How to Get Your Kentucky HVAC License – 2021 Guide

| Last Updated: October 20, 2021
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Located in the middle of the United States, Kentucky is shielded from the worst weather events but that doesn’t mean they don’t experience the warm summers or cold winters. 

There is a constant need for HVAC technicians in Kentucky to keep people comfortable when the weather changes. If you are interested in becoming an HVAC tech in Kentucky, we are here to provide you the information you need. 

How to Become an HVAC Technician in Kentucky

Kentucky has one of the simplest HVAC laws and regulations across the US. With under two years and 3,000 hours of work experience, you can apply to become a journeyman HVAC technician. The road to becoming a licensed contractor or master HVAC worker is not that simple. You must have worked as a journeyman for a minimum of two years. 

To progress from each stage to the next, the technician must pass an appropriate exam. Once the exam is passed and paperwork is done, the technician will get a license. 

If the HVAC technician deals with refrigerants, another certification is required. The technician must give the Environmental Protection Agency Section 608 certification that may require another exam. 

To summarise, to become an HVAC technician, you must:

1. Get enrollment into an apprenticeship program offered by a local union or other providers. Or, take classes from an accredited partner, then apprentice with a master HVAC contractor 

2. Once you get an apprenticeship, you need to seek a license from the Department of Housing and Buildings and Construction.

3. Before you proceed to the journeyman stage, you have to clear an exam and submit the required number of practice hours to the department for the issuance of a certificate. The same procedure is followed for master technicians, although the exam content is different.

One thing to keep in mind is that the entry-level work will require tools worth $200 to $300; without these, HVAC training is of no use. 

HVAC Exam Preparation in Kentucky

From starting the HVAC career to becoming a master technician, there are a few steps and exams you need to take. Here is what to expect when on your journey towards becoming a master license holder.

KY HVAC Journeyman Practice Test

Once you become an apprentice and have racked up enough experience, you will have to deposit the relevant fee and appear in a test to get the journeyman license. The practice test comprises basic principles and scientific methods that the HVAC industry is expected to follow and know.

Kentucky HVAC Journeyman Test Questions

The journeyman exam is based on 60 questions. The candidate is allowed a three-hour time slot to solve the 60 questions. The questions are based on the daily routine tasks that the HVAC technician has studied and is expected to perform. 

If you are looking for self-study, you should go through the NFPA 54-09 National Fuel Gas Code, 2015 International Mechanical Code, and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology 2016.

KY HVAC Masters Test

You need to be a journeyman with enough experience to be able to appear in the master's test. Moreover, to obtain the license, you have to get liability insurance of $500000, among other prerequisites. The test itself has 70 questions for which 2.5 hours are allocated, and the candidate has to score at least 70% to be a certified master technician.

What Books Do I Need to Take My HVAC Masters Exam in KY?

The approved reference material that can be carried into the exam room includes the 2015 International Mechanical Code, 2009 NFPA 54, and the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology 8th Edition. Candidates are not allowed to write in or mark their reference books during the exam.

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What Makes Kentucky a Great Place to Start an HVAC Career? 

Kentucky has a lot to offer as the HVAC industry is still growing, and with the rapid development of real estate, it is bound to grow more. Here’s why it is a great place to get started with your HVAC career:

Simple Laws 

One of the things that make Kentucky a great place is the simplicity of laws and regulations. They are designed to help keep everyone and Kentucky safe. The state license awarding process automatically trains a novice technician, and the renewal process is quite straightforward.

High Payout 

In addition to the straightforward process, there is no fee for registering as an apprentice. Moreover, the average HVAC technician salary in Kentucky ranges between $40,000 and $60,000, which is better than what you would get in most states.    

Unsaturated Market 

The size of the state is such that there is still a huge gap between market supply and market demand for HVAC solutions. The gap between demand and supply drives up the rates because of the shortage. This is particularly beneficial for technicians looking to start an HVAC career.

Job Outlook and Salary For HVAC in Kentucky

Kentucky still has a lot of room when it comes to the development of the HVAC industry; there is a big gap between the market supply of technicians and their demand. Added to the gap in demand, the growth in the demand for HVAC solutions is an impressive 15% year-over-year.

What is the Demand For HVAC Technicians in Kentucky?

There are only 3990 registered HVAC technicians in Kentucky. The employment per 1000 jobs is at 2.112, meaning the industry isn’t saturated in Kentucky. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has a safe projection of a fifteen percent growth in the industry. That would translate to more vacant positions over the next years as new demand emerges. The sector's growth is further highlighted when compared with other US industries, which are expected to grow at a rate of around seven percent.  

