Do I need to be licensed as a master heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) contractor?
N.J.S.A. 45:16A-7 states that "a person shall not work as a master HVACR contractor or use the title or designation of 'licensed Master HVCAR contractor' or 'Master HVACR contractor' unless licensed pursuant to the provisions of this act." If you are performing HVACR services and you do not qualify for an exemption to this requirement, you must obtain a license from the board.
Is there a fee to apply?
Yes, the application fee is currently $100. There is a separate licensing fee which will be assessed when an individual is approved.
May I apply in person?
The HVACR application is online. If you do not have a computer at home, and cannot access one at your local library, there are computers available at 124 Halsey Street, 3rd Floor, Newark, NJ. The online application can be found at:
Can I get my license the same day I apply?
No, the State Board of Examiners of HVACR Contractors meet once per month. Board Members review applications at each meeting. All applications must be reviewed and approved by the Board. Approval letters will be sent to applicants as soon as possible following each meeting. Following approval, the examination for licensure must be scheduled and the examination passed prior to the license being issued.
If I'm approved by the Board, receive my approval letter and pay the licensing fee, how long will it be until I receive my actual Master HVACR license?
Once your licensing fee is processed by the Revenue Department and the application process is complete, you should receive your license within 15-20 days.
I missed the grandfathering period but have extensive experience, can I be given a waiver and allowed to sit for the exam?
No, the grandfathering period has ended on September 3, 2014 and the HVACR Board does not have the authority to waive or grant exemptions to the statutory provisions found in N.J.S.A. 45:16A-26.
How do I obtain experience to qualify for an examination?
Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:32A-2.1, applicants must submit evidence of meeting the educational requirements through one (1) of the following options:
Completion of a four (4) year U.S. Department of Labor approved apprenticeship in HVACR followed by one (1) year of journeyperson experience under a licensed Master HVACR Contractor.
Four year Bachelor's degree in HVACR from an accredited college or university followed by one (1) year of journeyperson experience under a licensed Master HVACR Contractor.
Four year Bachelor's degree in a degree related to HVACR from an accredited college or university f followed by three (3) years of journeyperson experience under a licensed Master HVACR Contractor.
Two year degree from a Trade, Technology, Community, or County School/College at completion of at least two (2) years of a U.S. Department of Labor approved apprenticeship in HVACR, followed by one (1) year of journey person experience under a licensed Master HVACR Contractor.
I am licensed in another state as a master HVACR contractor, can I get a license in New Jersey based on that license? Can I apply through reciprocity?
Yes, the regulations allow for individuals licensed in other states to apply through reciprocity; however, per N.J.A.C. 13: 32A-2.5, the licensure standards of other States must be equal to or comparable with, those of the State of New Jersey, and the State must reciprocates with the State of New jersey. A list of States the HVACR Board has previously reviewed can be found here:
A person seeking a license based on licensure in another state (reciprocity) should submit an application, proof, that he or she completed one of the education programs required of applicants educated in New Jersey, proof that he or she is licensed in another state, and proof that the other state allows New Jersey licensed Master HVACR contractors to obtain a license in that state based upon New Jersey licensure.
Can a municipality require that I obtain an additional license from the municipality in order to perform HVACR work in the municipality?
No, per N.J.S.A. 45:16A-6, a municipality, local board of health or any other agency shall not issue or renew any Master HVACR contractor's license.
I am enrolled in an HVACR program. Am I automatically enrolled in an apprenticeship program?
No, your employer must agree to and register you with the U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Apprenticeship.
Where would I go to get an accredited apprenticeship?
The HVACR Board only accepts approved U.S. Department of Labor apprenticeships. Employers which agree to sponsor an apprenticeship, should email the United States Department of Labor - Office of Apprenticeship representative servicing the county in which the company is located.
The list of U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Apprenticeship staff can be found here:
If my employer does not agree to sponsor a registered apprenticeship program, may I still become a registered apprentice?
No, federal regulations of the U.S. Department of Labor requires that an employer sponsor an apprenticeship.
If I change employers, am I still part of the apprenticeship program?
No, the apprenticeship does not automatically transfer to your new employer. Your new employer will need to agree to sponsor you in an apprenticeship and contact the U.S. Department of Labor to register you.
How often must a license be renewed?
