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New Jersey HVAC License: How to Get Certified as an HVAC Technician in NJ

June 6, 2023 10 min. read
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If you’re looking for financial security in an uncertain job market, getting your HVAC license is a wise choice. The HVAC sector in New Jersey offers a substantial starting income and ample opportunities for career growth, making it a lucrative career path with lots of potential.

The average salary for HVAC workers in New Jersey is $55,043 which is 12% higher than the national average. 

Now is the perfect time to get your hvac license and make this prosperous financial future a reality. 

In this guide, we’ll go over all the critical questions and need-to-know info about getting your New Jersey hvac license, including: 

If you’re serious about getting your New Jersey hvac license, make sure you bookmark this page. This way, you can return to this guide if you have any questions or are ready to start your own hvac business in New Jersey.

Do you need an HVAC license in NJ?

Yes, in New Jersey a valid HVAC license is required to perform HVAC work. This license ensures that the technician has met certain qualifications and has the necessary knowledge and skills to perform HVAC work safely and effectively.

In New Jersey, HVAC licenses are issued by The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs

Here are the types of work that a fully-licensed HVAC professional can do:

  • Install, service, and repair heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems
  • Install and repair duct systems
  • Install, repair, and replace electrical components related to HVAC systems
  • Replace, repair, and service refrigeration systems for commercial and industrial applications
  • Replace, repair, and service commercial and industrial air handling units
  • Fabricate and install duct systems for residential, commercial, and industrial applications
  • Provide indoor air quality assessments and recommendations
  • Manage refrigerants in compliance with federal and state regulations
  • Perform load calculations to determine the appropriate HVAC system for the building
  • Design HVAC systems and installations as necessary

Performing HVAC work without a valid HVAC license in New Jersey is considered a violation of the law and can result in fines and other legal consequences. 

Types of HVAC licenses in NJ

The type of license you need will depend on the type of work you would like to do. New Jersey offers multiple licenses, so make sure you know which one is right for you. 

There are multiple stages to the licensing process, and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs only regulates the HVAC/R Licensing. 

License TypeDescription
Apprentice*License holders may assist in the installation, maintenance, and repair of HVAC systems under the direct supervision of a licensed HVAC/R contractor or journeyperson.
Journeyperson*License holders may perform HVAC work independently, including installation, repair, and maintenance of HVAC systems.
HVAC/R MasterLicense holders may offer HVAC/R services to the public as a contractor in New Jersey. This includes the installation, repair, maintenance, and replacement of HVAC/R equipment, systems, and components. They may also bid on and accept contracts for HVAC/R work from government agencies, commercial businesses, and residential customers. 

HVAC *Apprentices and Journeypeople licenses are meant to provide individuals with the necessary training and experience required to become a licensed HVAC/R technician; they are not standalone licenses.

NJ HVAC license requirements

In order to obtain your HVAC license and start working, you need to meet all the requirements listed by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. 

Here are the requirements applicants must complete for each type of license:

License TypeRequirements
Apprentice• Be at least 18 years old
• Have a high school diploma or equivalent
• Have a valid driver’s license
• Submit a background check
• Be sponsored by a licensed HVAC/R contractor
• Complete a 4-year apprenticeship program, which includes 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 576 hours of classroom instruction 

Journeyperson• Complete an HVAC apprenticeship program or at least 5 years of HVAC experience
• Complete an application and pay the required fee
• Possess a valid driver’s license
• Attend a state-approved safety course
• Obtain liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance
• Participate in continuing education to renew the license
HVAC/R Master• Submit evidence of meeting the educational requirements through one of the approved options*
• Complete the application for examination and paid the fee
• Be at least 21 years of age
• Complete the HVAC application form 
• Pay the HVAC application fee

* Option 1: Completion of a four-year U.S. Department of Labor approved apprenticeship in HVAC/R followed by one year of journeyperson experience under a licensed Master HVAC/R Contractor.

Option 2: Four-year bachelor’s degree in HVAC/R from an accredited college or university followed by one year of journeyperson experience under a licensed Master HVACR Contractor.

Option 3: Four-year bachelor’s degree in a degree related to HVAC/R from an accredited college or university, followed by three years of journeyperson experience under a licensed Master HVAC/R Contractor. 

Option 4: Two-year degree from a trade, technology, community, or county school/college at the completion of at least two years of a U.S. Department of Labor approved apprenticeship in HVAC/R, followed by one year of journeyperson experience under a licensed Master HVAC/R Contractor.

How to get an HVAC license in NJ

As you can see, there are different steps you need to take along your journey of becoming a fully licensed HVAC technician in New Jersey. 

Now, let’s go over the steps you need to take to get your full HVAC license. 


  1. Meet the requirements: You must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and be physically capable of performing HVAC work.
  2. Find a licensed HVAC contractor who is willing to hire you as an apprentice.
  3. Apply for an HVAC apprenticeship program through the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
  4. Complete the application and submit any required documents, such as proof of age, education, and work experience.
  5. Once your application is approved, you will receive an Apprenticeship Agreement from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, which must be signed by you, your employer, and a representative from the department.
  6. Begin your apprenticeship, which involves on-the-job training and classroom instruction.
  7. Complete a state-approved HVAC training program or apprenticeship that includes at least 576 hours of classroom instruction and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training.

