Occupational Licensing | HPBA

Occupational Licensing

Why a hearth specialty license

Fireplaces, hearth products and systems are unique products that bring fire into the living area of the home. Potential problems related to improper installation may be concealed and may not manifest themselves for a considerable time after installation. There are a wide variety of fuels, appliances, venting systems, installation instructions, codes and standards that require specialized knowledge. Credentials establish a bar for qualifications and thereby help to prevent potentially dangerous practices.

Appropriate and effective credentials should be specific to the product. Competence cannot be reliably predicted by general qualifications that include dissimilar products and that do not adequately cover knowledge of fireplace products installation. Exclusion of demonstrably appropriate fireplace-specific qualifications unfairly prevents highly-qualified professionals from practicing their trade, earning a livelihood, and contributing to the economic welfare of the region/state. The National Fireplace Institute (NFI) exams are singularly focused on fireplace products. The exams are developed and maintained in accordance with national testing standards, including a job analysis basis.

Read a First-Hand Account on how this affects businesses and consumers

Model Licensing Language

HPBA created model language that can be used to establish a hearth specialty license under a state or local jurisdiction’s HVAC-R, mechanical, or other code. The language consists of:

a. Definition of a “hearth specialty license;”

b. Requirements for licensure; and

c. Scope of work permitted under the license

Download the model licensing language


Have questions? Contact Rachel Feinstein.

States and Jurisdictions with Hearth Specialty Licenses

Several state and local jurisdictions have already adopted versions of this model language. 

HPBA is aware of the following: