South Dakota is a fairly arid state and experiences cold, dry winters along with scorching summers. Temperatures in the state range from below 0 to over 100. Professionals with a South Dakota HVAC license are needed throughout the entire year due to the vast temperature range and almost never face a shortage of work. South Dakota does not have licensing requirements at the state level for HVAC professionals, however some cities have their own requirements and licensing options.
South Dakota does not require HVAC technicians to obtain licensure but HVAC contractors are required to obtain one of several options for licensing issued through the South Dakota Registrar of Contractors.
South Dakota HVAC License Requirements
Different cities within South Dakota have their own licensing options and requirements for HVAC professionals. Usually, only HVAC contractors are required to meet these regulations and not HVAC technicians. Common licenses offered for HVAC professionals in South Dakota include Mechanical Apprentice, Mechanical Installer, and Mechanical Contractor.
Cities, such as Sioux Falls, require HVAC contractors to take the Master Mechanic exam and meet additional requirements such as having a minimum of 4 years of HVAC related experience with at least 2,000 hours per year within the 4 years working in either the position of refrigeration technician, sheet metal mechanic, engineer or general manager. Following the successful completion of the exam HVAC contractors may apply for the Master Mechanic License or Mechanical Contractor’s License and must obtain a $10,000 compliance bond within 90 days.
Additionally, some cities also require licensed HVAC contractors who work with refrigeration and coolant to obtain a Refrigeration Contractors License. HVAC contractors working in this field must pass the Refrigeration Contractor examination and following successful completion must apply for the Refrigeration Contractor License as well as obtain a $10,000 compliance bond within 90 days.
South Dakota HVAC Education
South Dakota has several programs for HVAC education including Ashworth College, Oglala Lakota College, Western Dakota Technical Institute, Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) and Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls. Out of these programs both MTI and Southeast Technical Institute have HVAC Excellence accreditation.
Those who are interested in pursuing a HVAC apprenticeship are recommended to look within the SDAPHCC (South Dakota Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors) organization where coursework is offered online and on-the-job training is offered throughout the state with numerous companies and employers.
South Dakota HVAC Exam Overview
Two of the major exams offered in South Dakota for HVAC professionals are the Master Mechanic exam and the Refrigeration Contractor examination. Those who apply to take the Master Mechanic exam must have a minimum of 4 years of applicable work experience. The exam costs $75 and a score of 75% is required to pass in order to obtain the master mechanic license. Similarly, HVAC professionals who take the Refrigeration Contractor examination must pay $75 and are required to score a 75% in order to pass.
South Dakota 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 in South Dakota 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.
South Dakota HVAC Salary
Professionals with a South Dakota HVAC license earn on average $45,000 per year with the top 10% earning well over $63,000 per year. Cities in the state which pay the highest rate for HVAC technicians include Sioux City, Sioux Falls, and Brookings which have an annual salary range of $47,000 to $73,400 per year.