How To Become A Virginia HVAC Technician

Experience working with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning isn’t enough to convince the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) that you should be a licensed tradesman. While experience is certainly a piece of the puzzle, you need to take a few extra steps before they’ll issue you an HVAC license. 

We know that’s probably not great news, but we’re here to help. Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough of everything you need to do in order to get an HVAC license in the state of Virginia. 

Step one: meet the experience requirements

Unless you have a master license from another state or at least ten years of experience, you’ll start out with a journeyman HVAC license. In order to be eligible for your journeyman license, you need one of the following:

  • Four years of HVAC experience and 240 hours of formal HVAC training
  • Five years of HVAC experience and 160 hours of formal HVAC training
  • Six years of HVAC experience and 80 hours of formal HVAC training
  • Seven years of HVAC experience and 40 hours of formal HVAC training
  • An associate’s degree or certificate of completion from at least a two-year HVAC program and two years of HVAC experience 
  • A bachelor's degree or certificate of completion from an accredited college or university in an engineering curriculum related to HVAC and one year of HVAC experience

To get the experience you need without a license, you can join an apprenticeship program. 

After a year as a journeyman, you’ll be eligible to get a master HVAC license. 

Step two: send in your application

Once you have the experience and/or education you need, you’re ready to officially request your HVAC license. That means filling out the DPOR’s application. Check the box for the license type you want (journeyman or master HVAC) and make sure you include the required attachments. Specifically, you’ll need to include your experience verification form and the required $130 fee. 

The DPOR will review your application. A thumbs up doesn’t mean you get your license. It just means you’re eligible to sit for the Virginia HVAC exam. 

Step three: take and pass the exam

Once you’re pre-approved, you need to take the HVAC license exam. You’ll take the exam through PSI, which the DPOR hires out to proctor these tests. Here’s the link for both exams:

Both tests are open-book and 210 minutes long. You’ll need to answer 85 questions. Get 60 right and you’ll pass the journeyman exam. To pass the master exam, you’ll need to get 64 right. 

This candidate bulletin tells you what to expect on the exam and what you can bring with you to the test. 

Once you pass the exam, the DPOR should issue your Virginia HVAC license to you. 

Step four: maintain your license

Once you get your license, you can’t just rest on your laurels. The DPOR requires you to renew your license every three years, and that means taking three hours of continuing education

Stay on top of your renewal and you’ll be able to easily maintain your Virginia HVAC license.