The United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Sprinklerfitters (UA) announced that the state of Texas has adopted the UA HVACR Star exam as one means for obtaining HVACR certification in that state.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation governs the requirements and processes for becoming certified within the state. The acceptance of the UA Star exam as one of the approved methods for obtaining certification is, according to the UA, a recognition of the excellence of the STAR program and its impact on HVACR work nationwide.

“We are pleased that the state of Texas has taken this step,” said Donald House, UA association director of HVACR. “This means that qualified HVACR technicians will have a chance to use their training through the UA to become certified to do this work. It will also open up opportunities for UA member contractors to become Star certified as well, making them more competitive in the marketplace.

House further noted, “The UA’s HVACR Star exam is a challenging and comprehensive examination of the skills and knowledge required to perform this segment of our work at the highest possible level. We are confident that our members and contractors will enthusiastically embrace this new opportunity for certification in the state of Texas.”

The Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA) has members throughout the United States who employ UA HVACR techs. The MSCA has its own Star program in which UA contractors meet stringent quality requirements in order to be designated a Star contractor. To date, 87 contractors have achieved MSCA Star status nationally, and the decision by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to recognize the Star exam is certain to increase that number, according to House.

The UA’s HVACR Star program is independently verified by the National Inspection, Testing, and Certification Corp. (NITC), an ISO 9001 and ANSI-accredited certifying organization. The exam covers 12 areas of expertise, ranging from mechanical and electrical systems, controls, heating, air conditioning and refrigeration, steam systems, plumbing, ventilation, safety, customer service, and more. To date, more than 5,000 technicians have been certified through the STAR program, which also covers plumbing, pipefitting, and sprinklerfitting. In addition to being STAR certified, techs that complete this program receive 30 college credits towards an Associate’s degree in HVACR/Construction Supervision. The program was developed jointly by the UA and Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Mich.

The Star exam is administered to all five-year apprentices in the UA as part of their requirement for completing apprenticeship. However, those UA members who have already completed their apprenticeship and have five years or more of experience in the industry can also take the exam to become Star certified. “We believe this certification not only makes our contractors more competitive, but also ensures that our citizens have HVACR systems they can rely on to be safe and efficient,” said House.

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Publication date:03/24/2008