Starting Your Own HVACR Business in New Jersey? Here’s How to Get Your License!

Published: Oct 22, 2014


As of March this year, anybody wanting to become a licensed Master HVACR contractor in New Jersey has to do so under the conditions of the newest N.J.S.A. 45:16A-1 licensing Act. With this Act, the State Board of Examiners of Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Contractors in New Jersey has revised the process, conditions and requirements for licensing as a Master HVACR contractor in the state.

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Becoming licensed is the only legal way to work as a Master HVACR contractor in NJ, and the Board is the only institution in the state that can issue licenses. But it also serves as a guarantee that you have passed the Board’s criteria and are fit for the job, in terms of experience and knowledge.

Read on for a more detailed description of all the steps involved in acquiring your license.

1. Conditions to Apply for a HVACR Licence in New Jersey

hvac appropriate clothing (7)
A person can only apply for a Master HVACR licence in NJ if they fulfill the educational requirements set out in the licensing Act. These include one of the following:

    A minimum of 5 years employment in HVACR contracting business, which includes at least 4 years of a HVACR or similar apprenticeship approved by the U.S. Department of Labor and 1 or more years work as an HVACR journeyman.


    A HVACR Bachelor's degree or a Bachelor's degree in a field that is related to HVACR. Either degree must have been issued by a college or university officially recognized by the United States Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education.

2. Application Process and Examination

Once one of the above conditions has been met, a person seeking to obtain a licence as a Master HVACR contractor in New Jersey can initiate the application process. The application is available on the State Board's website and must be completed online. If it is approved, the applicant will be informed that they are eligible to take the Master HVACR examination, and when and where to attend. The application fee is $100.

The Act specifically states that examinations shall be held at least four times annually, so the waiting period will probably not be too long. But keep in mind that if you don't pass the examination, you will have to wait for 6 months until you can retake it.

3. Get Bonded Once You Pass the Examination

As part of obtaining the HVACR licence in New Jersey, you are required to submit a number of other documents upon successfully passing the examination. These include posting a contractor licence bond in the sum of $3,000 as required by the State Board.

Apply for your contractor license bond today and lock your rate for 90 days!

This bond serves to guarantee that once you become a licensed contractor you will operate your business in compliance with the rules and regulations on HVACR contractors of the state. Bonds run out at the same time as licenses, which in this particular case is June 30, 2016. You will have to have yours renewed no later than that date and from then on, every other year.

4. Proof of Insurance and Federal Tax Identification Number

Since bonds are not insurance for you or your business, you also need insurance. As part of the licensing process you will have to submit a certificate of general liability insurance from an insurance company that is licensed and operating in NJ. The amount of the insurance has to be $500,000.

Additionally, in order to finalize the process of obtaining your HVACR licence in New Jersey, you also need to submit a Federal Tax Identification Number (also known as an Employer Identification Number) for your HVACR business, regardless of whether this is your business or you are acting as a representative of a company.

Finally, you will have to pay the $160 licensing fee.

5. Receiving Your License and Pressure Seal

Mark Udall presents a certificate to Dan Crawshaw to recognize his commitment and excellence as a certified Master HVACR educator.

Receiving your license, once you have been approved and have paid the fee takes about 15-20 days. Upon receiving your license from the Board you will also receive a pressure seal (against a fee of $25) that is only to be used by you or the person who is licensed as the Master HVACR contractor.

This seal will remain property of the Board throughout the period you are licensed as a HVACR contractor and is to be used on all applications for permits that fall under HVACR regulations.

Other Ways to Apply

There also exists another possibility to apply for a Master HVACR contractor license in New Jersey, different from the one described above. The 'Reciprocity with Other States' rule means that if you are licensed as a HVACR contractor in another state you may, under certain conditions, apply to receive a license in NJ without going through the examination.

According to these conditions, the state you are licensed in should have equal standards of licensure as NJ. Furthermore, this state, too, should allow for HVACR contractors from NJ to obtain license there, based on their license in NJ. For more information, consult section 13:32A-2.5 from the official Chapter 32A, laying out all the details and conditions on obtaining a HVACR license in New Jersey.


If you have any additional questions regarding the process of application for a Master HVACR contractor license in New Jersey, make sure to contact the Board itself via their website.

If you have already passed your Master HVACR contractor examination, you will need to post a contractor license bond. Lance Surety Bonds can provide you with all the necessary information regarding the bond process. If you have any questions or would like to get a quote call us at (877) 514-5146 or directly apply for a quote online. We will be happy to help you!

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