TX  

Texas

Only specialty contractors, including HVAC, fire sprinkler systems, plumbing, electricians and well drilling/pump installation specialists, need to be licensed in Texas.

Home builders are not licensed, though it is advisable to check with your local municipality or county in areas of the state outside of municipal jurisdiction, for local requirements.

maglass.gif (1144 bytes)To find out if a specialty contractor is licensed for HVAC, well drilling and pumping, or industrialized housing in Texas, call (512) 463-6599 or (800) 803-9202.  To find out if a plumber is licensed click   or call (512) 458-2145. To find out if a contractor is licensed for fire sprinkler systems call (512) 305-7933. You can search for licensed individuals online at http://www.license.state.tx.us/LicenseSearch/.
 


HVAC Contractor's Licenses

To do HVAC work in Texas you need to be licensed. To get an application, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
E. O. Thompson State Office Building
P. O. Box 12157
Austin, TX 78711
(512) 463-6599
(800) 803-9202 (in Texas only)
Fax: (512) 475-2871
http://www.license.state.tx.us/acr/acr.htm

The Department issues two types of licenses -- Class A and Class B. The Class A license lets you work on any size HVAC equipment. The Class B license limits you to 25 tons of cooling and 1.5 million Btu of heating. For either the Class A or Class B license, you also need an endorsement for environmental air conditioning, commercial refrigeration and process cooling and heating, or both.

You have to pass an exam for each type of endorsement. To take an exam you need at least three years of practical work experience in the preceding five years. If you have a degree in air conditioning engineering, refrigeration engineering, or mechanical engineering from a Department-approved school, you can use it for up to two years of the work experience requirement.

Exams are administered by:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) PSI Exams
http://www.psiexams.com

Here's a list of the subjects on each exam and the number of questions on each subject for Class A and Class B:

Environmental air conditioning exam:

Percent of exam
Subject Class A exam Class B exam
Basic Refrigeration Components 7 8
Boilers 5 3
Business and Law 15 15
Combustion Air 4 4
Controls 6 6
Design Responsibility 3 3
Equipment Requirements 7 7
Heat Loads 10 8
HVAC Systems 6 2
Piping 7 4
Pressure Relief Protection 3 --
Refrigeration Principles 7 5
Service 5 4
Testing 7 5
Ventilation 4 3
Venting 5 5
Air Properties 4 3
Air Distribution 11 11
Exhaust 4 4

Commercial refrigeration and process cooling and heating exam:

Percent of exam
Subject Class A exam Class B exam
Basic Refrigeration Components 12 9
Boilers 5 3
Business and Law 15 15
Combustion Air 4 4
Controls 7 5
Design Responsibility 3 3
Equipment Requirements 10 10
Heat Loads 8 6
HVAC Systems 6 5
Piping 9 6
Pressure Relief Protection 3 --
Refrigeration Principles 12 10
Service 10 10
Testing 7 5
Ventilation 4 4
Venting 4 5
Absorption Systems 1 --

After you pass the exams you have these insurance requirements for a license:

If you have a valid HVAC license in Georgia or South Carolina you can use it to get a Texas license.

fees.GIF (442 bytes)HVAC contractor's license fees: It will cost you $50 to file an application. Each exam costs $90. A license costs $115 and it's good for one year. The renewal fee is $65.

Reference Material for the HVAC Exams

For Class "A" Environmental Air Conditioning Exams:

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration -ARI 1815 Fort Meyer DR. Arlington, VA 22209
~ or ~
Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning -Goodheart and Wilcox -1996 or 2001 Editions 

 Uniform Mechanical Code - Current Edition, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials 2001 E. Walnut Drive South, Walnut, CA 91789-1815 OR
~ or ~
International Mechanical Code - Current Edition, International Code Council, Inc. and
International Fuel Gas Code - Current Edition, International Code Council, Inc. 

Pipefitters Handbook -1967, Industrial Press 200 Madison Ave. NY, NY 10016
High Pressure Boilers - 1994, American Technical Publishers Homewood, IL 60430
Low Pressure Boilers - 2001, American Technical Publishers Homewood, IL 60430 

ACCA Ductulator -ACCA OR
~ or ~
Trane Ductulator -American Standard, Inc. Form No. D100-10176 1 

For Class "B" Environmental Air Conditioning Exams:

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration -ARI 1815 Fort Meyer DR. Arlington, VA 22209
~ or ~
Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning -Goodheart and Wilcox -1996 or 2001 Editions 

 Uniform Mechanical Code - Current Edition, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials 2001 E. Walnut Drive South, Walnut, CA 91789-1815 OR
~ or ~
International Mechanical Code - Current Edition, International Code Council, Inc. and
International Fuel Gas Code - Current Edition, International Code Council, Inc. 

