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(HVAC Systems). Professionals who work in this industry are referred to as HVAC technicians or techs. These professionals safely install, service, design and repair HVAC/R equipment according to the standards of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers Inc. 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.
The following are some examples of Mississippi HVAC training course topics:
- Refrigeration systems additional
- Refrigeration Mechanics
- Electrical wiring
- Basic air conditioning
- Heat pumps
HVAC Schools 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 at a HVAC trade school or accredited tech school should they wish to have the best chance of success in this field.
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 HVAC/R technician programs:
- 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 includes HVAC Excellence Certifications. This program can be completed in as 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.
- Mississippi Delta Community college. Mississippi Delta Community College offers a technical certificate and an Associate of Applied Science degree in HVAC technology. Both programs are accredited by the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). The technical certificate can be completed in two semesters, and the AAS degree can be completed in four semesters.
HVAC Certification and Licensing for Becoming a Technician in Mississippi
All HVAC technicians who will be working with refrigerants must hold active EPA 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 2018, 2,750 HVAC technicians were working in the state of Mississippi, as reported by the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP). In 2028, it is expected that there will be 2,840 HVAC techs working in the state.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HVAC techs in Mississippi were earning an hourly average of $18.97 and an annual average of $39,460 in 2021. 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 is the highest certification for HVAC?
The highest certification for HVAC is the C-16 certification. It is offered through the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). This certification demonstrates mastery of complex concepts and principles related to the design, installation, and inspection of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
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.