License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

HVAC Contractor (Residential)


License required in 5 states
32nd most burdensome licensing requirements
86th most heavily regulated occupation

(Last updated April 24, 2012)


HVAC contractors contract with clients to install, service and repair heating and air conditioning systems in residences and commercial establishments.

Typically, only contractors require licenses, not those who work for them. Licensing requirements differ based on the scope of the work. Those with a residential license may work only on residential properties, while those with a commercial license may work on commercial properties. In some states, work on commercial properties requires a general contractor's license that is not specific to HVAC work; the requirements are generally the same as a commercial license, and they are treated the same here.


While only five states require HVAC contractors to obtain a license to do residential work, those that do impose significant burdens, earning the occupation a relatively high rank of 32nd compared to other occupations studied. Arizona and South Carolina each impose education/experience requirements, four years and one year, respectively. Arizona and Mississippi require applicants to pass two tests, while applicants in Oregon, South Carolina and Louisiana must pass one.

(Last updated May 2, 2012)

State Licensing Requirements

Burden RankStateFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age
1 Arizona $890 1,460 2 0 0
2 South Carolina $150 365 1 0 0
3 Oregon $345 2 1 0 18
4 Mississippi $200 0 2 0 0
5 Louisiana $340 0 1 0 0

(Last updated April 24, 2012)

Return to License to Work main page

Email Address
Please enter a valid email address

Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
Tel 703.682.9320, Fax 703.682.9321
© 1997-2012