Master HVACR Contractor licenses expire biennially on June 30th of even-numbered years and must be renewed at that time. A reminder will be sent to the licensee's address of record approximately 60 days prior to the expiration date.
What is the cost to renew a license?
The license renewal fee is $160.00.
Am I required to complete continuing education in order to renew my license?
Yes, every licensee must complete five credits of continuing education at a Board approved course every biennial period. Per N.J.A.C. 13:32A-4(c), licensees are required to maintain, for a period of four years, all verification of continuing education attendance.
Do HVACR companies need to be licensed or registered?
The HVACR Board does not license or register HVACR companies; however, all HVACR businesses should be registered with the Department of Community Affairs. Each HVACR company is required to have in its employ a bona-fide representative (BFR).
How and where am I required to display my license information?
Per N.J.A.C. 13:32A-5.1, the master HVACR contractor must display the name of the bona-fide representative (BFR), the NJ license number and "HVACR Contractor" on the following:
- Commercial vehicles
- All business correspondence, invoices, stationery, and website(s)
- All advertising (print and online)
Further, if a master HVACR contractor intends to subcontract, in a calendar year, more than one-third of the HVACR work that he or she contracts to perform, or subcontracted in the previous calendar year more than one-third of the work that he or she contracted to perform, all advertising by the master HVACR contractor shall state: "A substantial part of the HVACR work which we undertake may be subcontracted to independent licensed HVACR contractors."
What is a Bona-fide representative and what are the ownership requirements?
Bona-fide representative will act as an agent of service and provide the Board the acceptance of liability to the business for financial responsibilities.
In order to register as a bona fide representative for an entity, you must be a licensed Master HVACR Contractor who meets the following requirements:
- If the entity either generates more than 65% of its gross revenue from sources other than HVACR contracting or is a publicly-traded corporation, including its wholly owned subsidiaries, whose principal business in this State is HVACR contracting, you must be:
- In the case of a sole proprietorship, the owner of the business; ii. In the case of a partnership, a partner in the business; iii. In the case of a limited liability company, a manager; or iv. In the case of a corporation, an executive officer.
- If the entity does not meet the requirements of 1 above, you must have an ownership interest of:
- If the entity is a corporation, no less than one percent ownership of the issued and outstanding shares of stock in the corporation;
- If the entity is a partnership, no less than one percent ownership of the capital of the partnership; or iii. If the entity is any other firm or legal entity engaged in HVACR contracting, no less than one percent ownership of the entity.
"One percent ownership" means that you are entitled to one percent of any net profits from a business, own one percent equity in the entity, and are entitled to one percent of the net proceeds from the sale of the entity in the event the entity is sold. If the entity is a corporation, you must own stock equaling one percent equity interest, and, if there is more than one class of stock, the stock is the highest level stock with full voting rights.
Who can sign permit applications when I am out of office?
Per N.J.C.A. 13:32A-5.3, the bona fide representative may sign and seal a letter, good for up-to 60 days, authorizing an individual to secure a permit for the bona fide representative. The permit must be signed by the bona fide representative.
What are the requirements to be a continuing education sponsor?
Per N.J.A.C. 13:32A-4.2, an individual seeking approval as a continuing education sponsor shall submit to the HVACR Board an application which shall consist of the application fee, a curriculum vitae, and a detailed descriptions of course content. Upon receipt of the information, new sponsors will be scheduled to appear before the HVACR Board.
Can a master HVACR contractor install an electrical disconnect?
No, per N.J.A.C. 13:32A-1.2 (10), a licensed master HVACR contractor may not replace a disconnect box or disconnect switch.
Can a master HVACR contractor install a surge protector?
A licensed master HVACR contractor may replace a surge protector that is located on the load side of an electrical disconnect; however, if the surge protector is located on the line side of the electrical disconnect, the master HVACR contractor may not do the installation as it requires a licensed electrician.
Can a master HVACR contractor install a backflow preventer on ice machines and humidification systems?
A licensed master HVACR contractor may connect the piping if a unit has a backflow connector, if the unit does not have a backflow preventer, the master HVACR contractor may not install piping.
Can a master HVACR replace a water heater for domestic use?
A licensed HVACR contractor may replace a combination "tankless" water heater/hydronic heating unit, but may not connect or disconnect the domestic (potable) water while doing the replacement.