Pipefitters Handbook -1967, Industrial Press 200 Madison Ave. NY, NY 10016
High Pressure Boilers - 1994, American Technical Publishers Homewood, IL 60430
Low Pressure Boilers - 2001, American Technical Publishers Homewood, IL 60430 

ACCA Ductulator -ACCA OR
~ or ~
Trane Ductulator -American Standard, Inc. Form No. D100-10176 1 

For Class "A" Commercial Refrigeration Exam:

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration -ARI 1815 Fort Meyer DR. Arlington, VA 22209
~ or ~
Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning -Goodheart and Wilcox -1996 or 2001 Editions 

 Uniform Mechanical Code - Current Edition, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials 2001 E. Walnut Drive South, Walnut, CA 91789-1815 OR
~ or ~
International Mechanical Code - Current Edition, International Code Council, Inc. and
International Fuel Gas Code - Current Edition, International Code Council, Inc. 

Pipefitters Handbook -1967, Industrial Press 200 Madison Ave. NY, NY 10016
High Pressure Boilers - 1994, American Technical Publishers Homewood, IL 60430
Low Pressure Boilers - 2001, American Technical Publishers Homewood, IL 60430 

For Class "B" Commercial Refrigeration Exam:

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration -ARI 1815 Fort Meyer DR. Arlington, VA 22209
~ or ~
Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning -Goodheart and Wilcox -1996 or 2001 Editions 

 Uniform Mechanical Code - Current Edition, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials 2001 E. Walnut Drive South, Walnut, CA 91789-1815 OR
~ or ~
International Mechanical Code - Current Edition, International Code Council, Inc. and
International Fuel Gas Code - Current Edition, International Code Council, Inc. 

Pipefitters Handbook -1967, Industrial Press 200 Madison Ave. NY, NY 10016
High Pressure Boilers - 1994, American Technical Publishers Homewood, IL 60430
Low Pressure Boilers - 2001, American Technical Publishers Homewood, IL 60430 

For Business and Law Exam:

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation Law, Texas Occupations Code Chapter 51

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation Administrative Rules, Texas Administrative Code Chapter 60

Texas Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors License Law, Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1302

Texas Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors License Rules, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 75

OSHA CFR 29 Part 1926 Construction Standards, OSHA Washington DC

Texas Boiler Law, Health and Safety Code, Chapter 755

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Fire Sprinkler Systems Contractor's License

To work as a fire sprinkler systems contractor in Texas you must get a certificate of registration for your business. To get an application, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) State Fire Marshall's Office
P. O. Box 149221
Austin, TX 78714-9221
(512) 305-7933
Fax: (512) 918-7107
http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/fire/fmlisprinkler.html

The Fire Marshall issues three types of certificates -- general, dwelling, and underground water supply piping. Here are the general requirements you must have to get a certificate:

You must also employ at least one full-time person you designate as a Responsible Managing Employee (RME) who is licensed by the Fire Marshall. To get a RME license, you must pass an exam on the statutes and rules in the Texas Insurance Code Article 5.43-3 -- Fire Protection Sprinkler Systems.

The exam is administered by:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Prometric
1260 Energy Lane
St. Paul, MN 55108
http://www.prometric.com/texas

Unless you're registered as a professional engineer in Texas you must also pass a course given by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) which includes an exam. For a RME general license you must pass the NICET III course. For the RME dwelling license you need to pass a NICET II course and a Fire Marshall's Office exam on the NFPA 13D -- Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One and Two Family Dwellings and Mobile Homes. For a RME underground piping license you don't need any NICET course but you'll have to pass a Fire Marshall's Office exam on NFPA 24 -- Private Fire Service Mains and Their Appurtenances. 

To get information on NICET courses and exams, you can contact them at:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies
1420 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(800) 787-0034
http://www.nicet.org 

fees.GIF (442 bytes)Fire sprinkler systems contractor's license fees: The exam will cost $45 or $60 depending on license category. It costs $50 to apply for a certificate for your company or a RME license. A general certificate costs $900 and a dwelling or underground piping certificate costs $300. A RME general license costs $175 and a dwelling or underground license is $100. A certificate or license is good for two years.

