Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians are skilled tradespersons that install heating and cooling systems. Additionally, they maintain and repair the system when problems arise. This may be in a residential setting or for commercial facilities. Those who work for a retailer are often responsible for selling service contracts to clients.
Types of Certification
Becoming HVAC certified will depend on the type of certification that you desire and the training that you have achieved. Since many people work in the field under a licensed HVAC person, they may have some experience before taking classes. Those who have over a year of experience in installation and at least 2 years in maintenance will have a wider choice when it comes to the type of HVAC certification they choose.
In order to become certified, the proper classes must be taken. Before doing so, a high school diploma or GED is required. This is required for admittance to most accredited HVAC training programs. These programs offer classes in the installation and repair of HVAC as well as reading blueprints, temperature control, construction and equipment design. The programs are available at various schools and colleges as well as online.
The programs are generally from six months to two years and depending on the length of the course, upon successful completion, the student will receive a certificate or an associate's degree. There are also opportunities available for those who join the Armed Forces to receive specialized training in the HVAC field.
After completing the training program successfully, learning a certification or a degree, sitting for the HVAC licensing exam will be required by most states to work in this field. The licensing exam will differ somewhat from one location to another. The main consideration is the knowledge of all the aspects of installation and repair of HVAC systems. In addition, some licensing exams require the applicant to know electrical codes.
If the career chosen will include working with refrigerants, a separate certification is needed for this field. This includes high and low-pressure refrigerants and servicing small appliances. When this career is chosen at an early age, usually while in high school, it is beneficial to take classes that can help in preparing the student for the classes they will take next. The basic recommendations are mathematics, physics, electronics and mechanical drawing.
There are additional licenses needed if the HVAC career will include contractor services. This is often a career that is chosen after learning the other aspects of HVAC. The qualifications to apply for a license as an HVAC contractor include being at least 18 years of age, speaking and reading the English language and four years of verifiable experience in warm heating.
If the applicant meets these qualifications, they must take an ICC examination. The International Code Council (ICC) develops these exams and they are in charge of giving them for many states. They are given at approved testing sites across the nation and are required for anyone that represents themselves in any way as an HVAC contractor.
As seen, the HVAC career is quite diverse. It can include various aspects of this profession, each having their own requirements and licenses.