November 2, 2023
What Certifications to Look for in an HVAC Contractor

HVAC technicians in Hanover, MD, are concerned with improved credibility and employment opportunities and the ability to provide greater services to their customers, pursue continuing education, and earn additional certifications. They understand the value that HVAC certifications bring in addition to on-the-job experience.

HVAC Licensing in Maryland

HVAC technicians help homeowners ensure that their HVAC system functions properly. Their job includes diagnosing and repairing issues and installing new HVAC systems.

An HVAC license offers customers a competency guarantee. When you hire a licensed HVAC technician, you know that you’re working with someone who has proven that they can pass all the required training programs and certifications and have garnered the necessary experience to diagnose and repair different HVAC issues.

Currently, Maryland offers five types of HVAC licensing certifications. These are apprentice, journeyman, limited, master restricted, and master. Before reaching each level, HVAC contractors must meet certain qualifications.


This is the starting point for all professionals in the HVAC industry. This license allows them to work under a licensed HVAC contractor.


With a journeyman’s license, a technician is proving that they have three years of experience as an apprentice and have at least 1,875 hours of working and training under an HVAC contractor.

Limited License

To qualify for this license, a technician needs to work as an HVAC journeyman for at least two years under the supervision of a master HVAC contractor. They need 1,000 hours of supervised work for at least one year before applying for the license.

5 types licensing

Master Restricted License

In order to obtain this license, an HVAC tech will need to be a journeyman for three years working under a licensed master contractor. They will need 1,875 hours working like this before applying.

Master’s License

A master’s license requires an applicant to be a three-year journeyman working under an HVAC master contractor. They will need to complete 1,875 hours of work the year before applying. A master’s license means a person has a more in-depth understanding of HVAC principles than one with a master-restricted license.

EPA 608 Certification

This certification is required for HVAC technicians in harmony with the Clean Air Act. It is for individuals who repair, maintain, service or dispose of equipment that has the potential to release refrigerants into the atmosphere.

To obtain this certification, technicians need to pass an EPA-approved test. The test is specific to the equipment the HVAC tech will work on. They are administered by EPA-approved organizations. Thankfully, the Section 608 Technician Certification credentials do not expire.

The EPA has four types of 608 certifications. Type I is for technicians who work on small appliances. Type II is for technicians working on or disposing of high or very high-pressure appliances. Type III is for disposing of or servicing low-pressure appliances. Universal certification is for servicing equipment of all types.

NATE Certification

NATE, or North American Technician Excellence, represents a nonprofit certification group that centers on HVAC and refrigeration technicians. The HVAC industry develops, operates, supports, and endorses NATE.

The late 90s saw the founding of NATE, with a sharp focus on aiding technicians in elevating their knowledge and skills beyond the competition. NATE certification serves as proof of a technician’s proficiency in various facets of the HVAC industry. Pursuing NATE certification is a voluntary choice that allows technicians to showcase their industry expertise.

To acquire NATE certification, technicians must successfully pass a comprehensive written exam. These exams don’t simply test textbook memorization. They are designed to evaluate a technician’s real-world comprehension of air conditioners, oil furnaces, heat pumps, and more. The exam delves into intricate issues, ensuring that certified technicians possess in-depth knowledge.

In contrast to EPA 608 certifications, which have indefinite validity, NATE certifications are valid for five years. This finite duration reflects the ever-evolving nature of HVAC technology. Thus, NATE certification attests to a person’s up-to-date industry knowledge.

When you hire a NATE-certified technician for your property, you can rest assured knowing that you’re working with someone dedicated to correctly completing the job on the first try. You know that the technician possesses the training and expertise to effectively address any HVAC system issues, providing you with the peace of mind that the job will meet or surpass safety requirements.

HVAC Excellent Certification

HVAC Excellent Certification, widely recognized in the HVAC industry, applies to educators, technicians, and education programs, demonstrating the competence of certificate holders in HVAC and HVACR.

The ESCO group responsible for creating this certification aims to enhance technical competence within the HVAC industry. Established in the early 1990s, the Excellence Certification ensures a consistent education process that validates technicians’ competence in various HVAC areas.

HVAC Excellence Certification offers a series of discipline-specific written exams for professional technicians, each comprising 100 questions. These exams assess a technician’s competence in various areas, such as combustion analysis, heat pump installation, gas heat, residential air conditioning, electric heat, and more. Professional-level exams require technicians to have at least two years of verifiable work experience and pass the core exam before taking these exams.

Technicians can choose the disciplines they want to be certified in. Once a discipline is successfully completed and they receive their certificate, they can progress to the next level, aiming to become a master specialist in that particular discipline.

Hiring a Certified HVAC Technician: The Benefits

Hiring a certified HVAC technician offers several advantages, including working with a professional who comprehends the significance of delivering top-tier work and is committed to ensuring your HVAC system operates at its best.

Cost Savings

When you hire a certified HVAC technician, you save money. The job is completed correctly the first time, eliminating the need to pay someone else to re-do a subpar job.

Access to Professional Expertise

When you work with an HVAC professional who continually undergoes specialized training, their certificates demonstrate their adherence to local regulations and ability to address your inquiries regarding HVAC system issues while offering expert solutions to meet your needs effectively.

Safety Awareness

Working on an HVAC system can be hazardous for those lacking the necessary training and experience. When you partner with a certified professional HVAC technician, you can rest assured that they employ the latest industry methods to maximize safety while working on your system.

Bringing Comfort Straight to Your Maryland Door

At Beltway Air Conditioning & Heating, we understand that we need to do it right when it comes to home comfort. For this reason, we are committed to keeping our customers comfortable all year round with well-maintained furnaces and air conditioners. We are proud to employ licensed, trained technicians, and we are a locally owned and operated company. We have an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and work hard to maintain it.

Our services include HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair. We also offer indoor air quality testing, air purifiers, carbon monoxide detectors, and humidifiers. In addition, we do duct cleaning and install new ductwork. Contact Beltway Air Conditioning & Heating today and experience the satisfaction of working with qualified professionals using quality HVAC products in your home or business.

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