Across the United States, blue collar workers in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning), Plumbing, & Electrical roles provide services to our homes, businesses, and communities every day. Many of these tradesman must undergo vigorous testing, training, and become licensed to do their jobs. There is not currently a federal licensing standard, which leaves licensing up to states, and most often, up to cities & municipalities. When hiring a contractor for your project, it is important to understand licensing requirements for your area, and what that entails for the job being completed.
What Does “Being Licensed” in the Trades Mean?
A trade license is needed by a business or individual in order to legally carry out various activities. It is a legal document that provides legitimacy to the company or individual, and gives them the ability to perform certain actions or jobs in the State, County, or City where they are licensed. This type of license is usually only good for the activity it was originally granted for, i.e., a plumber cannot perform the jobs of a licensed electrician, and vice versa. Licenses may be required when attempting to apply for business credit or capital, bank accounts, or for hiring employees. A license may also be required by employers in order to be hired for specific roles. A trade license is granted by a municipal or state license department, which often falls under a Department of Health function, but may be handled by a different entity depending on where you live. Just like cosmetologists, doctors, lawyers, and engineers, tradesmen must also become licensed to perform their job.
What Types of Licenses are Available for Tradesmen?
Depending on the trade you work in (Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, etc.) there may be multiple types of licenses available depending on the level of experience or education required to complete a certain job. For example, in Arkansas, an HVAC tradesman must be licensed differently depending on the type of system they are working on. Performing work on larger commercial systems may require a separate type of license than smaller residential units. There are generally denoted as Class A, B, C, or I, II, III, etc.
How Can You Check to See if The Person You are Hiring is Properly Licensed?
Many states that issue licenses also host a public database listing vetted & licensed trades professionals. For example, if you are searching for a licensed tradesman in Arkansas, you would need to navigate through the Arkansas Department of Health, “Protective Health Code Licensee” website. Not all states or municipalities keep online databases of all licensees, so you may have to call your local government’s licensing department to determine where to find this information.
Is a License Required in My State?
Below is a list of states we have compiled, and licensing requirements for each of them. Regardless of state requirements, some municipalities also impose their own regulations on licensing, so it is imperative to check with your local government to see if a license is required to perform work where you live.
It is important to ensure that no matter who you hire for your project, big or small, is licensed for the task at hand. Paschal Air, Plumbing & Electric employs licensed HVAC technicians, plumbers, and electricians, and holds licenses in all states where we conduct business.