Journeyperson Experience: 

  1. Meet the requirements: You must be at least 21 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, be physically capable of performing HVAC work, and have at least four years of experience working as an HVAC apprentice or equivalent.
  2. Obtain liability insurance and register with the state.

HVAC/R License:

  1. Meet the requirements: You must be at least 21 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and have at least five years of experience in the HVAC/R trade. 
  2. Apply for the HVACR license exam and pay the exam fee. 
  3. Once you’ve been granted approval by the board, you’ll get an Examination Eligibility Notice containing instructions on how to pay for and arrange the exam.
  4. Write and pass the HVAC/R license exam with a score of 70% or higher.
  5. Apply online and upload your documents with your application.
  6. Await an email response from the Board as to their receipt of your application.
  7. Obtain insurance and bonding through a licensed insurance agent or broker.

All forms and documents can be submitted online or mailed to the following address: 

State Board of Examiners of Heating, Ventilating,
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) Contractors
P.O. Box 47031
Newark, NJ 07101

NJ HVAC license exam

The license exam ensures that HVAC technicians in the state have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their job safely and effectively. By passing the appropriate exams, applicants demonstrate that they have a comprehensive understanding of HVAC systems, codes, regulations, and safety practices. 

The HVAC/R license exam in New Jersey consists of two parts: a business and law exam and a technical exam. The technical exam covers topics such as electrical systems, HVAC systems, and refrigeration systems. 

The Trade exam covers:

  • Electrical Knowledge, Motors, and Controls  
  • Piping – Refrigeration, Hydronic, Steam
  • Process
    • Heating and Cooling Principles and Theory
  • Equipment
    • Refrigerants and Refrigeration
    • Fuel and LP Gas
    • Combustion Air, Chimneys, Flues, and Vents
    • Ducts, Ventilation, and Exhaust
    • Load Calculations

The Business and Law exam covers:

  • Business Organization
  • Licensing
  • Estimating and Bidding
  • Contract Management
  • Project Management
  • Risk Management
  • Safety
  • Labor Law
  • Financial Management
  • Tax Law
  • Lien Law

PSI exams have been contracted by the New Jersey State Board of Examiners of HVACR to manage the exam. You can find study materials and resources online or through trade organizations.

You can register for any exam here. 

Does NJ reciprocate HVAC licenses?

Yes, New Jersey reciprocates HVAC licenses with the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

HVAC license reciprocity agreements are designed to make it easier for licensed HVAC professionals to work across state lines without having to go through the entire licensing process again, which can be time-consuming and costly.

How much is an HVAC license in NJ?

The cost to become an HVAC technician depends on the type of licenses you need. You can expect to pay $386 at minimum for the license and exam fees. You must also purchase a $3,000 surety bond and a Certificate of Liability insurance that covers up to $500,000. These need to be in effect for the entire two-year period of your license.

Here’s how the costs break down:

Fee typeCost
The Business and Lawn Exam$83
Trade exam cost$43
Application fee$100
License renewal fee$160

NJ HVAC license renewal

HVAC licenses expire on June 30th of every even-numbered year. To renew a license, applicants must submit an application for renewal online, pay the renewal fee, and meet the continuing education requirements for renewal: complete 5 hours of Continuing Education (CE) during this 2-year period. Find out more details about continuing education requirements.  

What happens if my HVAC license expires? 

If you think your HVAC license has expired, stop performing any HVAC work. You will not be able to legally work as an HVAC technician until your license is renewed. It is important to keep your HVAC license up-to-date to avoid any legal consequences, including fines of hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the offense.

 If an HVAC/R license holder does not apply for renewal within 30 days after the license has expired, their license will be suspended without a hearing. Once the license is suspended, the contractor must return their pressure seal* to the Board. 

*A pressure seal is a stamp or embossed emblem that shows that a contractor is licensed to perform HVAC work in New Jersey. When a contractor’s license is suspended, they must return their pressure seal to the Board. This means they are no longer authorized to perform HVAC work until their license is renewed.

Requirements for HVAC business owners

Getting your New Jersey HVAC license is a great first step that will benefit your financial future. And if you’re looking to take it to the next level, you can start your own HVAC business

To operate an HVAC business in New Jersey, you must have a certificate of general liability insurance, which will protect your business from financial loss if something goes wrong. You also need to secure a $3,000 surety bond for your license and need to submit a certificate of general liability insurance in the amount of $500,000. This will ensure that your business is properly covered in case of any accidents or damages.

Here are six steps for starting an HVAC business: 

  1. Choose an HVAC business name
  2. Register, license, and insure your HVAC business
  3. Get funding for your HVAC business
  4. Get the right HVAC certification and license
  5. Create your HVAC services list
  6. Buy HVAC tools and equipment
  7. Price your HVAC services for profit

Now, you’re ready to start your HVAC career in New Jersey! If you need to, refer back here for more information about HVAC licenses or business support. 

Does an HVAC license in NJ increase your earning potential? 

Yes, an HVAC license in New Jersey can increase your earning potential. An HVAC technician with 3 years of experience or less in New Jersey makes about $40,675 per year, while an HVAC technician with 6+ years of experience makes up to $55,597

If you want to find out more about increasing your earning potential in this lucrative industry, check out our Essential HVAC Salary Guide for 2023

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