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How To Become A HVAC Technician

With every home and business having heating and cooling systems, this is a job that will always be needed.
Career Overview*
  • Median Salary:$50,590 annually / $24.32 hourly
  • Career Outlook:5% growth 2030
  • Certifications: EPA Certification (refrigerant handling)
  • License: Required in some states

What Does A HVAC Technician Do?

Typically daily responsibilities of a HVAC technician include:

  • Repairing or installing heating and cooling units
  • Provide customers with maintenance services for their units
  • Keep detailed and accurate records of services performed for clients
  • Provide customers with quotes and discussions about repair or installation options
  • Testing an inspection of various systems and components to look for issues
  • Work with electrical parts and wiring
  • Read blueprints and diagrams
  • Welding pipes

How To Become A HVAC Technician

Becoming a HVAC technician does take some education and training. There are a variety of options available for those that want to further their career and move up to higher positions as well.

Below are some more details on how to become a HVAC technician. 

Basic Requirements

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • High school diploma or GED

Education

Not all states require any kind of certification to become a HVAC technician, but it is highly recommended you get one to procure a great job in the field. Check with your state to ensure what the requirements are for your state.

Most HVAC programs run from about 6 months – 9 months and during this time you will learn the following skills:

  • Diagnostics
  • Training on testing equipments and tool
  • Basics on mechanics, electronics, and electricity

Apprenticeship

HVAC apprenticeships also vary by state, but it is highly recommended to go through a program to get the hands-on skills from experienced HVAC professionals.

Apprenticeships can be found in the following ways:

  • If you received HVAC certification from an accredited school they may offer assistance in finding an apprenticeship.
  • Reach out to local HVAC unions or even businesses to see what opportunities they offer.
  • Search on apprenticeship.gov and see if any are available in your area.

Licensing or Certification

The need for a license by HVAC technicians varies greatly from state to state. Even if a state does not require licensing, local areas might, so you need to make sure you are aware of the requirements based on where you live.

All HVAC professionals do have to obtain a Section 608 certification as noted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Section 608 has four different types of certifications based on the career path you want to take.

  • Type I – for small appliance repair and service
  • Type II – for those working on high pressure appliances, excludes small appliances and automative HVAC
  • Type III – for those that services low-pressure appliances
  • Universal – covers all types of HVAC equipment

There are other HVAC certifications programs as well, but this is the one that is the most important!

Recommended Skills For HVAC Technicians

Getting education and training are only part of the process! Below are some skills that will help you be an amazing HVAC technician.

Customer Service

HVAC technicians spend a lot of time with customers whether residential or commercial. It is important to have exceptions people skills and be able to deal with all personality types. 

Math

The ability to calculate proper measurements to ensure the units being worked on properly heats or cools areas of the home or building is critical.

Troubleshooting

The ability to test and analyze data to find why a unit is not working is a big part of the job. Then finding a way to fix it is the next step.

Detail Oriented

Writing reports and quotes are part of the job. It is important that time worked and work done is noted properly. When doing quotes for clients it is important to be accurate in the details to keep them happy.

Pros & Cons Of Being A HVAC Technician

Just like every other job being a HVAC technician has some good and bad parts. You have to decide which outweighs which.

PROS

  • HVAC technicians can earn a good wage with experience.
  • Job stability as both residential and commercial buildings will always have HVAC units that need repairing or installing.
  • Every day is different, no job will be the same.

CONS

  • Changing technologies mean staying current with classes or training.
  • May have to work nights or weekends for emergency calls.
  • Physically demanding.
  • Can be hard to work with some customers.

How Much Do HVAC Technicians Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for HAVC technicians in 2020 was $50,590.

Aside from experience, your specialization and employer also play a big role in your salary.

The ability earn higher wages is possible through advanced certifications.

$50,590
The median annual salary for a boilermaker.

HVAC Technician Job Outlook

5%
increase in the amount of jobs through 2030.

Growth/Decline Percentage: 5% increase from 2020 to 2030*
General Outlook: Average

The number of jobs for HVAC technicians will be slower than many other careers in terms of growth.

Most of the job openings that will happen will be due to retirement or those that leave the field for other careers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about this career. If you have other questions that are not listed here – please email us or leave a comment below and we will be sure to add it!

How longs Does It take to become a HVAC Technician?

If you are interested in getting only a certification you can be a HVAC technician within 12 months in most cases.

What is the average salary for a HVAC Technician?

This varies by state, but the median salary for a HVAC technician is $50,590 per year.

*Data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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