HVAC License Certification in West Virginia
In the State of West Virginia, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) licenses are issued by the West Virginia Division of Labor in conjunction with the West Virginia Contractor’s Licensing Board. Freshly certified graduates from HVAC training institutions are not required to be licensed in order to work on HVAC systems and equipment. However, they will need to work under the direct observation of contractors who are required to be licensed by the State’s contractor licensing board.
HVAC Licensing Requirements
The West Virginia Division of Labor defines an “HVAC technician” as a person who is licensed and authorized to install, test, maintain and repair HVAC systems without supervision. An “HVAC Technician in Training” has been defined as a person who has an interest in and an aptitude for performing installation, maintenance and repair work on HVAC systems, but who alone is neither capable nor authorized to perform HVAC system work unless directly supervised by an HVAC technician.
In order for any business or individual to obtain an HVAC contractor’s license, they must demonstrate competency by passing the required exams and providing the necessary documentation. The first step in the process of obtaining an HVAC contractor’s license in the State of West Virginia is passing the license examinations.
The West Virginia Contractor’s Licensing Board requires that the person taking the HVAC contractor’s license examination be the owner, partner, corporate officer or full-time employee of the entity that is seeking a license. The examination is developed and administered by Prov, Inc. on behalf of the Board.
The license examination is divided into two parts: A Business & Law exam, and an HVAC exam. The Business & Law exam tests the student on basic business management skills that are necessary to run a construction business. It also covers the legal requirements of running such a business, including tax laws and any other rules governing construction. The HVAC exam covers areas such as load calculations, code requirements, controls, ducting, insulation, piping, and safety.
Both the Business & Law exam and the HVAC exam can be taken either by Paper/Pencil Testing or Computer-Based Testing and must be scheduled in advance. The passing grade is 70 percent, and the results are automatically shared with the Board. Information on the duration of the exams, reference materials, questions and weightage can be obtained from the Candidate Information Bulletin published by Prov.
Prior to applying for an HVAC contractor’s license, the following information must be obtained from the concerned agencies:
- West Virginia Business Registration Tax Number from the West Virginia State Tax Department.
- Federal Taxpayers Identification Number or a Federal Employers Identification Number.
- Unemployment Compensation Number assigned by Workforce West Virginia’s Unemployment Compensation Division in case you employ a West Virginia resident.
- Workers Compensation Policy Number – The State of West Virginia requires employers to obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance to cover for a workplace injury even if they employ only one person.
- If the entity on behalf of which the licensure is being sought is a Corporation, LLC (Limited Liability Company), LLP (Limited Liability Partnership), LP (Limited Partnership) or PLLC (Professional Limited Liability Company), then a copy of the certificate of authority from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office must be submitted along with the application.
Wage Bond Requirement
According to the Division of Labor’s Wage Bond Requirements, if an employer, including a person, firm or corporation, has not been actively and actually engaged in construction work in the State of West Virginia for the last five consecutive years, they will be required to submit a wage bond prior to doing so. The amount of this wage bond will be equivalent to the total gross payroll for four weeks at full capacity or production, plus fifteen percent for benefits. For HVAC contractors that perform work only on residential single-family dwellings, a wage bond is not necessary. Regardless of the applicability of the wage bond requirement, a completed and notarized Wage Bond Status Affidavit must accompany the license application.
After obtaining a West Virginia contractor’s License, if an HVAC contractor plans to work on a project involving high and/or low-pressure refrigerants, he or she will have to be certified for such work by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In such cases, the person or firm will have to pass the necessary examinations to obtain an EPA Section 608 certification. This certification ensures that the individual who is working on refrigeration systems knows the procedures and methods involved in working with refrigerants, and is aware of the ozone-degrading characteristics of these compounds.
The fee for an HVAC contractor’s License is $90, which must be paid at the time of application. The license is valid for one year. The fee for each exam is $42, which is paid at the time of scheduling the exam with Prov.
At the present moment, the State of West Virginia does not have any reciprocity agreement with any other state for HVAC contractor’s licenses.