How Much Do HVAC Techs Make in Kentucky?

An HVAC technician can be a very rewarding job, especially if you obtain a master license or start your own company. Here is the median income of the HVAC industry in Kentucky.

Entry Level

Entry-level HVAC technicians with one to five years of experience can make around $19.85 per hour. So, they can easily make more than $25,000 per year. 


A good technician with around six to nine years of experience can expect to make around $25 per hour. This rate accumulates around $40,000-$45,000 per annum.


A seasoned master level technician with over ten years of experience in the field can make as much as $29 per hour. This translates to roughly $62,000 per annum. 

Insurance and Tax Information For HVAC Techs in Kentucky

Master-level HVAC technicians in Kentucky need $500,000 liability insurance and $300,000 of property damage insurance. This insurance document is required to be presented every time the license is sent for renewal. Moreover, the Kentucky sales tax rules state that a 6% sales tax will be imposed on both parts and labor work. This means that technicians and HVAC businesses need to be registered for sales tax too.

Kentucky Cities With Highest Average HVAC Salaries 

Different cities in Kentucky offer different prospects for HVAC technicians. The cities with the highest salaries include:


Elizabethtown is simply one of the best cities to start an HVAC career. The average wage rate in the city is above $20.34 per hour.


Richmond closely follows suit. The average wage rate here is also above $20 per hour, and a technician can easily earn above $42,000 per annum, even with an entry or moderate level of experience. 

Bowling Green

For Bowling Green, the hourly rate falls a little below $20, but even at $19.43, a technician can easily make above $40,000 per annum. 

These rates are the median results, and several HVAC technicians are earning more. 

People Also Ask

If you're looking to start a new HVAC career or have questions regarding your existing one, you're in the right place. Here are a few more things that people have on their minds:

How Much Does it Cost For HVAC School in Kentucky?

The tuition fee for residents is regulated. It stands at around $169 per credit hour, and schools have a total of between 64 and 66 hours. The total can range between $1200 and $15000 and depends upon residence status and the different modules. 

How Long is Your HVAC Masters License in Kentucky Good For Before Expiration?

All HVAC licenses, whether apprenticeship, journeyman, and masters, are required to be renewed every year. For simplicity, the renewal deadline is set as the last day of the applicant's birth month. This is regardless of when the license was made. Even if the license is made a month before your birth month, the applicant will have to send it for renewal by the last day of their birth month. 

How to Get Your HVAC Journeyman's in Kentucky

Journeyman and master licenses both require applicants to begin as apprentice mechanics according to the directions of Kentucky DHBC. The applicant for a journeyman license will submit a Journeyman HVAC Mechanic License Application on Form HVAC 2.2 along with an application fee of $50. The license will be valid for twelve months.

Why Does Your Kentucky HVAC Masters License Go Inactive?

While having an active HVAC inspector certification, the license will have to be placed on inactive status. An inactive license means that the Master HVAC will not have to maintain the insurance deposit, but this also bars him from obtaining HVAC work. 

How to Obtain a Master HVAC License in KY

There is no direct way of obtaining a Master HVAC license; you first have to register as an apprentice mechanic. From there, you will become a journeyman HVAC after applying to the department.

For a master HVAC contractor, there are an additional two exams, a liability insurance deposit of $500,000 or more, and an application has to be completed with the Department of Housing, building, and construction.

How Much Does a HVAC Permit Cost in KY?

The state of Kentucky has a relatively low cost of obtaining an HVAC license when compared to some other states. Apprentice registration is free, and the journeyman license fee is only $50. The advanced master license costs $160, and another $100 is needed for the trade exam. In addition to these, a law and business exam also needs to be taken, which costs $60 separately.

How to Submit Hours For Kentucky HVAC License

Kentucky HVAC license hours need to be confirmed and attached with the application in the form of an affidavit from a Master HVAC license holder, a copy of out-of-state journeyman HVAC mechanic license, or equivalent, and the Department of Defense Form DD 214. The application has to be submitted to the  Kentucky Board of HVAC Contractors, along with the relevant fee deposit proof.

Where to Find KY HVAC Laws?

There are a number of resources available both online and at various HVAC schools that list down the important HVAC laws. Detailed laws can be found on the official website of the Department of housing, building, and construction, Kentucky.

Nearby HVAC Schools

Here are some HVAC schools in nearby states:


Hey there, my name is Alex, and I’ve been writing for HVAC Schools Near Me (HSNM) since we launched in 2020. Like many, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S, I was out of work and worried about my career. A family friend introduced me to the owner of HSNM, and I found writing to be a great fit after seven years of being a technician. I hope you find our articles to be informative, valuable, and serve you well.

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