Rhode Island has an average annual temperature of 50°F and is known for having brief summers and extended winters. Temperatures throughout the year generally range from 20° F to 80°F but may fall below 10° F or exceed 90°F depending on the year and its seasonal conditions. The coldest months in Rhode Island include December through February which experience an average temperature of 40°F along with snowfall in most areas of the state. Although professionals with a Rhode Island HVAC license tend to be the busiest during the winter, they still have plenty of work throughout the muggy summer months as well.
Rhode Island HVAC License Options
HVAC technicians may obtain licensure in Rhode Island through the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, Division of Professional Regulation. HVAC professionals may obtain licensure as sheet metal technicians, refrigeration/air conditioning technicians, or pipefitters. There are also licenses available at the contractor level for these specialties. Sheet Metal Technicians may obtain licensure at the apprentice level or journeyman level. Those who become journeymen may obtain either a Class I or Class II license. The Class I license requires journeymen to complete a 4 year apprenticeship where as a Class II license requires journeymen to complete 4000 hours of training. Both licenses require applicants to pass an exam.
Licensure is also available for Refrigeration and/or Air Conditioning Technicians. Those who choose the Journeyperson Class I license must complete a 5 year apprenticeship and those who choose to obtain a Journeyperson Class II license must complete 4000 hours of training along with 288 hours of education. Both licenses require applicants to pass a respective exam.
A third option for HVAC licensure in Rhode Island is the Pipefitter license. Those who obtain the Journeyperson Class I (Unlimited) license must complete a 5 year apprenticeship whereas those who obtain the Journeyperson Class II (Limited) license must complete 4,000 hours of training along with and 288 hours of education. Both licenses require applicants to pass a respective exam.
All previously mentioned HVAC license options also have contractor level license options available including the following: Sheet Metal Master Contractor Class I, Sheet Metal Master Contractor Class II, Pipefitter Master Contractor Class I, Pipefitter Master Contractor Class II, Refrigeration Master Contractor Class I, and Refrigeration Master Contractor Class II. Class I contractor licenses require HVAC professionals to have held their journeyman license for at least 1 year prior to taking the contractor exam whereas Class II contractors licenses require professionals to maintain their journeyman license for 3 years. Each license option requires contractors to pass a respective exam and most applicants have obtained both a Bachelor of Science in their respective field along with 4 years of work experience. In most cases all contractors must carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Rhode Island HVAC Education
There are numerous options for HVAC education programs in Rhode Island including apprenticeship programs and more traditional education programs. Apprenticeship programs can be found through the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, the Rhode Island Builders Association (RIBA), Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCCA) and the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA). More traditional education programs can be found at New England Institute of Technology as well as MotoRing Technical Training Institute (MTTI).
Rhode Island EPA Section 608 Certification
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all HVAC technicians that work with refrigerants to be certified. In order to obtain EPA certification, HVAC technicians must take an exam which has 80 multiple choice questions that must be completed within 3 hours. A score of 70% is required to pass the exam and the exam fee is $120.
The three different EPA certification types that HVAC technicians can acquire are Type I, II and III. Type I limits HVAC technicians to working on appliances which contain no more than five pounds of refrigerant. Type II permits HVAC technicians to perform work on high pressure appliances. Type III limits HVAC technicians to working on low-pressure appliances. This certification is transferable among all states and does not expire.
Rhode Island HVAC Salary
HVAC professionals in Rhoda Island generally earn between $51,000 and $55,000 per year with the top 10% earning over $70,000 annually. HVAC professionals are not required at the state level to obtain licensure prior to taking on work however there are still license options available for various specialties.