How to Become an HVAC Technician in Mississippi
The installation and service of heating and cooling equipment is known as Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration technology. It is also referred to as HVACR or HVAC technology. Professionals who work in this industry are referred to as HVAC technicians or techs. These professionals are responsible for designing, installing and servicing heating, ventilation and cooling systems. This is a career that is high in demand in the trade industry. [Leer en español]
Requirements for Becoming an HVAC Technician in Mississippi
Anyone who works with refrigerants in Mississippi or elsewhere is required to have EPA Section 608 Certification, which is provided through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In Mississippi, you need a license to work as an HVAC contractor, but HVAC technicians employed by contractors are not required to have a license. Mississippi HVAC licensing is managed by the Mississippi State Board of Contractors.
HVAC Apprenticeship and Educational Programs in Mississippi
In many states where licensure is required, education is a prerequisite to taking the required licensing exam. This is not the case in Mississippi. However, to develop skills needed for the job, aspiring HVAC technicians should complete an apprenticeship or postsecondary training program.
For those who prefer apprenticeship, the United Association Union of Plumbers, Fitters, Welders & Service Techs has various local unions throughout Mississippi that offer apprenticeship programs. These apprenticeships include five years of on-the-job training combined with classroom instruction in which the apprentice will also earn an associate’s degree in HVAC technology.
For those considering going the educational route, Mississippi has a few options for you. Consider one of the following:
- Northwest Mississippi Community College. Located in Senatobia, Northwest Mississippi Community College offers a vocational certificate program as well as an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program. These programs are accredited by the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). The courses in this program are offered during the day and in the evening. This program has competitive admission.
- Delta Technical College. Delta Technical College offers an HVAC/R-MAR (Refrigeration and Major Appliance Repair) technician program that is HVAC Excellence accredited. This program can be completed in a s little as nine months and consists of 28 classroom credit hours, as well as hands-on job training. Upon completion of this program, students will receive a diploma.
- Hinds Community College. Hinds Community College offers a technical certificate in HVAC technology program. This program consists of 60 credit hours taken over two years. This program is not accredited but is adequate in preparing students to work in the HVAC industry.
Certification and Licensing for Becoming an HVAC Technician in Mississippi
All HVAC technicians who will be working with refrigerants must hold active EPA Section 608 certification. This certification has four divisions, depending on which type of appliances HVAC techs will be working on. The certifications are: Type I (small appliances), Type II (high-pressure appliances), Type III (low pressure appliances) and Type IV (universal).
HVAC technicians employed by other contractors do not need a license to work in Mississippi. However, if you wish to work as a contractor, you must become licensed through the Mississippi State Board of Contractors. The state HVAC contractor’s license is offered for commercial work and residential work. There is an application fee of $200.00 for the commercial license and $50.00 for the residential license. Furthermore, to become licensed, applicants must pass an HVAC exam and a Law and Business Management exam. A score of 70 percent is required to pass both exams. At this time, continued education is not required to maintain an HVAC license in Mississippi.
Mississippi has a license reciprocity agreement with the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and South Carolina. Contractors who have held an active license in one of these states for three or more consecutive years can obtain a Mississippi HVAC license without having to go through the testing and licensing process again.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
In 2016, 2,320 HVAC technicians were working in the state of Mississippi, as reported by the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP). In 2026, it is expected that there will be 2,530 HVAC techs working in the state. This means that at least 210 additional HVAC jobs will become available in the 10n-year period between 2016 and 2026.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HVAC techs in Mississippi were earning an hourly average of $18.78 and an annual average of $39,060 in 2017. Entry-level HVAC technicians and apprentices will likely earn less than the state average, and those who have more work experience and are licensed will likely earn more.
Working as an HVAC Technician in Mississippi
HVAC professionals in Mississippi may work with a company, for a licensed contractor or as a self-employed licensed contractor. They might work on heating and cooling systems in residential areas, schools, hotels, office buildings, government buildings or healthcare facilities.
In Mississippi, the highest concentration of HVAC technicians can be found working in Jackson. The Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula region also employs a high number of HVAC technicians. That same region, as well as the city of Hattiesburg are the top paying areas for HVAC technicians in the state.
What are the steps to becoming an HVAC technician in Mississippi?
- 1. Complete a training program or apprenticeship to learn the skills of the trade.
- 2. Get EPA Section 608 certification if handling refrigerants.
- 3. Gain licensing with the Mississippi State Board of Contractors if planning to work as a contractor.
How much do heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers earn in the state of Mississippi?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers in the state of Mississippi made an average of $40,780 per year in 2019. Entry-level heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers earned around $25,230 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $59,680.