So, you want to work with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment. Having an HVAC certification can help you show your competency to potential clients or employers.
It can be a lucrative career. As of May 2015, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers make an average annual wage of $45,110 per year.
As these systems become more complex, the need for more skilled and qualified technicians increases. Job opportunities tend to be better for individuals who have formal HVAC qualifications from a good institution.
Read on to find out more about getting your HVAC certification
What Is HVAC Certification?
HVAC certifications are more than just education as they help provide you with the HVAC license required. If you’re looking for work as an HVAC contractor, many states have the need for a license. This certification is a good indicator of your knowledge.
If you have an HVAC technician certification, it will also say how much expertise you have in a specific HVAC field. It will also keep track of your training and extra knowledge in the subject.
How to Become a Certified HVAC Technician
There are several steps you need to follow to receive your HVAC technician certification. They are listed below.
Obtain a High-School Diploma
Most successful HVAC workers usually excel in mathematics and physics. Suppose you’re looking to get an HVAC certification. In that case, you must receive a high school diploma or a GED.
It helps to have had a focus on physics and mathematics to qualify for admission. Although if you can prove your skills an HVAC certification institute won’t turn you away.
Complete an Accredited HVAC Program
If you choose to complete formal HVAC training, you can find many programs offered. All of them are from accredited institutions. These courses provide training in several fields in the HVAC industry. This gives you career-focused and practical training.
This training from an HVAC school mainly focuses on:
- gas heating,
- basic electricity,
- air quality,
- air conditioning and heat pumps
They also focus on employment and certification readiness. It can take anywhere from 10 weeks to up to 2 years.
If you choose to study from a community college, it can take you 2 years or above to get your certification, and it focuses on both technical and general education courses. The courses offered here are similar to those provided in HVAC schools, but they also include English and other public education subjects.
Complete an Apprenticeship
An HVAC apprenticeship typically lasts anywhere between three to five years, and candidates who opt for an apprenticeship receive 2,000 hours of training on the job, at the very least, as well as around 144 hours of technical education.
This training is usually entry-level HVAC technicians who work beside experienced techs. It usually includes basic jobs such as cleaning furnaces and slowly moving up to more complex tasks, including fixing electrical circuits and soldering pipes.
Types of HVAC Certification
Different states may have different requirements. You may also need a certain certificate to apply for a raise within your organization.
HVAC Excellence Certification
This certification is offered by a leading industry group that provides HVAC technicians with reliable skills. It gives its students certification at the professional or the specialist level, and each has its own requirements.
For example, to get a professional-level certification, you must have industry experience of at least two years. The specialist certification requires three years of experience and passing a specialist grade exam.
This certification is one of the most common HVAC certifications. NATE is an acronym for the North American Technician Excellence institute, and it is an association that tends to meet the needs of HVAC workers.
The certifications this institute provides are widely known and respected in the HVAC industry.
This certification is gained through a candidate’s demonstration of subject-specific knowledge, technical abilities, and skills. The technician also needs to pass a test of general HVAC knowledge and a specialized exam in servicing and installing gear.
The NATE certifications are granted in gas and oil heating, air distribution and conditioning, and HVAC system efficiency.
EPA 608 Certification
This is a certification suited for the technicians who regularly handle refrigerants. Only the technicians who hold the Environmental Protection Agency’s 608 Certification can legally obtain and utilize refrigerants like R-410A or R-22.
This technically isn’t considered a certification, yet they are essential qualifications that an HVAC technician should have. The local or state licenses are a good indicator that a technician has met the requirements to practice in your local area. This is the bare minimum any technician should have.
Why Should You Go For an HVAC Technician Certification?
Even though many things contribute to your decision-making, a few specific factors may convince you to make your decision. These include your specific needs, your company’s reputation, and your friends and family.
These certifications are usually only granted when a person has enough knowledge and possesses specific skills and abilities. The examination process is rigorous, which ensures that why that technician is hired, the client knows that they have the skills and the skill needed to perform the test and the experience.
Yet, when you finish you will be able to have a long career in a stable industry.
HVAC Certification Online
You can get a college degree online nowadays, and similarly, you can get an HVAC certification online. Although the classes are online, they are built in a way so that they can simulate a hands-on experience.
Many HVAC certification programs also give you unlimited lab time, so you can learn HVAC and build up your skills quickly. You can read some of the most common HVAC career questions here. You could also apply to start a course now.
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