The HVAC career will consist of working, installing and repairing heating, refrigerant and cooling systems. In order to become licensed in this profession you will need to complete a certificate program or obtain your degree. Here we will find out the steps you need to take in order to become licensed as an HVAC technician.
The HVAC Role and Responsibilities
In the HVAC career you will work on heating and cooling systems which can be found in residential, industrial and commercial places. The tech will work on maintaining and installing new systems, repairing electrical circuits, diagnosing problems within a system, recharging cooling systems, replacing compressor parts, installing furnaces, boilers and air conditioners and installing tubing systems.
A tech can choose to specialize in a particular area such as maintenance, design or installation. Some techs can also choose to work as a sales associate, which will require the same type of training as the tech. Another position available is that of the quality control tech, who works by randomly testing systems and locating defective components. In order to work as a project manager in this field you will need to have three to five years of experience and hold an associate’s degree in applied science in addition to a four year apprenticeship.
The HVAC Technician Certification and Career Opportunities
Not all states will require the HVAC technician to have obtained certification; however, the majority of employers will prefer to hire a tech that has completed a formal training program in addition to a two to four year apprenticeship.
Working as an apprentice will provide the tech with the skills and development of their techniques they’ll need in order to work in this field. The compensation received when working as an apprentice will commonly be half of what a certified technician will make.
After an apprenticeship has been completed the tech will need to take the state licensing exam in order to obtain their licensure as an HVAC technician.
Some states will require the tech to take additional certifications for the refrigerant certification, while other states will include this type of certification in the basic HVAC program.
Currently 25% of HVAC technicians are self-employed. To work in this field independently the tech will need to have a minimum of five years of experience, own their own vehicle and equipment and have a significant amount of accounts in order to earn a decent salary. This type of business can be highly competitive, depending on the state in which the tech lives.
States such as California, Florida, New York, Colorado and Alaska offer the highest paying positions in this field, while such states as Alabama, Ohio and Utah offer the lower salary for this profession.