HVAC License Certification in Georgia
THE INFORMATION BELOW IS NOT TO BE TAKEN AS LEGAL ADVICE ABOUT THE STATE OF GEORGIA BUT IS SIMPLY GIVEN AS INFORMATIONAL. PLEASE VISIT THE STATE OF GEORGIA’S WEBSITE AT THIS LINK TO REVIEW THE FULL LAW THAT GOVERNS THIS FIELD. PLEASE CONSULT AN ATTORNEY BEFORE ACTING ON ANYTHING IN THIS ARTICLE OR ANYWHERE ON THIS SITE.
To understand the scene in Georgia for licensing and certification of HVAC technicians, you need to understand the governing bodies involved first. There are five parts to the The Georgia Construction Industry Licensing Board. Each part has five members. The board overall has two members that are consumers and not professionals and not part of the construction industry. The rest of the board are either inspectors, journeymen, contractors or engineers in the construction industry.
- Division of Conditioned Air Contractors,
- Division of Electrical Contractors,
- Division of Low Voltage Contractors,
- Division of Master and Journeyman Plumbers
- Division of Utility Contractors.
The boards job is to make sure that consumers in the state of Georgia are protected financially and also for safety reasons from any construction defects.
For any construction state board like this the place where the board can make the biggest change is in the evaluation of potential members of the industry, before they start doing work. It is much harder for any board to examine the work after the fact, than it is to make sure you have well trained folks before they go out in the field and do HVAC installations or any other construction.
To do this the board tests, issues licences, renews them, and takes action against anyone they suspect of violating the rules of maintaining one’s construction licence depending on the type.
The community or professionals in the industry are invited to the board meetings which usually are held in the Office of the Secretary of the State of Georgia in theProfessional Licensing Boards Division office which is located at 237 Coliseum Drive, Macon, Georgia. Meeting dates, time and location are posted on this website. You can learn more about the board, and get information about their meetings at the Georgia Secretary of State website in the licensing section.
The law that governs a good chunk of being an HVAC tech in the state of Georgia is law: 121-2-.03 Conditioned Air Contractor License.
In it the law states:
To obtain a Class I (Restricted) or Class II (Non-restricted) conditioned air contractor license, a person must submit a completed application, meet the prerequisite experience requirement, obtain a score of seventy (70) on the appropriate examination, and pay all fees required by the Board.
You also are going to need to find three (Architects, Inspectors, Licensed AC contractor, or Professional Engineer), people who is willing to be your character reference and that will state you have good character and have air conditioning experience.
With a Class I conditioned air contractor license you are can only work on systems under 60,000 BTU for cooling and under 175,000 BTU of heating. If you have a Class II license you can work on any system of any size.
When you apply for a Class 1 licence, you need to show that you have had at least 4 years of experience. The State of Georgia requires that for getting a Class 2 licence you need to show that you have at least 5 years of experience. For the Class 2 licence you also need to document that you have experience in the real world working with the bigger systems.
There are some very specific rules regarding what experience means, so it is well worth studying the actual law and getting legal advice on this one so you are not wasting your time. Experience includes work done doing actual installations of and maintenance of air conditioners and heaters as described in the Georgia Heating and Air Conditioning Code.
If you are getting a Class 1 licence you need to have been the lead mechanic on residential installations for 2 years. If you are getting the EPA licence, you also need one year of being a supervisor in residential applications. You also will need to have had an approved heat loss and gain, and duct design course.
If you are getting a Class 2 licence, you need to be a lead mechanic for two years doing installations, one or more of those years needs to have been commercial. One of the years needs to be as a service technician or service supervisor if you are also going after the EPA licence. There are other requirements as well involving being a commercial supervisor for part of this process, and also having a similar heat loss, heat gain and duct design course the Georgia Class 1 licence needed.
If you would rather spend more time in school as opposed to working in the field, you can use Georgia HVAC tech school time to replace years as follows:
If you go to a technical school in engineering or engineering technology, you may use that Georgia HVAC education in come cases to credit for up to 2 years of experience.
If you get a completion of a certificate program from a vocational-technical school, that can be used to replace 1 year of experience.
All of the above is based on the State of Georgia law, but is only to be used as a starting point to understand the requirements. Go to the State of Georgia’s licensing board here and read the full law so you can find out exactly what to do and not do, so you don’t waste years doing something that won’t count.
Once you have your licence, the Georgia Conditioned Air Contractors Board has a complaint process you should be aware of. They also have disciplinary actions. All of this is described in detail here. The board offers a complaint procedure where people can make complaints and have them reviewed by the board. It is up to the boards discretion what actions they take for a complaint.
If the complaint is serious enough and the board deems it appropriate, they have the Georgia State Attorney General hold a hearing to decide if a law has been broken or not. The board specifically states that they tend not to get involved with payment disputes between conditioned air contractors and customers.
Again, for specific questions please go to ga.gov for full details of the law and to ask questions. Please do not take any actions based on the information above until you have researched the law fully with your attorney.