If you have a valid license from another state with requirements generally the same as those in Texas, the Fire Marshall's Office may waive any of its license requirements.

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Plumber's Licenses

You need a license to do plumbing work in Texas. To get an application, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners
929 East 41st Street
P. O. Box 4200
Austin, TX 78765-4200
(512) 936-5200
http://www.tsbpe.state.tx.us/

You'll have to pass an exam to get a plumbing license. To qualify for the master exam you must have held a journeyman license in Texas for one year. If you have a journeyman or master license in another state you can get a Texas journeyman license directly. Then you don't have to pass the two-year Texas journeyman license period. Texas doesn't have any reciprocity agreements with other states.

The examination relates to work performed and decisions made on the job by a Master Plumber. The examination consists of a written part and a hands-on part.

210 Multiple choice questions related to the following:
Plumbing Codes Liquified Petroleum Gas piping installation
Plumbing Codes, specific to water heater installation Plumbing Related Mathematics
Occupational Safety and Health Administration Plumbing License Law and Board Rules
Texas Accessibility Standards  
   
Other hands-on exam topics include:  
1 Fuel Gas Piping Sizing chart
1 Water Pipe Sizing chart
1 Gas Fueled Appliance Vent Sizing chart
1 Drainage System Pipe Sizing chart
Design of a three story sanitary drainage and vent system for sixteen plumbing fixtures

Questions come from:

OSHA Code of Federal Regulations; Title 29 Labor Part 1926
LPG Safety Rules, 1999, NFPA-54
ADA Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS)
Construction Standards For On-Site Sewage Facilities and Collective Regulatory Guidance RG-355
International Plumbing Code and International Fuel Gas Code, 2000 version, International Code Council,  (703) 931-4533
Uniform Plumbing Code, 2006 version, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, (800) 854-2766 

fees.GIF (442 bytes)Plumber's license fees: It will cost you $155 to take the master exam. The fee you pay for a license and its duration will depend on when Board issues it to you.

To qualify to take the journeyman exam, you must have at least 8,000 hours of work experience in the trade or a combination of work experience and technical training that equals 8,000 hours. If you have a journeyman or master license in another state, you qualify to take the Texas journeyman exam.

The journeyman exam has a written part and a hands-on part. The written part of the exam has multiple choice questions on the following topics:

Waste and vent systems Water systems
Natural gas systems Simple physics
Cross-connections created by back siphonage and backflow Terms and definition
Water heaters Law and board rules

Questions come from: 

International Plumbing Code and International Fuel Gas Code, International Code Council,  (703) 931-4533
Uniform Plumbing Code, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, (800) 854-2766 

The hands-on part of the exam is split in two parts as described below. 

The sanitary waste and vent installation portion will test your knowledge of proper planning, layout and installation of sanitary waste and vent systems. You will design the sanitary waste and vent system for a reduced scale two story building and perform the material "take-off", order the material and actually install the system on the reduced-scale two story building. 

The hands-on shop-work portion will test your knowledge and ability to properly use plumbing tools to measure, cut, prepare, assemble and install plumbing materials and recognize proper installations of water heaters.

fees.GIF (442 bytes)Journeyman plumber's exam fee: It will cost you $27 to take the journeyman exam. The fee you pay for a license and its duration will depend on when Board issues it to you.

Recommended Reading for the Plumbing Exam

Construction Standards for On-Site Sewerage Facilities, Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners

ADA Accessibility Guidelines

Texas Accessibility Standards, Texas Dept. of Licensing and Regulation/ Architectural Barriers Section, PO Box 12157, Austin, TX 78711

The Plumbing License Law and Board Rules, Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners

Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Rules, May 1994, Thomas Petru, Texas Railroad Commission Division, P. O. Box 12967, Austin, TX 78711-2967

Code of Federal Regulations - Title 29, Part 1926 (OSHA), July 1995, Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402

National Plumbing Code, Associated Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors of Texas, 2201 N. Lamar, Suite 102, Austin, TX 78705

Uniform Plumbing Code, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, 20001 Walnut Drive South, Walnut, CA

Standard Plumbing Code, Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc., 9420 Research Blvd., Suite 150, Austin, TX 78759

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Electrician's Licenses

You need a license to do electrical work in Texas. To get an application, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
P.O. Box 13489
Austin, TX 78711
(800) 803-9202
Fax: (512) 475-2871 
http://www.license.state.tx.us/electricians/elec.htm 
electricians@license.state.tx.us.

Here are the licensed the Department issues, followed by qualifications for licensure:

The exam is administered by:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) PSI Exams
3210 E. Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89121
(800) 733-9267
http://www.psiexams.com

fees.GIF (442 bytes)Electrician's license and exam fees:

Category Exam License
Master Electrician $78 $50
Master Sign Electrician $63 $50
Journeyman Electrician $78 $35
Journeyman Sign Electrician $63 $35
Residential Wireman $63 $25
Maintenance Electrician $63 $25
Residential Appliance Installer $63 $35
Residential Appliance Installation Contractor -- $115
Electrical Contractor -- $115
Electrical Sign Contractor -- $125
Electrical Apprentice -- $20
Electrical Sign Apprentice -- $20

Texas has a reciprocal license agreement with Louisiana for master electricians, and with Washington and Arkansas for journeyman electricians. The agreement allows for reciprocal licensure of Texas master electricians and the qualifying persons for statewide Louisiana licensed electrical contractors only. The agreement does not allow for reciprocation of other electrical license classes, such as master sign electrician,  journey sign electrician, or residential wireman. For these other electricians from Louisiana who wish to be a licensed electrician in Texas must pass the state's electrical exam and also meet all of Texas' other qualifications.

Recommended Reading for the Electrical Exam

National Electrical Code, current edition

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Well Drilling/Pump Installation License

To do well drilling or pump installation work in Texas you must get a license. To get an application, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
P. O. Box 12157
Austin, TX 78711
(512) 463-6599
Fax: (512) 475-2871
http://www.license.state.tx.us/wwd/wwd.htm

The Department issues four types of well drilling license:

Water Well Monitor Well
Closed Loop Geothermal Well Master Driller License

The Department issues these five types of pump installer licenses:

Windmills, Hand Pump and Pump Jacks Single Phase
Three Phase Line Shaft Turbine Pumps
Master Installer License

The master license lets you work on the other four types of pump installations.

On your license application you'll have to give the Department complete information on the following:

You'll also have to pass an exam the Department has developed to test your abilities in well drilling and/or pump installation to get a license. The exam is administered by:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) PSI Exams
3210 E. Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89121
(800) 733-9267
http://www.psiexams.com

You also need to prove you've lived in Texas for 90 days before you apply for a license and that you intend to reside permanently in the state. If you have a valid license from another state with requirements generally the same as those in Texas, the Department may waive any of the requirements it has for a license. The state you're licensed in must also extend the same privilege to drillers or pump installers licensed by the Department in Texas.

fees.GIF (442 bytes)Well drilling/pump installation license fees: It will cost you $125 to apply for a well driller license and $125 to apply for a pump installer license. If approved you will be able to take the exams. If you pass the exams, a license will cost $215 for either the driller's license or the pump installer's license. If you are applying for a combination license, the fee will be $325. Any new licensee renewal period will be 12 months from the date issued.

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Department of Transportation (DOT)

You have to be prequalified to bid on Texas Department of Transportation projects. To get an application contact:

fees.GIF (442 bytes) Texas Department of Transportation
125 East 11th Street
Austin, TX 78701-2483
(512) 416-2540
Fax: (512) 416-2538
http://www.dot.state.tx.us/

Some of the details the Department will ask you about are your organization, personnel, financial condition, equipment, and experience. You'll be asked what type of work you want to be qualified for. Here are the types of work the Department uses:

Asphalt Cleaning, sweeping highways
Traffic control devices Landscaping
Concrete paving, incidentals Building construction
Other Major structures
Earthwork, base & subbase Rest, picnic area maintenance
Guardrail repair Material supplier
Engineering Hazardous material
Debris clearing, removal Minor structure, miscellaneous concrete
Fencing Underwater inspection
Mowing Painting, striping
Hauling Stream channel restoration
Litter pickup, disposal Rest areas (construction)
Lighting, signal maintenance Pavement markers

You also need to list the districts in Texas that you're willing to work in. Prequalification is good for one year.

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Out-of-State Corporations

Out-of-state corporations must get a Certificate of Authority to do business in Texas from the Texas Secretary of State. To apply for this certificate, contact:

contact.GIF (447 bytes) Corporations Section
Office of the Secretary of State
P. O. Box 13697
Austin, TX 78711-3697
(512) 463-5555
Fax: (512) 463-5709
http://www.sos.state.tx.us/

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