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What Are an AC Service Technician’s Licensing Requirements?


An HVAC technician must generally be licensed in their state to be able to provide air conditioning and heating services. Such is true in South Carolina. In addition to holding a South Carolina HVAC license, you must meet specific educational and work experience requirements. At Waldrop, we hire only trained, educated, and NATE-certified technicians. If you’re asking “What are an AC service technician’s licensing requirements in the state?”, we’ll provide an in-depth look below.

What Type of HVAC License Do I Need?

In South Carolina, an HVAC license is issued by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. To become licensed, you must have at least one year of experience working under the supervision of a Master Heating and Air contractor or a licensed HVAC contractor. Unless you hold a Master Heating and Air License or are a South Carolina Mechanical Contractor for HVAC, you must pass an exam to obtain your official license.1

Your options for licensing include a Mechanical Contractor license, which is required to perform work valued at $5,000 or more, regardless of the setting, and the Residential Speciality HVAC Contractor license. It’s only for performing residential HVAC work and is for anyone planning to provide services valued at over $200. You’ll also be required to subcontract to licensed building contractors rather than enter into direct contracts.2

In addition, you must receive various certifications (issued by the Municipal Association of South Carolina) before you can become licensed. These include:

  • Residential HVAC Certificate: Permits you to work on various types of residential HVAC equipment.
  • Journeyman Unlimited Certificate: This lets you work on any sized HVAC unit, but only under the supervision of a properly licensed individual.
  • Master Certificate: Allows you to work without any supervision, and to obtain a contractor license that lets you own an HVAC company.
  • EPA Certificate: Is required if you plan to work with AC refrigerant, per Section 608 of the Clean Air Act. You can gain one of three certificates (Type I, Type II, and Type III certificates). A universal certification is also available.

When you are fully licensed, you can provide HVAC services in homes, commercial buildings, schools, factories, and other facilities. 

Other Licensing Requirements

In addition to meeting work and educational requirements and passing exams, you must submit an application (Doc #165), complete a financial statement, and obtain a surety bond. You must pay additional fees as well. The initial mechanical license fee is $350 while the air conditioning exam fee is $60. To take your business management and law exam, you’ll have to pay $75. The heating exam fee is also $75. And to renew your license, there’s a fee of $135.2

For a residential specialty license, the application processing fee is $100 plus the license fee of $80 to $160. The fee for subject exams is $100.2

Requirements for Schooling and Experience

To start with your journeyman certificate, you must hold an apprenticeship for 24 months or attend a two-year vocational program. You’ll pay tuition for schooling leading to a certificate or associate’s degree. Colleges typically require a significant amount of hands-on training. A two-year vocational program is equal to a year of work experience, so you can get on-the-job training as an alternative. Most individuals qualify for licensure with three years of experience. 

What Do I Need to Know?

Going down this path, it’s important to know what an AC service technician’s duties are. The licensing exams cover topics such as load calculations, safety, heat pump and AC equipment, heaters and furnaces, and insulation. Your knowledge of fuel oil, ducts, refrigerants, controls, and adjusting and balancing an HVAC system will be tested as well.

Contact Waldrop to Learn More

Waldrop hires the most experienced contractors and provides them with continuing education. Our service techs are highly skilled and attentive. They’re trusted for prompt, effective AC, heating, and plumbing installation, repair, and maintenance. To learn more about what an AC service technician’s licensing requirements are, schedule AC/heating/plumbing service, or learn about career opportunities, call 864-536-0887 today.

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Greenville, SC

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Waldrop has taken care of our HVAC since our house was built (2006). We get maintenance twice a year – spring and fall. This year, Kevin suggested the Phenomenal Aire unit. It cleans the air

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Had the best experience with Waldrop, we will forever be in their debt. Not only the most professional group of men but the most honest, stand by your word company! I would recommend Waldrop to

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A friend recommended Waldrop after he had a visit last week. Our A/C was not cooling as well as it should, and the Split “Smart” thermostat was doing crazy things on the first and 2nd


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