Becoming a Mechanical (HVAC) Contractor

Becoming a Master Mechanical Contractor

The City of Sioux Falls requires a "Mechanical Contractors License" of all contractors doing mechanical or HVAC work within the city limits. Homeowners who live in and own single family dwellings are not required to obtain a license, but must acquire mechanical homeowner permits and would be responsible for mechanical code compliance and to obtain required inspections.

In order to acquire this license, the contractor must first take and pass the "Master Mechanic" examination. The applicant must show evidence of four years experience when submitting the examination application. This examination is a timed test, with closed and open book portions of the test based on the International Mechanical Code, the International Fuel Gas Code, the SMACNA HVAC standards, and the ACCA manuals (see the instructions with the application for study suggestions). There is a $75.00 examination fee due upon application. This exam is offered once per month. Please review the examination application (2B25014 link on right) for more information as well as the exam schedule.

Once the applicant has taken and passed the exam, he or she can then apply for the Mechanical Contractor’s License. You will receive the City Mechanical Ordinance folder upon application for license (This folder is also available for purchase for $6.00). Upon application of the Mechanical Contractor’s License, the applicant must submit a $10,000 Compliance Bond and the appropriate license fees within 90 days of examination. Please review the Master Mechanic license application (2B25005 link on the right) and the Mechanical Contractor’s license application (2B25006 link on the right) for more information.

Also available to individuals who have taken and passed exam is the "Inactive Master Mechanic License" (2B25005 link on the right). This license does not allow you to do work as a contractor or master mechanic for a mechanical contractor, but does allow you to hold a current license with the city, allowing you to reinstate your Master Mechanic’s license without being required to retest.

For more information, you may contact Building Services at:

Building Contractors FAQs

The main objective is to protect the residents and properties in the City of Sioux Falls. Life safety is the number one goal! General knowledge of construction work is needed to pass examination. Licensure requires bonding and insurance for liability protection of the contractor, the homeowner and the city.
No, the city of Sioux Falls does not reciprocate any licenses.
Master Mechanic Examinations require 75% or higher score for passing.
There are several different types of questions on the master mechanic examination. These include a closed book portion, also open book true/false questions and multiple choice questions. There are also multiple choice questions for the refrigeration portion of the exam, each question being worth one full point – ½ point for the answer and ½ point for providing the code section where the answer was found. Please see the examination application (2B25014 link on the right) for further information, including study suggestions.
Yes, any mechanical work done in Sioux Falls would require the contractor obtain a Mechanical Contractor’s license.
No, the city does not offer a specific license for furnace and/or air conditioning only. The city does offer Mechanical Contractor, Refrigeration Contractor, or Fireplace Contractor licenses. See links to those sections on the right.
If you are receiving compensation for doing mechanical work, even if part-time, you are required to hold a Master Mechanic and Mechanical Contractor’s license. All work must be inspected, and the inspections must be called in under a Mechanical Contractor’s license.

Separate licenses are required for each field (building, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical). There are examinations required for each field. Electrical and plumbing also require state licenses before applying for examination with the city.

Under no circumstances is a Mechanical Contractor allowed to any electrical, plumbing or residential building work unless they also hold the appropriate, additionally required, licenses.

Most insurance agents can issue a bond.
You will need a new bond made specifically to the City of Sioux Falls.
No, but you must have these documents when applying for the license. It is recommended that you check with your agent regarding the process to acquire the bond, but we suggest waiting until you receive notification that you have passed the exam before acquiring them. When submitting the bond, you must submit the original and if you receive the bond too far in advance there is a chance of misplacement.
The first time you take an exam and fail, you are able to retest again in 30 days. Each time you fail the exam following, you must wait 90 days before you are able to retest.
You must retest if you do not apply for a license with 90 days of exam. It is recommended that you apply for Master Mechanic or Inactive Master Mechanic before the 90 day deadline to avoid retesting, if not immediately applying for Mechanical Contractor.
No, licenses must remain active by providing current bond information. Licenses also must be renewed every two years. If a Master Mechanic license expires, it cannot be renewed after 12 months from expiration without re-examination.