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Becoming an HVAC Technician: The Ultimate Guide

HVAC technician

March 11 2022 - The average HVAC technician working in the US takes home†about $53,656†every year, with top earners getting up to $78,000 per year.

HVAC technicians are in high demand, meaning we can only anticipate a salary increase in the coming years. If you want a bustling, exciting, and well-paying career, maybe you should consider becoming an HVAC technician.

HVACs are a staple for American households, but they require some maintenance and repair work now and then. Only qualified HVAC technicians can pull off seamless HVAC installations and repairs. The question is, how do you become one of these HVAC technicians?

An excellent question and we have all the answers right here. Todayís post is the ultimate guide on how to become a certified HVAC technician.

What Does an HVAC Technician Do?

There are dozens of HVAC careers, but HVAC technicians hold the mantle of being the most important players in the HVAC industry. They are responsible for various duties revolving around the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning of residential and commercial buildings.

One major responsibility of HVAC technicians is installing HVAC systems in buildings. They also replace existing systems and carry out frequent maintenance on these systems. Their work can range from simple maintenance routines like replacing filters to more complex stuff like wiring an HVAC system.

How Does One Become an HVAC Technician?

Becoming an HVAC technician is pretty straightforward if you take the right path. If youíre looking to become one, follow the following steps.

Get Your High School Diploma

The first step to becoming an HVAC technician is earning your high school diploma. If you donít have a high school diploma, a GED will work just as well. Without either of those, you canít qualify to become a technician.

The good news is that you can always apply for a GED or high school equivalency program. While taking your GED, you can enroll in a vocational program that will furnish you with the relevant mechanical skills. Doing so will help streamline your path to becoming an HVAC technician.

Join a Training Program

Once you get your high school diploma or complete your GED, enrolling in a training program is the next step. The training program will equip you with the necessary skills to become an HVAC technician. Certificate programs are the fastest way to complete this training, with some concluding in as little as ten months.

Some people opt to take the college route, which is quite okay. They can earn a two-year associate degree or a bachelorís degree that takes four years.

Certificate programs are more to-the-point and focus on HVAC knowledge and skills.†This program, for instance, offers comprehensive training and education into the intricacies of becoming an HVAC technician. In less than a year, youíll have your HVAC certification and be one step closer to becoming an HVAC technician.

Join an Apprenticeship

Completing an apprenticeship isnít a mandatory step in becoming an HVAC technician, but itís worth the trouble. An apprenticeship is the only sure way to learn the ropes of becoming a true HVAC technician. It allows you to get hands-on technician skills and work on actual projects.

Although not a must, weíd advise you to complete three years of apprenticeship before joining the HVAC workforce. Most HVAC firms prefer hiring technicians with between three and five yearsí apprenticeship experience.

Trade unions and associations are more than willing to offer budding HVAC technicians apprenticeship opportunities. During the apprenticeship, youíll get to work with qualified technicians and take on actual projects. Whatís more, youíll receive hourly pay for every hour you work on a project.

Apprenticeships are a great chance for you to put your skills and knowledge to the test in real-world situations.

Receive State Approval

To legally work as an HVAC technician in your state, youíll first need state approval. Approved technicians will receive a state license, allowing them to operate as HVAC technicians.

Different states have different requirements for their HVAC technicians. However, EPA has a specific certificate that cuts across all states. This is the Section 608 technician certification that allows recipients to deal with refrigerants.

The 608 technician certification breaks down into three types, namely:

  • Type 1 Certification, which covers small appliances
  • Type 2 certification for high-pressure cooling and heating systems
  • Type 3 certification for low-pressure cooling and heating systems

Each certification has its own exam, consisting of 25 questions. You need to get 18 out of the 25 questions correct for you to pass. Passing all three exams will earn you a universal certification, a huge bonus for your professional career.

Get Additional Certification

Receiving a state license gives you the green light to pursue a career as an HVAC technician. However, you can choose to go beyond and stand out from your contemporaries. Here are some additional certificates you can get to boost your career.

Ready-to-Work Certificate

This certificate ascertains a technicianís proficiency in entry-level work. It covers basic things like tools, measurements, and common units. The certification test consists of 50 questions that you should answer in 90 minutes.

HVAC Support Technician Certificate

This is also another entry-level certificate that technicians can get after six months to one year of professional experience. Like the previous one, it covers basics like measurements, tools, and simple construction terms. The certification test contains 100 questions that you should answer within one and a half hours.

Apart from these, there are a few other additional certificates like:

  • Core and Specialty Tests certificate
  • Senior-level Efficiency Analyst Certification

These are high-level certificates that require considerable experience working as an HVAC technician.

Becoming an HVAC Technician Made Easy

With the above information, becoming an HVAC technician should be a cakewalk. HVAC jobs are rewarding and are worth the education and extensive training. Enroll in a training program today and start your journey to a thriving career as an HVAC technician.

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