What Does IT Take to Earn an HVAC License or Certification?
Heating, ventilation and air condition technicians, or HVAC technicians, are responsible for keeping climates comfortable, whether in a business, home, school or warehouse. If you'd like to enter this field, you'll probably obtain a license, and maybe even certification, in order to be hired and receive promotions. Schools offering Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
HVAC Careers Overview
As an HVAC technician, you will install, repair and maintain heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Because of technological advances, these systems are becoming more complex all the time, so you'll probably need formal training. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), heating, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians should experience a 28% increase in job growth between 2008 and 2018, which means job prospects should be good (www.bls.gov).
Before you seek licensing or certification, you'll probably need some type of formal training. Technical schools and community colleges offer HVAC training programs, which can usually be completed in less than a year. You could also join an apprenticeship program, which may be offered by local chapters of national organizations such as PHCC and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. Apprenticeships usually take 3-5 years to complete and include hands-on, paid training.
Licenses and Certifications
Licensing is required for HVAC technicians in some states. Typically, you must provide proof of experience and pass an exam to become licensed. Some states may offer different levels of licensing that depend upon your experience and training.
You may need certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if you will be working with or handling refrigerants to be Section 608 compliant. To obtain this EPA certification, you'll need to pass an exam at an EPA-approved testing center and gain certification for each category of refrigerant handling that you'll engage in.
You may consider voluntary, entry-level certifications, such as those offered by North American Technician Excellence. After you have work experience you may consider certifications offered by professional organization such as HVAC Excellence, which offers professional level and master specialist certifications. Voluntary certification may help you to verify your skills and some employers may prefer to hire employees or offer advancement to employees with such certifications.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: