How to Become an HVAC Technician

Written by

George D. Baker


August 14, 2014



Heating and air conditioning systems are essential to all types of structures because they control the temperature, air quality, and humidity. HVAC technicians are trained professionals that install, maintain, and repair a variety of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems.

What does an HVAC technician do?

HVAC technicians (also called heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technicians) are responsible for installing, adjusting, and performing service on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units for residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. They provide customer service and support and ensure systems are operating correctly. They read blueprints and prepare spaces for installation of the necessary equipment. They make sure the installation tasks are performed correctly and abide by the necessary regulations. HVAC technicians also inspect existing systems and check each part to ensure efficient and effective function. They repair and replace components and make the required adjustments.

What kind of training does an HVAC technician need?

HVAC technicians must have at least a high school diploma, but most employers prefer candidates with formal postsecondary training. Some HVAC technicians complete formal National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, Air-Conditioning Contractors of American, other nationally recognized apprenticeship programs. Prospective HVAC technicians typically complete courses about the basics of installation, maintenance, and repair of heating and cooling units, equipment design and construction, temperature control, electronics, and industrial mathematics. Many employers provide on the job training and classroom instruction for inexperienced individuals. Some states require HVAC technicians to be licensed. Licensing requirements typically include minimum education or experience and passing an examination. Most HVAC technicians also gain professional certification to remain competitive in the field.

What are the prospects for a career as an HVAC technician?

Employment of HVAC technicians is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 28% through 2018. The growing population and increased demand for residential, commercial, and industrial climate-control systems will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be excellent especially for those with formal training and extensive experience. Numerous job openings will arise from the need to replace HVAC technicians that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do HVAC technicians make?

As of 2015, HVAC technicians with less than 1 year experience earn average hourly rates between $11.26 and $15.59. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earn average hourly rates between $12.82 and $17.86.

A career as a HVAC technician is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in engineering and similar technical related fields. The work involves the installation, maintenance, and repair of many different heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Anyone considering whether and how to become an HVAC technician must have a solid understanding of a variety of systems and the ability to perform many different tasks. Technical aptitude, accuracy, detail orientation, and physical stamina are necessary characteristics. HVAC technicians must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they often deal with a variety of customers and other professionals. They must abide by the proper safety precautions to minimize injury from hazards.

Becoming an HVAC Technician Requires Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a HVAC Technician? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  George D. Baker

George D. Baker is a long-time contributor to College Mouse. Now retired, Mr. Baker volunteers at adult education programs in his local community.

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