license, you can also apply for a Class A license or a NATE license. This isn’t necessary for your practice, but doing so will allow you to earn more money than you would with just the HVAC license.
Florida HVAC License Requirements
The requirements for an HVAC license in Florida are much less than those in other states. Following is a list of what you need in order to earn your HVAC license:
- A certificate from a technical college or a degree from a public college in air conditioning, refrigeration, and heating systems technology or working experience of the same length of time as the certificate or degree program.
- A total working experience of 2000 hours, under a certified professional.
- Passing the HVAC certification exam that requires a fee of $355.
- Applying and obtaining the certificate for another $125.
Type of HVAC Contractor Licenses in Florida
If you want to work as an HVAC contractor instead of a technician, you will have to apply for at least one of the many contractor’s available licenses. Here are a few of them that you can apply for:
Class A Air Conditioning Contractor’s License
A Class-A license removes limitations on the type of work that you can do as an HVAC contractor. This means you can do any type of HVAC work once you have attained this contractor’s license.
Class B Air Conditioning Contractor’s License
Class-B comes with a certain level of restriction on the type and amount of work that you can do. Your work, with this specific license, would be limited to no more than 25 tons of cooling and 500,00 BTU of heating at any given point. Though there is a restriction, it still allows you to do a substantial amount of work and earn a good amount.
Class C Air Conditioning Contractor’s License
Class C licenses for contractors allow the least amount of work. Contractors are limited to just servicing different conditioning, heating, and refrigeration appliances and systems with this license. This includes cleaning ducts and sanitizing equipment that requires the system to be partially disassembled.
Florida HVAC Exam Preparation
If you have already gotten your certificate and experience and are looking to apply for the exam, make sure you are prepared beforehand. Here is everything that you will need in order to attempt the exam for your HVAC license:
You need to make sure you have the required certification and have completed the number of hours that are required for the license. Apply for the exam only after you have completed those.
You will then need to provide a recent credit report as well as a financial statement. The report should not be older than 12 months and should show a net worth of at least $2,500 - $20,000, depending upon the class of license that you are applying for.
Having general liability insurance is also required for anyone to obtain the license.
Once you have completed the requirements, you can now sit for the exam. In order to ensure that you clear the exam, you can enroll in different preparatory courses or consuls exam review guides for help. The exam details are as follows:
The exam consists of two sections, each section being 4.5 hours long. One is usually taken in the morning, while the other in the evening.
You need to score at least 70% on the exam in order to pass.
The fee that you need to pay for the exam is about $135.
You can select the date and site for your examination on your application, choosing from one of the available options.
Where to Find Florida HVAC License Exam Dates?
You can decide the exam date for your HVAC license in Florida yourself. All you need to do is apply for the exam at the Department of Business And Professional Regulation’s Application Center online. The application will ask you to choose from one of the available dates, and you can pick one that is feasible for yourself.
What Makes Florida a Great Place to Start an HVAC Career?
If an HVAC career is what you consider to be the best option for yourself, Florida might be a great place to start. The state was listed third amongst the top states to start an HVAC career. Wondering why? Let us tell you.
The annual salary that an HVAC technician earns in Florida is definitely higher than what technicians in other states earn. If you start your HVAC career in Florida, you can expect your annual salary to be around $40,600, given that you have the license and have earned the required experience.
Florida is known to have a huge number of job openings for HVAC technicians. If you start your HVAC career in Florida, even with minimal or no experience at all, you can rest assured that finding a job wouldn’t be a huge challenge. There are always companies that are looking to take in fresh employees at entry-level jobs.
Certifications and Degrees
Florida is home to a number of technical schools and colleges that provide some of the best certification or degree programs that would aid you in your journey to becoming an HVAC technician. If you want to make a strong start, then Florida should be your state of choice.
Job Outlook and Average Salary For HVAC Technician in Florida
Before you decide your career path and where you want to begin with it, it is very important to do proper research. You need to be aware of the job outlook and the average salary you can make as an HVAC technician in Florida before you start working in the state.
If you start working as an HVAC technician in Florida with no experience at all, the average amount you are likely to earn per hour is $13.18. This would add up to $27,420 annually. You can start working at $15.96 per hour with little experience and make about $33,190 annually.
How Much Does an HVAC Apprentice Make in Florida?
If you’re applying for an apprenticeship as an HVAC technician in Florida, your initial pay won’t be much. You will be earning about $27,012 per year. While this may be less than what HVAC technicians in Florida make, it is still more than what HVAC apprentices in other states make.
With three to five years of experience in the field, your expected pay not only increases, but you also become eligible for some benefits from the company. You can earn around $19.53 per hour at this level of expertise, which would add up to a total of $40,620 per year.
