An HVAC technician assists in ensuring that the climate control system in a home or building operates as intended to maintain a comfortable temperature and humidity level. Becoming an HVAC technician requires locating the appropriate training programmes and mentorship in order to master the craft and gain experience working with various materials. This article will teach you how to become an HVAC technician.
What is the role of an HVAC technician?
An HVAC technician is responsible for a variety of tasks related to a building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Along with installing new units, there is a lot of room for HVAC repair technicians in Katy TX.
Also, repair damaged units, or perform routine maintenance to ensure that units continue to operate properly. They may work on units already installed in completed structures or on those still under construction. They can work independently or as part of a maintenance company.
HVAC technician salary average
HVAC technicians earn an average of $23.45 per hour in the United States, with some earning between $7.25 and $50.90 per hour. This average is based on Indeed salary data, which includes 18,838 salary submissions from employees, users, and job postings. The data collection period is 36 months.
HVAC technicians are frequently compensated on an hourly basis and work full-time hours. Additional work may be required at overtime or holiday rates. Experience plays a significant role in determining the wage of an HVAC technician. HVAC technicians typically work for one to three years at a company.
How to Become a Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Technician
If you’re considering a career as an HVAC technician, the following steps are necessary:
1. Obtain a diploma
A prospective HVAC technician must first earn a high school diploma or a GED. If you’re still in high school and interested in pursuing a career as an HVAC technician, attending a vocational school or taking courses that teach you mechanical skills can provide you with valuable training that will aid you in your future career.
2. Become a member of a training programme
After graduating from high school, an HVAC technician must complete an apprenticeship programme. A certificate programme is the quickest path to certification, as it can be completed in as little as ten months. Some HVAC technicians pursue a two-year associate degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree at a college or university.
College degree programmes also include general education and elective courses, whereas certificate programmes concentrate exclusively on HVAC knowledge and skills. Following training, advanced degrees open up additional employment opportunities.
3. Successfully complete an apprenticeship
Although not required, most employers prefer that a beginning HVAC technician complete a three- to a five-year apprenticeship. Apprenticeships, which are sponsored by trade unions and associations, enable aspiring HVAC technicians to continue their education while gaining on-the-job experience under the supervision of a more experienced HVAC professional.
Certain apprenticeships can also be using in place of formal education, with apprentices earning a nationally recognise certification upon completion.
Apprentices are compensat for hours spent observing and assisting on jobs. This is an excellent way for a new HVAC professional to practise their skills in a real-world setting.
4. Obtain approval from the state
To work as an HVAC technician, you must first obtain a licence from the state in which you intend to work. While state licencing requirements vary, the EPA requires one certification in all states: the Section 608 Technician Certification. It enables a technician to work with refrigerants, a critical job function.
Three levels of Section 608 Technician Certification are available:
- Certification of Type I is applicable to small appliances.
- Type II is applicable to high-pressure heating and cooling units.
- Certification Type III is applicable to low-pressure heating and cooling units.
Each exam consists of 25 questions, with a passing score of 18 correct answers. A technician can earn the universal certification by passing all three exams, which is highly recommended to maximise their professional opportunities.
Consider obtaining additional certifications
While additional certifications are not require to work as an HVAC technician, they can help you stand out from the crowd. North American Technician Excellence is a non-profit organisation dedicating to the advancement of HVAC professionals. It offers four optional certificates. Each examination is a proctored exam with multiple-choice questions:
Certificate of Suitability for Work
The first-level certificate assesses a candidate’s knowledge and abilities necessary for entry-level HVAC technician work. It covers components, tools, measurements, and units, as well as electrical safety, heat transfer fundamentals, and general safety. The test is intend for technicians who have been in the field for less than six months and consists of 50 questions that must be answering in 90 minutes.
HVAC Technician Certification
The second level certificate is intended for HVAC professionals in their early careers, typically with six months to one year of professional experience. The exam covers topics such as safety, tools, fundamental construction terminology, applying fundamental science, achieving desired conditions, and taking temperature and humidity measurements. The examination lasts two and a half hours and contains 100 questions.
Certificate for Core and Specialty Tests
This test is intend for individuals with at least two years of experience and is require prior to attempting any NATE specialisation certifications. The test covers safety, tools, fundamental construction, applying fundamental science, creating desired conditions, taking temperature and humidity readings, and basic electricity. The 50-question test has a time limit of 90 minutes.
Certification as a Senior Efficiency Analyst
This certification is intend for technicians at the senior level with a minimum of five years of professional experience. Additionally, a technician must hold at least two NATE speciality certifications.
The test covers load calculation, equipment selection, air distribution, hydronic distribution, system performance, control of indoor air and environment, and planned maintenance. The test consists of 100 questions and requires four hours to complete.
6. Create a resume
Developing a strong resume is critical to finding work, even more so when you are just starting out in an industry where you are less likely to have a strong network of contacts to assist you in finding work.
If you lack prior experience in the industry, consider either a functional resume that emphasises your skills and downplays your prior experience, or a combination resume that emphasises both your skills and prior work equally. Concentrate the skills section of your resume on characteristics that are directly applicable to HVAC repair technicians, such as attention to detail and technical knowledge.