If you’re thinking of getting into business for yourself in the HVACR field, are you going to be a licensed contractor, or do you plan to operate as un-licensed as far as your state’s contractor registration agency is concerned?
If you plan to be licensed, there are certain requirements you have to meet. One, is to accomplish the specific exam required in your state. Often,this exam requires that you have knowledge not just about how to repair an air conditioner, but also about the business end of the business…things like what the process would be to file a lien on a property if you weren’t paid for your services, etc…and other legal issues, rules and regulations.
Another requirement may be documentation of a given amount of time you’ve been working in the HVACR trade as a technician. In Arizona, for example, you have to be able to document four years of field experience before you’re allowed to sit for the exam. And, of course, there are fees, usually in the hundreds of dollars that need to be paid upon your application for the exam, and then, there’s the exam itself.
Like any test or exam that you take, a contractor’s exam can only be accomplished with a passing score if you’re either so incredibly familiar with the topics on the exam via your work experience (not very likely for anybody), or you’ve taken the time to study on the specific topics of the exam. In many cases, the state will provide you with information on the subjects discussed on the exam so you’ll have some idea on what you need to study up on, but that’s no guarantee you’ll pass the first time around.
There are companies who specialize in preparing you to take a contractor’s exam. Some offer you the “no pass, no pay” guarantee, which means that you could be spending some time (intense time) reviewing practice questions, or perhaps memorizing certain information. The fee these companies charge varies, as well as the amount of time you’ll spend with them. In some cases, an exam preparation company will guarantee that they will prepare you for as many re-takes as necessary for you to get a passing score on the exam. Signing up for a preparation class, seminar or workshop is like anything else you purchase. Do your research and ask questions to make sure it’s right for you.
This idea of intense preparation for a contractor’s exam often brings up a question: If someone lived in a state that didn’t require experience documentation, would it be possible for someone who didn’t have a great deal of competency in the troubleshooting and repair of HVAC equipment to just cram for the exam, and pass it?
The answer to the above question is, yes, it’s possible.
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