How Much Do HVAC Techs Make in Florida?
Once you have completed your apprenticeship, cleared your exam, and obtained your license, you can work as an HVAC tech and earn more than you did in your apprenticeship. While working in Florida, you can expect your pay to be around $20.81 per hour. In terms of your annual income, you could be earning around $40,000 in this career path.
If you have been in the industry for a long time and have about six to nine years of experience working as an HVAC technician, you can earn about $24.10 per hour, making a total of $50,130 annually.
If your experience is of ten years or more, you can get a top-level HVAC technician job, allowing you to earn $29.78 per hour, which equals about $61,940 annually.
How Much Does a Journeyman HVAC Make an Hour in Florida?
As an HVAC journeyman working in Florida, you can expect to earn a little more than an HVAC technician in the same state.
The average amount an HVAC journeyman makes per year is about $48,000, while, per hour, that average adds up to about $25.5.
Florida Cities With the Highest Average HVAC Salaries
Choosing Florida to start your HVAC career is smart, but you also need to decide the specific city where you want to start working. It is ideal to choose one of the cities that provide the highest average salaries for this career option. Here are some options you can choose from:
Tampa is one of the highest paying cities in Florida for HVAC technicians. The average pay for these workers here is about $22.53 per hour.
Vero Beach, FL
With an hourly pay of $22.49 per hour, Vero Beach stands to be the second-highest paying city of Florida for HVAC technicians.
Melbourne is not only the third-highest paying city in Florida but also has the greatest number of job openings in the state. It pays its HVAC technicians an average of $21.53 per hour.
Coming in at fourth, Jacksonville has an average salary of $20.92 per hour for HVAC technicians, which is more or less equal to the overall state average.
People Also Ask
Getting an HVAC license and starting your career as an HVAC technician isn’t the easiest thing to do. While the article tries to let you know everything that you need to, you may still have some questions. In order to help you out, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions below.
How Much Does it Cost For HVAC School in Florida?
Joining an HVAC school is an important part of obtaining the HVAC license in Florida. The tuition that one needs to pay at these schools varies from one institute to another, but on average, it could cost you around $12,500-$14,000.
How Much Does an HVAC Tech Make in Florida?
The amount you earn as an HVAC tech in Florida depends on your experience in the field. You can expect to earn about $13.42 per hour at entry-level, but with sufficient experience, you can earn as much as $24.50 per hour.
How Long Does it Take to Get HVAC Certified in Florida?
The time that your HVAC certification would take depends upon the program that you have enrolled in. Some certification programs last for about one to two years, while some degree programs last for four years.
How to Get an HVAC Contractor’s License in Florida
In order to earn your HVAC contractor’s license in Florida, you need to take and pass the license exams. For a contractor’s license, there are two exams instead of one. You are also required to have four years of experience in the field, along with a sufficient credit history.
What Are the FL Unions For HVAC?
The Local Union 725 in Florida is the union that represents HVAC operatives, technicians, and contractors. They represent about 1,200 members and are committed to providing top-quality services.
How to Get Florida HVAC Journeyman License
If you want to earn an HVAC journeyman license in Florida, you need to have a minimum experience of four years as a trade journeyman.
You also need to show proof of your financial solvency that is ensured by a credit score of at least 660.
You also need to have general liability insurance, worker’s compensation, and a background that is clean of any criminal record.
Where to Get My Florida HVAC Journeyman's License?
The easiest way to apply for your HVAC journeyman’s license is to do so on the online licensing portal. All applications and procedures are available on the DBPR portal, where they tell you about how you can get your HVAC journeyman’s license.
What License is Required to Own and Operate an HVAC Business in Florida?
If you want to work as an HVAC technician in a company, then an HVAC technician license would suffice. But if you aim higher and plan on owning and operating your own HVAC business, you will need a Class A Air Conditioning Contractor’s license.
Do You Have to Have a License in FL to Install HVAC?
HVAC operations is a job that is considered to be only for professionals. Therefore, for any work regarding your HVAC systems, a professional with a valid license is necessary. Workers with different licenses are allowed to perform different levels of HVAC tasks.
Who Issues HVAC Licenses in Florida?
HVAC licenses in Florida are issued by the Department of Business and Professional Regulations. They can be applied for on their online portal where all existing and new applications are dealt with.
How Many HVAC Jobs in Florida?
One of the reasons that Florida is a great place to start your HVAC career is because of the abundant jobs that it offers. At any given time, there are about 300-450 HVAC job openings that require workers with different levels of expertise.
Nearby HVAC Schools
Here are some HVAC schools in nearby states: